For years, we have been led to believe by the “muddles” that those who partake of cannabis are nothing but lazy, drains on society.
While the term stoner was meant to deter people from smoking cannabis, the counter culture embraced the term and well – weed’s pretty much legal these days.
In other words, we won!
But this doesn’t mean that the stigma of decades worth of systematic Nazi-like repogramming simply goes away. Entrenched deep within, many people still believe that “stoners are lazy”.
It’s one of the big issues with employment these days.
Today however, it is my hope to shed some light on the myth of the lazy stoner and potentially help a few business owners make the decision to hire the cannabis user – because it shouldn’t be a factor (even though it is).
So let’s see what science has to say about the “lazy stoner” archetype.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego’s Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Longevity Science analyzed responses from a 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
However, unlike most of these surveys – participants were asked to measure their activity with an accelerometer that is designed to check the range of activity as well as the intensity. According to researchers, it was the first study of its kind to quantify physical activity in such a manner.
Participants in the survey were classified into four sub categories: Non, Light, Moderate, Frequent in relation to cannabis use. This metric was established based on how much cannabis the users consumed within the past 30 days.
Researchers believe, that during the 2005-2006 period, the national attitudes towards cannabis was still not as favorable as they are today – and thus, the use of cannabis is “under reported”.
In other words, their findings these days would provide a greater sample of consumers to test.
What did the Researchers Find?
After quantifying the data, the researchers discovered that in ‘general’ – cannabis users’ activity levels did not differ all that much from non-users. But when they looked closer at the four “sub-groups” they discovered that frequent marijuana users had elevated activity levels.
You read that correctly – higher activity levels than non-smokers in physical activity levels!
When users quit smoking cannabis, they had a dip in activity levels or they “stopped moving as much”. “Light cannabis users had greater odds of self-reporting activities than non-consumers”.
Okay – but what about the limitations?
Some of the limits of the study came down to the device. The device itself wasn’t waterproof – you know, because it was 2005-2006 and Youtube was barely a thing back then.
Additionally, half of the cannabis users reported that they smoked cigarettes – and when they adjusted for this, they found that cannabis smokers that DO NOT smoke tobacco were even more active.
While the study didn’t examine the pharmacological effects, the evidence is clear in the reporting of activity. Yet this doesn’t mean that cannabis causes you to be more active.
What it does definitively prove is that smoking cannabis doesn’t make you “less active”. And that is significant because millions of dollars in ad campaigns have been spent to teach you and your children that smoking weed will make you a lazy-good for nothing stoner!
Some potential Reasons why Cannabis Users are more active
Some people think that stoners just get high and sit on the couch with encrusted semen on their pants snarfing down junk food and watching cartoons or playing video games.
I don’t blame them – after years of programming, why wouldn’t you think that way? I mean, it’s not like the government has ever lied to you.
But let’s get beyond this and consider why cannabis users may be more active than non-users.
Exercise – many cannabis users like to smoke and go the gym or take a run or do some sort of activity that keeps them engaged with their body. Or – they use it for recovery at the end of a workout session.
Cannabis has shown to help reduce recovery time as it is an anti-inflammatory and helps replenish the endocannabinoid system. Thus, it makes sense that cannabis users who enjoy exercise will have elevated activity levels.
Exploring – One thing I like to do when I’m high is go for a walk!
Cannabis users like the outdoors. Of course, not all cannabis users like the outdoors, but there is a general tendency for a large portion of consumers to go out – go for walks, hikes, or exploring new places.
Less Stress – I’m not sure whether this is a solid reason or not, but when you’re not stressed, you tend to be more engaging with life.
When you’re stressed out of your mind, you’re not thinking about going for a run or taking your mind off things. You’re engaged with the stressful situation until there is some sense of resolution.
For example, the other day I had several deadlines that were coming up – I forwent all of my physical activities to focus in on the work I had on hand. I easily skipped out on an hour worth of exercise.
Why? Because the stress inside me said, “DO THE WORK!”
Fortunately, I have a natural “stress-disruptor” that helps me get out of that mindset easily and effectively allowing me to re-engage with my activities.
Sticky Bottom Line
As mentioned, this study does not indicate whether cannabis causes you to be more activity – but it certainly shows that those who do consume cannabis frequently tend to be more active than those who do not.
This is the clearest evidence to debunk the “lazy stoner” stereotype and should be more than enough to convince a potential employer that hiring the “cannabis smoker” is not going to result in a loss of productivity – but rather an increase amount of productivity.
Couple this with the fact that stoners take fewer sick days and it seems that smoking cannabis should be placed on your resume!