It’s no secret that medical marijuana has many medicinal benefits. Despite the leaps and bounds that society has made in legalizing marijuana, there can still be a negative stigma surrounding those who partake, be it medically or recreationally. However, many people are blind to the fact that cannabis can be a beneficial tool when it comes to the overall quality of work. Not only can it help you to access the more creative parts of your imagination, but it can also help to clear away the clutter and help you to focus. This leads us to ask the question, could cannabis actually boost overall work ethic and productivity?
What Is Dopamine?
dopamineMarijuana, like other drugs, causes the brain to release the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is one of the many chemicals in the brain that helps regulate the brain’s activity. These chemicals are also known as neurotransmitters.
When a person inhales or ingests cannabis, cannabinoids increase the flow of dopamine by blocking off the function of another neurotransmitter, called GABA. Under normal circumstances, GABA “waters down” the flow of dopamine to the brain. However, when cannabinoids and THC inhibit GABA, the brain releases more dopamine as a result. This increase in dopamine causes people to feel more calm, focused, and can even boost their overall creativity. Contrary to popular belief, endocannabinoids are more strongly linked to ‘runner’s high’ than endorphins.
Cannabis And Productivity: Are Stoners Really Lazy?
There is no denying the fact that media has been successful in creating a stigma associating cannabis consumers with the act of being lazy. However, there is nothing about marijuana specifically that causes people to lose drive and ambition. In recent laboratory studies, subjects given high doses of marijuana for several weeks exhibited no decrease in work motivation or productivity.
”The latest scientific evidence shows that this neurotransmitter [dopamine] acts before the pleasure or reward, encouraging us to act.”
In fact, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the concept of cannabinoids improving an individual’s work ethic and creativity. As we know, there is a strong link between dopamine and the CB-1 and CB-2 cannabinoid receptors of the brain.
Even celebrities are speaking up. Famed writer and director, Kevin Smith, explains in his book about how he got into cannabis for the first time. Kevin says Seth Rogen helped him unlock marijuana’s creative potential. “Seth was the most productive pot smoker I’d ever met, and he never seemed remotely f*cked up,” writes Smith. “Here was a guy who could not only handle his high, he could handle your high, your friends’ highs, and your mom’s high—all while getting sh*t done.”
Smith goes on to tell the story of how he and Rogen smoked together for the first time; how he and his wife smoked together for the first time; and most importantly, how smoking marijuana made him feel. “I liked who I was when I was smoking weed,” says Smith. “[I] spent less energy trying to make people laugh because [I] was laughing lots [myself]. At that point in my life, weed was exactly what I needed.”
At age thirty-seven, Kevin Smith began to smoke marijuana every day, but gave himself a goal– he had to tie something creative to it: “If I was blazing, I was writing, podcasting, or editing at the same time.” Some of the best and most revered music, movies, and art have been made while consuming cannabis.
Seth Rogen expressed that marijuana is part of his productive day-to-day activities, and that his writing benefits from it. “I think it’s a myth to say you can’t be productive and smoke weed. It’s an antiquated thought,” says Rogen. “More than anything, [marijuana] makes me willing to work.”
The Effects Of Marijuana Use On Productivity
Increased productivity can be directly linked to the brain’s dopamine levels. Although dopamine is usually linked to feeling pleasure or reward, it also acts as a motivator—and when the brain’s dopamine levels increase, there is more of a want or need to get things done. Researcher Mercè Correa of the Universitat Jaume I explains it best in the Cell Press Journal, Neuron.
universitat“It was believed that dopamine regulated pleasure and reward and that we release it when we obtain something that satisfies us, but in fact, the latest scientific evidence shows that this neurotransmitter acts before the pleasure or reward, encouraging us to act. In other words, dopamine is released in order to achieve something good or to avoid something evil.” Therefore, an increased flow of dopamine can boost your motivation to stay focused and potentially take on bigger goals in the future.
Other Ways To Stay Productive: Look For Clear-Sativa Strains
There are several strains of marijuana that can lend to increasing the dopamine levels in your brain. Sativa strains are usually labeled as being more “creative,” giving the user high levels of dopamine and allowing their brain to become more motivated and open. Some common cannabis strains to look for that could increase your drive and work ethic are Green Crack, Jack Herer, and Cherry AK.
These clear Sativa strains are popular for their ability to provide a uplifting and energetic head high, without the heavy, zone-inducing state. This makes them ideal for powering through work, chores around the house, or other creative endeavors. If you don’t have access to these specific strains, do not worry, any of the clear-headed Sativa strains that your local dispensary or collective has available should suffice. Just be sure to ask your budtender for their personal recommendations.…
The tobacco, pharmaceutical and alcohol industries are looking to get into the marijuana industry and plan to capitalize on the leverage those already in the cannabis space have built, several experts speaking at the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo said on Friday.
Patrick Basham, director of the non-partisan public policy research organization based in Washington DC and London, said during a speech at the conference – run by the parent company of Marijuana Business Daily – in Las Vegas.
While executives in the tobacco industry deny any interest in marijuana, the makers of cigarettes and other products see enormous potential in cannabis with many betting on the burgeoning industry as a way to offset their own shrinking businesses, he said. Basham added that tobacco faces a “perfect storm” of regulatory threats, negative public image, shrinking consumer base and, on a general basis, is a habit of less affluent and uneducated people.
Marijuana, conversely has public opinion on its side, is seeing increased deregulation on a state level and by the end of the decade may no longer be a Schedule I drug, making it federally legal and potentially worth billions of dollars, he said.
Sure, big tobacco has said it isn’t interested in cannabis, but research says otherwise. A report published earlier this year in a health policy journal said tobacco businesses, along with food and beverage companies, are prepared to enter the space.
Tobacco executives aren’t known for always being forthcoming, Basham said. In fact, big tobacco tried to get into the marijuana business in the 1960s and 1970s and is likely planning on how to capitalize on today’s growing cannabis space.
“You shouldn’t wage your industry’s future on the word of the tobacco industry,” he said. “Tobacco plans to” use the leverage those in the cannabis industry have already built to capitalize down the road.
Big pharmaceutical companies are also eyeing the marijuana industry, Basham said.
Harry Schuhmacher, the publisher of Beer Business Daily and Wine & Spirits Daily, said that alcohol companies also may be looking at entering the marijuana business as they’re reportedly under threat of losing sales to cannabis.
Will Marijuana have a negative effect on alcohol sales? “We in the alcohol business, we’re scared… because we don’t know the effect weed is going to have on booze,” Schuhmacher said. In Colorado, alcohol consumption has risen thanks to the throngs of tourists who have made their way to the state to consume legal marijuana, but that won’t happen if deregulation moves into more states.
Marijuana may have the same effect on alcohol consumption that legalization of lottery tickets, including scratch-offs, had on beer sales when they were first allowed into stores, said Schuhmacher, who followed his father and grandfather’s footsteps into the beer industry.
“A guy used to go into the convenience store to buy a 24-pack,” he said. “Now he buys two lottery tickets and a 12-pack. Gaming, marijuana and alcohol are all fighting of the same dollar – they’re fighting for the same dollar so they’re competing against each other. The liquor industry is not excited about legalized cannabis.”
Tripp Keber, the owner and managing director of edible-maker Dixie Elixirs, said during the conference also said that the tobacco, pharma and alcohol are all coming for the marijuana industry, and those who own cannabis companies need to be ready.
“You can’t have an industry that is tripling in size and taking revenue and profits away from manufacturers of alcohol and tobacco and not expect them to do something about it,” Keber told an audience on the last day of the conference. “You better be prepared.”…
Clinical trials involve studies of a potential medication with real patients. The gold standard for a drug to be approved as medicine is to have randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials to validate the efficacy of such drug. Double blind means that the patients and the medication dispensers do not know which medication (test drug or placebo) is being given at any time during the study. Placebo-controlled means that the effects of drug to be studied will be compared to the effects of a placebo given to a patient population. The U.S. federal government, legislators, law enforcement officers and many healthcare professionals often use the “lack of clinical trials” with cannabis as a legitimate reason for continuing the marijuana prohibition. The Catch 22 here is that the federal government has made it virtually impossible for researchers to study the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis.
Patients Out of Time strongly believes that there has been more than enough research to validate that cannabis is a safe and effective medication.
Patients Out of Time strongly supports clinical trials with cannabis. The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report on Marijuana as Medicine: Assessing the Science Base (pdf) noted the safety of cannabis and recommended that doctors be allowed to conduct n of 1 studies (n refers to the sample size, thus it would be a study to evaluate the effects of a drug on one patient). In other words, a doctor should be allowed to prescribe cannabis to a patient who is not responding to current treatment to see if cannabis would be effective. All practicing doctors should be able to do such studies that can eventually result in large numbers. At the same time, large well designed clinical trials are strongly recommended for various patient populations.
Farmers are now increasingly forced to use Genetically Modified seeds simply because there are so few alternative sources of seeds remaining. The effect of this is that we’re losing renewable agriculture – the practice of saving and replanting seeds from one harvest to the next.
As mentioned in The Ecologist, one solution to this growing problem would be to make patenting seeds, plants, and genes illegal. As it stands now, each GM seed is patented and sold under exclusive rights. Therefore, farmers must purchase the GM seeds anew each year, because saving seeds is considered to be patent infringement. Anyone who does save GM seeds must pay a license fee to actually re-sow them.
This, of course, results in higher prices and reduced product options.
Add in the increased need for pesticides and herbicides that GM crops require and the ever rising cost of these products, and what you end up with is a far more expensive crop that has the potential to not only fail more frequently than conventional crops, but that can also be extremely harmful to the animals and humans who eat them.
Talk about a lose-lose-lose situation.
Over the past 15 years or so, a collection of five giant biotech corporations — Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont — have bought up more than 200 other companies, allowing them to dominate access to seeds.
The takeover has been so dramatic that it is becoming difficult for farmers to find alternatives. As a result, in the U.S., 90 percent of soybeans are genetically-modified, and many conventional farmers have trouble obtaining non-genetically modified seeds.
According to The Ecologist:
“… [O]ne solution to restricting their control would be through banning the practice of granting patents on seeds, plants and genes. A patent gives a company exclusive rights to sell and develop a new invention. In the case of patents on plants and genes it grants them temporary monopolies and bans farmers from saving seeds”.