This Is How College Students Are Using Cannabis to Study
It’s a hilarious depiction of the iniquity of cannabis.
Per the movie, college students who use cannabis are delinquents, rapists, murderers, and mentally insane.
Did I say it was hilarious?
I meant pure rubbish.
In truth, cannabis – when properly used – helps college students overcome stress, fear, anxiety, and improves their academic performance when used correctly.
Let’s look at how cannabis is used on today’s college campuses.
The Battle of Studying
If you’ve attended university, how many of your peers do you know who crammed the night before the test performed exceedingly well?
Probably not very many.
That’s because consuming and digesting vast amounts of information down to the granular level takes more than a one-step approach to learn for most people.
Studying produces stress, demands focus, and requires efficient use of study time.
For university students, tests and quizzes come every week.
Often, they’ll face multiple exams in a very short period.
The amount of focus, organization, and determination this requires is enormous.
Study Drugs: How Many of Today’s Students Study
With so much energy needed to study for university exams and quizzes, some students turn to study drugs.
Some microdose LSD and others take amphetamines without a prescription.
Many turn to intense amounts of caffeine, while others – like myself – find solace in studying while using cannabis.
For those who use cannabis, there are a handful of benefits offered to them by consuming their favorite sticky flower.
In fact, according to Live Science, in 2014, not only did more university students report smoking cannabis each day than those who reported smoking a cigarette, but the rate at which university students are smoking cannabis has reached a three-decade peak.
These numbers are directly associated with the stigma attached to the two drugs.
People are beginning to recognize that marijuana is not as dangerous a drug as once thought, while they are simultaneously cognizant of the adverse health impacts associated with cigarettes.
However, the health concerns of smoking marijuana bely the positive benefits for students who choose to consume cannabis as a study drug.
Marijuana impacts each person differently; it’s subjective to the person’s personality, tolerance level, their perception of cannabis, and, yes, even their gender.
So how does cannabis impact university students?
The Negative Effects of Cannabis on Students
For decades, there’s been a grotesque disinformation campaign against cannabis.
Thankfully, people are seeing the need for proper cannabis education and learning marijuana facts.
This doesn’t mean cannabis isn’t without its drawbacks. Too much of anything can have adverse effects. Cannabis, however, is definitely a comparable cognitive stimulant study aid when used effectively.
You only need to read further into this article to see how consuming cannabis helped me focus, improve my grades, and relieve my anxiety to get a taste of cannabis’ capabilities.
The Effects of Cannabis on Student Focus
For some, they quickly become ‘too stoned’ and dysfunctional to a point where studying would be impossible.
For others – like myself – cannabis is a way to focus an unfocused mind.
A study published by Cannabinoids shows how cannabis can be used to treat ADHD.
Not every university student has ADHD (of course), but the documentation suggests that cannabis is effective at helping people focus in general.
When I started using cannabis to help me focus, I went from a ‘B-/B student’ to an ‘A student,’ finishing my capstones with a 3.94 and bringing my overall GPA from a dismal 2.9 to a semi-respectable 3.14.
Despite my very average final GPA, I can always point to my final year as being my best, and I attribute that to using cannabis as my study drug.
Instead of going out drinking or spending too much time socializing with friends, cannabis allowed me to focus on studying for at least four hours each day.
As a result, I was acing tests my classmates were averaging in the high-60’s to low-70’s.
My professors never knew, my peers were upset I was ruining the curve, and I just kept smoking and studying in secret.
Full-disclosure: I was anxious and stressed about the stigma or anybody finding out.
Thankfully, cannabis also helps ebb stress and anxiety.
The Effects of Cannabis on Student Anxiety and Stress
Fear of failure, social aversions, and heavy workloads all place a burden on students’ psyches.
Luckily, the contemporary university student has access to a plant that helps relieve feelings of anxiety: cannabis.
Cannabis is reported to calm social anxiety, be naturally calming, and act as a natural anti-depressant.
The stress relieving properties of cannabis also lead students to sleep better at night, which everyone knows is key to having an enjoyable day.
For students who are weighed down by their studies, cannabis offers a natural, healthy route to alleviating their stress and focus more on what they need to get done.
Once students are focused and feeling calm after consuming cannabis, how is their work productivity impacted?
The Effects of Cannabis on Student Productivity
If you’re still in the mindset that cannabis users are lazy, dull people who aspire to nothing, then you might want to take a look at Northern Michigan University and the students who are enrolled in their Medicinal Plant Chemistry major.
According to the Washington Post, these students are anything but lazy.
They undergo serious scientific rigor in challenging classes that demand their full attention.
According to the journal Neuron, “the latest scientific evidence shows that [dopamine] acts before the pleasure or reward, encouraging us to act.”
Essentially, when cannabis releases dopamine in our brains, it encourages – rather than hinders – our productivity.
I found this to be particularly true when using cannabis as a study drug; I could easily focus for 4-6 hours each day with its help.
Before I turned to cannabis as a study drug, I was studying 1-2 hours each week before I would get distracted and move on to something else.
I guess that explains my grades.
Try It Before You Deny It, But Try It Wisely
If you’re considering using cannabis as your study drug, do so with a scientific mind.
Try a little, see how it works for you; do you study better if you eat it, vaporize it, or smoke it?
I recommend not getting completely ‘stoned’ to do your studying.
Instead, try micro-dosing with a small hit or two; hopefully it’s just enough to focus your mind, relax you, and keep you from falling into a bag of potato chips.
Then, every half hour or hour, do it again; but, just enough to keep you on your study game.
Look for clear sativas, they tend to not give you a sleepy state of mind like many indicas and hybrids do.
For me, I preferred blue dream, Amsterdam cheese, and sour diesel.
These strains tended to keep me focused and engaged without putting me in a ‘zoned out’ state; but, I’m an athletic male standing 6’1” tall and weighing 180 pounds with a high tolerance for cannabis.
Remember, each person is different, but the worst that will happen is you’ll fall asleep with a half-eaten Jimmy John’s sandwich on your books.
Can weed help you focus on homework
Unfortunately, the modern day workforce doesn’t often allow much room for creative tasks. Rather, there is a more systematic workflow that aims to maximize efficiency—and minimize fun. Sure, there is an association between efficiency and a nose-to-the-grindstone attitude, but what if we told you that creativity and productivity could go hand in hand too?
If you have creative hobbies outside of work or if your job requires some creative thinking and brainstorming, marijuana can definitely add some pep to your step. New testimony argues that marijuana use makes creative workers more productive, diverging from the usual findings that show cannabis consumers get distracted while doing mundane, unmotivated work. Here are some reasons why the perfect high can get your creative juices flowing.
The Right Kind of Marijuana
First thing’s first, you need to pick the right kind of cannabis. If you’re an avid cannabis user, you know that there are two main classifications: sativa and indica. Sativa is the go-to strain for those who need to be productive. This specific type of cannabis has a higher concentration of THC than indica and produces a more psychoactive high. Sativa is normally used during the daytime as it keeps your mind working, your energy high and your motivation steady. Plus, cannabis sativa keeps you from entering the zoning out state that many indica or indica-dominant strains may encourage.
Marijuana helps with many tasks, but they all share one common characteristic: creativity. Fast Company published a piece discussing drug use and work, but specifically focused on its usefulness during creative tasks. In another interview with MTV, Seth Rogen testified that marijuana does, in fact, make him buckle down and get right to work. The work he does? He writes scripts, acts and participates in other aspects of filmmaking—all creative tasks.
Other successful individuals have argued that marijuana is helpful in creative functions that go beyond the fine arts. Business owners, lawyers, writers and painters alike have found that the herb can help them with constructive thinking as well as application-based work. The consensus is that marijuana helps open you up to creativity and hone in on the engaging task at hand. Of course, until academic studies look into this aspect of creative motivation, user testimony is all we have to formulate any sort of logical proof.
For now, all academic work seems to be fixated on proving otherwise: that marijuana impedes productivity. The potential problem with these studies is that a majority are focused mundane tasks that don’t consider the positive effects of marijuana.
A study that followed seven men found that productivity decreased when marijuana was readily available and continued to decline as more and more was consumed. This is essentially the same finding as most academic sources. Productivity went back up as soon as access was cut off, but we want to focus on what happened when these individuals were high at work.
The study noted that individuals didn’t necessarily work slower; rather they spent their time doing other tasks that entertained them. We’re all guilty of falling into a stream of TV episodes on Netflix or Buzzfeed articles when taking what was supposed to be a short break, but the seven men were noted as displaying signs of what is called amotivational syndrome—something that may occur to some long-term marijuana users. If we compare this to the user experiences discussed above, we can see that the type of work a marijuana user is doing is critical, and it is a variable that is overlooked by the studies that have been conducted thus far. Eventually, there might be research that examines creative productivity in its own right, at which point we will have answers that can compete at a scientific level.
Marijuana appears to improve focus and productivity—if you use it correctly. It can be incredibly motivating and drive you to complete tasks, so long as your head is in the game. In order for it to work, you have to be doing something that gets you excited or at least forces you to be creative while also selecting the right strain. If cleaning the house is something you like to do but you seem to get distracted during the process, maybe enjoy some cannabis beforehand and see if that motivates you to clean more productively. Of course, make sure you are acting responsibly and partaking when appropriate—at least until more studies might convince your employer otherwise.