Potheads Really Are Slackers, Says Science
Their brains have less of motivational chemical dopamine: study
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 2, 2013 6:11 AM CDT
Updated Jul 7, 2013 9:58 AM CDT
This Oct. 26, 2010 file photo shows a marijuana plant flourishing under grow lights at a warehouse in Denver.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

(Newser) – Smoke a lot of marijuana for a long period, and your brain may end up making less of a chemical that helps you stay motivated, scientists say. They researched 19 regular pot smokers and 19 non-smokers of matched age and sex, scanning subjects' brains to see how chemicals were distributed, LiveScience reports. All the users had begun smoking as teens, and an examination of a part of the brain called the striatum revealed lower dopamine levels as compared to their peers.

The finding came as a surprise: Users also all reported having had symptoms of psychosis, such as strange thoughts or paranoia. Boosted dopamine has been tied to psychosis symptoms, so researchers had actually expected higher dopamine among weed smokers, LiveScience notes. As for the slacker theory, it remains "controversial," says the lead researcher. One detail worth noting: Past studies involving past or occasional marijuana users didn't come to the same dopamine conclusion, indicating that the production dip isn't necessarily permanent.

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Showing 3 of 195 comments
KDickley
Jul 21, 2013 8:13 PM CDT
You can't argue with facts and science. Well, I guess you will, if you're an ignorant, leftwingnut, welfare bum waiting for all your government freebees and Obummerphones, while you're watching TV and eating twinkies.
stormwide555
Jul 15, 2013 7:44 AM CDT
There was a time when I would vote for leagalization but now No. Easy access to teens will not help the economy in the long run. My brother smoked early and often. Now he is a burn out who needs government and family assistance because he has destroyed several brain cells and lacks motovation. Now he lives in my basement with no end in site. Not to say this is everyone but some people will not be able to handle it and we will all suffer if its made easier to get and socially acceptible. Anyone in there 20s should be fine. Its whne you smoked it early when your mind is developing and regulary for 20 plus years that you will find some weaker minded people debiliated because of it. TRUST ME - I am living it.
People_Suck
Jul 12, 2013 7:22 PM CDT
They needed a study to determine that? I guess none of them had a lot of friends that smoked pot.