Brain Scans Suggest Marijuana May Squelch Motivation

July 9, 2013

Can chronic pot smoking really turn people into slackers?

According to a small brain-scan study, long-term marijuana use may indeed reduce people's motivation levels.

The findings could explain why some marijuana users lack the drive to work or pursue their previous interests, said the researchers at Imperial College London.

The researchers used PET brain imaging to assess dopamine production in the brains of 19 regular marijuana users and 19 non-users. Dopamine is a chemical linked to motivation. The brain scans showed that the regular marijuana users tended to produce less dopamine.