If you’re a lazy stoner it could be genetic


One of the most common misconceptions about cannabis users is that marijuana turns them into lazy, unmotivated, indolent bums who just lie around, watch movies, play video games, and eat pantry worth snacks on a daily basis.

While no one can deny that you get the nibbles and sometimes want to relax after smoking weed, the fact is that these side effects are related to the strain of cannabis you use and the specific genetics of that plant. It cannot be attributed to cannabis use as a whole. While many people think cannabis users are lazy about the cannabis, the real reason could be something else entirely. Current scientific research suggests that the “lazy stoner” stereotype is not only imprecise, but in most cases the exact opposite is the case.

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The Lazy Stoner Stereotype and Why It’s Nonsense

It still remains unclear where this stereotype came from or why it continues to have such a stronghold in terms of public perception of cannabis users. What we do know is that the lazy stoner stereotype is played over, inaccurate, and downright harmful. Outdated cannabis stigma is one of the main reasons people continue to vote against legalization measures.

“When we think about the typical way you think about cannabis, it makes you more relaxed and perhaps less motivated to leave the house, and as an exercise researcher, that’s worrying,” says Angela Bryan, professor at CU Boulder for psychology and neuroscience. “On the other hand, there is some really good longitudinal data showing that long-term cannabis users have lower weight, lower risk of diabetes, better waist-to-hip ratio, and better insulin function. It’s kind of a scientific dilemma, so we figured we should do some research to see if there really was a problem, or if cannabis was even an activity benefit. “

It is true that cannabis can help people relax and even sleep better, but according to a study of 2,092 adults in the United States, frequent and light cannabis users generally reported more physical activity than non-users. The results were published in the Harm Reduction Journal last week. Compared to previous research done a few years earlier at the University of Colorado, the picture is pretty clear: cannabis users are definitely NOT lazy.

In both studies, participants’ physical activity was monitored with accelerometers. These are devices for recording the length and intensity of physical activity (excluding water sports). This is much more accurate than just relying on respondents to complete questionnaires, as this method is often subject to prejudice about self-reporting.

The researchers found that casual cannabis users had overall activity rates similar to non-users, albeit slightly better. “Frequent cannabis users who are more physically active than non-users,” the researchers wrote in their results. There were some limitations to consider, such as the fact that many cannabis users started out with lower body mass indices than non-users, and respondents who smoked tobacco in addition to cannabis tended to be less physically active. Either way, the lazy stoner as we know him from media portraits just doesn’t exist.

The lazy gene

That brings us to the main point that cannabis use has nothing to do with laziness and that there could be deeper, underlying problems. Regular physical activity is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle – this is a difficult fact, but the majority of Americans spend their waking hours sitting down: whether it’s driving from place to place, sitting in front of the TV or computer, or even sitting outside watching their children play , fishing, etc. Much of our leisure activities have become quite sedentary. A lifestyle devoid of physical activity can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

While most of us tend to view laziness as a character flaw, Frank Booth, a professor at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, has a different theory. When we observe the wildlife, we can see that some species are more likely to be physically active while others are known to be “lazy” – like German Shepherds versus American Bulldogs. The booth focused on this concept and was able to identify a specific gene that is related to physical inactivity in rats and that it believes may also play a role in sedentary behavior in humans. He published his results with the title “Overexpression of the protein kinase inhibitor alpha reverses the low voluntary walking behavior of the rat” in the journal Molecular Neurobiology.

“Previous research has shown that genes play some role in physical inactivity,” said Frank Booth, professor at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. “Since inactivity leads to chronic disease, we wanted to find out which genes are involved, and we discovered one in particular, the protein kinase inhibitor alpha gene, which plays an important role.”

In the 2009 study, Booth took 80 male rats and bred them with 80 female rats. Then he put the rats in voluntary walking bikes, similar to those sold in pet stores, and kept track of which rats ran the most and the least. Over the next decade, Booth selectively bred the active rats with other active rats and the lazy rats with other lazy rats to see if genetics were at play. He found that the “lazy” rats had significantly less of the protein kinase inhibitor alpha gene.

“What makes gene therapy difficult is that most chronic diseases are not caused by just one gene,” Booth said. “For example, there are more than 150 gene variations that are involved in type 2 diabetes. However, this study paves the way for future research to identify other genes that may also be involved in physical inactivity in humans. ”

According to government statistics, illnesses associated with physical inactivity account for more than 11% of total health care spending in the United States, a whopping $ 138 billion. “Physical inactivity contributes to more than 40 chronic diseases,” Booth said. “Rather than focusing on ways to treat chronic diseases after they have developed, understanding the factors that contribute to physical inactivity could help prevent these chronic diseases from occurring in the first place.”

In addition to genetics, many other factors can contribute to feelings of laziness. Prescription drugs, poor diet, alcohol, tobacco, and sedentary lifestyle can keep someone in a cycle of inactivity.

… Or maybe it’s all in your head

Often times, we confuse the state of feeling lazy with the actual feeling of laziness, as if it were an inherent trait of character. While some may have genetic issues, as I mentioned above, many simply get stuck in the psychological cycle of laziness. If you think about it, even most of the people we personally consider lazy in our own lives can find tasks and activities that will motivate them.

Honestly, this applies to most people. Most of us are very motivated in areas that we find easy, stimulating, or rewarding. Activities that provide instant gratification (like shopping, gaming, messaging with friends, posting on social media, etc.) are much easier, willingly, and without delay to perform.

Activities that require serious effort and long-term commitment can be harder to see through to the end as it takes a lot more time and effort to reap the rewards. In order for someone to make the effort to get started on a project, they must value the reward more than the loss of comfort. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to trust that their efforts will even pay off. Put simply, if there is no guarantee they will be successful, why try at all? People who are already confident and confident are more likely to take on challenging tasks and overcome existing lazy tendencies because they trust in their ability to be successful.

Another consideration is that many people simply lack the foresight to think about the long-term effects of their actions. As if you’ve had binge drinking all weekend without worrying about how tired, hungover, and horrible you might feel and look the next day. Remember, just because something feels good in the moment doesn’t necessarily mean it should be pursued, just like some situations that are harsh or painful don’t need to be avoided.

You can think of the brain as a roadmap or a large web in which all sorts of mental states exist. Happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, and yes, laziness are all on this web. Several times a day we make decisions that move us in a certain direction, and it can be very easy to get stuck in the same direction.

For example, you’ve just had a painful breakup and are feeling a bit depressed. You’ve been hiding in your house for weeks and some of your close friends are calling and asking you to hang out with them and get your mind off things. You can choose to go with them, which could break the cycle of sadness you are currently trapped in … or you could choose to stay in and continue wallowing in misery. It may feel uncomfortable to go out and talk to people for the first time in such a long time when you are used to being alone, but it will be worth it and will be beneficial to your sanity … while the alternative Seems to be easier, but holds you in the same emotional state.

The same goes for lazy tendencies. We can make decisions that keep us seated (scrolling social media, watching TV, etc.) or we can take actions that propel us in a different direction (exercising for 30 minutes, walking, riding a bike, etc.). . In many situations, laziness is just a state of mind that we must actively overcome.

Final thoughts on the Lazy Stoner

Cannabis does NOT make people lazy … the lazy stoner does NOT exist. It’s a nonsense stereotype that serves no other purpose than to keep cannabis banned. Stop thinking of yourself as naturally lazy. True laziness can be caused by a number of factors including genetics, diet, health status, medication, and state of mind. Sometimes cannabis can make these problems worse (let’s face it, we all know a lazy stoner who seems to suit every negative stereotype), but that doesn’t mean there is always a correlation.

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Beth Edmonds