Marijuana, Dopamine and Productivity


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 recreation-ally. 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?

Marijuana, 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.

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.

“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.

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.

Read More: Medical Jane

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