Plain and simple – anybody who partakes in cannabis knows that the “lazy stoner” stereotype is bunk.

From my perspective, it was simply one more sleazy component of the War on Drugs that hurled shame at people who communed with the plant. The stoner image has been classically personified as far back as Cheech and Chong and as recently as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. And of course, there’s always The Dude in The Big Lebowski.

The Dude Abides
But now the “stoner image” has been laid to rest in research (yes, research!) from the University of Cambridge (published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology), where the study’s lead author and neuroscientist sums up the team’s conclusions saying:
The Dude Abides
“Our work implies that… people who use cannabis are no more likely to lack motivation or be lazier than people who don’t.”

Of course, that’s a big DUH! for those of us who are and know people who dance with the plant. In my clinical experience in working with people who include cannabis in their healing journeys, some of the smartest and most professional folks I know (including lawyers, doctors, IT specialists, journalists, etc) have a long and enduring relationship with this plant medicine.

However, what you and I casually observe is called “anecdotal evidence” and doesn’t hold water in Science Land. So here’s more conclusions from the study’s lead researcher:
“Our evidence indicates that cannabis use does not appear to have an effect on motivation for recreational users. However we cannot rule out the possibility that greater use as seen in some people with cannabis use disorder has an effect.”

My take on cannabis use disorder

There are people who come to me with what could be described as something akin to “cannabis use disorder” who are looking for a new more conscious relationship with the plant.
This can be done. We need to understand first what a “cannabis use disorder” is. The U.S. government agency, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) defines it as a situation where some people “are unable to stop using marijuana even though it’s causing health and social problems in their lives. One study estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder.”

I would refer to this as an addiction. And a substance addiction, whether it’s alcohol, heroin, prescription meds, etc, is what Gabor Maté, a Canadian doctor who studies addictions, calls a smart strategy. That is, the substances are used to numb the emotional torment stemming from trauma.

Yet, when it comes to “numbing” agents, cannabis has the least downside of substances. It’s not physiologically addictive and arguably not psychologically addictive – as in messing with your brain chemicals (there is a tiny percentage of people vulnerable). So the process of tapering off cannabis can actually be easy with the right support and method. And often people will realize on their own that they’re simply “done with numbing” and want to move beyond it.

So in order to release one’s self from the addiction, a person has to begin healing the underlying emotional pain. I have seen time-and-time again in my Emotional Liberation work, where once a person begins their trauma recovery – often with the judicious use of cannabis – learning to feel into the difficult emotions in order to release them, the need for the numbing agents diminish as the emotional pain wanes.

I’ve brought what I wanted to share with you full circle because someone seen as a “stoner” may very well be a person who is numbing to escape emotional pain.
Nutritional supplementation supports the transition from “cannabis use disorder.”
And whether you’re a legendary stoner, never interacted with cannabis, or you’re somewhere in between, it’s valuable to understand the plant’s transcendent qualities that can enrich our wellbeing.

With Love,

Becca

P.S. What’s your take on this? I invite you to drop down to the comments section and let me know how you view the classic “stoner” image and what your experience has been.