This Is How College Students Are Using Cannabis to Study

Lifestyle Nicholas Demski 2/26/2018
girl smiling with cannabis plant
Is cannabis a reliable study aid?

Have you seen Reefer Madness

It’s a hilarious depiction of the iniquity of cannabis.

Per the movie, college students who use cannabis are delinquents, rapists, murderers, and mentally insane.

Did I say it was hilarious?

I meant pure rubbish.

In truth, cannabis – when properly used –helps college students overcome stress, fear, anxiety, and improves their academic performance when used correctly.

Let’s look at how cannabis is used on today’s college campuses.

The Battle of Studying

If you’ve attended university, how many of your peers do you know who crammed the night before the test performed exceedingly well?

Probably not very many.

That’s because consuming and digesting vast amounts of information down to the granular level takes more than a one-step approach to learn for most people.

Studying produces stress, demands focus, and requires efficient use of study time.

For university students, tests and quizzes come every week.

Often, they’ll face multiple exams in a very short period.

The amount of focus, organization, and determination this requires is enormous.

Study Drugs: How Many of Today’s Students Study

student checking cannabis plant
Is cannabis a preferable alternative to "study drugs" like Adderall and Ritalin?

With so much energy needed to study for university exams and quizzes, some students turn to study drugs.

Some microdose LSD and others take amphetamines without a prescription.

Many turn to intense amounts of caffeine, while others – like myself – find solace in studying while using cannabis.

For those who use cannabis, there are a handful of benefits offered to them by consuming their favorite sticky flower.

In fact, according to Live Science, in 2014, not only did more university students report smoking cannabis each day than those who reported smoking a cigarette, but the rate at which university students are smoking cannabis has reached a three-decade peak.

These numbers are directly associated with the stigma attached to the two drugs.

People are beginning to recognize that marijuana is not as dangerous a drug as once thought, while they are simultaneously cognizant of the adverse health impacts associated with cigarettes.

However, the health concerns of smoking marijuana bely the positive benefits for students who choose to consume cannabis as a study drug.

Marijuana impacts each person differently; it’s subjective to the person’s personality, tolerance level, their perception of cannabis, and, yes, even their gender.

So how does cannabis impact university students?

The Negative Effects of Cannabis on Students

cannabis plant in front of blurred man
Keep in mind cannabis is not a total enhancement.

For decades, there’s been a grotesque disinformation campaign against cannabis.

Thankfully, people are seeing the need for proper cannabis education and learning marijuana facts.

This doesn't mean cannabis isn't without its drawbacks. Too much of anything can have adverse effects. Cannabis, however, is definitely a comparable cognitive stimulant study aid when used effectively.

You only need to read further into this article to see how consuming cannabis helped me focus, improve my grades, and relieve my anxiety to get a taste of cannabis’ capabilities.

The Effects of Cannabis on Student Focus

For some, they quickly become ‘too stoned’ and dysfunctional to a point where studying would be impossible.

For others – like myself – cannabis is a way to focus an unfocused mind.

A study published by Cannabinoids shows how cannabis can be used to treat ADHD.

Not every university student has ADHD (of course), but the documentation suggests that cannabis is effective at helping people focus in general.

When I started using cannabis to help me focus, I went from a ‘B-/B student’ to an ‘A student,’ finishing my capstones with a 3.94 and bringing my overall GPA from a dismal 2.9 to a semi-respectable 3.14.

Despite my very average final GPA, I can always point to my final year as being my best, and I attribute that to using cannabis as my study drug.

Instead of going out drinking or spending too much time socializing with friends, cannabis allowed me to focus on studying for at least four hours each day.

As a result, I was acing tests my classmates were averaging in the high-60’s to low-70’s.

My professors never knew, my peers were upset I was ruining the curve, and I just kept smoking and studying in secret.

Full-disclosure: I was anxious and stressed about the stigma or anybody finding out.

Thankfully, cannabis also helps ebb stress and anxiety.

The Effects of Cannabis on Student Anxiety and Stress

Fear of failure, social aversions, and heavy workloads all place a burden on students’ psyches.

Luckily, the contemporary university student has access to a plant that helps relieve feelings of anxiety: cannabis.

Cannabis is reported to calm social anxiety, be naturally calming, and act as a natural anti-depressant.

The stress relieving properties of cannabis also lead students to sleep better at night, which everyone knows is key to having an enjoyable day.

For students who are weighed down by their studies, cannabis offers a natural, healthy route to alleviating their stress and focus more on what they need to get done.

Once students are focused and feeling calm after consuming cannabis, how is their work productivity impacted?

The Effects of Cannabis on Student Productivity

If you’re still in the mindset that cannabis users are lazy, dull people who aspire to nothing, then you might want to take a look at Northern Michigan University and the students who are enrolled in their Medicinal Plant Chemistry major.

According to the Washington Post, these students are anything but lazy.

They undergo serious scientific rigor in challenging classes that demand their full attention.

According to the journal Neuron, “the latest scientific evidence shows that [dopamine] acts before the pleasure or reward, encouraging us to act.”

Essentially, when cannabis releases dopamine in our brains, it encourages – rather than hinders – our productivity.

I found this to be particularly true when using cannabis as a study drug; I could easily focus for 4-6 hours each day with its help.

Before I turned to cannabis as a study drug, I was studying 1-2 hours each week before I would get distracted and move on to something else.

I guess that explains my grades.

Try It Before You Deny It, But Try It Wisely

lady with cannabis leaf
Too much cannabis at the wrong time could be counter-productive.

If you’re considering using cannabis as your study drug, do so with a scientific mind.

Try a little, see how it works for you; do you study better if you eat it, vaporize it, or smoke it?

I recommend not getting completely ‘stoned’ to do your studying.

Instead, try micro-dosing with a small hit or two; hopefully it’s just enough to focus your mind, relax you, and keep you from falling into a bag of potato chips.

Then, every half hour or hour, do it again; but, just enough to keep you on your study game.

Look for clear sativas, they tend to not give you a sleepy state of mind like many indicas and hybrids do.

For me, I preferred blue dream, Amsterdam cheese, and sour diesel.

These strains tended to keep me focused and engaged without putting me in a ‘zoned out’ state; but, I’m an athletic male standing 6’1” tall and weighing 180 pounds with a high tolerance for cannabis.

Remember, each person is different, but the worst that will happen is you’ll fall asleep with a half-eaten Jimmy John’s sandwich on your books.

Cannabis can help students in a variety of ways – how does it help you?


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