Stoned Lab Rats Become Too Lazy For Tests, Study Finds

Marijuana causes rats to simply not bother. Chichinkin/Shutterstock

 

Ben Taub 24 Aug 2016, 15:22

With an increasing number of US states and countries around the world relaxing their laws on medical and recreational marijuana, the need to rigorously study the biological effects of smoking weed becomes ever more pressing. Many of these trials and experiments are conducted on lab rats, the latest of which has revealed that the rodents tend to become too lazy to bother with difficult cognitive tests when they are stoned.

Appearing in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, the study sought to determine how two of marijuana’s main ingredients, namely tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), affect laziness levels.

Of course, it is no secret that THC – which is responsible for the “stoned” effects of cannabis – tends to make people less willing to exert effort, although it has been claimed that CBD can counteract this effect. When taken in the absence of THC, CBD does not get people high, and is sometimes said to protect brain cells and treat a range of illnesses, ranging from epilepsy to cancer.

As a result, some cannabis-based medications are manufactured to contain higher amounts of CBD and lower concentrations of THC than street weed. However, many of the properties often attributed to CBD have never been scientifically backed up.

The study authors therefore trained 29 male mice to take part in two different cognitive tests. The easier of these required them to poke a red light with their nose within one second of it coming on, for which they were rewarded with a sugar pellet. For the harder task, however, they were only given 0.2 seconds to respond with a nose-poke, but received two pellets as a reward.

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THC is responsible for marijuana's "druggy" effects, such as laziness. txking/Shutterstock

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