Last Updated on July 6, 2023 by Team Spinfuel

The Effect of Marijuana on Academic Performance [ez-toc]Marijuana is not as dangerous as tranq, fentanyl, or similar drug epidemic we’re currently experiencing. Nonetheless, college students are using weed more than ever. As expected, there are growing concerns over the drug’s usage on the brain and undergraduate achievements.

In 2020, various surveys showed that the percentage of college students who smoke weed reached levels not seen since the 1980s. People use cannabis to feel high, increase social connections, and cope with certain moods or feelings. Marijuana has immense health benefits, and its popularity led to talks on legalization. But at what cost? How does marijuana affect learning? Keep reading to explore how weed influences student achievements.

The Positive Impacts of Marijuana on Student Achievement

The United States legalized cannabis in 2012. Currently, 19 states allow weed for non-medical and recreational purposes. As a result, there is higher access for college students over 21 years old. There are numerous published papers on the consequences of cannabis on brain health. Thus, one way to comprehensively understand the subject is to research and read free cannabis essay samples. Expert writers working for an APA paper writing service write high-quality essay assignments that students can use to format their own. For example, why is weed bad for your essay or understanding the link between smoking weed and studying? The essay samples are comprehensive and explore the topic from diff angles.

So, how does marijuana enhance performance? Take a look at the proven benefits of marijuana below:

Pain Management and Stress Relief

The cannabis plant contains chemicals called cannabinoids. The two most popular ones are delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The former has analgesic properties, while the latter is a non-psychoactive compound. THC activates the brain and nervous systems’ cannabinoid receptors, which reduce pain perception. Although the CBD compound won’t produce a high result, it can be analgesic. Weed interacts with the endocannabinoid system to potentially reduce pain and inflammation.

Marijuana use could make a breakthrough in the medical industry. Medical cannabis relieves chronic pain conditions and discomforts associated with inflammation. Weed relaxes the muscle and is beneficial for managing pain related to muscle spasms. By alleviating physical and mental stress, students become more relaxed and have a more focused state of mind.

Enhances Creativity

Cannabis alters sensory perception. As a result, weed increases awareness of colors, sounds, and other sensory stimuli, which inspire creativity. The relaxation reaction reduces inhibitions. It allows students to explore unconventional ideas without fearing failure or judgment. Weed increases focus by making individuals more immersed. It elevates the mood and fosters a more optimistic and open mindset.

Can you smoke weed and be a good student? Marijuana results vary from one person. Furthermore, it depends on different factors. They include dosage, usage frequency, and environmental factors. But weed generally produces the following:

  • Increase focus.
  • Heightened sensory perception.
  • Enhance creativity.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety.

The Negative Impacts of Marijuana on Academics

The Effect of Marijuana on Academic Performance Marijuana can get you high. THC stimulates the brain part that responds to pleasure. Weed releases dopamine, which gives a euphoric and relaxed feeling. But before you get too excited, what does marijuana affect?

Addiction and Dependency

Did you know that 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted? If you know anything about addiction, understand that weed strain dependency can wreck your relationship, job, health, and finances. The risk may be as high as 1 in 2 among people who use it daily. Addiction leads to dependency, which could send your body into withdrawal. The result leaves you irritable, restless, unable to sleep, and uninterested in academic activities when you don’t use cannabis.

Impairs Cognitive Function

Cannabis use affects brain function, including attention, memory, and decision-making skills. Hence, weed impairs learning and academic functioning. In the hippocampus, THC changes how the user processes information. The hippocampus is responsible for memory. Weed impacts judgment and makes it difficult to form new memories. The short-term cannabis effect lasts for up to 24 hours. Cannabis alters the system responsible for alertness, learning, and users have lower IQ scores. The more an undergraduate uses cannabis, the more likely they will skip classes and have lower GPAs. So, does smoking weed help you study? No, that’s not the case.

Mental Health and Respiratory Issues

Cannabis use and dependency impair coordination, reaction time, and motor skills. Students with jobs function less, which increases the risk of getting fired. In particular, they are prone to accidents when operating heavy machinery. The drug is linked to several health issues, especially among students with a predisposition. They include schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, and anxiety disorders.

Lower Motivation

Marijuana alters dopamine release and regulation. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with reward and motivation. Heavy use desensitizes and causes a lower natural drive. Weed makes it more challenging to retain and recall information and hinders productivity. In addition, the sedative reaction leads to lethargy. Cannabis reduces motivation to engage in activities requiring mental and physical exertion.

Health Risk

Smoking cannabis causes various health problems. The most prominent ones are:

  • Regular smoking leads to coughing, chronic bronchitis, and respiratory infection.
  • It makes the drug work harder and raises the chance of stroke or heart attack.
  • Cannabis intensifies alcohol dangers.
  • Weed causes nausea, vomiting, and similar digestive issues when taken orally.
  • THC weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to infectious diseases.


Cannabis has its harms and benefits. But in an academic environment, the negative outweighs the positive. Weed has opioid-like effects on the central nervous system and provides brief physical and mental relief from pain and stress. Marijuana promotes creativity, insight, mood, and an enthusiastic approach to learning.

In contrast, smoking weed while studying alters cognitive function and motor skills, leading to dependency. Additionally, cannabis is linked to respiratory issues and mental health concerns. No matter how we examine it, marijuana has no place in education. Sadly, young people are particularly vulnerable since many undergraduates don’t see it as a risky substance.


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