Cannabis and Studies: Could Weed Help You Study Better?

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Be introspective and think about how your cannabis use is impacting your studies as a university student. Some research even suggests that consuming it moderate amounts could be helpful. Here’s our guide to watching out for the signs that indicate you should cut back.

It can be tough to concentrate and get down to business when it comes time to study. Though we know the rewards of a productive session, getting into that flow state is often easier said than done. With daily distractions like social media and television, as well as temptations from friends or hobbies, it’s no wonder we have trouble sitting down and cracking open the books.

Thankfully, there are several strategies we can use to lengthen our attention spans and maintain focus so that we’re successful academically. However, depending on the person cannabis can have either a positive or negative effect. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of using cannabis while studying as well as some best practices. Learn about some of the top strains for cognitive boosts too!

The Relationship Between Studying and Recreational Substances

For millennia, people have used substances to change the way they feel. Today, we use these items so frequently that we forget they can alter our mood; for example, most of us drink coffee without considering its psychoactive properties. We rely on substances before participating in all sorts of activities—studying included.

For example, Adderall, which is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, has become a popular study drug among students in the United States. Similarly, modafinil-dubbed “smart drugs”- are widely used by British university students for the same purpose. Of course, many students need coffee(or three) to get through studying.

However, what about cannabis and studying? The negative stigma attached to cannabis smokers is that they are generally lazy and unmotivated. Although research has disproven this claim, showing that many consumers are in fact successful and motivated. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone experiences the herb differently, especially when trying to focus on exams or schoolwork.

Can You Study While High?

Trying to focus on homework can be tough, so does weed help students study? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question. Some people feel positively about cannabis while others find that it makes them anxious and paranoid. So, before considering how cannabis affects studying specifically, it’s important to think about how it generally makes you feel.

There are two possible outcomes when using cannabis as a study aid: you’ll either feel supercharged and focused or distracted and unmotivated. But the outcome also depends on the dose and type of strain (more below). So, if you find that you work well with cannabis, it might be worth considering trying it out as a study aid. But make sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages first to see if it’s right for you.

Advantages of Using Cannabis While Studying

Listing out the benefits of cannabis for your studying session.

Focus and motivation

The main psychoactive ingredient in weed, THC, produces its effect by binding to a receptor called CB1 in the central nervous system. This sets off a chain reaction that causes brain cells to release dopamine. Dopamine is important for motivation and focus. So if you find the right dose of cannabis, it can actually make you feel more driven and focused – perfect for studying!


When you’re presented with a difficult problem that requires originality, this is called divergent thinking. Many times when you find yourself having to come up with new solutions at higher levels of study, linear thinking—or the systematic and analytical type of thought useful in fields such as science or mathematics—is insufficient. This calls for divergent thinning, which cannabis has been shown to enhance under certain circumstances according to research.


If you study while under the influence of cannabis, you may find it easier to develop a routine for your days. Instead of needing coffee every few hours, you can take 10-minute intervals to clear your mind and give your endocannabinoid system a break before diving back into work mode.


The effects of cannabis can vary depending on the strain. Every strain possesses a different profile of phytochemicals, namely cannabinoids and terpenes. Experiment with different options to see what works best for you. Some cultivars offer a more stimulating and energising effect, while others are more stoning and relaxing. Others don’t cause any high at all.

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Disadvantages of Using Cannabis While Studying

If you’re looking to improve your studying, cannabis might be the way to go. But before lighting up, remember that there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Loss of motivation

While cannabis may not inspire every user to be productive, it can have the opposite effect of making users feel lethargic and unmotivated, especially when consumed in high doses. Even after smoking strains that are said to be energizing, some smokers find themselves feeling drowsy and lacking the motivation to study.

Negative side effects

The negative side effects of THC-rich cannabis can make even the most dedicated student think twice about studying while under its influence. These include an increased heart rate, paranoia, panic, anxiety, impaired memory, and a distorted sense of time.


Even if you feel okay after smoking, you might get distracted. While some strains help people focus, you could end up focusing on something unimportant, like a music video or your social media feed.

Tips for Studying While High

If you find that studying while high helps you focus, here are a few tips to make the most of the experience without getting too stoned. These recommendations will help reduce any short-term memory problems.

Try Microdosing

Taking small amounts of cannabis is called microdosing. You won’t feel any effects from smoking a single puff from a joint, but even this tiny amount of THC can help you focus and get motivated to study without making you more prone to distraction.

Choose a Strain Loaded With α-Pinene

If you want to be a great student, you need to have a good memory. Some weed strains contain the terpene α-pinene, which could help improve your short-term memory and focus. Early research has shown that this terpene may inhibit an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a chemical that’s essential for memory function.

Stay Hydrated and Well-Fed

Although you may have a positive experience with cannabis most of the time, dehydration can lead to an increased chance of having a negative experience. Dehydration can also reduce your cognition and memory even when it’s mild. Furthermore, eating before consuming cannabis will help control cravings – perhaps the biggest reason you would want to leave your desk while high.

Select the Optimal Route of Administration

The manner in which you take cannabis will also largely affect your studying. Edibles are not recommended as they will likely get you too high; rather, stick with smoking, vaping, or sublingual administration for a quicker onset of effects and more control over dosing.

Consider Low-THC and High-CBD Strains

If you want to stay motivated during your studying, smoking strains with lower THC levels can help. You could also look for strainsBlazing that have higher CBD levels will diminish some of the cannabis’ less ideal effects, like paranoia.

Best Cannabis Strains to Help You Study and Focus

It all depends on the individual when it comes to smoking weed while studying. Some people like to take a few puffs of a high-THC strain, while others may choose a cultivar with more cannabinoids. Below are some examples of strains that can help you focus during your study session.

  • Mental clarity: Haze Berry has high levels of THC and large quantities of α-pinene, which work together to blunt the peak of the high while still allowing for a clear memory. However, if you want to keep your focus sharp without sacrificing the relaxing effects of cannabis, try strains like Stress Killer that contain moderate levels of both THC and CBD.
  • Stimulation: Royal Runtz has a THC content of 27%, which creates a strong, euphoric, and uplifting high. However, it is not recommended for beginners. Those with more experience will find that just a couple hits will keep them energized and focused for hours on end.
  • Relaxation: Wedding Crasher produces a calming high that will make time seem to slow down. If you’re feeling overwhelmed before a test or on edge for any reason, this cultivar will help you to settle into the moment and achieve your goals one by one.

Which Is Better for Studying: Sativa or Indica?

The terms “sativa” and “indica” are often used to describe the effects of a particular cannabis cultivar, but this is misleading. These labels actually refer to the plant’s morphology; sativas are usually taller with thin leaflets, while indicas are shorter and bushier with wider leaflets. The effects of a sativa cultivar may energize you, while an indica variety might provide stoning body highs, but these belong in the realm of myth until more research can be done.

The core effects of each literary work are based on cannabinoids like THC and CBD, while terpenes dictate the tone. If you’re looking for a stimulating book, choose one high in limonene and pinene. For relaxation, go with a book rich in myrcene.

Studying While High: Is It a Good Idea?

Many students find that studying while high on cannabis improves their focus and productivity. You won’t know if it will have the same effect on you until you try it for yourself. If things don’t go well, stick to coffee instead. However, if you find that weed helps you focus when studying, experiment with different strains and dosages to see what works best for you. Continue to refine the process until you find your perfect method of using cannabis to study more effectively.

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