The pros and cons of smoking weed while studying

April 19, 2017
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Almost everyone experiments with recreational drug use at uni, and we aren’t here to deter you or pass judgement. Marijuana is arguably one of the safer drugs that students might consume during this time, however it may not always walk hand in hand with effective study habits. Here are some times where as a student, it may actually be beneficial to get blazed, and some others when you should just be stone-cold sober.

Pros

It helps you to brainstorm

Whether it’s a musician burning one before heading into the studio or an author chowing a pot brownie to combat writer’s block, the common denominator between marijuana consumption and productivity is the boon to personal creativity it provides. In any kind of context where you have to brainstorm ideas, be it for a group project or an individual assignment, smoking weed can often allow labyrinthine tangents of thought and obscure ideas to be brought to the forefront.

If you ARE smoking weed before going to the group meeting though, make sure they’re cool with it first. You don’t want the cops called on you by a mature-age student who’s old enough to still accept ‘Reefer Madness’ as gospel.

It relaxes you, and helps you sleep

It’s basically a given that, as a student, you will experience moderate-to-extreme anxiety over the course of completing your degree. Sometimes the stress of assignments and exams can be so overwhelming that effective study becomes impossible, and the stress becomes cyclical in nature: you worry about this week’s exam because you haven’t studied, you can’t study because you’re stressed about the exam (and relationships, and money and your future at large).

This is where having a little bit of weed before a study session becomes immensely helpful, in my opinion anyway. When you’re at that extreme point of anxious study, where you read and read and read but nothing seems to be sticking, having a ‘lil smoke can be an amazing decompressor. After that, the revision can become a lot simpler. Additionally it can help after studying the night before an exam, when you just want to switch your brain off and fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.

Cons

It’s another expense

You can’t say ‘uni student’ without prefacing it with ‘poor’. Even if you’re still living with your parents while completing your degree, most of your time will be dominated by class attendance and study, leaving little room for part-time work. It’s worse still when you live in a sharehouse; all you’re gonna eat is Mi Goreng and all you’re gonna drink is tinnies and cask wine. Factor in the bi-yearly hundred-dollar whack for textbooks and that’s how it’s gonna be until you join the workforce proper, buddy.

So spending money on weed in addition to that can create some serious financial hazards, especially if you’re of the mindset where you think smoking is the only pathway to good study. It can certainly help, but is definitely not necessary. Spending that same amount of money on a tutor would probably guarantee you better results. Finally, you know what spending money on weed goes hand in hand with? Spending money on food. It can just become too much of a financial cost to have any long-term positive effects on study.

You only get benefits to studying with a small consumption

This should be obvious, but if you’re heading to the university library for a cramming session while being absolutely bombed-out and red-eyed, you aren’t going to retain anything. Marijuana has a pretty potent negative effect on short-term memory, so using a lot of it will more than likely render any kind of revision useless. I think about using weed as a study aid in the same way someone else might consider having a nip of scotch before public speaking: a small amount is good to loosen up, but any more will make you a jabbering mess.

The bottom line, it’s bad for you

Regardless of where you stand on the effects of marijuana spectrum, whether you believe it’s a gateway drug that introduces people to the harder stuff like meth and heroin, or that’s it’s not only acceptable but necessary to smoke weed every day, there’s no denying that inhaling smoke is harmful to your body. We can get into the debate of what it does or doesn’t do to your brain long-term another time, but for the moment, breathing in the combusted by-products of anything is never a healthy choice. Just stick to coffee when studying, and leave the weed for when you have a day off.

Luke Hickey

When he’s not writing for Hijacked, Luke can often be found in corners of the internet jabbering about the New York Knicks, thin-crust pizza and MF DOOM outtakes.

Image: Broad City official Facebook page

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