Can You Smoke Weed at Night and Still Be Productive at Work the Next Day?

A new study looked into the effects of smoking weed before, during, and after work hours.
September 8, 2020, 10:00am
cannabis plant
Photo: Rick Proctor on Unsplash

In a bid to accomplish more, some people decide to quit smoking weed. Smoking up makes them lazy and unmotivated, they say. But it turns out that it may not be a problem at all, at least not when you do it at the right time. A new study found that smoking up after work does not actually affect people’s work performance the next day.

Now that cannabis has been legalized in more places around the world, scientists have started looking into its effects on productivity. The study published in May is based on tests conducted by professors Jeremy B. Bernerth from San Diego State University and H. Jack Walker from Auburn University. They found that regularly smoking a joint after work did not hurt employees’ performance the following day.

The research explored how cannabis affected people’s ability to meet job requirements, their behaviour toward colleagues, and attitude toward work. The study tested 281 employees, collecting data from their direct supervisors, and examined the relationship between three time-based cannabis measures and the different forms of workplace performance.

Unsurprisingly, it found that weed after work is totally fine but it doesn’t go as smoothly when used right before or during work. Getting high before and during work interfered with their concentration, affecting their ability to carry out tasks and solve problems. It also led to counterproductive behaviour and decreased their ability to help out colleagues.

Studies on the effects of alcohol on work performance are extensive and, when comparing data, the researchers found that heavy drinking after work negatively affected performance in more ways, including reduced productivity, bad attendance, inappropriate behaviour, and poor working relationships with colleagues. They found that there did not appear to be excessive negative effects on a person’s coordination the day after taking weed. It turns out that hangovers from alcohol are way worse than the next-day effects of cannabis.

According to the United Nations, legal or not, 158.8 million people around the world use weed. That’s over 3.8 percent of the planet’s population. It’s popular for its stress-reducing abilities, which makes it a favourable remedy after a stressful day at work.

But smoking up isn’t totally safe whenever, wherever. Another study published in March found that chronic, heavy cannabis use is associated with worse driving performance. This is alarming since next to alcohol, weed is the second most frequently found substance in the bodies of drivers involved in fatal automobile accidents.

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