There are a lot of studies lately going back and forth on whether or not smoking pot is harmful to your brain. Does it lower your IQ? Is that change is permanent, or does it only last for the duration that you are smoking it? Here’s the scoop…
EVERYTHING YOU DO CHANGES YOUR BRAIN. Everything. Large or small, it all has an effect. You’ve heard me say this before, a bazillion times. Purposefully doing things to enhance cognition will improve your brain. Doing things that hinder cognition will hurt your brain long-term.
Forget about whether or not pot actually kills brain cells or synaptic connections on a chemical level. What’s worse about pot is that it kills your motivation. Also, it slows your reaction times. This means your world is in slow motion and you’ve embraced the Honey Badger mentality of cognition: you just don’t give a fuck.
So you won’t be spending your time reading, or engaging in cognitively intensive activities that challenge your brain in a meaningful way, enhancing cognition. You will be getting LESS smart every single daythat you smoke pot, because you aren’t pushing your brain to be in top form, thinking at the highest level you can. You are cruising through life, doing the bare minimum when it comes to cognition. You aren’t challenging yourself; you are coasting. Coasting is not one of the Five Ways to Increase Intelligence.
I know some people claim that smoking pot helps them ‘think more creatively’, but what it really does is get super-inflexible thinkers to break out of their rigid thinking pattern. The true quality of their ideas isn’t necessarily any better. Not to mention, non-rigid and weird does not equal successful creativity, either. But if that is your goal, then hey—smoke away. But don’t think it is making you smarter, because it isn’t.
If you want to get high now and then, that is your choice. But if you truly care about IQ, intelligence, and performing at your cognitive best, then smoking pot (especially very frequently) will hurt you. Bottom line.
Andrea Kuszewski, an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET, lives in San Francisco and works as a researcher and manager with VORTEX Research Group. She investigates the neurocognitive factors behind human behavior.
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