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Is Cannabis Use Associated with Motivation? A Review of Recent Acute and Non-Acute Studies

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Skumlien, M 
Langley, C 
Sahakian, BJ 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:sec jats:titlePurpose of Review</jats:title> jats:pCannabis use has been anecdotally linked with reduced motivation, sometimes referred to as the ‘amotivational syndrome’. In this review, we evaluate research on the association between acute and non-acute cannabis use and motivation assessed with questionnaire or behavioural task-based measures, focusing on studies published in the last 5 years.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleRecent Findings</jats:title> jats:pOf the five non-acute studies which used behavioural tasks to assess motivation, three found that cannabis use was associated with jats:italichigher</jats:italic> willingness to expend effort for reward, while the other two found no differences between cannabis users and controls. Only two acute studies have been published to date, both of which found that cannabis reduced participants’ willingness to expend effort for reward compared with placebo. Most self-report survey studies did not find any differences in motivational outcomes between cannabis users and controls, though there was evidence of an association between apathy and cannabis dependence.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleSummary</jats:title> jats:pWhile cannabis may lower motivation acutely, recent non-acute studies do not support claims of an amotivational syndrome in people who use cannabis. However, there is some evidence of an association between cannabis use disorder and apathy.</jats:p> </jats:sec>



5202 Biological Psychology, 3214 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 32 Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, 52 Psychology, Drug Abuse (NIDA only), Substance Misuse, 2 Aetiology, 2.3 Psychological, social and economic factors, 2.1 Biological and endogenous factors, Mental health

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Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)