Can Cannabis Help You Study?

Stephen Andrews
07 Jun 2023

Some students use cannabis as an aid to help them study. Pot strains that improve concentration, clear focus, or boost creativity and inspiration can sometimes be extremely beneficial. But it's also good to know the drawbacks from smoking and when cannabis can actually unhelp. In this article, we go through some of the pros and cons of using cannabis to facilitate studying and learning.


There are numerous benefits to smoking or ingesting cannabis products. Some of those benefits are explored for intellectual and creative endeavors by users. 

More energy

A boost in energy is not something unusual after toking some weed. In fact, some strains are ideal for putting you in a workout mood and helping you attain your fitness goals. While classical indica strains are unlikely to deliver such an effect (they are very much likely to sedate), some great sativa-dominant hybrids, such as Super Silver Haze or Green Crack, can be very energizing. And sometimes, more energy is all you need for those long study sessions. 

While energizing strains can work perfect to get you into the research or reading that needs to be done, it's good to remember that this reaction will not happen for everyone. Neither should the sativa/indica distinction be fully trusted when hunting for a flower that can stimulate intellectual activity. Numerous factors determine the effects, including the full cannabinoid and terpene content of the strain and the body's response to that strain and to marijuana in general. 

Focus and Creativity

It's well known that cannabis can assist in focusing, triggering ideas, and deepening conversations. It can make listening to music much more special or make watching a movie much more fun. The same intensity can be used for studying, getting to the subject's essence, and having that triumphant Aha! moment. 

Both THC and CBD can help improve focus and ignite the creative mind, although, again, not everyone will experience this effect. For example, some might just feel groggy or sleepy after using CBD-rich products or THC-heavy indicas.  


Some of the best ideas come when you are high. As Seth Rogen says, movies like 'Sausage Party' don't come up like that if you're "not hanging out and smoking weed." If you are feeling stuck with that research thesis you are working on right now, a few puffs can really open the doors of perception and fix up things in the right direction.

cannabis and studying, pros and cons


Sometimes the reactions from cannabis are not exactly what we wish for. There could be a number of factors for feeling worn out or entirely off after smoking, such as whether you ate well that day and had enough sleep. Still, the main reason is probably the strain. If it doesn't stimulate you into productivity and if it drains out your energy, it's not the one for studying. 

Impaired brain function

A major reason why you might want to avoid smoking when working on something that requires your whole brain, it's impaired cognitive skills. Marijuana does produce short-term problems with thinking, memory, problem-solving, and body coordination. For example, your typing becomes slower, and you end up with tons of mistakes in your writing. Smoking disrupts the thought process in the brain, which is not what you want when you need to remember or understand something that you read. 

Harvard scientists say that THC diminishes short-term memory by attaching to cannabinoid receptors in various brain sections such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebral cortex, the very parts that maintain the thought process.

Still, these adverse effects on thinking and information processing are most commonly felt while directly under the influence of weed, when you've smoked too much, or when the strain has too great levels of THC. In that case, studying or engaging in anything that demands your best cognitive ability is a waste of time. Just wait out for the high to pass or wake up fresh the next morning before you dive again into the course material. 

Too relaxed

Many people simply use weed to chill out as it calms the mind and the body or helps to fall asleep easier. Once you smoke, you just might feel programmed to stop and sit down. In that case, pot is useless for finishing any school task. 

Too agitated

One of the side effects of marijuana use reported by users is becoming nervous and anxious after smoking or ingestion. Instead of calming, the reaction is an agitated body. This is another side effect of strains that are too high on THC. When weed makes you feel like that, it's hard even to follow a simple sentence, and it could be particularly tough to do anything that demands your full attention. 

How to Use Cannabis for Studying?

You can do a few things to see if they work for you personally and help you with your learning. 

  • Microdose cannabis use. Use little that you would know will not immediately "kill" you and make you incapable of studying. Take just enough to give you the push that you desire. 
  • Try out products with lower amounts of THC and higher amounts of CBD.
  • Try only CBD. Cannabidiol is less likely to affect memory. 
  • Reduce consumption or take a break entirely if you experience brain fog in the morning. Opt for a different strain if the one you are using wears you down constantly.
  • Early onset of marijuana use, especially daily use, is known to affect brain development. Avoid habitual use when your focus should be getting your bachelor's or master's degree and when you are still too young. 

In sum, the adverse effects of marijuana use on memory, learning, and our cognitive ability in general are most common among active daily users who smoke a lot. Although, this is not true for everyone. Some people can't have a single task done without taking their herbs. 

Cannabis could help some people study more efficiently, while others will achieve less if exposed to constant use. The most common reason we experience adverse effects on our learning ability is the significant amounts of THC in some products. So, it's best to leave the most potent products and strains for the fun times, when you want to relax, party, or take a rest from everything. Finally, stick to those cannabis goodies that you see work just fine, just as they should, helping out with studying, concentration, focus, and creativity. 

Stephen Andrews