Waking up on the wrong side of the bed from time to time is inevitable. Those of us who are not morning people — and never will be! — can take solace in the facts that even the most insufferably cheery morning person has a bad day.
Now, scientific research has proven a reliable way to elevate one’s mood and shake off a bad start: waking up on the side of the bed closest to the dab rig and kicking things off with some cannabis, a recently published daily report study suggests.
Researchers led by Maria Testa, a senior research scientist at the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, asked 183 heterosexual couples — in which at least one partner used cannabis at least twice a week — to log their daily cannabis use activity for 30 consecutive days and to specifically record in their journal an “event-triggered report every time they were about to use cannabis” and again “immediately after they finished.”
The study’s aim was to determine whether a user’s morning mood, their “positive or negative affect,” influenced their cannabis use.
The couples were asked to record their feelings pre- and post-consumption (with one of 11 options including “irritable,” “stressed out,” “anxious/nervous”); what effects their partners’ use had on their feelings or propensity to use, if any; and their overall “positive” and “hostile” affects.
Among researchers’ assumptions entering the study is the notion, common in substance-use and addiction research, that humans pursue substance use as a technique of “reducing their psychological discomfort.” (Anyone who greets the day with a squinty-eyed grimace relieved only by the first cup of coffee can relate.)
Researchers found that a lower-than-normal morning mood did make cannabis use later that day more likely, but showed that neither anxiety nor hostility in the morning had much impact. Research subjects were more likely to use cannabis if their partner also used.
“For both men and women, the likelihood of using cannabis on a given day was greater when morning positive affect was lower than one’s average, suggesting that people may use the drug to restore positive affect to more typical levels,” the researchers wrote. “However, results do not provide convincing support for the self-medication hypothesis because neither hostile nor anxious mood contributed to later cannabis use.”
And the results of that cannabis use seemed to be mostly positive — at least when considering positive feelings. Cannabis increased “positive affect” and decreased “hostile and anxious affect,” the researchers found, a phenomenon “identical for men and women.”
While allowing that “we cannot state unequivocally” that improved moods were directly related to cannabis use and not “naturally occurring diurnal patterns,” the “positive consequences” of cannabis use “probably reflect the immediate ‘good drug’ feelings associated with cannabis,” the researchers added. Meaning: Smoking weed does indeed appear to make the smoker feel good. Whether or not it’s the cannabis or feelings associated with the cannabis probably don’t matter much at the moment.
The findings were published in the August edition of the journal Addictive Behaviors. Among the study’s limitations is a lack of control on what kind of cannabis was used and how much. There is a difference between dabbing an enormous glob in the morning and taking a few hits of 1:1 CBD:THC before jumping in the shower — although maybe for the individual users, the end effect is similar.
Does this mean you should use cannabis if you wake up in a sh*t mood? That’s entirely up to you and it is entirely possible that your negative affect may be entirely unrelated to your cannabis use. But if you do start the day on the wrong foot and do use cannabis at some point throughout the day, there’s at least some explanation for the satisfied and beatific smile you make find yourself wearing later on. Cannabis certainly appears to make other people feel better; why not you?
TELL US, do you use cannabis in the morning?