Pot smokers may lose motivation if they smoke regularly for long periods of time, according to a new medical study conducted in the United Kingdom.
The study examined the chemical distribution in the brains of 19 marijuana smokers and 19 nonsmokers, and found that smokers’ brains produced less of a chemical associated with motivation and incentivized action, according to Syracuse.com.
Researchers also found less “dopamine” — a chemical released in the brain whenever one obtains a reward — in the brains of the pot users in the study, according to LiveScience.com.
Because dopamine is associated with human pleasure and satisfaction and tied to reward-driven behavior, having less of it in the brain might affect smokers’ motivation levels.
Some researchers said they think the new study’s findings are not widely accepted in the scientific community.
"Whether such a syndrome exists is controversial," said Michael Bloomfield, a researcher at the Institute of Clinical Sciences at Imperial College London.
Other past studies suggest long time marijuana users may have an increased chance of suffering from schizophrenia and inflammation in the brain, causing impaired coordination and learning, according to the Huffington Post.