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Is Studying While High The Key To Success?

Reading While High?

Does Smoking While Studying Lead To Poor Academic Performance Or Better Grades?

If you went to college, lived on campus, and experienced the typical college life, you have most likely encountered two types of weed smokers. (Personally, I was in a fraternity in college in the 80s, and knew each of these individuals)

  • The Genius-A mathematical/engineering genius who has done every drug you can think of and gets high every day and many times even before class. He is a caricature of the stereotypical stoner. However, he or she gets good grades and excels.
  • The Burnout-The student who smokes every day skips class and will be lucky if he lasts a year in college. I even knew a few burnouts who took their tuition money and bought weed and never even went to school.

If you encounter both of these individuals you may think that pot is either a Godsend or a ticket to being kicked out of university because of poor grades and performance.

So, what is it?

Will weed help you study? Will it make you apathetic and fail your classes? Or does it depend? Find out more in this article.

Minors and Weed

Teenagers and Weed

It would be irresponsible of me to not mention the link between minors and weed. Ganjashark is not Reefer Madness or Nancy Reagan-Just Say No To Drugs. So, based upon scientific studies I will tell the good and also the bad effects that weed can have.

Minors and weed use have actually been studied quite extensively. Per Web MD, studies have shown that heavy weed use during the teenage, adolescent year can cause permanent negative effects to the brain. These studies showed that teen smokers had fewer neural connections in their brains, which means memory loss and an overall lower IQ. The reason for this is that cannabis may negatively affect a growing brain.

Web MD admits that smoking pot is likely not the sole cause of why this happens. However, there is a link between teenage use of ganja and school performance.

So, based upon the evidence and studies, I would recommend that teenagers should not smoke weed while studying and also not smoke until they are in their twenties.

Indica or Sativa

You’ve probably known the difference between an Indica strain and a Sativa strain, or at least, you think you know the difference.

To those who are not familiar, Indica strains are said to be relaxing, sedating high that you would take when you want to chill out, watch a movie or take before going to bed for the night.

On the other hand, Sativa is meant for socializing and is said to help with creativity and also certain athletic pursuits.

These old ideas on the differences between Sativa and Indica are not necessarily correct. So, if you are wanting to predict what a certain type of bud will do for you, do not just rely on whether or not it is Sativa or Indica. Instead, look at its cannabinoids and the terpenes of the strain that you are thinking about smoking.


Whether or not a cannabis strain is CBD or THC dominant is a factor on if it can potentially help you in your study session. This is common sense as, no matter what you smoke, high doses of THC will result in you not being able to effectively study. So, if you want to be sure that you are more focused; a lower THC strain and perhaps CBD dominant strain is better.


Terpenes are the best predictor of how a certain strain will affect you. Terpenes are what give a cannabis bud its smell and flavor. More importantly, a Terpene will be better able to help you predict how cannabis will affect your overall brain function. For example, certain terpenes help with pain relief and anxiety. While other terps are said to make you concentrate better.

So, If you are wanting to try smoking weed and studying you should first try weed that has the following terpenes and avoid strains that will make you tired. Following are terpenes that, Royal Queen Seed states can help you with staying in focus and help with your memory.

  • Limonene-Is the second most popular terpene (Mycene is the first. It gives weed a citrus taste and is said to help with memory, and the ability to focus. Haze strains most commonly have limonene.
  • Pinene-This terp has a reputation for helping with your memory. Skunk Strains are the most common types that would have this terpene.
  • Eucalyptol-Helps with concentration and mental focus.
  • Carene-Positively affects the nervous system and boosting your memory.

How Exactly Does Cannabis Get You High And Effect The Brain?

As weed has historically been illegal and generally frowned upon world-wide. Scientific studies are limited. However, with cannabis’s newfound acceptance, this trend is beginning to be reversed. The science behind this is way beyond my pay grade. Cannabis though can be both positive and negative on brain development.

On the extreme, studies have linked cannabis use with the early onset of psychosis. Also, as I stated previously, smoking pot in your teen and pre-teen years can hurt your academic performance and overall personal development.

A brain’s neural connectivity helps your brain efficiently process information. Weed is thought by some to help improve your brain’s neural connectivity. However, the study also stated that cannabis on some level does shrink the brain.

Heavy cannabis use has been shown to negatively affect both your spatial memory and working memory. With spatial memory, you are able to remember where you left an object both in your short-term memory and long-term memory. Problems with Working memory though is especially damaging as it allows you to use and process info at the same time. So, if you do not have a good working memory you may be enthusiastic and ready to learn. But, you may also forget the information.

Can You Focus, Read While High, and Do Homework While High

The answer to this question varies on the person, the strain being smoked, and how much smoke. Obviously, no matter what strain you smoke, heavy smoking will negatively affect your concentration, motivation, memory, etc

It also is dependent upon the subject that you are studying. For example, some terpenes are noted for helping with creativity, which means you may be better able to brainstorm.

However, with weed even though it may help with creativity, you may get easily distracted, which could be quite damaging if you are cramming for a test at the last minute.

Study Space

Where you study can also predict if smoking weed can help your study session. For example, even a pro-cannabis, website admits that when stoned your motivation and ability to focus may suffer

This means that, if you decide to smoke and do school work, you should try to smoke in a distraction-free environment. For example, study at home, alone where you won’t be attempted to start a philosophical conversation with a friend. Also, if you are tired try good old caffeine, via an energy drink or coffee.

Mozart Effect

Mozart Effect


You may find that background music will help you concentrate better. Also, listening to classical music, like Mozart, may even help you even become smarter. This Mozart Effect was debunked. However, instrumental music may help keep you on track.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you want to try studying while high is up to you. Under certain circumstances, provided you are not a minor, it may work for you. If you do decide to do it though you need to choose your strain wisely, practice good study habits. Also, when studying only take a low dose. ( AKA “micro-dose”) If you are not familiar with micro-dosing I would suggest that you check out this article.

Finally, if you are wanting to give studying while high a try, you should first try it on a test run that is non-academic or not-crucial (I.E., self, voluntary learning) to see if it works.


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