No, cannabis doesn’t affect job performance

Published on August 27, 2020 by David Wylie

Post-work pot smoking doesn’t affect your job performance, says the latest research.

Being high at work does affect you, but a study published in the Group & Organization Management journal found after-work cannabis use doesn’t affect job performance at all.

“This finding casts doubt on some stereotypes of cannabis users,” says the study.

While it doesn’t affect your job, it may help with your overall wellbeing. Employees facing stressful working conditions use cannabis after work to help relax and recover.

“With the relaxation and somnolence induced by cannabis, employees might restore resources spent during the day and subsequently wake with more energy and resources to devote to their job once back on the clock,” said researchers.

The research was conducted by two researchers, one from San Diego State University and the other from Auburn University in Alabama. It involved 281 employees and their direct supervisors.

A dearth of info

The study is an initial attempt to address the gap in research on cannabis and the workplace.

“Cannabis use among the general public has exploded over the past decade, yet there is virtually no empirical research within the organizational sciences exploring the performance-related implications of cannabis use for more than two decades,” said the authors.

Dubbed ‘Altered States or Much to Do About Nothing?’, the study noted cannabis was once considered “the menace which is destroying the youth of America” and “the real public enemy number 1.” But its place in society has drastically changed over the last 50 years.

Corporate billions spent

Millions of employees consume cannabis and organizations spend billions of dollars each year addressing what many of them believe is a problem, such as drug testing.

The researchers noted one of the most recent studies exploring cannabis use in relation to the workplace published in a premier management journal grouped cannabis and cocaine in a single category.

“Although it is common for organizations to screen employees and applicants for substances including cannabis and for politicians and societal leaders to make sweeping claims about cannabis, there is virtually no empirical research exploring cannabis use in relation to the modern workplace,” noted the researchers.

“This omission is important and unfortunate as modern cannabis (and cannabis use) differs greatly from that explored in the 1970s and 1980s.”

In conclusion

They say: “Ultimately, organizations and governmental bodies need to present evidence in favour of their beliefs and substance policies. We hope this research serves as a foundation for what could be a rich and long field of inquiry in the years to come.”