In marijuana circles there is a prevailing thought that functional potheads actually exist. In fact, some people even admit that they seem to function better while they are high. So, let’s tackle both of these assumptions to see if they hold some merit.
First, I firmly believe that marijuana affects people in different ways. Some seem to like staying busy, such as cleaning the house, but most are glued to the couch and struggle to even pick their nose at times. Some people can apparently carry on conversations while others avoid any communication with the outside world. Finally, some people don’t even crave food, but others would eat sheetrock with the right seasoning. Why?
Obviously, they are processing cannabis differently due to the effect it has on the various cannabinoid regions of the brain. Is it possible that some people have more or less of these receptors in some of these regions causing an alteration in our experiences of being high? Dopamine, the “feel good” hormone, can be supplied in different amounts to people based upon the number of receptors available, causing a change in the overall effect. So, it seems logical that the “pot” receptors in the brain would be similar.
Unlike dopamine receptors, cannabinoid receptors are extremely abundant and are found in many regions within the brain. This is one of the reasons why our perceptions, balance, memory, and appetite can all be affected by marijuana.
I personally believe we all experience the somewhat functional state of being high for a period of time after that first toke. It’s just that this feeling goes away much quicker in some individuals before sinking into this non-functional condition. On the other hand, some people seem to maintain this feeling for longer periods. Once again, it’s all due to how, and possibly how fast, we process the chemicals from the marijuana we smoke.
However, what I am certain does not exist is the tenant that people function better while they are high versus when they are sober. While researching for my book, The Secret Addiction, study after study that examined the cognitive effects of marijuana overwhelmingly show that you are not going to drive better, solve math problems more easily, or make better decisions. The bottom line is that there are people who are more-functional potheads and some who are less-functional potheads, but I would never go as far as saying people function better when they are stoned.