CSU reacts: Does smoking weed help you study?

Nick Botkin


An image of marijuana leaves
Colorado State University students have had varied experiences while smoking and studying ( Photo courtesy of Jamie Rankin Collegian)

Can you puff the magic dragon and study at the same time? 


In spite of increasing support for legalization, smoking marijuana is still a source of societal polarization. Some sources have claimed marijuana stimulates the mind and creative abilities. In particular, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital and Tufts University claim that marijuana smoking results in improvements in cognitive performance.

Others warn that marijuana is potentially damaging to brain cells. A 2015 study published in “Molecular Psychiatry” posits that regular marijuana users experience issues of memory loss. The study claims these memory issues are similar to those experienced in the aging process.

Even among the marijuana-smoking community, experiences vary. Colorado State University students are no exception.

Jennifer Hudler is a junior economics major and occasional smoker. Hudler has studied high on certain occasions. It is most helpful when reading textbooks in particular, she said.

“It alleviates stress and gives me an opportunity to relax and catch smaller details around me,” Hudler said. “I will retain info more.”

“It alleviates stress and gives me an opportunity to relax and catch smaller details around me,” Hudler said. “I will retain info more.”

Smoking also helps her organize her thoughts.

“My notes are somewhat more detailed,” Hudler said.

Hudler prefers smoking hybrids. She says they offer the best balance of both sativas and indicas.

Sativas offer more of an energy high, whereas indicas create a more mellow, relaxed experience. Indicas have lovingly been nicknamed “indacouch” because of this effect.

 However, others have a different experience with marijuana and academics.


Alex Carpenter is a senior environmental engineering major. Carpenter considers himself a once-a-week smoker.

However, marijuana and studying do not go hand in hand for him.

“I cannot be productive and be high,” Carpenter says. “It is just not compatible with the way I like to think I feel.”

Carpenter said he has studied sober his entire life and making that switch seems foreign.

“I do not smoke enough to smoke all the time,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter also prefers smoking indicas, he said. Sativas are too energetic for Carpenter’s tastes.

Andrew Wright, a senior math major, occasionally studies and smokes. He describes the results as “somewhere in the middle,” he said.

“It is like a one-track mind,” Wright said. “It is hit or miss.” 

Colorado State University policy on marijuana:  Possession, use of, or sales of marijuana are prohibited on campus. Students in possession are subject to disciplinary measures.

 Collegian reporter Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @dudesosad