Playing games high has been a thing ever since video games were invented. Depending on your age, maybe you have memories of sessions on the Atari or Nintendo accompanied by a fresh dime bag of some “really good shit.”
They’ve also gone hand in hand with one another for the stigmas they’ve suffered over time: while greater society has viewed cannabis consumers as lazy, gamers have been wrongfully categorized in an incredibly similar fashion, with the “video games are rotting your kids’ brains” sentiment somewhat on par with Reefer Madness.
Recent findings are revealing that doom and gloom predictions aren’t the case for either pastime, and more people are recognizing that in moderation, cannabis has a wide variety of health benefits and gaming tends to have profoundly positive effects on a person’s cognitive abilities.
To take it a step further, many gamers believe weed consumption actually has a positive impact on focus, reflex, real-time innovation, and overall performance.
But why is that?
And does consuming cannabis before gaming actually improve your focus and skill, or does it just feel that way in the moment?
It’s no secret that cannabis has had a profoundly positive impact on athletes throughout the world, but despite the available research and anecdotal evidence, most major sports leagues still outlaw cannabis use for their players.
The esports arena experiences the same contradiction, as the Electronic Sports League (ESL) has made drug testing mandatory for their players, and cannabis lives on the list of banned substances (although players are only restricted from weed consumption on tournament days, and permitted to utilize the plant throughout their training).
As frustrating as this restriction is for competitive gamers, it also speaks to the enhancing effect cannabis seems to have on the gaming process, as evidenced by limited available research, anecdotal research, and one of the most reliable sources of information out there: raw, unfiltered Internet echo chambers.
Research around cannabis’s effect on gaming is incredibly limited and begs to be explored further. However, there are quite a few things we can ascertain based on the requirements for proficient gaming and the existing research on cannabis’s effects.
The actual act of gaming aside, let’s take a look at the sort of skills required to successfully play and win: unwavering focus, quick cognition, muscle memory retention, and cat-like reflexes.
Keeping that in mind, we can easily reference cannabis’s effect on each of these aspects based on the research that has supported cannabis’s medical communities throughout the nation for years.
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