10 tips to stay productive when using cannabis

10 tips to stay productive when using cannabis
Steven Voser

Even the most motivated cannabis user finds themself losing focus and productivity from time to time. After toking up, there are ways to optimize your performance to stay alert and on task, but without the edge.

Productivity and focus are two big concerns for many cannabis user (both recreational and medical). The lazy stoner stereotype lays in the past, but we all know that cannabis can sometimes affect our energy levels and our ability to focus and stay productive.

Luckily, there are some simple changes you can make to your routine to have more productive experiences with cannabis. We gathered 10 tips for you to check out.


Strains are really important, and there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of different cannabis varieties out there. In order to have a better experience with cannabis, be sure to inform yourself about the different strains, and take the time to find ones that provide you with the effects you’re looking for.

Typically, if you want to use cannabis and stay active and productive, you’ll want to consider strains that are more sativa-dominant. Sativa genetics are generally believed to produce more energetic, inspiring effects, while indicas tend to be good for relaxing.

But remember, those rules aren’t set in stone. There are many people who find the cerebral effects of sativas inhibit their ability to concentrate while the physical effects of indicas leave them relaxed, yet still able to focus on tasks or responsibilities. Again, it’s all about finding what works for you.


2. get educated about cannabis

If you want to be productive while using cannabis, it’s a good idea to become more educated about marijuana and some of the science behind how it affects your body.

A good place to start is to research the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis, and learn more about how they create their plethora of effects. Research THC, CBD, myrcene, limonene, and some of the other main compounds in cannabis. Then, use that information to make a more informed decision about the kind of cannabis you use, as well as how you use it.


This is a pretty straightforward tip. And while it might seem weird to imagine yourself making a to-do list before you get high, trust us; it works. People all around the world swear that the act of writing lists helps them stay productive. And there’s some solid reasoning behind why it does.

You see, by writing something down, you actively start clearing space in your mind. If you take 15 minutes at the start of your workday, for example, to write down everything you need to get done, you start to declutter your mind.

Instead of thinking about everything you need to do, you're now able to focus on how to get it all done. You can read more about the psychology behind to-do lists here.

You can use this same approach to ensure you stay productive when consuming cannabis. Plus, to-do lists are also super handy if you tend to get a bit forgetful after using cannabis.


Your immediate environment has a profound effect on both your motivation and productivity. After all, that’s why employers dedicate so much time and money into creating workspaces that encourage productivity.

If you work from home, for example, create a clean, decluttered workspace that’s clear of distractions. If you don’t work from home, you may want to think about both when and where you use cannabis, and how that might affect your productivity during the day.

For example, you might find that taking 10 minutes to use cannabis during your lunch break at the park down the street helps to clear your mind, whereas lighting up at home before you head out the door leaves you feeling lazy and lethargic. Whatever it is for you, observe these patterns and find an environment that suits you.


5. stay active

Another great way to stay productive and motivated when using cannabis is to keep active. Once you’ve had your dose, make sure to dive straight into your work or tasks, and keep that momentum going all throughout the day.

One of the easiest ways to kill your motivation or productivity is by rewarding yourself early. Remember, use that to-do list you wrote beforehand and don’t let yourself get distracted until you’ve crossed out all the items on that list.

Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of thinking “I can finish this later” and stopping to reward yourself with a break halfway through the day. If you do, you’ll put a stop to that momentum you’ve been building up, and will likely struggle to get back up to speed again.


While making a list might help and even be important, it’s also important to be realistic when making these expectations.

Overshooting can be just as detrimental to your motivation and productivity as not planning at all. If you set out to do too many things in a day, two things can happen; you might get overwhelmed by the number of things you have to get done, which will only discourage your ability to concentrate and be productive during the day.

Alternatively, you might work your ass off all day, but end up with a half-finished to-do list simply because you went a little too far with your expectations.

When it comes to planning your to-do list, make sure to be realistic and set goals that you can actually meet.


If you’re smoking or eating cannabis and find you struggle to stay productive once your dose kicks in, it might be time to consider vaping.

Many cannabis users describe the effects of vaping as being more clear and energizing. While you smoke, you actually temporarily starve your heart and body of oxygen. As a result, you might notice that you feel tired or lethargic during or immediately after smoking.[1]

Vaporizing, on the other hand, doesn’t produce these same effects. Hence, you might find that vaporizing helps you avoid that annoying lethargy. Plus, vaping is better for your body as it doesn’t involve combustion, and also makes better use of your cannabis, which could help you save a bit of cash too.


8. or try extracts

Extracts are definitely the latest hit in the cannabis industry, especially in The US. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can easily (and legally) access high-quality concentrates, we highly recommend you do so.

Many people find that these extracts produce a clear, active high without lethargy or sedation. Hence, if you struggle to get productive or stay focused after using cannabis and want to change that, consider trying some of the new extracts on the market.


The key to properly using cannabis is understanding how it affects you personally. Whenever you use cannabis, pay close attention to how things like different strains, different methods of administration (such as smoking vs eating vs vaping), and different-sized doses change your experience.

If, for example, you find smoking cannabis in the morning inhibits your ability to focus on work or other responsibilities regardless of what you try, smoke in the evening instead. Remember, every person has different reactions to cannabis. It’s really about finding what works for you.


Last but not least, one of the most important aspects of using cannabis properly is dosage. As a general rule of thumb, smaller doses of THC and CBD will produce more uplifting effects. In higher doses, both cannabinoids can produce sedative effects and leave you feeling tired and lazy.

Hence, anyone looking to use cannabis during the work week should typically stick to smaller doses of even try microdosing. This goes for recreational and medical patients alike. At nighttime, feel free to intake larger amounts, but keep in mind that the onset of sedative effects is likely.


  1. ^ howstuffworks, How does smoking starve your heart of oxygen?, retrieved May-23-2018

Steven Voser
Steven Voser

Steven is a long-time veteran of cannabis journalism, having delved into every aspect of the subject. His particular interests lie in cannabis culture, the emerging science of cannabis, and how it is shaping the legal landscape across the globe.