Learning a new language has countless benefits to a person’s mind and body. It’s known to keep your brain active, improve your memory, focus, and multitasking skills, and decrease the risk of cognitive degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
Furthermore, learning a new language can open a world of opportunities for you, professionally and socially.
But before you can reap the benefits, you must first put in the work. Language learning can take years of constant knowledge input and practice. You need to learn how to read, write, speak, and listen to the new language well. You have to learn vocabulary, context, nuances, and more to reach fluency.
If you’re in a hurry to learn one, some foreign language learners say they found help in the most unlikely substance-marijuana.
Marijuana in Language Learning
Marijuana is known to facilitate the imagination. One user, Robert Burrus, shared his experience with marijuana and reading in Marijuana-uses.com. Robert was thirty-one and could not read and fully understand complete sentences. Smoking cannabis had helped him change that.
One day, while he was scanning the book, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, and smoking marijuana, he was able to imagine himself in the book and formulate mental images of the printed words.
Another user, known as T.D., also talked about how marijuana helped him with translating the foreign language. He found that translation became more “intuitive” while imbibing. “I was in just such a state of mind where the marijuana, which induced it, had served as a catalyst to galvanize my comprehension of the language,” the user described.
Individual experiences with marijuana may vary. Others found that they were easily distracted from learning when they were high. Studies are showing different findings.
Marijuana to the Brain
Numerous studies were done to see how marijuana affected the brain.
In a study done at the University College in London, findings showed how marijuana use increased divergent thinking in regular users. There were two groups of users, the low-creativity group, and the high-creativity group.
Divergent thinking in the low-creativity group showed greater change than those in the high-creativity group did after a determined period of marijuana usage. Divergent thinking is linked to traits like fluency, flexibility, and originality—traits that can impact language learning.
A study headed by Staci Gruber, PhD, the director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) programs at McLean Hospital, proposes that medical marijuana may enhance cognitive functions in adults.
The findings of the study may be attributed to several factors, such as the age of the participants, the possible differences in chemical composition between recreational and medical marijuana products, and the way the products may have been used, Gruber explains.
The researchers from McLean are continuing to explore the effects of medical marijuana on brain structure and functions.
While many industries continue to further its knowledge in the field and adjust their stance on marijuana, it’s best to regulate and monitor your usage. When you’re unsure, check the levels of THC in your body. If you live in states where marijuana use for recreation or for medicine is legal, use a detox kit to ensure you pass drug tests and your THC levels are within the acceptable range.
With all that being said, one can ask, does marijuana impact language learning? Experts and users can’t say for sure. Studies are showing mixed findings, while users don’t have a universal experience with the substance.
More studies that will look into the effects of medical and nonmedical marijuana on learning, the brain, and the body will emerge in the wake of legalization in more states. After all, cannabis study is an interesting field of research and raises many possibilities as to marijuana’s full potential in facilitating language learning.
At the end of it all, one should remember that learning a new language should open doors for you, not close them.