How cannabis use impacts productivity at work, or does it?

Published Oct 8, 2019 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / The Cannabiz Agency

Marijuana legalization for recreational use is in its second year in Canada, and surprisingly, for some, recreational cannabis use has not had a negative effect on productivity in the workplace. However, one online study suggests that these results may have something to do with most of us working for companies that do not allow cannabis consumption at work, which leaves subject unwilling to be entirely honest about their use.

Most Canadians, according to ADP Canada, believe that recreational cannabis has had little or no impact in the workforce. Director, Hendrik Stenkamp, believes that Canadians are good law-abiding citizens, and thinks they have respect for the workplace.

Interestingly the survey reported that 86% of the respondent’s employers did not allow recreational marijuana in the workplace, and only eight percent said that the employers allowed cannabis use at work. Seven percent reported they had no idea what the position of the employer was about marijuana, nor were they aware of specific rules in the workplace.

No noticeable change in productivity

The sensationalized employer’s nightmares prior to legalization did not appear, as many cannabis users were consumers long before marijuana legalization, and there was no noticeable change in their workplace behaviour. Remedy Review studied 1000 employed people about being stoned at work, and their results indicated that the offices of the company had a lot of employees popping gummies and using substances like Visine to treat and mask red eyes.

The reasons behind consumers that choose to get high at work

  • 38% want to increase productivity at their job
  • 36% wanted to pass the time, and employment was boring
  • 29% needed it to complete the job; the job was boring
  • 21% believe their jobs need little focus, and being stoned did not interfere with the productivity

Of those questioned, an amazing 60% stated that cannabis use does not affect their productivity, and 23% believed that being stoned at work improved productivity. 17% claimed that being stoned at work was not beneficial and made them less productive.

Cannabis consumption by industry

  • Hospitality: 35%
  • Construction workers: 32%
  • Tele-communications: 24%
  • Marketing and advertising: 19%
  • Legal: 19%

Indica vs Sativa in the workplace


Both of these strains are commonly used for treating many different health ailments and for recreational use. Here are some differences between the two strains that make them identifiable.


The effects of an Indica plant which usually produces a higher CBD content are:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Decreasing of acute pain
  • Increased mental relaxation

These effects make the Indica strain more conducive to evening use or bedtime use, which is why many cannabis users agree that an Indica strain may not be the best type of weed to use when looking for an increase to productivity at the workplace.


The effects of the Sativa plant are almost the mirror opposite of Indica strains, as they tend to offer a higher THC content. Significant benefits of a Sativa strain might include:

  • Assistance with combating anxiety
  • Treating chronic pain
  • Acts as an anti-depressant

The effects of a Sativa strain, according to the Cannabis Worker, are more conducive to increasing productivity in the workplace. Energy is increased along with focus and creative pursuits, which can help the stoned worker to increase their productivity levels.

Methods of using cannabis to stay motivated


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