Marijuana, Medical Marijuana, and Amotivation Syndrome

EEG’s Effect on Marijuana Use is Under-Reported

One of the most under-reported uses of EEG neurofeedback is its applications related to marijuana.

Neurofeedback tends to spontaneously diminish marijuana use.  I and other clinicians have unexpectedly observed over the years that people who come for ADHD treatment and have been using marijuana regularly and heavily tend to stop using it.

This surprising shift away from marijuana use is not usually an original goal of the patient (to say the least!) and has not been directly addressed during the treatment.  It just seems that people lose interest in using marijuana when their brains are working better, their minds are clearer.

I assume that the well-known “amotivation syndrome” of marijuana dependence  thus responds to EEG Neurofeedback indirectly through two mechanisms, re-turning executive function and refining self-regard, while generally increasing brain efficiency and self-regulatory capacity.

Medical Marijuana

Under federal law (the Controlled Substances Act of 1970) marijuana use for any purpose is illegal. The federal law has not stopped a number of states from enacting medical marijuana legislation. California was one of the first.

On November 5, 1996, the people of California passed Proposition 215. Through this Initiative Measure, Section 11362.5 was added to the Health & Safety Code, and is also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The purposes of the Act include, in part:

“…To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where the medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief…”

Despite conflict with federal law, the Medical Board of California positively sanctions medical marijuana as ” an emerging treatment modality.”


It seems to me, however, that most of the indications for medical marijuana–other than appetite stimulation and glaucoma–usually respond to neurofeedback.

My opinion is that, for those suffering the more extreme conditions of pain, spasticity, sleep disorder and chemotherapy side-effects, most people would do well to consider neurofeedback and the  powerful LENS system before turning to medical marijuana.