How Does Weed Affect Personality?

// June 16, 2017
Close up Psychologist's chair

Modeled after the work of Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst C.G. Jung, the proverbial “big 5” personality measure lists five traits through which our personalities are formed. Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, or “OCEAN” are the five main personality characteristics which build the widely popular 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. Jung’s theory of personality types spawned the creation of the Myers-Briggs personality test which outlines 16 separate personality types based on these dualities:

  • Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)
  • Intuition (N) or Sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

Your personality type is identified depending on how you habitually manifest these characteristics.

Take the test here.

Introversion/Extraversion: Where Energy is Derived

Your preference of general attitude is detailed by either introversion or extraversion. Not only does this dimension describe your tendency toward sociability or introspection but it also describes your tendency to observe the external environment or the internal monologue more frequently. This first variable is based on where your general interest lies – is it in the world or in yourself? The extraversion/introversion dichotomy generally refers to where you draw your energy from. Individuals scoring both I or E can experience a spontaneous and pleasant disruption to their default attitude toward the world after smoking weed. An extrovert can find herself flooded with a vast regenerative energy originating from within a self-realization while an introvert may experience an uncommon atmospheric energy drawn from the external, social world.

Intuitive/Sensing: Information Processing

The N/S distinction deals with the way in which individuals process information. The Intuitive organizes information in conceptual, thematic, abstract patterns whereas the Sensing individual relies on concrete, particular data to make sense of the world. Weed tends to stoke intuitive fires and is famous for expanded perceptual capacities by naturally promoting a loose, more abstract and conceptually driven version of important details and emerging ideas. Even the sensory driven individual can transcend the hyper-functional linear mode of thought with the conscious enjoyment of a strong sativa-dominant strain.

Thinking/Feeling: Making Decisions

Thinking and Feeling describe the way individuals make decisions. The analytical types among us, Thinkers, typically use logical reasoning to make decisions while Feelers typically base decisions on immediate feeling and emotion. While weed is notorious for its role in poor decision-making, it is worth noting that the hyper-emotional Feeler may actually derive a lucid, clearer mode of thinking with weed and perhaps view their situation from a more objective point of view. Similarly, the Thinker, when making important life decisions, may be able to account for a fuller, more nuanced and considerate reasoning related to all factors involved, including emotions, in order to make a better decisions overall.

Perceiving/Judging: How you Approach the Structure of the World

Finally, Perceiving individuals see the world as a fluid structure, taking various forms and outcomes whereas Judging individuals prefer to make decisions and close out potentialities sooner rather than later. Weed may propel the Perceiver to leap out of indecision when it arises and make heart-based decisions developed with full clarity. Oftentimes weed has the ability to simultaneously narrow in and expand focus. This just means that it can be seemingly impossible to move onto another subject without adequately addressing answers or solutions to the one in present focus. For the indecisive Perceiver, weed can help the questions that must be asked emerge more quickly. For those with Judging personalities, weed may disrupt straightforward, single-minded views of reality and encourage alternative modes of thought.

How Weed Changes Personality

Weed can seem to amplify feelings or thoughts but can also aid in detaching from them. If you are tired, it can seem to bring energy, if you are restless it can seem to bring relaxation. This is true for any personality type. However, in terms of the actual experience of being high, S/Js or sensing, judging types may grow frustrated with the lack of physical coordination and control weed creates. The preference of S/Js toward a predictable, controlled experience may lead them to enjoy the disruptive quality of weed or dislike the way existence is cast into a slightly more chaotic form. Sensing, perceiving (S/P) types may be more inclined to pursue the feeling of being out of control, and the perceptual distortions of being high. Artists, often S/Ps, gain the novelty of seeing objects and ideas from a new perspective under the influence of weed and can use this phenomena to their artistic advantage. Unsurprisingly, NFs (intuitive, feeling types) are very drawn to marijuana as it enables them break even further from the sensory details consciousness imposes on them. They may simply enjoy listening to someone speak and engaging in their own mental processes silently. Intuitive, feeling types (N/Fs) often feel as though weed unlocks doors of awareness previously inaccessible to them, which can feel liberating and cathartic and help them tune closer into their natural inclination to self-actualize, with promising results. Intuitive judging types (N/J) may find their analytical skills extended with an added creative dimension to their thinking-process as their intuitive, yet decisively logical approach feels vastly expanded with added conceptual connections made accessible by smoking weed.

The general patterns of thought and behaviour we display are more malleable than we might expect. While it is enormously helpful to read about your personal way of approaching the world, structure, information and decisions, it is equally important to seek out the ways in which your habitualized actions can be flexed and transcended. Weed offers a way to explore your individual talents for perceiving and using information and ideas, and gets you out of your own mental loops to see the big picture. Seeing beyond the default mode of being is essentially the first step in realizing your own potentiality. I recommend doing the Myers Briggs personality test and using what is useful and discarding the rest. If anything resonates as true about who you are and what you do, keep it and meditate on how this continually manifests in your behaviour, thoughts and actions. Smoke weed and notice the boundaries of consciousness loosen and the habits you declare yours fall away slowly with closer awareness of their constituents.