JUL 28, 2022 3:00 PM PDT

Are Cannabis Users Nicer?

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A study published in Nature offers evidence that cannabis has a positive effect on the psychosocial health of young adults. Investigators at The University of New Mexico analyzed the psychological functioning of college students who use cannabis. Participants with recent exposure to cannabis scored significantly higher on standardized measurements of prosocial behaviors, empathy, and moral decision-making than those participants who had not consumed cannabis recently. The findings suggest that cannabis may cause a shift from more egocentric awareness to a greater sense of selflessness. 

Observed differences in the prosocial measures between cannabis users and non-users were correlated with the duration of time since the participants last used cannabis suggesting the effects are transient. Study co-author, and University of New Mexico Department of Economics Associate Professor, Sarah Stith explains why this transience is significant: “The transience of the effects supports that cannabis is triggering behavioral and perceptual changes rather than that cannabis users and non-user differ fundamentally in their baseline approaches to social interactions.” The finding points to the possibility of cannabis’s ability to make users think and behave with more empathy. 

The study also revealed that cannabis users and non-users did not show differences in measurements of anger, hostility, trust of others, facial threat interpretation, or the other dimensions of personality such as extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness. They also did not differ in terms of moral decision-making. 

Other research studies have highlighted how cannabis influences emotional processing. A study conducted by Colorado State University found that cannabis affects the ability to recognize and empathize with the emotions of others. Participants were shown images of neutral, happy, fearful, and angry facial expressions while researchers monitored different regions of the brain via electroencephalogram (EEG) and asked them to identify the emotions associated with the facial expression. Analysis of the role of attention on emotion processing differences indicated cannabis users have different processing mechanisms that are more emotionally driven and less reliant on attention than non-cannabis users. 

Sources: 

Eureka News Alert, Nature

 

About the Author
BA and MA in English, MPS in Human Relations, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
JAN 28, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Hemp Stalk Waste: A Novel Source of Eco-Friendly Energy with Electrical Applications?
JAN 28, 2022
Hemp Stalk Waste: A Novel Source of Eco-Friendly Energy with Electrical Applications?
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) stalks are byproducts of cannabidiol (CBD) oil production that have thus far only b ...
FEB 24, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Association of Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Dosages with Adult ADHD Status
FEB 24, 2022
Association of Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Dosages with Adult ADHD Status
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder distinguished by symptoms of inattentio ...
MAY 06, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
What's hemp packaging, and why does it matter?
MAY 06, 2022
What's hemp packaging, and why does it matter?
Hemp packaging is the latest craze in sustainability. Here's what's behind it, and why advocates say it's effective.
JUN 20, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Weed and your lungs: The latest information
JUN 20, 2022
Weed and your lungs: The latest information
How does cannabis affect your lungs? More research is coming out - here's the latest info.
JUL 07, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Does Pot Make You More Creative?
JUL 07, 2022
Does Pot Make You More Creative?
Does THC enchance or inhibit the creative process? Does it make you better at your craft, or worse?
AUG 12, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Study Shows Water Soluble CBD Has Better Absorption than Oil-Based CBD Products
AUG 12, 2022
Study Shows Water Soluble CBD Has Better Absorption than Oil-Based CBD Products
Colorado State University researchers examined the pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol (CBD) and its impact on liver functio ...
Loading Comments...