Study: Cannabis Makes People Better By Increasing Empathy And Sense Of Selflessness


By Nina Zdinjak

Does cannabis make people better? A new study, titled “Cannabis Consumption and Prosociality” published in Scientific Reports claims so.

Researchers at the University Of New Mexico analyzed the psychological characteristics of healthy college students under the influence of THC. It turns out, young adults with recent marijuana use had better scores on standardized measurements of pro-social behaviors, empathy and moral decision-making based on principles of securing harmlessness and a sense of fairness. The study is among the first to reveal cannabis benefits on young adults’ psychosocial functioning.

It is also important to note that the research found no differences in measurements of anger, hostility, facial threat interpretation, trust of others, the other four remaining dimensions of personality (extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness), and moral decision-making based on principles of respecting authority and preserving the concept of purity.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

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“Most investigations on the effects of using cannabis have focused on either negative consequences of cannabis addiction or on the physical health effects of cannabis use,” said lead investigator and assistant professor Jacob Miguel Vigil, UNM Department of Psychology. “Almost no formal scientific attention has been devoted to understanding other psychological and behavioral effects of consuming the plant, despite it being so widely used throughout human history.”

According to recent discoveries, marijuana can cause changes in ego-centric concepts, increasing a sense of selflessness.

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What is important is that the study also revealed that these effects are temporary, considering that the differences between marijuana users and non-users were linked to the duration of time since the participants last consumed marijuana.

Vigil concluded by highlighting the importance of prosociality and empathy, “Prosociality is essential to society’s overall cohesiveness and vitality, and therefore, cannabis’ effects on our interpersonal interactions may eventually prove to be even more important to societal wellbeing than its medicinal effects.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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