Does weed make you a nicer person?

Liz Filmer
23 Jun 2022

New research suggests that cannabis makes people less greedy and more empathetic.


A study published by the University of New Mexico studied 146 participants between 18 and 25. Each underwent a series of psychological assessments as scientists analysed their 'moral foundations.
 
They discovered that those consuming cannabis scored higher in pro-social behaviours. These included empathy and moral decision-making regarding fairness and harmlessness compared to non-users.  
 
Lead author Jacob Vigil discussed the findings saying, "It seems as though cannabis tends to result in a psychological shift from externally pressured goals. To me, my observation is that cannabis tends to move away from that kind of narcissistic trajectory towards one that is more primal and one that is more concerned with humanity in a broader collective context."
 
Hopefully, the study will highlight the use of cannabis in treating medical issues over opioids. Opioids are known to cause negative changes in emotions whilst also enabling antisocial behaviours.
 
However, these findings are not the first of their kind and support another study that showed that cannabis could help improve sociability. This study is a gateway for more research on the drug and its effects. Hopefully, other researchers will continue to research this area and explore it more deeply and with more extensive data sets." 
 
A recent paper published in a medical journal found that those under the influence of CBD reported lower anxiety, discomfort, and cognitive impairment while completing a public speaking task. Another study published in Science Daily revealed a link between smoking weed and being less motivated to work for money.
 
This research showed that Cannabis users' brains are less likely to light up when offered a dollar sign depiction than non-users.
 
Vigil commented explained this research saying, "People that don't use cannabis get more excited when they see a dollar sign, and addiction researchers have interpreted that as a negative thing. My research suggests that they care about human beings in an authentic way that is not motivated by money.


 

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Liz Filmer