Good news, stoners! You’ve known for a long time that science is backing up. Smoking weed makes you nicer and less greedy.
The University of New Mexico found that cannabis use makes people more compassionate and less motivated by money.
However the review zeroed in on the “prosociality” of marijuana use — that is, as the Scientific Reports paper characterizes it, “the purposeful demonstration of propelling the prosperity of others” — lead creator Jacob Vigil said that he’s keen on reevaluating how different analysts approach concentrating on weed too.
“They see cannabis users as unmotivated, or they see them as addicted, or perhaps believe that they are losing sight of their goals,” he told Albuquerque-based nonprofit news site The Paper. “It’s never really been approached objectively to see what’s going on before making negative interpretations.”
The team gave college students a battery of psychological tests and also tested their urine for the most psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, according to the site.
“We found that folks that had recently used cannabis showed higher levels of pro-social behaviors, and higher measurements of empathy — the empathy quotient was statistically significant across two groups — as well as what researchers refer to as ‘moral foundations,'” he told The Paper. “These are basically the types of ideals that we think about when we justify what is right and what is wrong.”
The correlation between smoking pot and being less motivated to work for money was found in a 2016 study. It can be a good thing.
“This is actually shown through formal research,” he added. “Cannabis users’ brains are less likely to light up when they are shown a depiction of dollar sign compared to non-users. People that don’t use cannabis get more excited when they see a dollar sign, and that has been interpreted by addiction researchers as a negative thing.”
The majority of cannabis studies have focused on the negative aspects of cannabis, from its addictiveness and correlation with low grades in college to its association with schizo-affective disorders.
This body of research has left little room for the positive social and psychological aspects of cannabis known well to many users, creating an opening for researchers like Vigil to carve out an intriguing new niche.
Cannabis research, Vigil told The Paper, has “usually been approached by people that view cannabis use as problematic behavior — from addiction researchers and so forth.”
“They see cannabis users as unmotivated,” he added, “or they see them as addicted, or perhaps believe that they are losing sight of their goals. It’s never really been approached objectively to see what’s going on before making negative interpretations.”
So there you have it. Weed can make you a nicer person.