Researchers from Mexico claim to have found scientific proof that cannabis users have more empathy than the rest of the population.
In the study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research, 85 regular users and 51 non-users completed psychometric tests while a subset of 46 users and 34 non-users underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging exams.
The psychological assessments indicated that people who regularly use cannabis tend to have a greater understanding of the emotions of others.
Brain imaging tests also revealed that users’ anterior cingulate – a region generally affected by cannabis use and related to empathy – had stronger connectivity with brain regions related to sensing the emotional states of others.
Co-author Víctor Olalde-Mathieu, of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, said: “Although further research is needed, these results open an exciting new window for exploring the potential effects of cannabis in aiding treatments for conditions involving deficits in social interactions such as sociopathy, social anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder, among others.”