Many cannabis users will attest to the fact that cannabis actually brings people together and helps them develop a better sense of mutual understanding and mutual respect. Science is finally catching up to many long-held anecdotal understandings surrounding cannabis use. Cannabis and empathy are among his topics of recent interest.
In other words, Neuroscience Research Journal They took a closer look at regular cannabis users and ultimately discovered that they actually tend to understand other people’s emotions better.
The study, titled “Empathy-related differences in the functional connectivity of the anterior cingulate of regular cannabis users when compared to controls,” found that through brain imaging, cannabis users were more able to sense the emotional states of others. It was also found that there is strong connectivity with brain regions involved in
Analysis of empathy through test scores and brain scans
In their research brief, the researchers note reports that cannabis affects the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a brain structure responsible for mediating empathic responses. To test whether cannabis use affects ACC and empathy, researchers conducted psychometric measurements of the empathy subscale among 85 regular cannabis users and 51 non-consumers as a control group. The scores were compared.
The researchers are Cognitive and emotional empathy test, to analyze the empathic abilities of the subjects. Ultimately, cannabis users had higher scores than controls on the Emotional Understanding Scale of a psychometric test.
The study also included a subset of 46 users and 34 non-users who underwent MRI examinations to examine functional connectivity (FC) of the ACC in cannabis users compared to controls. was. The analysis showed that people who regularly used cannabis had higher connectivity between the ACC and the anterior-posterior central gyrus, which is part of the frontal lobe. Cannabis users also showed higher connectivity between the ACC and the left anterior insula, which supports subjective emotional states, than controls.
Cannabis use as a means to increase empathy
In examining the results of cognitive and emotional empathy tests, researchers found that “emotional understanding is a construct of cognitive empathy related to the ability to recognize and understand the emotional states of others.” I’m pointing it out. They also found that this difference is consistent with previous research on adjacent topics, in particular that cannabis use correlates with an increased ability to sense the emotions of others, leading to a deeper understanding of emotions and greater empathy for others’ situations. It is said that there is a tendency to produce a certain quality.
“This difference in emotional understanding related to the expression of the other person’s emotional state may be due to the FC between the anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral somatomotor cortex (SMC) in regular cannabis users compared to non-cannabis users. ,” the researchers wrote.
Because the ACC is one of the major regions with B1 receptors and is deeply involved in expressing the emotional states of others, researchers have found that the differences and emotions shown by regular cannabis users on MRI scans confirmed the belief that comprehension scores “may be related.” However, they said they could not ignore the possibility that these differences existed before cannabis use began.
Long-held truths within the cannabis community are reaffirmed.
“Although further research is needed, these results highlight the potential effectiveness of cannabis in helping treat conditions that involve a lack of social interaction, particularly sociopathy, social anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder. “It opens exciting new windows for exploration.” Co-author Dr. Victor Olalde Mathieu of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
In fact, this study could be a new step in looking at cannabis, particularly its effects on mental and social functioning. As the researchers noted in their study, their findings mirror previous studies that have similarly examined the relationship between cannabis use and empathy.
A study published last year in the journal scientific report They measured prosocial behavior, empathy, moral non-maleficence, and moral fairness in cannabis consumers and non-users and found that consumers scored higher. The two groups include anger, hostility, trust in others, interpretation of facial threats, extroversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability, tolerance, or the principles of respect for authority and maintenance of the concept of purity. There were no differences on measures of based moral decision making.