Boosting Brain Connectivity: Cannabis May Enhance Empathy and Emotional Perception

Brain Effect Cannabis Art Concept

A study in the Journal of Neuroscience Research suggests that regular cannabis users may have an improved ability to understand others’ emotions, supported by stronger connectivity in the anterior cingulate, a brain region associated with empathy.

Research indicates that cannabis users show enhanced empathy, offering potential insights into treatments for social interaction disorders.

  • Study links regular cannabis use to higher empathy levels.
  • Enhanced brain connectivity observed in cannabis users.
  • Potential therapeutic benefits for social disorders.

In a study published on November 8 in the Journal of Neuroscience Research, psychological assessments indicated that people who regularly use cannabis, or marijuana, tend to have a greater understanding of the emotions of others. Brain imaging tests also revealed that cannabis 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 within one’s own body.

The study included 85 regular cannabis users and 51 non-consumers who completed psychometric tests and a subset of 46 users and 34 nonusers who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging exams.

Cannabis Empathy Art Concept

Researchers have uncovered that individuals who frequently use cannabis might be more attuned to the emotions of others. The findings open new avenues for considering cannabis in therapeutic scenarios for social disorders.

“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,” said co-author Víctor Olalde-Mathieu, PhD, of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Reference: “Empathy-related differences in the anterior cingulate functional connectivity of regular cannabis users when compared to controls” by Víctor E. Olalde-Mathieu, Daniel Atilano-Barbosa, Arafat Angulo-Perkins, Giovanna L Licea-Haquet, Cesar Arturo Dominguez-Frausto, Fernando A. Barrios and Sarael Alcauter, 8 November 2023, Journal of Neuroscience Research.
DOI: 10.1002/jnr.25252

1 Comment on "Boosting Brain Connectivity: Cannabis May Enhance Empathy and Emotional Perception"

  1. Finally, scientific experimentation supports the perceptions, insinuations, and suspicions of the cultural experience of early popular culture cannabis enthusiasts. More reinforcement is needed to validate the conclusions of pioneers who engaged in socializing while sensitizing to our emotional state of being. Grooving the vibes with one’s tribe is a lot like doing healthy group therapy. I could have told you that before many of you were born, but I lacked verifiable data points.

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