The European Neuropsychopharmacology journal has published a study that has confirmed the positive effect of THC to negative stimuli.
The study, which was undertaken at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, claims that THC activates the endocannabinoid system naturally found in the brain to alter our response to negative images or emotions.
With this discovery, the study argues that marijuana may now be touted as a cure to depression and other mental illnesses.
The research tested a group of men who were active users of marijuana. To qualify they had to have taken the drug four times or more in a year but not more than once a week.
THC was administered to one group while another was given a placebo.
The men were then asked to mimic images of facial expressions either ‘happy’ or ‘fearful’.
According to the study, people who had THC in their bloodstream were less accurate in matching the fearful facial expressions.
However, they were able to perfectly copy those that looked happy.
The results were confirmed by MRI scans of the men’s brains that revealed a beneficial effect of THC on emotion-processing cerebral regions.
‘THC administration reduces the negative bias in emotional processing,’ said the report.
‘This adds human evidence to support the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system is involved in modulation of emotional processing.’