An exciting new study shows that being a marijuana lover can make you believe you’re doing better in relationships than you actually are. Although this may be unsurprising to some, things get juicier when the circumstances are revealed.
Namely, Rutgers University and Mount Holyoke College researchers observed the effects of cannabis use in stressful situations, that is, when couples are trying to resolve big conflicts.
The study followed 145 couples where one or both partners consumed weed. The couples were filmed discussing a major source of disagreement in their relationship for 10 minutes. Then, for five minutes, partakers were asked to converse on a subject they both agreed on.
Meanwhile, researchers measured both partners’ stress responses (heart rate and breathing) and collected data on their cannabis use. All this allowed them to reach the following conclusions:
- Regular cannabis users were likelier to encounter problems in terms of conflict navigation and stress-response flexibility than non-users.
- They also tended to withdraw from the argument and show signs of negative engagement (e.g., blaming and criticizing) more.
But when cannabis consumers were asked to describe how they thought the argument went, their perception of the argument’s progress and the outcome was exactly the opposite of how researchers perceived it.
In short, they thought of themselves as more successful at resolving the disagreement.
So, even though cannabis makes you more attuned to sexual pleasure, it can also make people unaware of how poorly they’re doing in an effort to overcome differences in a relationship.
Despite this, experts agree that the study results can’t describe cannabis as either good or bad for the relationship. They only point to the cannabis consumers’ potential unawareness of the problems existing in the relationship and their extent.