Ask any sample group of 1,000 people and chances are 999 of them will tell you exactly the same thing. While drunks have a tendency to be aggressive and mean, cannabis users are more mellow and laid-back. It’s not a theory - it’s a fact that anyone with a modicum of intelligence and/or experience in the subject has known for generations.
Nevertheless, it’s only as of relatively recently that we’ve actually had even a shred of genuine scientific evidence to back what we have known all along. According to a group of experts from the Netherlands, it is in fact 100% true to say that while cannabis users space out in a world of peace and tranquillity, those who hit the bottle are considerably more likely to become aggressive and nasty.
"The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression," the researchers concluded.
Tell us something we don’t know…!
Suffice to say, it’s not exactly the kind of conclusion that really warranted any scientific research in the first place. But at the same time, it certainly sounds like the kind of study most of us would have had a great time being a part of.
In order to determine exactly whether or not there were any differences in behaviour between drinkers and pot smokers, the research team recruited a team of 61 volunteers. 20 of these people didn’t smoke cannabis or drink heavily, 20 of them were considered to be heavy drinkers and 21 were considered to be heavy cannabis users.
The test involved the control group sitting by and doing nothing, while the cannabis users were provided with 300 micrograms of THC per kilogram of body weight and the drinkers were provided with enough alcohol to take them beyond the legal drink-drive limit. After this, it was a case of all three groups being provided with tests that had been deliberately engineered to get them annoyed and irritated.
One of the tests involved the participants being asked to match negative and positive words to images of aggressive and violent behaviour, while another involved a computer game featuring a digital adversary that made it extremely difficult for those taking part to win.
During and after each of the tests, the participants were asked questions with regard to how angry and aggressive they felt on a scale of 0 to 100. This would then be compared and contrasted with the results of similar questions asked to the participants before the tests began. In addition, the participants were asked to undergo the same tests once again, seven days after the initial experiment. Though in this instance they were not provided with any alcohol or cannabis.
The results were, in a word, unsurprising.
When compared and contrasted with one another, it became immediately and highly apparent that the cannabis users felt the least anger and aggression when subjected to the tests. And of course, those using alcohol appeared to feel the highest levels of anger and aggression. Even when compared to the control group, it became apparent that cannabis use made the participants feel less angry and aggressive than they would have, if they had not used any substances at all.
So along with it being scientifically proven that cannabis is exponentially less dangerous than alcohol in general, we now also have concrete evidence that it doesn’t make people nearly as angry or aggressive as alcohol. Not that we haven’t known this for generations, but it always helps to have at least a little science on your side when it comes to convincing those who’d rather stick with their dated assumptions and misguided theories.