In a new study, cannabis users and non-users alike examined photographs of people to decide if they smoked cannabis or not based on appearances alone. However, according to the study, “these findings utilized a small sample of photographs that was not balanced on user status or gender.” Still, the results were fascinating.
A 48.6 percent female sampling looked at photos and based on age, gender and the likelihood that the person shown used cannabis and made their calls. They were shown 36 photos, 18 cannabis users and 18 non-cannabis users and then were asked to guess who the tokers were. These respondents also wrote in any other factors they considered and wrote about their own cannabis use.
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The study showed that if a person is a non-user and looking at pics, they are more likely to choose males as imbibers over females. People who use cannabis didn’t have the same bias and thus picked males and females equally.
In the study abstract, it concludes as thus, “Results suggest individuals do rate cannabis users as more likely to be users, relative to nonusers, based upon appearance alone. These findings have important implications, not only for research on chronic cannabis use effects, but also for social and achievement factors such as potential stigma.”
It would be interesting to watch a series of these studies over the years as more states go legal to watch the stigma dissipate and have both cannabis enthusiasts and straight and narrow types guessing right because of the kindness they can see permeating off the strangers’ pictures, whether sober or high.
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If you’re reading this, you’ve likely at least tried cannabis and we bet we could pick you out of a photo for it, but it also means that your own jay-dar is likely working just fine. Next time you want to ask the group next to you at a concert if they want to toke, trust your gut a little more. Though still tread with caution.
One of the coolest parts about this study is that it took place. As cannabis becomes more mainstream and stigmas do indeed fall away, people are curious about the little plant making all the big waves and want to explore it in every way possible.