Valentine’s Day isn’t an official weed holiday, but it’s close. For a holiday that’s built around flowers and snacking on chocolates, you’d think it was made for stoners. The official pothead holiday is 4/20 and Valentine’s Day is on 2/14 (almost the same numbers). And the feeling of being in love is a lot like a few puffs of a nice hybrid bud (although neuroscientists say being in love has a chemical effect that’s more like smoking crack than Sour Diesel).
And stoner couples have something extra to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. A study from the University of Buffalo shows that married couples who smoke weed on the reg are significantly less likely to engage in domestic violence than husbands and wives who don’t.
“Couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV [intimate partner violence] perpetration,” the study says. The findings are actually date back to 2014, but compile more than twenty years of data.
Other researchers have looked at the effect of weed on domestic violence before, and the results were contradictory and confusing. Some have said cannabis can cause it, some have said cannabis makes it less likely, and some others say they have no correlation. But the Washington Post reports that Buffalo’s study is one of the most comprehensive yet, using “data collected over the course of decades to examine the question, putting it on solid methodological ground compared to previous work.”
The researchers responsible for the study can’t be sure why couples who use cannabis are less likely than others to suffer from domestic violence. One might not even cause the other and both could be caused by some other unknown variable.
But their best guess is probably the same as you: weed puts you in a better mood, which means you’re less likely to fight. Or, in their words, “marijuana may increase positive affect, which in turn could reduce the likelihood of conflict and aggression.”
One other hypothesis they have is that “chronic users exhibit blunted emotional reaction to threat stimuli, which may also decrease the likelihood of aggressive behavior,” meaning that stoned couples might be too slow and dumbed down by their drug use to be able to fight. Either way, getting high this Valentine’s seems like the best way to make sure your day stays on the chill end of the spectrum.
Photo via Flickr user Melanie Tata