Does Cannabis Really Help Boost Your Creativity?
Cannabis and creativity seem to go hand in hand, or at least that is an idea that seems to be agreed upon by enthusiasts. Ask some great creatives over the last century about weed and creativity, and they’d answer with a resounding “yes” or possibly a “right on.” But, are cannabis and creativity actually kindred? Does cannabis make everyone creative, even those who rarely think outside the box? Let’s take a closer look.
Artists Who Claim Cannabis a Part of Their Creative Processes
Musicians, painters, screenwriters, digital artists, dancers—so many artists in all types of arts claim that cannabis gives them the extra creative edge they need. A few probably come to mind right off because they’ve also been major cannabis enthusiasts. Names like Bob Marley, Seth Rogan, and possibly even Miley Cyrus may come to mind. However, cannabis has been a go-to for creatives for about as long as you can imagine. A few others include:
- Artist Pierre Schmidt
- Jazz musician Louis Armstrong
- Musician Jerry Garcia
- Visual artist Andy Warhol
- Comedian Sarah Silverman
- Musician Willie Nelson
- Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque
Even though not well established, there are a few names that could be on the list that may surprise you. For example, 17th-century pipes with weed residue were found in William Shakespeare’s home. And, highly regarded writer and poet Maya Angelou spoke of using cannabis in her autobiography.
So, Does Cannabis Truly Boost Creativity?
Possibly, even though the idea is not so easy to establish from a scientific standpoint. In fact, just the act of measuring creativity in humans is pretty complicated.
Scientifically speaking, creativity comes to life in the frontal lobe of the brain and people who are considered more creative tend to have more frontal lobe activity. Another way scientists measure creativity is through the measurement of divergent thinking. Basically, divergent thinkers come up with out-of-the-box ideas and may see a number of solutions to a question or problem instead of the most obvious or more concrete solutions. When posed with a question or a problem, divergent thinkers use non-linear, free-flowing thought to create potential solutions. The more divergently a person thinks, the more creative they tend to be considered.
When it comes to injecting cannabis into the aforementioned facts pertaining to creativity, there does seem to be a link. Blood flow to the cerebral frontal lobe goes up with cannabis consumption. Further, in a study done in 2014, cannabis was found to help with divergent thinking in two specific areas. There was an increase in the number of responses test subjects provided under the influence and the variation of responses provided.
Is it a chicken-and-egg sort of thing?
Does cannabis actually boost creativity or is that cannabis users tend to be more creative by nature? There is a chance that the latter has something to do with it.
In a study conducted in 2017, the results suggested that people who use cannabis both self-report that they are creative and actually scored higher in terms of tested creativity than people who don’t use cannabis. The study also alluded to the fact that people who use cannabis score higher on “openness to experience” in personality tests. This same personality trait can also mean people are more creatively inclined.
How Cannabis Potentially Encourages Creativity
Outside of science and formal studies, there are a lot of theories as to why cannabis encourages creativity. A lot of artists claim that cannabis allows you to see things from a new or unique perspective. Colors may seem more vivid, and concrete objects or subjects become a little more distorted. This means that it may get easier to draw inspiration from things or ideas that normally don’t provoke the same kind of response. Think about how focused you can become on how a word sounds or how captivating the swirl of clouds can be after smoking a glass pipe.
In some cases, the state of relaxation and hyper-focus that comes along with being high allows people to focus intensely on a single idea or vision when they can’t in a sober state. For example, if you are trying to form jumbled ideas into a good storyline, but there’s too much noise, cannabis may slow down your thoughts, so you can pull out more coherent streams of thought.
And not just that, a common cannabis terpene (limonene) sharpens optical color recognition and imparts a ‘turbo’ effect on our smelling and tasting ability — which is why so many chefs use Sativa during work to keep their taste buds active through the constant tasting before plating.
There are caveats with using cannabis for creativity, however. Most notably, the potency of the cannabis may play a huge role in the ability to harness the power of divergent thoughts and creative ideas.
How to Use Cannabis for a Punch of Creative Energy
Some research suggests that larger THC doses mean worsened creative performance, although this may be debatable depending on the task. There really is no tried-and-true way to use cannabis for creativity. However, with the aforementioned research in mind, it may be best to stick to lower doses of THC or less-potent cannabis to have a positive experience. After all, if you are far too zombified to move from the couch, it could definitely hinder your ability to translate or make use of creativity even if you are feeling fantastic.
Creativity and Cannabis: Final Thoughts
In the end, the scientific jury may still be out o whether cannabis nada creativity is definitively entwined. Nevertheless, a lot of creatives swear by cannabis. While we can’t guarantee that cannabis is the key to opening up your creative mind, we can help you find the smoking devices you need. Need a new glass pipe, bong, bubbler, or spoon? Be sure to check out our collection at Chameleon Glass.