Marijuana and creativity have long been intertwined. Many creative heroes over the years have shared that they fear they’d lose a little bit of genius if they were to give up their joint. The roaring achievements and innovations that they brought to the world could be said to stand proof for the power of marijuana.
Though the connection between weed and the creative mind is much talked-about, it’s also slightly misunderstood. Many believe that marijuana has the power to enable creativity in a person, but there hasn’t been any substantial evidence to back up this claim. The other side of the story is that marijuana catalyzes creativity and helps people bring to the surface what they already possess. So, what’s the real deal with cannabis and creativity, as far as the research goes?
Catalyzing Thought Processes
Several studies today show that cannabis really does affect creativity. A study published in the Journal of Consciousness and Cognition suggests that regular cannabis smokers show better creative skills than non-smokers when compared during two tests to measure creativity. Giving a sativa strain a try — they’re the ones most associated with these effects — could reveal the plant’s ability to lift your mood, promote relaxation, and support the positive energy that enables creativity.
Convergent thinking is a method of arriving at a solution to a situation or problem, like choosing the right answer from a multiple-choice question. When looking at convergent thinking skills, the group of marijuana users in the study showed better results than non-users. While marijuana may not trigger creativity, this study supports that it could stimulate the trait.
Divergent thinking aims to understand the extent of exploring possible solutions to common problem statements that are spontaneous and free-flowing and evaluate out-of-the-box ideas and creative brainstorming that help us access our creativity when problem-solving. This study did not show any significant difference in this trait between marijuana smokers and non-smokers, indicating that marijuana is unlikely to create creative traits. However, another study suggests that cannabis is a powerful stimulant to enhance creativity. The study involved two groups — one with high levels of creativity and another with low levels. The users consumed marijuana regularly for 15 days. While monitoring the divergent thinking skills of the users, the results indicate that users with low levels of creativity showed an improvement, whereas individuals with higher levels showed no difference.
Cannabis Could Help Open Possibilities
One of the most common effects marijuana users cite is an increased openness to new experiences. Liberty of thought guides an individual to imagine beyond the bounds of society and explore their sense of self.
Cannabinoids in cannabis help the mind and body feel relaxed and at ease, and this also helps people feel less self-conscious, a big reason behind the plant’s effectiveness at curbing social anxiety. This property has a vital role to play in enhancing individual creativity. Cannabis helps users block out their surroundings and feed the energy to catalyze their thoughts. It unlocks the stream of doubts, questions, and curiosities, and pushes them to explore solutions beyond their usual comfort level. Pausing the white noise from day-to-day life can help us feel liberated to taste and cherish life as we want it to be.
Could It Come Down to Happiness?
Cannabis is known to improve mood and create a sense of euphoria, and this effect can also promote creativity. If using marijuana makes you feel happy and calm, this can encourage you to explore your creative side more often.
Where Chemistry Comes In
The chemicals in the body dictate most of our functions. Cannabinoids bind to receptors that usually connect with natural chemicals like neurotransmitters, which changes or enhances the way these transmitters affect us. The body’s endocannabinoid system is what makes marijuana ble to treat ailments and aid in better health and wellness.
Research reveals that the effect of marijuana on creativity could also be a chemical reaction in the brain. The frontal lobe is associated with creativity, and research from the early 90s and further findings from a study in 2002 suggest cannabis consumption increases blood flow to this area. This extra activity near the brain’s nucleus accumbens increases creativity and might open our minds to divergent thinking.
The Dosage Makes All The Difference
There is no denying that when it comes to marijuana, dosage matters, and numerous studies that aim to understand the association between marijuana and creativity emphasize this. A study from 2014 shows that low doses of THC — 5.5 mg — can help improve divergent thinking, the fluency of responses and flexibility. Subjects also showed a significant increase in the originality and uniqueness of their responses after using cannabis. But when the dosage increased to 22mg, the scores dipped down in most categories, indicating they had passed the point where marijuana was useful.
Marijuana has enabled artists to reach and maintain a creative mindset, possibly for thousands of years. They feel less inhibited while under cannabis, freeing them to be open to their deepest senses as they ignore the immediate environment for a while. With the right amount and the right strain, it could be possible to release your true creative potential.