Even if you aren’t an artist, writer, musician or other “creative” type, creativity — and the ability to be creative — is a part of your life. Creativity is necessary when you need to solve a tricky dispute between your children, or find a way to make everyone’s schedules work when you’re balancing work, school, and other responsibilities (especially when everyone is trying to do everything remotely). And speaking of work? Creativity is a must when you’re trying to come up with ways to trim costs, or attract new business, or solve a customer’s problem.
The bottom line? Creativity extends well beyond the art studio — and everyone has the potential to be creative. However, you might be one of those people who insists that you aren’t creative, or maybe you just feel like you’re stuck in a rut and cannot find inspiration anywhere. If that sounds familiar, there may be a solution you haven’t considered: cannabis.
The Connection Between Marijuana and Creativity
The suggestion of using marijuana to increase your creativity might have you scoffing. There’s a difference, after all, between the random musings of your friendly neighborhood stoner and actual creative ideas that make sense. And no one is suggesting that you smoke before heading in to present the third quarter numbers to your boss.
However, there is some evidence that stopping by your favorite Arkansas marijuana supplier for some cannabis can increase your ability to be creative, and loosen up those creative muscles to help you better meet the challenges you face every day. There’s a wealth of anecdotal and scientific evidence showing that using marijuana can help open your mind to new possibilities and ideas — and there is actually a physical reaction that increases creativity.
Cannabis and the Brain
Brain researchers have discovered that creativity is associated with the brain’s frontal lobe. Regardless of whether you consider yourself creative or not, research has found that when you’re performing tasks that require creative thinking, there’s an increase in blood flow and activity in that part of the brain. In short, the more active that area, the more creative you are. Using marijuana also blood flow to that part of the brain increases, creating a similar experience to performing creative tasks.
However, it’s not just the increased activity in your frontal lobe that can spur creativity. The frontal lobe is also where a concept known as “divergent thinking” takes place. This is a creative form of thought that isn’t necessarily linear or even always logical. It’s the part of the brain that allows you to brainstorm or spur free flowing ideas. It’s the type of thinking that allows you to come up with new solutions, or to look at problems from multiple viewpoints and explore different innovations. In short, by stimulating the part of the brain that supports this kind of thinking, it only makes sense that marijuana can contribute to more creative thoughts and ideas.
There’s also some evidence that cannabis can make you more impulsive — which when it comes to creativity, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many artists note that using cannabis while creating spurs them to take more chances, and reduces the anxiety that can come with the process of creation. Instead of focusing on perfection, and the outcome, the effects of marijuana allow you to focus on the creative process and trying new things that you might not have otherwise considered, or been afraid of.
The Individual Aspect
Although many cannabis products purport to increase creativity, the fact is that the effects are very individual, and depend on a variety of factors. The strain you smoke, the potency, and even your own propensity toward creative thought can all make a difference in how well the drug works for you.
One landmark 2012 study found that marijuana only seemed to increase creativity for those who already consider themselves creative to start with. Researchers evaluated people who self-rated as “high creativity” or “low creativity” both before and after using cannabis. Those who considered themselves “low creativity” saw some increase in their creativity after using, while those who labeled themselves as creatives saw little to no increase after smoking.
The researchers surmise the results indicate that marijuana users may be more open-minded to begin with, and there may be a placebo effect associated with smoking in creativity. In other words, those who don’t typically smoke may feel more creative simply by virtue of smoking.
It should also be noted that the dosage of THC you take has a profound impact on creative though. Unsurprisingly, lower doses of THC (less than 5.5 mg) are more closely associated with divergent thinking, a variety of ideas, and the sheer number of new ideas you develop. By the same token, larger doses of THC have the opposite effect, and can actually hinder creative thought.
Ultimately, whether or not cannabis can increase creativity comes down to personal experience. If you’re stuck in a creative rut, or you just lack inspiration, consider trying some THC. You might just find it gives you the answers you’re searching for.