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Cannabis and Creativity: Unlocking Your Potential

February 28, 2024

Cannabis and Creativity—Is There A Link?

Cannabis has long been linked to creativity, but is that true? Fortunately, the experts have done a lot of legwork for us.

Academic researchers have looked at how behaviors and performance are related to cannabis. For example, in two studies with more than 300 cannabis users found in Washington State, researchers asked participants to complete various creative tasks in their natural settings and while under the influence.

The researchers found that when asked to develop creative ideas and then judge the ideas of other participants while high, they reported liking those ideas more than their sober counterparts did.

Translation: cannabis does not necessarily boost your creativity, but it does boost your perception of creative ideas—making them seem better.

On the other hand, other research suggests that the happier we are, the more creative we can be.

So, the question isn’t necessarily whether or not cannabis and creativity go hand-in-hand, but how.

Divergent Thinking—What Is It And How Does It Relate to Cannabis?

Divergent thinking, also known as lateral thinking, is a thought process used to generate creative ideas. It’s considered the lynchpin of “thinking outside the box.”

Some key characteristics of divergent thinking include:

-Values originality and uniqueness

-Focuses on quantity.

-Embraces unconventional ideas.

-Promotes flexibility and fluidity.

It also…

-Breaks away from traditional thinking patterns.

-Generate new and unexpected ideas.

-Explore different possibilities and perspectives.

-Identify unexpected connections and opportunities.

Experts also say that divergent thinking is used with convergent thinking, which requires you to evaluate and select the best solution from a pool of ideas generated through the divergent thought process.

Cannabis, for many users, can suppress anxious thinking, thereby allowing users to embrace other ways of thinking and unique ideas. This connection makes many people firm believers in the cannabis creativity link.

Individual Differences

Now, not everyone experiences an uptick in creative thoughts when they use cannabis. Genetics, prior experience with cannabis, and even the dosage and type of cannabis used all contribute to the individual result of using cannabis. This means it is not possible to generalize about the effects cannabis will have on YOU.


What Does Anecdotal Evidence Suggest?

On the other end of the spectrum, we have anecdotal evidence. Individual experiences, as with all things, differ when it comes to cannabis.

When it comes to musicians and artists, everyone from Black Sabbath to The Beatles has touted how cannabis influenced their musical direction and choices.

Even artists like Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan have spoken openly about how cannabis is the reason for their creative success.

So, it would seem that musicians and creatives point to cannabis as a solution for writer’s block and, in general, a lack of ideas.


The Science of Cannabis in Creativity & Motivation

When it comes down to the science of cannabis, there is a lot to consider, including:

THC—THC is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis that directly interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) or the brain’s receptor network. While low doses of THC may improve focus on specific tasks, higher doses could swing you in the opposite direction—such as a lack of motivation.

Dopamine—THC also influences the dopamine system, which is essential for the reward system in our brains.

These two factors can contribute to creativity when they’re in balance. The specific type and amount of cannabis you use will affect these systems differently.

How Do Different Cannabis Strains Affect Creativity?

Cannabis strains come in various types. However, the two most dominant strains are indica and sativa. It’s important to remember that there isn’t one clear set of rules for the effects of each strain. Here is what you need to know:

Sativa-dominant strains are associated with energizing and uplifting experiences but are ideal for focus and alertness.

Indica-dominant strains are better suited for calmness and relaxation. This type of cannabis use could hinder sustained focus and critical thinking.

In addition to THC, an individual’s unique response to cannabis could also be affected by CBD. Cannabidiol has been shown to counteract many of the psychoactive effects of THC. Interestingly, in some studies, CBD has been shown to help reduce anxiety and improve focus, which could also benefit creative thinking.

Tips for Enhancing Your Creativity Naturally

Nourish A Growth Mindset

See challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than a barrier. Another way to do this is by celebrating your mistakes. See your mistakes as stepping stones toward where you want to go. Also, believe in yourself and develop confidence in who you are now and where youre going.

Get Curious

Curiosity and creativity go hand-in-hand. The more curious you are about the world around you, the more creatively you can think about solving problems or developing new ideas. Its also important to surround yourself with people who think differently than you do. Never be afraid to ask questions or for new insights.

Practice Mindfulness

Another way to spark your creativity is to practice mindfulness. Quieting your mind, getting focused, and learning to regulate your internal chatter is a great way to encourage your brain to think more creatively.

See If Cannabis And Creativity Go Together For You

The only real way to know if cannabis affects your creative levels is to try it out for yourself.

The evidence is inconclusive, but what we do know is cannabis does change the way we experience the world around us.

So, try it out for yourself, explore cannabis by visiting our dispensary in New Jersey, and speak with our team to find the perfect strain for your next creativity session.

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