Painting art supplies next to a cannabis leaf

How Cannabis is Boosting Creativity

Legendary comedian Bill Hicks has a famous bit about the power of creativity and cannabis:

And if you don’t believe weed has done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes, all your CDs, and just burn them. ‘Cause you know what? The musicians that made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives through the years? Rrrrrreal high on cannabis.”

Some of the words were redacted or paraphrased for the sake of legality, but the message is the same. Cannabis enhances our lives creatively and has helped lay a path for infallible art throughout the decades. Every classic rock icon, famous rapper, or legendary artist has sung the praises of the plant. How do you think Willie Nelson is still rocking to this day? It’s the cannabinoids and The American Dream keeping him pickled. Movie stars such as Tommy Chong and Seth Rogen are famous for consuming cannabis. 

Rogen, on cannabis: “Let’s be blunt. It’s good.” Punny and poignant.

Based on many testimonies and the obvious influence it has had on entertainment, it’s time to accept it or disappear in a puff of smoke. 

How Is Cannabis and Creativity Connected Then?

That is the winning question. While it can’t be proven clinically that cannabis enhances creativity, many anecdotes and studies have shown a strong connection between the two. THC acts on the endocannabinoid system in our brain and fosters dopamine production. Dopamine is the chemical in your brain that promotes mental clarity, focus, and well-being. The more dopamine that is released, the sharper you seem to feel. 

Creativity is located in the frontal lobe. Enjoying cannabis increases blood flow to the frontal lobe and induces a heightened sense of what scientists call “divergent creative thinking.” 

What is Divergent Creative Thinking?

Two types of thinking the brain utilizes are divergent and convergent thinking. Convergent thinking is when you find a common thread in a group of concepts, and divergent thinking is the brainstorming aspect of thought where multiple ideas sprout out of one hub. It’s the free-flowing, non-linear wave of cognition. Think of divergent thought as a prism. A concept goes in and separates outward as different colors of creativity. 

As much as 50% of cannabis users expressed their flow of creativity increased, based on a 2003 study. A 2015 study by University College London stated that cannabis potentially improves divergent thinking. It has also been shown that cannabis may also boost focus and pattern recognition. This all explains why you see tons of artists come up with incredible ideas, make artistic masterpieces, and even have “high thoughts”.

However, everything is better in moderation. A clinical trial from 1975 and also a study Leafly covered in 2014 claimed the creativity boost is effective only when consumers use small doses. 3-5.5mg of THC improved divergent thinking, fluency, and originality. Doses higher than that lessened divergent thinking in all categories. 

Cannabis also shows this increase of divergent thinking in groups of people called “low creatives”, or people who aren’t already creatively skilled. People already creatively skilled showed no significant increases in divergent thinking, based on recent studies. Of course, some people aren’t affected at all by cannabis. 

Overall, science is honing in on the powerful bond between that 19% Lemon Cake preroll from MassGrow you and your friend had and the really cool new elevator jazz fusion/Gregorian chant band you formed right after. 

What is the Best Cannabis to Use For Creativity?

Again, another stellar question. While indicas and indica-dominant hybrids are great for relaxation or appetite stimulation, it massively hinders creativity. Your best bet is to get any sativa or sativa-dominant hybrid. Sativas with lower THC (15-20%) and higher CBD has the potential for the biggest boost of creativity. The CBD helps downplay the possibly overwhelming effects of solo THC. Flower, a low-THC edible, or a pre-roll will get you in that mindset easily. 

Energy/Energy-Dominant Flower and Prerolls

Canna Provisions name for sativa is Energy and your friendly cannabis guides can help get you started. Our menu changes often and is supply dependent, but here are a few to check out:

253 Farmacy offers a 0.8g Donatello Kush preroll.  

Try the 0.5g Citrus Samurai for a potentially brighter and juicier creative session with friends. 

When the urge to wax creative strikes and you are in the Massachusetts area, stop by our Lee or Holyoke location. We want to better your journey in cannabis. 

Featured Image: Kreminska/Shutterstock

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