You’ve heard it before–that marijuana can do magical things like increase sex drive, curb pain, and ease PTSD. But what about creativity? Is marijuana creativity real? Can marijuana really help you think outside the box? Well greenies, I’m here with the answers.
Where Creativity Starts
Let’s start with the basics. All the way to where creativity starts–your brain. Research has linked creativity to the frontal lobe–that’s where “creative divergent thinking” happens. The term sounds fancy but it just means you’re more likely to use spontaneous and free-flowing methods like brainstorming and freewriting to come up with creative solutions to problems. And creative divergent thinking is what scientists use to measure creativity.
So where does cannabis come in? Glad you asked. When blood flow to the brain increases, the activity of the brain increases, too. And guess what? Consuming cannabis increases blood flow to your frontal lobe–juicing up your creative center.
How Cannabis Connects Random Dots
Scientists have decided that divergent thinking is a key component of measuring creativity, but testing divergent thinking isn’t so easy. Clinical psychologist Gráinne Schafer is a lead researcher on the topic of cannabis use and creativity, and even she recognizes that the relationship between the two isn’t understood well enough. However, her team did find that cannabis use can help you connect the dots between seemingly unrelated concepts, which might help with that random creative shit that leads you to paint cool art or come up with a crazy good recipe.
In her experiment, Schafer categorized test subjects as either having “low creativity” or “high creativity” and tested everyone on their verbal fluency–another way of saying how many words you can retrieve from your memory. The participants were tested while they were sober, then again after a week of cannabis use.
You’ll never guess what they found…
The “low creativity” group raised their fluency scores to the same level as the “high creativity” group! Kinda crazy, right?!
The “high creativity” group, however, didn’t experience any increase in their verbal fluency under the influence of cannabis.
Shafer’s findings show that cannabis seriously helped get the creative juices flowing for people who didn’t think they were creative. But for those who already considered themselves creative, cannabis didn’t have any impact on their creativity at all.
Another study from 2017 found similar results as Dr. Shafer, and it also took into account each participant’s personality type. The study concluded that while cannabis users did have higher creativity levels, their “openness to experience” levels came in higher during their personality evaluations.
The report begged the question–does cannabis make people more creative, or are creative people just more likely to use cannabis?
The Dose Matters
When it comes to juicing up your creativity with cannabis, mind your dosing. This study from 2014 found that low doses of THC–5.5 mg to be exact–can improve creative divergent thinking.
The researchers separated participants into a “low dose THC”, “high dose THC” and a placebo group. Then they tested their divergent thinking based on three categories:
- Fluency– The number of responses
- Flexibility– The variation in answers
- Originality– the uniqueness of each answer
The study found that the “low dose” group had a slightly improved score in fluency and flexibility than the placebo group. Not surprisingly, the “low dose” group scored way higher in originality than the placebo group.
But when the dose of THC was raised to 22 mg, scores in all three creativity categories dropped significantly–coming in even lower than the placebo group!
The perfect dose is different for everyone, but the results of this study show that loading up on a shit ton of THC is probably a bad idea if you’re trying to boost your creativity. That’s why it’s important to find your sweet spot.
Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
There’s still a big ass pile of research that needs to be done before we fully understand the link between cannabis and creativity. But the science so far suggests that there’s definitely a connection.
We know from the current research that your current level of creativity will play a huge part in how much benefit you’ll get out of using cannabis to boost your creativity. And we know that dosing matters. Low doses of THC can have major creativity perks, while big doses might make you less creative than you are when you’re stone sober. But your perfect dose might vary. Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment and find what works for you.
Make Sure to Get the Good Stuff
So where does all this info leave us? Here at The Green Baker, I can hook you up with amazing cannabis-infused foods to help spark your creativity. The best part–I offer varying doses that you can try while you find your perfect fit.
Get your creativity flowing and enjoy some good ass food at the same time. It’s a win-win, my friends.