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How Does Marijuana Affect Your Creativity?

Does smoking weed actually make you more creative, or is there more to the picture than meets they eye?

By Patricia SarkarPublished 5 years ago 5 min read
Top Story - October 2018

For a long time, scientists and artists have wondered how marijuana affects creativity. Over recent years, research has shed some light on the effects of marijuana on creativity.

However, settling on a global creativity definition has always been a challenge. Many people generally think about creativity as the ability to adapt to a person’s current situation while making novel connections between the uncorrelated concepts, ideas or events. How the creativity of a person manifests itself is unique to the situation and each person.

What’s more, the effect of marijuana on everybody differs. The amount of consumed marijuana also affects creativity. What’s more, how marijuana is consumed also plays a role.

For instance, when one person uses a marijuana vaporizer (check that here) and another one smokes it through a joint, the amount and speed at which the effects are felt differ.

Generally, marijuana is reportedly one of the most used illicit substances across the world. The World Health Organization reports that there has been an increase in marijuana use since the 1960s in Europe, Australia, and North America, especially among young people.

This report further summarizes the chronic and acute effects of marijuana use. They include different cognitive and psychomotor impairments. Nevertheless, there are studies that highlight the effects of marijuana on creativity.

Studies on Marijuana and Creativity

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One study was based on the notation that effects of marijuana on creativity are yet to be studied extensively or how it stimulates creativity understood properly. This study suggested that marijuana causes psychotomimetic symptoms. These, in turn, can enable a person to connect concepts that seem unrelated. This is a divergent thinking aspect that is considered basic to creative thinking.

Essentially, the drug induces an altered mental state which can help a person break free from the ordinary associations and thinking. This increases the possibility of generating novel associations and ideas. For instance, some individuals have altered perspectives and exaggerated emotions after using marijuana. This stimulates creativity.

Another study established that sober marijuana smokers outperform non-smokers when it comes to creativity. However, the study attributed the difference in creativity to personality traits and not cannabis itself.

The researchers suggested that through mainstream media propagate the idea that marijuana expands mind while enhancing creativity, the link between creativity and cannabis is to a larger extent a spurious correlation that is driven by variations in personality. That is, openness to experience though this is related to the use of marijuana and augmented creativity.

In another study, researchers established that marijuana boosts cerebral blood flow within the frontal lobe. This has positive effects on creativity in different ways. For instance, it stimulates the creative drive thereby enabling a person to generate new ideas and think in divergent ways.

This enhances brainstorming and imagination of different, possible solutions to problems. It also enhances convergent thinking thereby helping a person choose the most ideal solutions to problems. Nevertheless, the study suggested a moderate consumption of marijuana because high tetrahydrocannabinol doses can hinder creativity.

How It Works

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Based on these studies, it’s not surprising that the number of people smoking marijuana or using cannabis vaporizer has increased over the years. Basically, most researchers suggest that marijuana enables the user to relax and manage stress while thinking about their worries or problems more objectively.

What’s more, marijuana increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. This is ideal for divergent thinking since it’s at the best level when there is high dopamine level in the brain. However, it affects convergent thinking negatively because this is at the best level when there is a low dopamine level in the brain.

It’s also important to note that cannabis has an effect on memory which can affect creativity. Most marijuana users have difficulties in consolidating short-term memories and long-term memories. This explains why some users forget some wonderful ideas quickly when under cannabis influence.

Marijuana in the Creative Process

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Away from the scientific literature, firsthand accounts reveal that marijuana affects creativity positively. Many artists have come out openly and said that marijuana plays a significant role in their overall creative process.

For instance, Steve Jobs once claimed that smoking marijuana induced a creative and relaxed feeling in him. Alanis Morissette claimed that smoking cannabis provided a great way of getting new perspective and clarity when writing new songs. George Carlin, a comedian saw marijuana as a value-changing drug that opened up perception doors.

Globally renowned artists like Lady Gaga and Bob Marley have also linked their creativity to marijuana consumption. The list of the artists that have attributed their creativity to cannabis consumption is basically endless.

Generally, many people see marijuana as a stimulant. And different types of output are enhanced by most stimulants. Nevertheless, the effects of marijuana on creativity are in most cases dependent on the personality of the user. But, overall, more people are smoking cannabis or using weed vaporizer on a regular basis to get the dose they need to get more creative.

It’s not a secret that artists have used cannabis for many years to ensure a proper mindset when it comes to artistic creations. Marijuana enables people to live the moment while embracing new thoughts instantly.

Cannabis users feel less inhibited because they tend to be more relaxed and easy to connect with their surroundings and themselves at a deeper level. When some people lack creative stimulation, they turn to cannabis because it tends to unlock their creative potential fully.

Some people say that when they use marijuana, they focus better on songwriting, painting and other tasks at hand. This makes them more productive than they would if they didn’t use marijuana.

The Bottom Line

Marijuana has different and powerful effects on creativity. The nature and level of these effects depend on factors like personality and the amount of the consumed marijuana.

As such, before you grab a vaporizer or start smoking weed, know your personality and the right dose to start with. What’s more, know the effects of cannabis on your entire body. If you are under medication, talk to your doctor about your intention to use cannabis.

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Patricia Sarkar

Raised on a steady diet of makeup and games. Eager to share my experiences with the world and make a difference, article by article! :)

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