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Cannabis and Creativity: On Imagination, Artistry, and Creative Expression - FAD Magazine

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Cannabis and Creativity: On Imagination, Artistry, and Creative Expression

Weed’s reputation among creatives is stellar. Many well-known artists confess their love of weed as a relaxant and a creativity booster. Even superstars, from Lady Gaga to The Beatles, have officially recognized their use of weed to make their creative juices flow. 

But is there any objective evidence that would prove the impact of weed on creativity? How does this process occur at the physiological level? Let’s clarify what laypersons and scientists know about the weed-creativity link thus far. 

Can Weed Spark Your Creativity? 

In a nutshell, creativity is the person’s ability to exercise divergent thinking. It means you can find an alternative solution that hasn’t come to others’ minds. If we approach creativity from this angle, cannabis can be of real help as it assists in typing seemingly unrelated concepts together. 

Best Strains for a Creativity Boost 

Scientific findings are conflicting, which hints at the individual nature of the human response to weed’s psychoactive properties. It can bring a creativity boost to you while leaving others’ creative juices unchanged. Sometimes the problem also lies in the strain choice; you may just smoke the wrong weed type that has nothing to do with creative potential. Many users also report the mind-opening experience after weed consumption, which allows them to get to their creative ‘zone’ – a state of mind characterized by openness to experiments and higher creative productivity. 

Here are some strains with proven impact on creativity: 

  • Super Glue strain is known for its energetic, relaxed, and anxiety-relieving properties. Its fans also report elevated creativity after intake. 
  • Pink Lemonade weed is also a famous creativity booster. It’s a favorite pick among artists and creatives, giving a euphoric feel and a mind-opening effect. 
  • Jack Frost is a strain that causes a euphoric, uplifted feeling and smells good, with strong citrus notes in the flavor. 
  • Dolato (or Do-Si-Lato) is a mix of relaxation and creativity that anyone will appreciate. 

You can choose any other strain for your creative stimulation, as we’ve just named a couple of popular variants with proven anecdotal effects on the imagination and artistry of their users. It’s all individual, and you can find your secret creativity recipe by trying several strains.

Scientific Evidence Supporting the Weed-Creativity Link 

There’s enough research evidence supporting the association of weed with creative changes. Here are a couple of findings from peer-reviewed academic journals proving this relationship: 

  • Iszáj et al. held a systematic review of studies on weed and creativity and found a well-established link between the two. However, the researchers did not find studies indicating that weed directly contributed to creativity and facilitated the creative artistic process. 
  • Minor et al. found a strong cannabis-creativity relationship among participants without schizotypy, evaluating it by participants’ degree of divergent thinking. 
  • LaFrance and Cuttler found cannabis users to be more creative and exercise superior convergent thinking skills than non-users. However, the researchers associated that difference with cannabis user participants’ greater openness to new experiences. 
  • Warnick et al. concluded that cannabis users’ creativity depended on their entrepreneurial passion and experience. Those with higher entrepreneurial indicators scored lower on self-perceived idea originality and feasibility, while users without experience rated high on self-evaluation of their ideas. 

Studies Refuting the Weed-Creativity Myth 

Alongside the studies supporting the link between creativity and weed smoking, some studies refute that link and even claim the contrary effect of marijuana administration. 

  • Jones et al. found that the cannabis users did not rate themselves as more creative while high. In their study, ecstasy users rated the highest on the creativity boost potential of the substance they used. 
  • The latest findings of Heng et al. in a 2022 study showed that cannabis use did not increase users’ actual creativity but biased their evaluations of creativity. That finding may shed light on the abundance of anecdotal evidence of enhanced creativity among people who regularly use weed. 
  • Kowal et al. discovered that low-potency weed did not affect the users’ creativity while high-potency weed hindered their divergent thinking and creative potential. 

Thus, following these findings, one may conclude that weed changes the person’s actual perception of their creativity instead of the objective creativity

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