The height of recreational marijuana use prompts more people to explore the strains available in the market, along with edibles and other cannabis-infused products. For some reason, people reported abrupt changes in their creativity levels when under the dosing of marijuana.
Total concentration, firing neurons, and tingling of sense contribute to how individuals think and process ideas in their heads. As good as this sounds, experts are claiming marijuana has got nothing to do with boosting a person’s creativity. However, history is also indicating something else; cannabis has been to cure absent-mindedness, helping people to get back to reality, all the while stirring consciousness.
In understanding the gap between creativity and marijuana, let’s dig deeper into how the body copes with cannabis and its effects on the central nervous system.
First, let’s identify the primary patterns of thinking: convergent and divergent. The latter leans more on imagination, where thinking is influenced by new ideas, brainstorming, inspiration, and creativity. This is where new thoughts occur that consists of horizontal thinking or abstract ideas.
When an individual is brainstorming, they are utilizing the divergent thinking pattern and is shifting from what’s known to artistic breakthroughs. In art and music, divergent thoughts are flooding in when a person is inspired or influenced by certain thoughts that come in an instant.
In an ordinary day, diving into a divergent thinking mode is quite hard. This is why artists claim they don’t have enough inspiration to find new ideas and create new works. Now, cannabis comes into play as it helps shift thoughts from a logical, vertical mindset to more fluid ideas, where it underpins artistic breakthroughs.
Under the divergent thinking pattern, thoughts are somewhat scattered; it gives people brilliant ideas, flowing in the air. This is responsible for generating as many solutions and ideas to a problem or situation. While convergent thinking is stiff, and usually arrives at what’s considered as a correct answer.
To put it simply, marijuana boosts the brain’s capacity to shift to more creative ideas—far cry from the normal solutions in mind. There’s something in the plant that makes people connect to unrelate or foreign concepts. Additionally, cannabis appears to provide psychomimetic symptoms similar to psychosis or delusions.
In fact, a 2011 study on Consciousness and Cognition investigates how marijuana influences the creative process. The research team was able to distinguish the fact that cannabis produces psychomimetic symptoms that increased an individual’s ability to think differently—switching abruptly to divergent thinking.
The study determined the effects by testing participants when they’re sober and under the influence of cannabis. Researchers utilize the fluency and creativity of participants using a series of tests. By separating the participants in low creatives and high creatives, the researchers can assess if the height of creativity is achieved with marijuana intake.
The results are surprisingly good, backing the claim that marijuana affects the creativity of an individual. In the study, low creatives reached the same level of verbal fluency when high, the same with the high creatives. The conclusion is simple and that is, acute cannabis use has the ‘potential’ to increase divergent thinking among consumers.
Further studies also suggest the link between marijuana and the brain’s happy hormone or dopamine. It appears that creativity can be overdrive or influenced by tetrahydrocannabinol or THC—the component responsible for psychoactive effects. THC is the one associated with the feeling of being high. With an intake of THC, the brain braces for a surge of dopamine supply, affecting the mood and creativity ultimately.
This happy hormone controls the mental health and emotional response, more so the body’s motor reactions. A drop in the dopamine levels can affect the mood, hitting the mind really hard. Hence, supplying the body with THC can alter the brain’s ability to enhance the mood, which explains why taking marijuana feels good.
Sensations of euphoria are also experienced, along with enhanced neuronal activities. What happens is, THC enters the bloodstream and penetrates the blood-brain barrier. From here, the component latches onto the CB1 receptors, which is responsible for the signal to increase the dopamine levels.
All in all, the process is instant, especially if an individual consumes THC-infused products through the mouth. Small milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol can already provide the mood-enhancement effect as well as boost a person’s creativity.
This is on the side of science and research that many people are aware of. However, there are people who don’t get the expected shift of mood results by taking THC-infused products. The reason for this is the response of the body from the component. Additionally, those who are using marijuana for a longer period can overwork the dopaminergic neurons, leading to the blunting of the system.
In short, excessive use has a downside and can surely affect the mood altogether. Because the brain can be overworked with the release of the happy hormone, individuals can have a hard time elevating their moods through the use of THC.
Dosage Affects Creativity
As mentioned, overworking the brain impacts the effect of marijuana. In a study of Leafly in 2014, it showed that dosing is key to achieve a kind of creative impulse when smoking or consuming marijuana. Leafly found out that low doses improve the two aspects of divergent thinking: fluency and flexibility. Participants provide numerous responses and variations in their answers.
There’s a significant increase in the uniqueness of the answers upon the administration of cannabis-infused products, particularly THC. When the dosing is increased to 22mg, the response drops, and answers were lower in most categories. This means that a person cannot think through because of the enhanced psychoactive effects.
Overall, the study indicates that if someone needs of creative juices, cannabis can help boost the divergent thinking. This applies to those with low creativity. However, those who are already creative in nature can’t find any huge changes in the creativity pattern and unique ideas or thoughts.
Active Brain Activity
Another evidence that shows how cannabis promotes creativity is its ability to increase cerebral blood flow (CBF). Upon consumption, the brain’s frontal lobe where creativity is associated becomes more active due to the increased CBF. The neurotransmitters stir the creative juices, allowing people to think of abstract ideas and promote problem-solving.
It’s also in the frontal lobe where divergent thinking is housed. This part of the brain coordinates the imperative thinking to yield solutions and fresh new thoughts. The ability to form abstract connections leading to ideation and inspiration can come from cannabis. Going back, experts also recommended consuming appropriate doses of marijuana to get the desired results, or else, the opposite effect can be experienced. This includes visual hallucinations, brain fatigue, and nausea.
Included in the brain’s active activities is recognizing patterns that can conclude data—be it visual, mathematical, or semantic. The pattern recognition helps individuals find solutions to problems, and to notice other related things. By boosting multiple ideas, a person’s brain can curate creative things.
Tips to Use Marijuana for Improved Creativity
Like it or not, consuming cannabis can surely affect the brain activities, whether minimal or the opposite. Minding the dosing helps to get attractive results, those responsible for stirring new ideas, divergent thoughts, and recognizing patterns.
To maximize the potential of marijuana in boosting creativity, here are some tips to take note of.
1. Know the Level of Tolerance
While researchers and scientists draw the line between enhanced creativity and hallucinations, it’s up for the consumers to figure out the tolerance on cannabis or THC. Experts recommend starting in small dosing and going higher over time. Doing so prevents the possibility of becoming too elevated or too high.
There are some strains that have a stronger kick, meaning, effects are more intense. It could provide a sense of sensibility to light, noises, heartbeat, and other unusual things. You don’t want to be paranoid every time you take cannabis to boost creativity.
A dosing of 5.5mg of THC is a good call, increasing the brain’s activity and impact on fluency, flexibility, and originality. Going higher overtime is also okay, as long as you don’t go overboard. Some people experience anxiety when higher dosing of marijuana is consumed or used.
2. Choose the Right Strain
The cerebral high depends on the strain you will smoke. If the desired feeling is relaxed and sedative, you can go for the Indica-dominant strains. Most people who experience mental conditions like anxiety or depression use Indica strains for a clouded mind and a more relaxing feeling.
Meanwhile, choose Sativa strains if you want to be extra alert, clear-minded, and energetic. To boost creativity, Sativa-dominant strains are best used. It also promotes the brain’s uptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter regulating the mood, sleep, memory, and function.
3. Alternate Use
Tolerance comes from excessive consumption and the use of marijuana. To prevent burning out of the brain, and the release of happy hormones, never use cannabis daily. Unless you suffer from conditions that require a daily dose of hemp, make sure to alternate the use to prevent drawbacks.
Over time, you are likely to experience fatigue, and the psychoactive effects won’t easily kick in due to tolerance. It’s safe to consume marijuana in a maximum of four days, with a dosing of 5.5mg of THC. Going beyond the limit isn’t practical, and you can only suffer in the end.
While the only known side effects for excessively cannabis consumption are nausea and anxiety, one can never tell how the body responds in the end. To be sure, limit the use and only consume if needed.
Best Strains for Creativity
Are you an artist or musician? Choose these marijuana strains that are proven to boost creativity by increasing the cerebral blood flow or CBF. As mentioned, the best strains to promote productivity and creativity are those with Sativa-dominant properties.
Here are some of the best ones available in the market:
This is a 100 percent Sativa strain featuring optical genetics. Ideal for individuals who are in need of a continuous flow of creative juices, Durban Poison ensures you’re energetic, productive, and open to a lot of new ideas.
The taste has a distinct earthy note, but overall, it has a sweet anise-like taste. THC content is between 8 to 10 percent, so it’s pretty strong.
To help you focus and sharpen the mind, the best strain to try is Amnesia Haze. Despite the name, it’s a holy grail for washing away worries, while getting you to a solid self-consciousness state. It’s perfect for long projects, more creation, and less downtime or no couch lock.
Upon consumption, you can immediately feel the difference in your mood and clarity in mind. Many people call this the productive strain, as your energy can be upped.
For complex brainstorming sessions, try the AK-47 strain. It gets the brain racing for new ideas, flowing thoughts, and more relaxing experience. The strain offers long-lasting high, that’s why it’s suited for long-term projects. It also stimulates the mind and keeps you mentally alert.
Science and research back the potential of cannabis in boosting the creativity of individuals due to the chemicals present in the plant’s major components. While there’s no hard conclusion on this abstract matter, the initial findings provide information on how marijuana affects the brain and activities.
In the end, doctors and experts recommend fair use of the substance to get desired results and avoid tolerance that could cause burn out of the brain.