• Eli Hunt

How does cannabis affect creativity?


Will Medical Marijuana Inhibit Creativity?

Medical marijuana comes with a wealth of benefits, including anxiety relief, reduced inflammation, and better sleep. Many people are interested in getting a medical marijuana card for these very reasons. Still others, however, have always insisted that cannabis is a boon to creativity, giving them the ability to reach new heights in their music, art, and more.

These anecdotal arguments, however, don’t always persuade everyone. A lot of us have some preconceived notions about cannabis. For some of us, it might be the mistaken idea that medical marijuana somehow makes us less professional. For others, it might be the fear that medical marijuana can actually inhibit creativity that holds us back.


What is the truth? Will medical marijuana inhibit creativity, or is there another story? Science has a lot to say on the topic.


Metrics for Assessing Creativity

Before we look at what the science says, we need to consider first how one can even measure something as seemingly subjective as creativity. How do scientists even measure something so nuanced? Well, for one, they might look at how many solutions to a problem an individual comes up with. A higher number of solutions indicates better divergent thinking, which often correlates with higher levels of creativity. There are any number of other quantifiable metrics that science can use to gauge the creativity of humans. While creativity may seem vague or touchy-feely, science does have quantitative, measurable ways to assess it.


With this in mind, what does the research say, then, about the impact cannabis has on creativity?


Cannabis & Creativity: What the Science Says

Studies that have looked into the relationship between cannabis use and creativity have produced a wide variety of results. While the science is mixed, what is clear is that most studies show that cannabis use does not create any deficits in creativity.


One study suggests that increased creativity in cannabis users results from an increased openness to experience in these individuals. Still another study indicated that cannabis users had more moments of “rare” creativity than users of a substance such as ecstasy. Finally, yet another study showed that artists could use cannabis to increase the emotional states and creativity needed to create.


An interesting caveat? Those who are not as creative in day-to-day life may experience an uptick in creativity when using medical marijuana, some of the literature says. Those who are already creative, on the other hand, will maintain their level of creativity and perhaps benefit from the relaxation and alleviation of other symptoms that can come with cannabis use.


Overall, the literature shows, too, that improvements to creativity also depends on dose and quality. Those who partake in medical marijuana are more likely to benefit creatively than those who take higher doses of lower quality product. Prescribed marijuana at manageable doses may be more likely to help people get into a productive and creative state.


The Biological Effects of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana also creates biological effects in the body that can encourage creativity. Taking the substance increases blood flow to regions in the brain that are associated with creativity, including the amygdala, the nucleus accumbens, and the frontal cortex.


Stimulating these areas of the brain can help people better experience euphoria or regulate their emotions while also increasing executive function. All of these components, under the right circumstances, can come together to enhance creativity.


Breaking Free from Ordinary Thinking

What is clear is that medical marijuana can help anyone escape the confines of everyday, ordinary thinking. A recent study suggested that the psychotomimetic symptoms that result from cannabis use can help people connect seemingly unrelated concepts, which is a key factor in creative thinking. By breaking free from ordinary thinking and associations, those using cannabis were better able to generate one of a kind ideas in their work.


Medical Marijuana – A Good Bet for Creativity

Despite what the naysayers say, it’s clear that medical marijuana can benefit creativity in many individuals in the right setting. If you have been weighing your options and your creative endeavors were holding you back, rest assured that quality medical marijuana is not likely to get in the way. If you want to start exploring your options and see what medical marijuana can do for you, give us a call at (888) 633-5808 to talk to one of our patient support representatives, or schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana recommendation provider today!


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