Cannabis has long been rumored to support the flow of creative juices and that’s probably why you might find a number of people swarming recreational Seattle dispensaries trying to get their hands on it.
For a long while, the use of cannabis has always had some sort of stigma attached to it as it had been classified as a drug. However, with more cities legalizing its medicinal and recreational use, there has been an increase in the number of businesses supporting the adoption of the use of cannabis into the local communities.
With more acceptance of cannabis use amongst individuals and increased accessibility, a lot more newbies within the creative community have their interest piqued trying to figure out if cannabis is what they really need to get out of their funk and finally get some work done.
Famous successful individuals are on record describing that they indulged in the use of cannabis and it yielded positive results for them thus creating a need to experiment for people who look up to them. We’ll look at notable examples that have promoted the cannabis boosts creativity theory.
Steve Jobs, famous for Apple products and groundbreaking innovative technology, in his biography written by Walter Isaacson revealed that he used Marijuana as well as other drugs in the 1970s and that the effect that it brought to him was relaxation and a creativity boost. Having been considered a genius in his field, his expression of this belief created a powerful lasting impression especially on young people who felt stuck in a rut.
Another notable mention is Tara Wells, a Californian based producer that has won the coveted Emmy award for the production of The Amazing Race tv show, who in her own words described Cannabis as something that makes you feel good emotionally, physically and spiritually and that it heals people and it allows the ego to soften, so acceptance and creativity are more present in the user. Seeing her immense success throughout time, it only seems logical that more and more people buy into the creativity story that has been woven and cemented within the creative community.
Within the music sphere, cannabis has always been regarded highly with many musicians claiming that its use enables them to access a creative space that would otherwise be out of reach. Throughout generations, there have been those who have not been shy to express their love for cannabis and have candidly let the world know that they use it. Some obvious examples are Bob Marley, a famous reggae musician who was seen to smoke even during his live stage performances, and in more recent times, Snoop Dogg, a US-based rapper that has been open about his use of the drug.
Perhaps the words of Adrianigual, a US Latino musician would be able, to sum up, the feeling that cannabis evokes in musicians. He said, making music with cannabis is more fun because you lose touch with reality and are able to laugh more at yourself and therefore create with ease.
In his words, he continues to say that it allows you to get in touch with your mind and have a higher degree of concentration that would have otherwise been challenging to attain.
Even with all the goodness that is expressed about creativity and cannabis, admittedly artists attest that there are numerous occasions where they have experienced instances where they go back to a body of work that they were creating while under the influence and get completely lost and have no understanding about what it is that they were talking about at that particular moment in time.
To have a better understanding of creativity, it is important to understand what it is. Creative thinking can broadly be subdivided into two major categories, divergent thinking, and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking is a spontaneous and free-flowing process that leads to the generation of many ideas as a solution to one problem. Convergent thinking on the other hand is as you have assumed, the total opposite of divergent thinking. It focuses on the use of logical reasoning to arrive at a singular answer to an identified problem.
Whilst understanding the correlation of cannabis to creativity, the belief is that it aids greatly in divergent thinking, which creatives believe is paramount to the achievement of their success in their respective fields.
Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have also established that convergent thinking is just as important as divergent thinking in the creative process. The ability to converge all the ideas derived from divergent thinking into a specific execution-able idea to a very large extent determines the degree of creativity in a person.
The following study covered in this article seeks to define from a scientific point of view how cannabis impacts creativity so that you as a reader can make an informed decision whenever you’re thinking of leaning on it to spur your creative juices.
Those that are seeking to try out Cannabis for the first time in a bid to boost their creative juices are most likely going to get their information from the budtenders within the dispensaries. There are quite a few dispensaries near me where it is possible to definitely acquire information suitable for first-timers, but what does science really say about the correlation between cannabis use and creativity?
Studies carried out by renowned Clinical psychologist Gráinne Schafer have attempted to debunk the myth of cannabis use and its relation to creativity, and in this article, we shall explore those findings to help you our reader get a better understanding of it.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the interaction between schizotypy, divergent thinking (a measure of creativity) and cannabis use. Previous studies have shown that creative individuals have higher levels of schizotypy, so the study sought to confirm the effects of cannabis on it, and also affirm if it really boosted divergent thinking as claimed.
The study was carried out on 160 users, who were categorized into two distinct groups, those with low-level creativity and those with high-level creativity. The study consisted of a series of tests that were carried out when the participants were intoxicated and when they were not intoxicated. The tests that were carried out were;
1. Verbal fluency task, a divergent thinking related task that sought to show how many verbal responses a participant was able to give out in a span of 1 min for a given letter.
2. Category fluency task that also falls in the line of divergent thinking that sought to find out how many responses a participant was able to achieve in a span of one minute for a given category.
3. Remote associates test. This test consisted of a set of 16 triad words that were provided to the participants who were then tasked with generating a word that related to a particular task. This particular task was given a time range of 4 minutes.
After measurement of the results, these were the findings.
1. The individuals who were considered low in creativity had their performance significantly boosted in the verbal fluency task that was carried out in relation to divergent thinking when they were intoxicated to the extent that they were almost on a similar level to those with high creativity. When not intoxicated, the low-level creativity group’s performance was less than impressive when compared to the high-level creative group.
2. In terms of the category fluency task, the individuals falling under high-level creativity outperformed the low-level creativity group in both instances. This result was attributed to the fact that despite both tasks being related to divergent thinking, they were moderated by different parts of the brain. The verbal fluency tasks tap into the area of the brain that is designed to undertake individual mental tasks. The use of cannabis can trigger the release of dopamine into the mesolimbic pathway, which is a part of the frontal cortex, and this is probably the reason why intoxication creates significantly boosted results in a group of low-level creativity. The category fluency task on the other hand taps into the lower lobe of the cortex, sitting close to ear level within the skull. With this regard, it is highly likely that the high creativity group naturally has enhanced functioning in the temporal cortex in comparison to the low creativity group and this may not be affected by cannabis use, and therefore intoxication or not, they will score highly on this task.
3. The remote associate test also resulted in high-performance scores being registered by the high-level creative group in comparison to the low-level creative group in both instances. This test however also showcased an unexpected result in the high-level creative group. When the performance for before and after intoxication was measured for the high-level creative group, it became clear that the scores reduced after intoxication. Being that the remote associate test covered convergent thinking, it became evident that the use of cannabis negatively impacted convergent thinking which definitely has implications on the overall creative thinking process for an individual. Whilst divergent thinking helps one generate a number of ideas, convergent thinking ties it all together and helps one settle on the best idea.
From this study, it’s quite evident that creativity and cannabis use isn’t as simple as it has been made out to seem. There are certain aspects that the use of cannabis has been determined to positively contribute to. In terms of loosening up an individual and allowing them to let go of their inhibitions and therefore being able to relax and thus easily churn out ideas, that has been seen to be a proper advantage derived from the use of cannabis.
On the other hand, the negative impact that is experienced with regard to convergent thinking may result in the lack of connectivity between the number of generated ideas and therefore the overall ability to solve an actual problem.
It is important to be aware of the THC levels that are appropriate for consumption when the goal is to stimulate creative juices. The use of Delta-9 THC has very powerful effects that may lead to adverse reactions such as heightened anxiety and you may end up missing out on the actual intended effect that you had desired to experience in the first place.
Seattle dispensaries are well known for having experienced budtenders who will guide you on the appropriate cannabis that you should be consuming depending on your desired goal. If you’re looking to get your feet wet, their work will be to ensure that you don’t drown and that you actually get to enjoy the experience and decide whether it’s something that you want to do many times over, or if it was a one-time occurrence.
Everyone is different and has a different tolerance level. Ensure that you have done adequate research that involves finding out the amount that works for you professionally. Coupled with this scientifically-backed research in this article and that very important piece of advice from your experienced budtender, it is now left to you to figure out for yourself whether cannabis helps you unlock your creativity or not.
There are so many cannabis-related products that are on offer for various tolerance levels and that come in different forms. The landscape is so different from what it was a decade ago and with the internet, information is literally at your fingertips. Gone are the days that you would need to benchmark with your friend who you know is a seasoned user. You can absolutely get a tailor-made solution that works for your taste, for your tolerance, and for the type of activity that you need to use it for.
It is also important to be aware that sometimes the things that you may subject yourself to incorporating into your daily routine may eventually refuse to let you stop using them. As you slowly reap the intended effects, you should also be ready and prepared for the occurrence of unintended effects.
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