For years, artists have touted the benefits of cannabis. Can science confirm this hypothesis?
Many artists like Salvador Dali, Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs, Bob Marley and Alanis Morissette have attributed their creativity to cannabis. Weed has helped people come up with new ideas, solve problems, and see problems from new perspectives.
Many cannabis users claim that it positively impacts their creativity. But why exactly does cannabis affect our creativity? What is the connection between cannabis and creativity?
Divergent thinking, cannabis and creativity
Cannabis could increase our creativity by stimulating divergent thinking. It is a kind of thinking that connects patterns seemingly devoid of creative potential.
Dance a study from 2012, researchers examined the link between cannabis, creativity and schizotypy.
Schizotypy is a theory that proposes that we all have certain variable personality traits. When we say that someone has a schizotype, we are saying that these personality traits are particularly important.
Those with abnormally high levels of schizotypy are schizophrenic. As this explains Psychology Today article, schizotypy can be described as a "sweetened version of schizophrenia".
While schizophrenia is a mental illness, schizotypy is not serious and has multiple benefits. For example, people with higher levels of schizotypy are also more creative. This is because they are able to employ "divergent thinking".
The study found that cannabis increased divergent thinking in some subjects. Subjects with higher levels of schizotypy were not significantly affected by cannabis. However, subjects with low levels of schizotypy became more schizotypical. It stimulated their divergent thinking, making them more creative.
Hovering allows you to think outside of traditional patterns. This is because our divergent thinking helps us find patterns that we usually cannot see.
This change of perspective can shake us up, give us new ideas and help us solve problems. This could help a fashion designer think of a way to combine two trends, or he could help an author overcome the fear of the blank page.
How does cannabis stimulate creativity?
The study shows us that schizotypy, cannabis, and creativity are related, but it doesn't show us how.
In a 2011 article in the Berkley Medical Journal. Jasen Talise points out that there are several explanations for the link between cannabis and creativity. Cannabis increases blood flow to the frontal cortex of our brain, which is responsible for divergent thinking.
Cannabis also stimulates the release of dopamine, a hormone that makes us happier and also increases our level of creativity. Dopamine stimulates the areas of our brain responsible for "novelty research", which means that it makes us want to look for new and stimulating stimulation. People who tend to look for novelty tend to be more creative.
Talise explains, "Novelty is a major motivator for creative individuals, and studies have shown that dopamine arouses in us the desire to discover new ways of looking at the world, the notion of creative dynamism emerging here. "
Looking for new things can motivate us to explore new ideas. It could inspire a musician to combine certain instruments for a sound never heard before, or it could inspire an inventor to imagine a fantastic new gadget for an everyday problem. A chef, looking for a different stimulation, might combine unusual flavors. A painter might combine new colors and textures in the hopes of creating a unique aesthetic.
Marijuana can ease anxiety, which may explain the connection between cannabis and creativity. By freeing you from outside worries, cannabis could help you generate ideas.
Can excess cannabis interfere with creativity?
We tend to think that the link between cannabis and creativity is always positive, but can cannabis interfere with the creative process?
Dance a study of 2014, the researchers discovered that this could be the case. They tested a group of 53 regular cannabis users to see how cannabis affected their level of creativity. The low power cannabis does not seem to affect the creativity of the subjects. In contrast, high-potency cannabis seemed to alter divergent thinking.
Although this study uses a small sample, it raises questions. This reminds us that the effects of cannabis can vary. The effects will depend on your physiology and the state of mind you will adopt.
Stress associated with not getting enough sleep can reduce creativity. Likewise, anxiety provoking anxiety will not help generate new ideas.
It is difficult to objectively measure creativity because it differs for everyone. However, the lack of concrete evidence does not prevent many creative people from using cannabis to stimulate their creative side.