Sometimes, no matter how much coffee is in our system, the switch in our brain just won’t turn on. There’s nothing worse than staring at a computer screen, a journal, or a blank canvas and seeing only your lack of motivation and creativity staring back. Thankfully, marijuana has been known to help awaken the artistic and creative parts of our brain. The secret is knowing where to look for the right strain depending on the task at hand. Writers, painters, and creators in general are going to love what we found on the subject.
Does Marijuana Boost Creativity?
Firstly, we must tell you the brutally honest truth that marijuana affects everyone differently. There is no 100% guarantee that a single strain will work for you, your best friend, and your long-lost cousin. But all hope is not lost! According to Psychedelic Times, studies dating back to the 1970s suggest marijuana can promote creative thinking. “Regular users report having more original thoughts while using marijuana, and more recent research also indicates that up to 50% of cannabis users think it heightens their creativity.”
Still not convinced? Okay, how about this study. An article published on Psychology Today in 2012 suggests marijuana produces psychotomimetic symptoms, which in turn can improve our ability to connect seemingly unrelated thoughts. If this is your definition of creative thinking, then we’ve hit the jackpot. Instead of thinking A+B = C, you might be convinced that A+G = 7 under the influence of marijuana. This could eventually snowball into a great creative idea.
It’s All About the Proper Dosage
There’s a fine line between creativity and mental spasticity. Too little marijuana might not make a difference in your creative process, and too much might lead to disjointed and unorganized thoughts. Even if you had a great idea a second ago, now you’re suddenly too high to remember what it was. Ergo, creative thinking is highly dependent on the proper dosage. You’ll need to find that sweet spot, and yes, it might take a few tries.
Going back to the Psychedelic Times article, the study showed using marijuana did correlate with increased signs of divergent thinking…but only to a certain point. Divergent thinking is something your brain does automatically to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. Problem-solving is a prime example of divergent thinking. For example, let’s say you miss the bus on your way to work. Now your brain has to weigh the alternate solutions. “When does the next bus come? Should I call an Uber? Would the train be faster? What about the subway?”
With the right dosage of marijuana, this natural train (or bus) of thought is functional and productive. Too much marijuana might look a little something like this in your brain: “When does the next bus come? Boy, that hotdog stand smells amazing. Am I hungry? Did I forget my phone at home? Damn, did I leave my hair straightener on? What if the house burns down?” Clearly not helpful at this moment, as you’re running late for work.
Creativity And THC
We can’t talk about marijuana and creativity without mentioning the biggest player in the game: THC! Research suggests THC and creativity go hand-in-hand, as divergent thinking is optimal when your dopamine levels are high. THC has been shown to naturally increase dopamine in the brain. At the risk of sounding like this could all be too good to be true, there is one downside to high levels of THC in your system.
While THC boosts divergent thinking, studies show that it simultaneously hinders convergent thinking. Okay, but what the heck does that mean? Convergent thinking is a term coined by Joy Paul Guilford that generally means the ability to give the “correct” answer to standard questions that do not require creative thinking. Convergent thinking takes place mostly in school, in classes such as science and math. An example of convergent thinking is 2+2 = 4. There is no “other” answer, nor is there room for creative thinking. It simply “is.”
Could you imagine if science were a creative field and everything was up for interpretation? Even holistic medicine embraces the core facts. What kind of world would we live in if medical professionals couldn’t agree that the heart is necessary for pumping blood throughout the body and supplying oxygen to tissues? Or that white blood cells help fight infections by attacking bacteria, viruses, and germs that invade the body? We’d all be dead if it weren’t for convergent thinking, but it’s best to tackle those issues after the effects of your latest smoke sesh have worn off.
A Breakdown Of THC Levels
This is all extremely helpful and informative, but lets see some number! Psychedelic Times claims 5.5 mg of 19% THC is what you want to aim for to increase divergent/creative thinking. This amount can boost traits like fluency, flexibility, and originality. Additionally, the danger zone is around 22 mg THC. This amount actually decreases divergent thinking. These numbers will definitely come in handy the next time you shop for marijuana strains! Feel free to ask your budtender for a strain in the 5.5 mg range.
Best Strains for Creativity
Now, since everybody defines creativity differently, we looked to consumers to find the best strains for a creative boost. The best we can do is trust their advice and promising words because, remember, marijuana affects everybody differently. With that being said, these five strains are said to boost creativity by the people who tried them.
- Purple Haze – “Good for creative types or students looking to cram for an exam.”
- LSD – “If you’re having a creative block or writer’s block, I recommend this strain a lot.”
- Berry White – “I am always given creative insights when I am about an hour into the high.”
- Tangie – “This is a state of mind where I can be very creative, aware, and at peace all at the same time.”
- Jillybean – “A nice hybrid that melts away inhibitions, creative blocks and allows for true relaxation.”