Does Marijuana affect a person’s creativity? There is a lot of controversy around this subject and many opinions, but what are the actual effects and do they really make a difference?
Creativity and Cannabis?
First and foremost, creativity itself is an imagination that can be brought to life through art, music, cinema, etc. It has no relation to IQ and is a highly coveted ability to many industries. Cannabis has been said to assist those considered creative to develop their ideas further and expand their minds to create without traditional limitations.
What does it do to the mind?
Marijuana contains cannabinoids, which are also produced naturally within the human brain. A brain will fire neurons with small breaks within the release in order to keep a control, however, consuming marijuana reduces the break between the transmission of neurons. This can allow the flow of thoughts and ideas to be more in depth or free flowing without constraints in many cases. This is why many consider cannabis as a possible option to use when ideating. Even Steve Jobs himself noted that cannabis helped his mental ideation processes.
Dopamine is also released when using cannabis, which lowers stress levels and reduces critical judgement in some cases. This can lead the user to judge their creative work less harshly and rather leave them to expand on their ideas. The effects could very well explain why many concepts start as far-fetched to some.
The Other Side:
As there are many people of note who say marijuana helps the creative process, there are some scientific studies that contradict the popular belief. In 2010, Bourasa & Vaugeois conducted an experiment indicating that excessive marijuana use reduces the ability to think divergently where they assigned two test groups to perform independent thinking tasks with different levels of THC respectively. The group that ingested a higher level of THC performed tasks worse than the group that ingested the lower levels. Their final conclusion is as follows:
“The findings suggest that cannabis with low potency does not have any impact on creativity, while highly potent cannabis actually impairs divergent thinking.”
Essentially the study indicates that the larger intake of cannabis, statistically, the less one will think critically. To learn more about the study please click here.
Although it is not necessarily the same for everyone, in some cases short-term memory and precision based tasks can be affected by excessive use of marijuana. This also means users can have trouble focusing or completing menial tasks. If you are a person whose job is to operate heavy machinery or hold lives in your hands with your line of work, it’s best to abstain from using marijuana.
Although there is not a conclusive study to prove it correct or incorrect, marijuana has had substantial effects on many musical groups, artists and other forms of creativity or ingenuity throughout history. It may not work for everyone, nor will it guarantee you a breakthrough idea, however, it has had effects on many art forms we see today.
We do not condone the unlawful use of marijuana, but rather aim to explore the many correlations between it and creativity.