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Many individuals have long expressed that drug consumption boosts or inspires creativity, from the Beatles to Andy Warhol to Steve Jobs. It seems the consumption of cannabis falls within this category. With its ability to increase serotonin and dopamine, cerebral blood flow, and promote relaxation, cannabis may be the key to unlocking your more creative side.
How Cannabis Could Help Creativity
Many cannabis enthusiasts report that marijuana consumption helps their creative process, and many scientists are beginning to see their evidence match the anecdotes. But how exactly does cannabis help to promote creativity?
A prominent Harvard neurologist has pointed toward the importance of our frontal lobes. Typically, more creative individuals tend to have more frontal lobe activity than less creative individuals. As CBD consumption can increase blood flow to this area, many have suggested this as an underlying factor in promoting creativity.
Others have pointed to increases in dopamine as a possible driving factor. Immediately after cannabis consumption, dopamine levels increase, which leads to heightened arousal and creativity. A 2014 study examining creativity demonstrated this theory by finding that regular cannabis users generate more “rare” creative ideas than non-drug users.
Cannabis consumption also promotes relaxation, often vital in the creative process. This may be exceptionally helpful in naturally anxious individuals. With reductions in anxiety, individuals may feel freer to create art and think outside the box.
It is important to note that not all researchers agree on direct causality. One study, in particular, noted that individuals who are more inclined to use cannabis are often more creative and open to experience, to begin with. While they found cannabis users were more creative when they controlled their willingness to try new things, this effect diminished.
Best Cannabis Ingestion Methods for Creativity
Consuming edibles for creativity may be desirable as the effects are often longer-lasting than other methods of ingestion. This means you are less likely to interrupt your creative session to ingest more marijuana. This can allow for long periods of creative productivity. However, edibles can be tricky to dose, meaning the high may be too intense to facilitate the artistic process. It may be best to aim for a lower dose of edible, so the high isn’t as strong.
Others may prefer to smoke or vaporize their cannabis due to the quick onset and shorter duration of effects. This method may provide additional control overdosage, with the ability to quickly “top-up” if the effects begin to wane. However, this method may be undesirable to those who don’t wish to keep intermittently smoking and interrupting their artistic process.
Regardless of your method of ingestion, using lower doses of cannabis may be more helpful for boosting creativity. Research suggests that minor intoxication with THC encourages creativity in general and divergent thinking in particular. However, high doses of cannabis or highly potent cannabis have been shown to impair divergent thinking. Too much cannabis can stimulate sedation and mental confusion, likely reducing your productivity.
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Best Strains for Creativity
Jack Herer, a strain (more accurately called “cultivar”) named after the famous cannabis activist, is a sativa-dominant hybrid. Its parent strains are Northern Lights and Shiva Skunk. This strain promotes creativity by creating a big, bright high without the mental confusion often associated with intense highs. Individuals report feeling clearheaded and energized when using this strain. It has a THC content of 15%-24% and CBD content under 1%.
Blue Dream is a strain that tastes like berries and is heralded for improving creativity. This sativa-dominant hybrid combines the Blueberry and Haze strains, giving a balanced high. Individuals often report cerebral stimulation and energizing effects alongside body relaxation. This can help individuals be calm enough to undertake the artistic process. It has 18% THC content and below 0.1% CBD content.
Chemdawg is an indica-dominant hybrid strain with a large and devoted fanbase. This strain has been cherished for its potent herby diesel scent and “cerebral high.” When consumed, this strain has 15%-20% THC content. The intense high resulting from this strain is euphoric with a quick onset, and the euphoria may promote imaginative thought and creativity.
Purple Haze is a cannabis strain named after the Jimi Hendrix song. It seems fitting to be named after a psychedelic anthem as users often describe almost psychedelic experiences with this strain. It has been said to “unlock the potential of your senses” in making colors more defined and bright. This can leave users feeling a euphoric cerebral high, which is conducive to creativity and promotes energy. With no sedative effects to stand in the way, users are often very creatively productive. Another sativa-dominant hybrid, this strain crosses Purple Thai and Haze with 16%-20% THC and 0% CBD.
Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze is a cross between Northern Lights, Haze, and Skunk No. 1. It is notorious for its harsh, diesel-type flavor, but also its highly calming effects. This strain is unique in stimulating energy and feelings of euphoria while maintaining mental calm. The mind is focused and creative, with many users experiencing introspection and reduced stress. Super Silver Haze is a sativa-dominant hybrid with 18%-23% THC and less than 1 CBD.
Amnesia Haze, despite its name, won’t make you forget all that has occurred upon consumption. This strain is another sativa-dominant flower, with a “clean high” that leaves you motivated with the space for creativity. It has also been described as “highly psychedelic,” with an intoxicating high that will leave you feeling energetic. This strain is commonly used for creativity and does not have as many side effects as other energizing strains. Individuals often describe feeling focused, but not hyperactive, with ease getting to sleep after. This strain has 16%-22% THC and 1% CBD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sativa or indica better for creativity?
Sativa-dominant strains are often recommended for creativity, as they are generally more energizing than indica-heavy strains, promoting productivity. Indica, on the other hand, may encourage more sedation which can discourage creativity. However, these are generalities, and it is more likely that any variety that combines THC, low doses of CBD, and terpenes like limonene, pinene, and beta-caryophyllene will have more uplifting effects.
What are the best terpenes for creativity?
Pinene has been recommended for creativity and inspiration as it aids in accessing long-term memory. Limonene has also been suggested as it increases serotonin and dopamine, which can elicit better moods and creativity. Other recommended terpenes include beta-caryophyllene, valencene, and eucalyptol.
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