What Science Says About The Effect of Cannabis On Creativity

brunothalmann.com

Depending on whom you ask, the term ‘creativity‘ means different things. Some say the term should best translate to “the ability to make something new out of a standard set.” Others claim the term refers to the power to find something new in the old. Regardless of which is right, creativity, according to the general consensus, usually requires a spark.

For some that spark may amount to inspiration from leading experts. After all, the pioneers of any endeavor were the most efficient at reducing effort. For others, some just possess an inherent ability to make original content. And for a few, backed by interesting scientific findings, the secret is cannabis.

Some believe that cannabis has direct links to increasing creativity in users

In the real world, creativity often goes by underrated. In the wrong setting, it can lead to disastrous mistakes, neglecting a tried and tested system. While the person learns from this blunder, the consequences aren’t normally worth the experience. In other cases, creativity gets punished for non-conformance with expected guidelines. As the story goes, the man to invent the umbrella often got jeered at for his peculiar accessory. However, we all know which side history favored!

Avid fans of cannabis often swear the drug holds improbable properties. They claim it hones focus, which is untrue (why else is operating a vehicle while high inadvisable?). And they claim it aids studying (the science remains undecided). However, marijuana may get credit for one thing: boosting creativity in users. This belief is held by musicians, painters, poets and writers alike.

Cannabis does exert unique effects on the brain, and some of those may affect creativity

The brain, being a complex organ, holds many key functions. Aside from regulating life-dependant functions like breathing, it also controls mental work. Everything mental, from calculations to emotions to memory, comes from here. Each function maps perfectly and exactly to the brain’s anatomy. That’s why the frontal lobe gets associated with planning and learning.

The frontal lobe also bears responsibility for another important function. It regulates ‘divergent thought’ which refers to unorthodox conclusions or rationales. These don’t have to follow any logic, but often end up making their own sense when fully fleshed out. In essence, this process is the birthplace of new ideas, or creativity. The argument seems that weed directly stimulates this process.

Studies show that every individual’s response to cannabis varies

It would greatly simplify the scientific process if every patient reacted the same. Conclusions would be easy to draw, and we’d have a clear answer to the question. However, this does not occur. Some patients show proof that cannabis heightens their creativity. Meanwhile, others show decreases in cognition and some no change at all. It appears that the exact impact on creativity by cannabis remains an elusive topic to quantify. While we know what it impacts in the brain, we don’t know to what extent it does. And what if other factors influence creativity, that we didn’t account for?

In short, it cannot go unmentioned that cannabis activity on the brain is real. The CBD and THC, both cannabinoids, stimulate the brain‘s endocannabinoid system. This leads to changes in mood and relaxation. However, when it comes to how creativity changes, we’re undecided. For any updates on the ongoing studies on cannabis, stay tuned. And as always, avoid smoking up directly before pitching ideas for a big marketing meeting.

Raamiz Naeem: