Think back to the last time you enjoyed a joint. Was it this morning’s wake and bake? Or maybe over the weekend, along with a chill Saturday with your pals. Whenever it was, we bet you experienced that classic spark of the imagination that often comes with a nice high. You know, the kind where your mind starts buzzing, and suddenly you’re dreaming up creative new ideas and pondering concepts you typically don’t linger on when sober. Yeah, weed thoughts. Which leads us to ponder the topic of cannabis and creativity and how they collide.
Cannabis and creative thinking have a long history. We all know of a musician or artist who has imbibed in the herb to inspire their songwriting, painting, or other artistic endeavors. Louis Armstrong – famous jazz musician who created music for fifty years – said of cannabis, “It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected to narcotics, dope, and all of that stuff. It is a thousand times better than whiskey. It is an assistant and a friend.” It is a friend, a pal, if you will.
And then there’s an artist from more recent times, Kid Cudi, with the clever line, “Struggle is the enemy, weed is the remedy.” We can’t help but think of how weed can make things easier, and in that place of mental ease, there is so much more room for creation. Intentional creation. So, what is the connection between cannabis and creativity? Does it truly turn “on” the part of our brain responsible for creative thought? Let’s see.
The Science Behind Cannabis and Creativity
If you ask the scientific community whether or not cannabis directly affects creative thinking, they’ll likely say, “it’s complicated.” And it is complicated, in a sense, because there is the physical science behind what happens when you smoke weed, and then there’s what happens in the world around you and how you interact with it after smoking weed. The latter is a bit more difficult to assign as a precise science.
THC in the Brain
When you smoke weed, the active cannabinoids enter your bloodstream within moments after that first inhale. Then, they travel to the brain before they reach the body’s soft tissues. At every stop along the way, cannabinoids like THC, CBD, THCV, and so many more lock into the receptors found through the body’s endocannabinoid system. This is how the varying effects are determined. How much you consumed, how potent the weed was, what receptors were engaged…this is all the magic-in-the-making of the perfect high.
THC interacts with the receptors located in the frontal lobe, stimulating blood flow to the area. This extra stimulation encourages neurons to fire much more freely than normal. And since the frontal lobe is where creative and divergent thinking originates, it makes sense that this extra freestyle firing is accompanied by the ability to tap into that creative wellspring.
The Feel-Good Effect
In addition, the increased blood flow tickles the prefrontal cortex at the tip of the frontal lobe, right where dopamine is released. So now you’ve got a surge of pleasurable feel-good emotions and an improved mood to accompany this uninhibited access to divergent thinking. Imagine the possibilities! As a general rule, when we feel happier and uplifted, it’s easier to think creatively and tackle complex problems.
Another way cannabis can help with creativity is by quieting all of that other mind chatter preventing you from tapping in. Life gets hectic. There is always something that gets in the way of doing what we love to do, trying something new, or figuring out the solution to a problem in our daily life. Getting high is like a dimmer switch on the endless noise running in the background, helping you hone in on a task, project, or even just a brainstorming session.
High on Inspiration: Where Cannabis and Creativity Collide
We mentioned musicians and artists benefitting from surges of creativity, but that is just a small sample of the areas in life where divergent thinking can improve the world around us. Yes, the arts are largely affected by bursts of creativity, and any writer, painter, dancer, singer, choreographer, curator, and so many more would love endless streams of inspiration.
But consider other examples, like in a work scenario. How many times have you been faced with a challenge that felt sticky and difficult to work through? What did you do to get to the answer? Sure, you can push through and do the mental exercise to just make it happen. Or, you could come home after work, light up a joint, allow your mind to real and wander, and let it happen.
You might not figure out the answer to some deep philosophical questions, but hey, you just might rearrange and redecorate a room in your home to be the perfect place for creative thinking sessions (and cozy smoke sessions!) There’s no shortage of ways to leverage the power of cannabis and creativity.
We like sparking a joint at just about any time. Especially if it’s a Palitos or some Premium Pre-Rolls. But we also highly value the intentional use of cannabis to support and encourage us to be the best version of ourselves, stretching beyond what we thought we were capable of. That is where the real magic happens.
The next time you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or just struggling to light that spark, remember that a little weed can go a long way. Put your feet up, make a cup of weed tea, and puff on a bowl of Old Pal. As the mental buzz begins to come on, observe where your thoughts go. Sometimes you might have a whole big “thing” come up, and it’s brilliant! Other times, it might feel like an inkling, a thread you have to pull. Give it a little tug, and see where it leads you. We bet it’s somewhere grand.