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How Does Cannabis Affect Creativity?

Updated: Nov 2

We have discussed in this space the benefits of cannabis to the individual, both physically and emotionally. While research is still in its infancy, there is

promising data showing the legitimacy of these claims. Additionally, numerous users swear to the spark of creativity cannabis provides. This is true regarding some of society's most celebrated artists and musicians, Lady Gaga among them. The creativity of artists like Gaga cannot be denied, but how influential is cannabis in aiding them with their gift?

There have actually been numerous studies to find the answer to this question. In one study performed in Washington (where cannabis is legal) participants were asked to come up with creative ideas for a stationary object, as well as ideas to promote a rock band. What the researchers found was that those who consumed cannabis became much more jovial, and thus found their ideas as well as those of other participants, more creative. However, to outside judges there was no impact on the creativity of the ideas for both groups, only the perception of creativity.

Another study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) wanted to see the effects of creativity among high-potency users, low-potency users, and non-users. What they found was those who were in the high dose group performed significantly worse on divergent thinking tasks than the low and non-users. Their conclusion is that cannabis has no effect on low-potency users, and actually impairs creativity among high-potency users.

Like all cannabis research, there is still a great deal to discover. Like all substances, the individual users need to do what works best for them and their body. However, there is something to the placebo effect. If an artist feels that consuming some cannabis helps in their process, who are we to stand in the way of their methods? Especially when we, as a society, are able to enjoy the products of their craft.

By Stephen Freedman

Regional Manager of the ERBA Markets, the WOODS, West LA, Venice, South Bay, and WeHo.

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