MARIJUANA AND CREATIVITY
Some people say that marijuana makes them feel creative and relaxed. But, is there any truth to this? Are marijuana and creativity somewhat linked? Yes, it does, if you are usually a creative person, of course. Though many people think marijuana promotes creativity even in the less creative minds. Whether you are a plastic artist, writer, designer, your creative expression is the result of a spark that is mostly indefinable. However, there is a universal struggle that affects all the creative minds at least once in their lifetimes: The dreaded creative block, the loss of inspiration, that moment when you think you run out of creativity forever. Of course, that won’t happen, but it’s scary, and that’s where you can get some help from marijuana.
How Marijuana and Creativity Work Together?
All the story starts with a neurotransmitter called dopamine (contraction of 3, 4-dihydroxyphenethylamine), which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is generally linked to pleasure and reward. Dopamine, though, has a big influence on two cognitive processes that are intimately linked to creativity: Divergent thinking and convergent thinking.
Though creativity per se is something hard to measure in an objective way, these two cognitive processes play a decisive role in creativity. Divergent thinking is a thought process exploring multiple ways and solutions to generate creative thoughts and ideas. Divergent thinking is associated with brainstorming and though it works along with convergent thinking, it’s not straightforward. Actually, the word “divergent” refers to development in different directions. Divergent thinking is all about opening your mind and let the ideas flow. People with dominant divergent thinking are curious, non-conformist and playful. Divergent thinking occurs in a free-flowing, “non-linear”, spontaneous way.
Convergent thinking, on the other hand, works in the opposite direction to divergent thinking: it’s generally the type of thinking that focuses on single, well-established and organized answer to a problem. Convergent thinking basically takes a bunch of loosely-organized ideas and organize them finding a common thread between them. Convergent thinking is what we use in decision making, and on multiple-choice tests. It doesn’t trigger creativity per se, but it works in conjunction with divergent thinking to make our mind perfectly articulated.
Though dopamine is often seen as the “reward neurotransmitter”, it’s also true that, when its levels are high enough, it boosts divergent thinking, that is, it makes creativity bloom.
And what does have marijuana to do with this? That’s when marijuana and creativity meet, because THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main cannabis component present in marijuana, the psychoactive one, the one that makes you high, and relaxed and happy happens to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain.
And since dopamine produces a feeling of euphoria and wellbeing (reward and pleasure) it is more than likely that all those feelings of hesitation and block that make you feel gloomy and un-creative simply go away. So, you boost your dopamine with some marijuana, and dopamine make you happy. And happy people don’t have negative thoughts that is, precisely what makes a creative block. So, in short, marijuana is a catalyst to free your creativity from its prison of gloom.
But everything has a trick, right? It is important to consider, though, that when it comes to creativity boost not all strains are created equal. Basically, it all comes down to what is preventing your creativity from flowing freely.
If you feel too exhausted to sit down and do some creative writing, like writing an article or writing few pages of your new novel, then some sativa strain will be the answer for you, since it will give you a boost of imagination and energy that will keep you inspired.
On the other hand, if you’re an artist who needs to calm down before working on your creative work, or if you’re feeling stressed out and anxious about the boredom of everyday life, then indica strain is the way to go to relax and get that sense of wellbeing that might be inhibiting the source of your inspiration. It will always depend on what works best for you.