Cannabis and the Creative Process
Science explains why marijuana is the best creative supplement.
Published on October 12, 2015

It is not a mystery that cannabis can alter one’s mental state. The question is, can that mental alteration aid a person’s creative process? In the past, cannabis has been described as a muse to bolster individuals to creative genius.

One of the key components of creativity is divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the brain’s ability to view things in a multitude of different ways. Due to divergent thinking, a person is able to look at things from different perspectives; in a way they have never looked at things before. Another one of marijuana’s primary properties that affects the creative process is the ability to increase hyper-priming, which is defined as an effect in psychology where encountering one concept makes related concepts more easily accessible.This allows one to draw connections between things that might not be evident at face value. The frontal lobe of the human brain is where this type of activity and these types of connections are made.

It has been scientifically determined that a person with a higher creativity level will show an abundance of activity in the brain’s frontal lobe area compared to a person with a lower creativity level. The frontal lobe is linked to sensory and memory centers throughout the brain. In other words, your personality is created, and rooted, in the frontal lobes of your brain. The frontal lobes are where “emotions, problem solving, reasoning, planning and other functions are managed,” and because of this, it is how the brain locates and communicates with information stored in other places of the brain. When talking about both high and low frontal lobe activity, Alice Flaherty of the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School states that when high and low creativity are compared, high creativity has both higher baseline frontal lobe activity and greater frontal increase while performing creative tasks. Flaherty suggests that frontal lobe activity generates one’s creative output.

The frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for stimulating a person’s creative drive. The frontal lobe of the brain acts as the headquarters for creative divergent thinking. Cannabis increases blood flow to the frontal lobe area of the brain, therefore, it can be said that cannabis can induce creativity. With more blood flow to the brain comes more activity, and with more activity comes more creativity.

Cannabis can also create an incentive for originality. This connection is supported by multiple studies which indicate marijuana’s ability to increase the release of dopamine in the human brain. Cannabis’ ability to create more blood flow to the frontal lobe, and its ability to increase the release of dopamine in the brain, establishes that cannabis encourages a creative mindset. Contrary to the stereotype of a person who uses cannabis, it is proven that cannabis helps and supports a person’s creative process and allows them to see things in a way that they were not necessarily able to see before.

MERRY JANE is based in Los Angeles, California and is dedicated to elevating the discussion around cannabis culture.
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