Spark Your Creativity with These Cannabis Strains

Creativity is not a science. If anything, it’s more of an anti-science: chaos in action. Drawing out the creative genius within is a very personal process, and cannabis won’t make it magically appear (unfortunately). However, the anecdotal evidence that there’s a link between creativity and cannabis is overwhelming. Ask a cannaseur if they feel they benefit creatively from cannabis and they’re incredibly likely to say yes. But does that really mean anything? Is perceived increased creativity valid? If so, should you use an indica or sativa for creativity?

indica or sativa for creativity rolling joint

The Science on Cannabis and Creativity

Studies are far too few in number, but they’ve got leads. This study points to cannabis use increasing blood flow in parts of the brain thought to be related to creativity — interesting, but ultimately inconclusive as not much is known. And another found that cannabis increased verbal fluency, a way of saying the ability to “think outside the box,” as well as personality traits connected to creative accomplishment.

However, when tested sober, cannabis users still scored higher than non-users on those tests (divergent thinking and positive trait schizotypy, respectively); so it leads to a bit of a chicken-egg dilemma. Does cannabis improve creativity or do creative people just tend to like cannabis?

Cannabis (like Creativity) is Personal

Regardless of our ability to prove a relation, many people are reporting creative benefits from cannabis – so we might as well give it a shot. The first question at hand: indica or sativa for creativity? In short, that depends. Indicas lead to sedation in many people, so sativa is the obvious choice for getting inspired — but not everyone reacts well to sativa strains. What makes one person over the moon with ideas will make another clammy with anxiety.

It’s important to be aware of how you react to cannabis in general. If, in the past, your sativa experiences have been more “stressful mind racing” than “got me in the flow,”  you’re not likely to get different results because you’re aiming for creativity this time. But we’ve got a list of strains that are most likely to do the job, including hybrids, sativas, and indicas. Also keep in mind that other factors like terpenes and flavonoids play a role.

indica or sativa for creativity line drawing of musician

Indica or Sativa for Creativity? Try These!

Here's a short list of indica or sativa for creativity recommendations. Let us know if there's any strains you've found to be personally inspiring!

  1. Blue Dream: Also known as Azure Haze, this sweet berry-tasting strain is known for providing a mentally invigorating yet also calm euphoric effect – exactly what you need for creative thinking and gathering the inspiration to get to making.
  2. Kali Mist: This strain is reported to help clear the mind from usual chatter, creating the room for inspiration and creativity; which it’s also said to boost, as well as motivation. Enjoy the earthy citrus flavor, then watch your imagination fly.
  3. Jillybean: If this strain were a jelly bean, it’d be orange – for both taste and the bold energy of the color. The conversant high loosens the mind and encourages creative thinking.
  4. Jack Herer: This popular strain is a dynamic hybrid that has wanted effects on both the body and mind, the high providing cerebral clarity and the ability to be conversant – great for brainstorming or collaborating. Also, look for cross-breeds of this woodsy and citrusy strain.
  5. LSD: Psychedelic and cerebral are two of the most common words that describe this indica, which is more mentally stimulating than most. LSD is a great strain for idea generating and creative-block-squashing.
  6. Chemdawg: When you need something really potent to get those creative wheels a churnin’ Chemdawg (also called Chemdog) is your strain. It’s also pungent, giving off an earthy diesel smell and known for creating an energetic high.

indica or sativa for creativity bud

In addition to trying different strains, try playing with the dosage. Many people find that while a little THC helps spark the creative fire, too much does the opposite. And try different ways of approaching creativity, from coloring to cooking.

Ready to start creating? Check out our online dispensary menu or stop by our Bremerton dispensary!

Does Cannabis Make You More Creative?

Some of our most celebrated creatives—artists, musicians, writers, and even scientists—swear by cannabis as a tool for driving creative breakthrough and inspiration.

Salvador Dali. Bob Marley. Shakespeare. Carl Sagan.

In one interview, megastar singer Lady Gaga revealed, “I smoke a lot of pot when I write music.”

These icons are far from exceptions. The prevalence of cannabis use in creative disciplines is widespread, to say the least. With the level of success these people have achieved, we cannot reasonably dismiss their claims of cannabis’ inspiring powers.

So what’s going on here? How can a plant increase such an abstract and high-level function like creativity?

What Is Creativity, Anyway?

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a step back and think about what creativity really is. A generally accepted definition is the “ability to see or create novel connections between disparate ideas and categories.”

When it’s put in scientific language, the meaning can sometimes feel a little abstract, so to bring the feeling home, self-described performance philosopher Jason Silva describes it like this:

“Marijuana enhances our ability to marvel: In some mysterious and uncannily recurring way, marijuana can induce an almost ‘synesthetic ecstasy,’ whereby a loosening of the usually firm borders that separate our five senses allows for a broader, deeper, more profound, and often time-dilated “interpretation” and “internalization” of moment-to-moment experience.”

The Science of Creativity

The science of creativity is a pretty nebulous endeavor. It’s hard to truly pin down something so ephemeral and subjective, but that certainly doesn’t stop anyone from trying.

So how do you quantify creativity?

Studies investigating this field look at a number of different ways to measure it. Some look at “divergent thinking,” atypical answers to problems. Some look at the number of creative associations a person can create to different prompts, like “How many words can you name starting with the letter ‘p’?” or “How many plants can you name?”

Studies show that cannabis increases this number.

It’s a good start, but it’s still a challenge. Verbal measures are not the ultimate measure of creativity (unless you’re a rapper). There is plenty of creative thought independent of verbal skills but measuring it is a major challenge.

Cannabis and Creativity and the Brain

Amongst cannabis’ many biological effects are its ability to reduce what is called “latent inhibition,” mediated by a neurotransmitter called GABA.

We naturally filter out a lot of the sensory data coming at us all the time. It would be a little overwhelming otherwise. Cannabis reduces this filtering effect, shows us more of the world, so to speak, more connections, more patterns that we may have otherwise filtered out. It also increases cerebral blood flow to the prefrontal cortex a brain region associated with pattern recognition, novelty seeking, and… yep, creativity.

How to Use Cannabis For Creativity

To be clear, cannabis isn’t just some all-access pass to unbridled creativity. It has its downside: tolerance.

The more you use cannabis, the less effective it becomes and the less creative you may be in life.

The best use of cannabis for creativity, like many things, is moderation. It can be rocket fuel for creative leaps and making new novel connections, but if you become dependent, it can rob you of your spark.

Use it wisely!

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