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?
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? 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.