How Does Weed Affect Creativity?

Artists and scientists alike have long wondered how cannabis affects creativity, and in recent years research has begun to shed light on how using weed can make us more creative. However, part of the problem has always been settling on a universal definition of creativity. We generally think of creativity as one's ability to adapt to his or her current situation and make novel connections between uncorrelated ideas, concepts, or events, but the way someone's creativity can manifest is unique to each person and situation.

Also, keep in mind that everyone experiences the effects of using marijuana differently, and the amount of cannabis one consumes definitely plays a part in how the herb affects creativity. To help you better understand the role cannabis can play in the inspiration of new ideas, here we talk about how weed affects creativity.

1. Cannabis increases cerebral blood flow (the amount of blood in the brain at a particular time) in the frontal lobe, which has been shown to positively affect creativity in several ways. It stimulates the creative drive, which causes us to come up with new ideas, divergent thinking, which allows us to “brainstorm” and imagine several possible solutions to a problem, and convergent thinking, which helps us choose the best solution to a problem. However, moderation is key here, as a 2015 study from Leiden University in the Netherlands found that high doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can actually hinder creativity so much that users are less creative than when sober.


2. Cannabis helps users relax, manage stress, and think about their problems or worries more objectively. 


3. Cannabis increases dopamine levels in the brain. This is good for divergent thinking, which is at its best when your dopamine levels are high, but detrimental for convergent thinking, which is at its best when your dopamine levels are low.


4. The affects weed can have on one's memory can also impact one's creativity. Research shows that most people who use cannabis have problems consolidating new short-term memories into long-term memories, which explains why you have quickly forgotten so many of the wonderful ideas you've had while under the influence of cannabis.


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