Do you puff before strumming your guitar strings, mix paints on your pallet, put pencil to pad? You are not alone.
Cannabis has long been a key to creativity’s temperamental lock. Prolific visionaries from George Carlin to Rihanna to Steve Jobs have reportedly used cannabis to facilitate their process. Studies have found that cannabis plays a constructive role in artistic creation, as it helps the brain connect ideas that, while sober, appear to be unrelated. Psychologists and spiritual leaders alike believe that cannabis activates the pineal gland — a literal third eye that rests between the brain’s two hemispheres. Lit up by cannabis, this gland physically floats between imagination and logic; insights and the capacity to write them down.
So whether you are used to consuming before creating, or you're new to experimenting, a little mindfulness and playfulness can help you maximize your artistic ability.
Studies have shown that meditation boosts creativity, in part because it opens your mind to new ideas and helps you recognize good ideas when they float by. After cannibinating via your preferred method, set aside 10 minutes to light a candle and focus on your breathing. This will allow your cannabis-elevated mind to drop into a quiet place where inspiration can flow freely.
Stay Off Social Media
Avoid squandering what precious time you have to create by accidentally falling down a “dogs that look like pastries” rabbit hole. Social media is addictive by design, and you may be particularly susceptible to the dopamine hits offered by the Instagram’s delicious notifications if you start to scroll while stoned.
So try downloading a free program like Self Control, which can help you block access to certain sites while you’re working, and leave your phone in another room. (If you need it for whatever you’re doing, try switching it to airplane mode.)
Stock Your Workspace With Books and Toys
Accept that your mind is apt to wander. Anticipate this by surrounding yourself with bite-sized distractions that will nourish your curiosity, rather than stifle it.
If you’re a tactile person, store some Silly Putty on your desk so that you have something to keep your hands busy when you’re feeling blocked.
If visual stimulation's your thing, keep a jar of colored pencils handy for quick doodles that will keep you in your right brain even while you need a break from typing.
If you're a bookworm, assemble a small stack of reading material that will offer quick snippets of stimulation. Lately, I’ve been thumbing through David Sedaris’ recent collection of diary entries 'Theft by Finding' and Robert Franks’ iconic photography collection 'The Americans' for a quick reprieve from both work and the internet.
Get Up, Stand Up
There’s a reason ‘aha’ moments come so frequently while we’re in the shower, walking the dog, or doing dishes. Standing has been proven to improve cognitive function. So to avoid the sluggishness that sometimes accompanies cannabis use, try standing as you work. You can even turn pieces of furniture into a makeshift standing desks — a tall dresser, or high top table, perhaps.
If your craft is one that requires sitting, set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to get up and stretch or dance around a little every hour or so.
Use The Right Stuff
While using cannabis before a project can help with energy and focus, going with the wrong strain or misgauging your dose can easily derail the best laid plans. Avoid the indicas you might use for passive activities like watching TV, and opt instead for lighter sativas and hybrids.
Start with a small amount before you intend to get working. You can always have a little more on your next snack break. If you’re using edibles, look for something that allows you to carefully calibrate small doses in increments of around 5mg. Ideally, you want just enough of a dose to help you slip into the creative flow without suddenly inspiring you to take a nap.