Many of the world's most famous artists have used marijuana. The Beatles, Willie Nelson, Seth Rogen and even Miley Cyrus have all used cannabis at some point during their careers. But does using marijuana make people more creative?
Well, sort of.
A recent psychological study attempted to determine whether or not marijuana actually makes people more creative. They examined 412 cannabis users and 309 non-users and put them through a series of tests to judge their creativity. They found that marijuana users were able to more effectively demonstrate "convergent thinking," meaning they used their creative process to narrow down several solutions into one.
But the psychologists behind the experience say marijuana has nothing to do with those results. Instead, it's the type of people who use marijuana that's important. They found that the cannabis users in the study were more likely to be extraverted and open to new experiences than non-cannabis users. The researchers said it was this personality trait, not the use of marijuana, that made the cannabis users more effective at creative thinking.
“The average person should understand that according to the results of this study, cannabis users may be more creative than non-users, but this is not because using cannabis has increased their creativity. Instead, cannabis users tend to have different personality traits (they are more open to experience) than non-users, and this openness to experience is associated with both cannabis use, and heightened creativity,” said Emily LaFrance, the author behind the study.
It should be noted that all of the cannabis users in the study were not high while being evaluated. There are some studies that have delved into whether the actual use of marijuana leads to more creativity, but the results are mixed.
So if you think using marijuana will make you more creative, it probably won't. But if you're even considering it, then there's a good chance you're a more independent thinker than you thought.