I have been a creative person my entire life. Creativity comes easily for me and I’m always busy smashing things or taking things apart and re-configuring it in new and exciting ways. For the creative individual – having weed or not is irrelevant. Creation is just something you do.
However – this doesn’t mean that cannabis doesn’t serve a purpose for the creative individual either. Creative people have been using cannabis for thousands of years to create art and music, write literature and explore philosophy. For the majority of users – cannabis is simply a tool to assist with the creative process yet for others, cannabis becomes the way to create and acts more as a crutch than a tool.
Today we’ll be looking at different reasons why artists and creative individuals like to use cannabis – and when you should consider cutting back if you’re using it exclusively to create.
Why do people like cannabis for creativity?
I could scrounge around and Frankenstein a few studies together in order to create a scientific argument for why people like cannabis for creativity – but I believe it would serve the larger good if we keep this blog more practically inclined.
It helps you relax:
One of the first reasons why people tend to like cannabis for creativity is that it helps you relax but also keeps you engaged. If you were to smoke a mild “sativa” strain – a strain that provides an energetic high – you’d be able to “let go” without dosing off.
This is one key aspect of being creative – to flow. Nobody associates ‘rigidness’ with creativity. Cannabis allows you to not take yourself too seriously and have fun, to engage with the content and not what the ego thinks the rewards of the creative endeavor would provide.
This is one of the major blocks in creativity – thinking too much about what you are doing. It’s like Eugen Herrigal explained in his book “Zen in the Art of Archery” where “he talks about the endless practice and a loss of self in the moment, of lack of ego and respect for the moment, the bow, the arrow, the target and the ceremony in its entirety…” – Source
Similarly, when an artist creates something new – there is a sense of “loss of self” and an absorption into the medium. When you’re overthinking the activity – you tend to get locked in a state of “trying to achieve something” and in turn interrupt the flow of creativity.
It encourages neuroplasticity
One of the benefits of using cannabis for creativity is that it encourages neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a state where the brain undergoes “change over time”. This is through the strengthening or weakening of synapses in the brain.
More neuroplasticity means an easier ability to adapt to change, which is a telltale sign of the creative individual. Creative people are often touted as people who can see “outside of the box”. This in fact is an expression of neuroplasticity in that, “you can think outside of the constraints of your own neural networks”.
When consuming cannabis – you enter into a temporary state of heightened neuroplasticity that can allow the individual to perceive whatever they are doing – from another perspective. Sometimes – a mere shift in perspective can be enough to get all those creative juices flowing.
Euphoria and Feel Goods helps
You don’t need “the feel goods” to create amazing art – but it certainly helps. When you’re having fun, enjoying the moment – you can really let go and allow yourself to simply express whatever bottled up emotion you may be experiencing.
Creativity is all about expression and when you’re not “in your head” but rather “flowing from the heart” – you tend to make better art.
Of course – creativity goes beyond just “artistic expression”. By art I refer to everything from engineering to chemistry, whatever means you choose to express your creativity is art.
When Cannabis is counter productive
While I’d love to say that cannabis is “simply good” – the truth is that creativity can be stifled by cannabis. I’m sure there are plenty of artists reading this that said, “I’ll just smoke this joint and then get to _______ [Fill in the blank]” only to find yourself plopped on a couch watching cartoons.
Too much cannabis can be detrimental to the creative process – especially if it impedes you to access the flow state. However – In these instances, knowing your own tolerance levels will allow you to better judge how much and what strains you should smoke to edge you into the realm of “flow”.
Additionally – if you exclusively NEED cannabis to create – you might be using it as a crutch. Cannabis is only a tool and if used correctly can be of great benefit to the creative individual. However – if you can’t be creative unless you smoke weed, we recommend taking a slight break from smoking.
Work through the creative blocks without cannabis in you – allow yourself to break your own limiting belief that “I can only create with weed”. Even if your first works after taking a break from smoking isn’t as “good” as you’d like – it doesn’t matter. Creativity is a muscle that can be trained to perform on command.
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