Cannabis and Art: The Secret Relationship Between Weed and Creativity

Cannabis and art

It has long been apparent that marijuana has some kind of a secret relationship with creativity, but the exact correlation between the two is still relatively vague and largely misunderstood.

I wanted to shed some light on this particularly compelling subject because the advantages of this bond can be positively exploited by many, but first, off we should unravel what exactly goes on behind the curtain, why does pot have this marvelous beneficial effect on us.

Creativity, in a nutshell, could be defined as the capacity to elevate an ordinary concept into a uniquely exceptional one, and highly creative individuals have an ability to react in an unusual (but still proper way) to any situation that’s in front of them, and by doing this reach new levels of ingenuity.

Dali Atomicus

It’s also been proven that you don’t have to possess a high IQ to be exceedingly creative, and IQ is definitely regarded as the more important aspect in modern society, which isn’t really a realistic viewpoint, especially for those who are focusing their goals on artistic accomplishments.

There is a pretty common belief that some people are just naturally more creative than others, and that people who possess a predominantly analytical mind shouldn’t focus too much of their strength on these creative processes, because they cannot expand their creativity.

On one hand, there are differences in the predestined amounts of creativity one naturally has, but all of us can expand our levels of imagination, without any exception whatsoever.

The difference between people

As Luke Smillie and Anna Antinori wrote in their article published by the Conversation, not all individuals have the same creative capacity, and among the five major personality traits, the so-called openness, (or openness to experience) is the most responsible trait for creativity.

These “open” people have a stronger desire to explore both the physical world, as well as the inner, personal plane.

This in-depth exploration can have truly astonishing effects on viewing something from all the possible angles, thus automatically causing more associations and a more complete view of the picture, no matter what exactly are you “looking at”.

So the exclusive traits of each person play a very important role in how we perceive the sheer fabric of reality, and the people who have this advanced openness to experience surely have an advantage over others in regards to creativity.

But luckily there are ways to affect your personality to be more “open” (to an extent), and these techniques include various cognitive trainings, psilocybin experimentation (psilocybin is the psychoactive component in magic mushrooms), and even frequent traveling, which is scientifically proven to broaden personal horizons.

One of the ways to enhance your creativity is also our dear cannabis.

What’s going on inside the brain while high on weed

THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid in pot, causes the brain to have longer uninterrupted thought patterns by shortening the time between breaks of neurons transmissions.

Normally the mind has these tiny pauses that serve as a tool to keep you calm and composed, but the THC keeps the flow of neural transmissions more constant, which leads to a “faster train of thought” so to say, and this can create some unusual ideas and concepts, which are at the core of creativity.

With the addition of increased secretion of dopamine that causes the blissful euphoria (which you should already find familiar), THC leads to some pretty heightened levels of ingenuity and imagination.

These two factors inspire and generate new ideas that would we could consider unimaginable otherwise because the chemistry and the way the brain operates while high is just so different from the normal state your mind is usually in.

Remembering things


But you should expect that there is a great probability that you’ll forget your ingenious idea while intoxicated by cannabis.

THC hinders the transformation of short-term memories into long-term ones, and because of this, it’s often quite difficult to recollect what concepts spawned in your mind while you were high.

This can be a serious handicap for creative pot enthusiasts, but it’s surmountable by simply recording your ideas, or just writing them down.

I also wanted to share with you some examples famous of musicians, artists and other creatives that are known to use marijuana to elevate their artistic processes, in case you’re unsure if you should dabble with pot to kickstart your creative juices.

Some of the history’s most creative individuals advocated for cannabis

Famous weed smokers

Louie Armstrong

The famed trumpet player was one of the first musicians to openly admit his admiration for the plant, and he stated in his autobiography that gage (as he used to call pot), was “a thousand times better than whiskey … it’s an assistant — a friend”.

Brian Wilson (of Beach Boys)

“Marijuana helped me write Pet Sounds.” (which is #2 best album of all times on the list of Rolling Stone magazine)

Bob Marley

Music and herb go together. It’s been a long time now I smoke herb. From the 1960s, when I first start singing.”

Bill Hicks

“See, I think drugs have done some good things for us, I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor: go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your CDs and burn ‘em. ‘Cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years… Real f****** high on drugs.”

Lady Gaga

“I smoke a lot of pot when I write music.”

Justin Timberlake

“Some people are just better high.”

Alanis Morissette

“As an artist, there’s a sweet jump-starting quality to marijuana for me. I’ve often felt telepathic and receptive to inexplicable messages my whole life. I can stave those off when I’m not high. When I’m high… well, they come in and there’s less of a veil, so to speak. So if ever I need some clarity… or a quantum leap in terms of writing something, it’s a quick way for me to get to it.”

Steve Jobs

“The best way I would describe the effect of the marijuana and the hashish is that it would make me relaxed and creative.”

Even though he wasn’t an artist in the full sense of the word, we can most definitely include him in this list of creative people.

So in conclusion, if you’re looking for a substance to elevate your thought process and make you think of something original and inspiring (and you don’t want to go too crazy with it), talk a walk on the green side, you surely won’t regret it.

Just remember to grab a piece of paper (or hit record on your phone if you’re playing an instrument), so the high ideas don’t have anywhere to run off to.

About the author
Marco Medic

A passionate cannabis enthusiast, Marco mainly writes about the latest research on cannabis use in health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Green Camp Logo

Please confirm your age

Are you over 19 years of age (over 18 in Alberta and Quebec)?

By entering, you agree to Greencamp's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.