Does cannabis make users more creative? A recent psychological study set out to figure out the old trope. Plenty of creatives have been cannabis users, but is their creativity somehow derived from their cannabis use? It’s a chicken-or-egg debate that we might finally have some sort of answer to.
Researchers examined 412 cannabis users and 309 non-users and put them through a series of tests designed to judge their creativity. Their findings showed that the cannabis users were more likely to employ “convergent thinking”–they used their creative process to narrow down several solutions to one. That said, researchers think that the cannabis use has less to do with the participants’ creativity level; what needs to be examined is more the kind of person who uses cannabis. Researchers found that cannabis users were more extroverted and open to new experiences in comparison to their non-using counterparts; it was their personalities that made them both more likely to dabble in weed and more creative.
“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,” said Emily LaFrance, the author behind the study. “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.”
It’s important to note that the study participants were not high while participating in the study; some research has tried to determine if being high will make you more creative, but no clear conclusions have been made.
Will weed make you more creative? It’s hard to know, but the people who make cannabis part of their lives are definitely more likely to also be creative; whether musicians, writers, artists, or other creatives, the open-mindedness that comes along with creativity means you’re more likely to at least try weed. We’ll just have to wait for more research to know if we, as creatives, should be smoking more while we’re trying to create.