Looking to spark your next big idea? Spark a joint. A new study found that cannabis use was linked to higher brain function like thought and action.
Looking to spark your next big idea? Try sparking a joint.
A pilot Harvard study found that cannabis use in medical marjiuana patients was linked to improved brain function in the area used for with handling emotions and higher brain function like thought and action – a key part of our ability to make the authentic kind of work that resonates with others. How’s THAT for smashing the stereotype around unmotivated stoners?
So, there are obviously a ton of variables that will impact how cannabis’ affects this part of your brain, including what part of the cannabis plant you’re consuming and how much of it, but this finding in general could catalyze some users’ insights into how pot could help them. For example, have you ever noticed that you gravitate toward strains that make you super witty? Or, how about just super in-the-zone? Use this to your advantage and combine the two intentionally.
Think about it like this: when we smoke pot, we tend to perceive the world with heightened sensory awareness and deeply embody the present moment. We don’t think so much about the past, or the big picture, but rather, focus on what’s directly in front of us. In this state, there’s little room for the insecurity or imposter syndrome or the compulsion to second guess yourself (which can plague a lot of artists at work), and just a whole lot of room for sheer possibility.
Could it be that a small amount of cannabis could be the ticket you need to get over that initial hump of procrastination and take your creative practice in a new direction? There might be a sweet spot issue here when it comes to dose, and this might be the key here.
Another study measured amount of pot smoked against our ability to demonstrate ‘divergent thinking’ traits like flexibility and originality of thoughts and found that a low dose (5.5 mg of 19% THC) was conducive to more of those lateral thoughts – but a higher dose (22 mg THC) had a stronger, opposite impact, decreasing divergent thinking to below the group’s average score. So, yeah, there’s a fine line between focused and present and… falling in a mesmerized to your spinny-office chair.
If you have mastered your tolerance, though, and do find that cannabis tends to fire up your creativity, consider how you could incorporate it into your creative practice as a ritual in some way. Rituals allow us to create borders around things and mark passage a of time (ie – from ‘work’ to ‘studio’ time), which, in and of itself, can be hugely supportive for us when we prepare to create. Pay attention to what kind of work you produce with cannabis, vs. not with cannabis. Notice any patterns?
Here’s an example – astrophysicist Carl Sagan, a secret cannabis advocate, wrote in his anonymous marijuana chronicles, Mr. X: “I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for.” So, what ideas find you working high? Any recurring curiosities? Topics? If so, maybe you have a ganga muse. Don’t resist.