Cannabis and Creativity

May, 2018
If you ask 100 different people to explain what “creativity” means to them, you’re probably going to get 100 different answers. The idea of creativity – its definition, the subjects to which it can be applied (art, science, music, etc.), the individuals who express enough of it to be classified as “creative” – is surprisingly hard to agree upon. It varies between cultures and generations, between professions and hobbyists. Here at Releaf, we believe that all individuals carry the potential of having creative thoughts. Before you stop us and say, “I never have been, and never will be a creative person,” let us explain. To us, creativity doesn’t just mean the ability to create a painting or write a song. Not everyone is an artist or a musician, but that doesn’t mean they’re unable to create new and useful thoughts or ideas. We’re all capable of creative thoughts, whether it be coming up with solutions to problems, or just thinking about the world in a different light. This is creativity too! Let’s use the example of a middle-aged woman who has been struggling with chronic pain for the past 10 years. She’s gone to see countless doctors, all of whom prescribe her medications to treat her pain (all of which come with their own side-effects). Her pain does in fact subside at times, but never has any lasting improvement. Her exit strategies are stuck on continuing to visit doctor after doctor, popping pill after pill. She doesn’t see that there could be a different way out. Here’s where our favorite plant comes in. By now, you’ve probably heard how cannabis can significantly reduce chronic pain without the side-effects that come with powerful opiates…but that’s not what we’re about to discuss. For decades, admirable philosophers, musicians, scientists and the like have credited cannabis to helping them come up with their best ideas, songs, and concepts. But what about our chronic pain patient, drowning in a sea of prescriptions and doctors’ visits? Cannabis (albeit a light dose) has been credited for increasing traits like flexibility, fluency, and originality….all traits that are uniquely expressed through one’s personality. Cannabis can help us think through things we normally have trouble with, allowing us to visualize and notice things we would normally overlook. This can certainly be applied to art or music, but can also be useful in releasing ourselves from a thinking trap. Our chronic pain patient very well may benefit creatively from cannabis. It may help her see that additional years of medication switching and stacking aren’t likely to get her anywhere. It may help her recall a statistic she read about the physically therapeutic effects of massage, and be encouraged to schedule one. Or the health benefits that come with positive thinking, cutting back on sugar, or, as we’ll mention again, reducing her pain meds and supplementing with more natural remedies…like cannabis. Have you ever been stuck on a problem, then had the obvious solution unfold and present itself to you in an “AHA” moment?  Some people like to use meditation or exercise (like going on a run) to coax out clear and creative thoughts. Cannabis can achieve the same thing. Try it! Just remember not to take too high of a dose, as this can backfire and actually block new and interesting thoughts (hint: record your experience so you can monitor your dose and find your personal sweet spot). So sit back, relax, start a session, and let your creativity flow.

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