You have a great idea for a book. Or a screenplay. And that idea has been bouncing around your head for a long time. But every time you try to sit down and create, there is a voice inside you that tells you it won’t be good enough. No one will like it. And so, you give up.
That voice is known to creative types as “the imposter syndrome.” And it is a powerful psychological roadblock to creativity. But what if you could silence, or at least turn down the volume of that voice to allow you to write? Or paint, or compose music?
This sounds like a job for Sativa! Throughout human history, cannabis has been used to spark the creative muse. Secretly, for fear of legal trouble. Not so secretly, and incurring problems with the law. We’re talking about you, Willie Nelson.
If you are thinking about using cannabis to promote creativity, you aren’t alone. You can probably list about ten contemporary artists you know that do the same thing.
Famous People That Used Cannabis Strains for Creativity
Some of the most famous pop culture icons and work can be credited to cannabis use. Today, vocalists like Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Doctor Dre produce creatively with cannabis. And, of course, anything by the iconic Willie Nelson.
Is it that cannabis enhances creativity or simply removes the cognitive ‘noise’ to allow ideas to flow better? We still don’t fully understand it. But there are plenty of examples of high-functioning people using cannabis that experienced blockbuster success.
Hunter S. Thompson
Founder of the “Gonzo Journalism Movement.” More recently, that would be similar to the style of the late Anthony Bourdain. Creative storytelling through the experience of the author, which revolutionized journalism. Today, social media influencers use the same method.
The late Hunter S. Thompson wrote books including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “The Rum Diary.” The author was no stranger to cannabis and psychedelics. And frequently commented on using both to fuel his creative writing.
A pandemic was all it took to spark a new hobby for the creative and brilliant Seth Rogen. Have you seen his pottery yet? Rogen is a quadruple threat kind of creative; a writer, producer, actor, and artist.
If you have ever watched his movies or listened to an interview with Seth Rogen, you know how he feels about weed. Recently, his pre-show smoke sesh helped him land in the front row of Adele’s CBS special.
The use of cannabis to spark creativity goes back a long way. In 2015, some 400-year-old pipes were unearthed in Shakespeare’s former home. And while disputed, the pipes appeared to contact cannabis residue. Suddenly, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” makes a lot more sense.
Steve Jobs led an unconventional life of creativity. The brains behind the marketing phenomenon of Apple products. The Steve Jobs patent included the iMac®, the iPod®, the iPhone®, and the iPad®. He also helped perfect the touch-screen technology that took electronic devices to the next level.
“The best way I could describe the effect of the marijuana and hashish is that it would make me relaxed and creative.” —Steve Jobs
Now that cannabis legalization is more widespread, people are a little more comfortable disclosing use. From media, movies, and music to best-selling novels, cannabis is a tool that helps creative thought. And helps creatives formulate those thoughts and ideas into products, services, design, art, and music.
Do Indica Strains of Cannabis Make You Creative Too?
We wanted to poll some cannabis users to determine if Indica strains had a similar effect. But, they were all napping at the time we reached out. And they had no comment.
We’re kidding, of course. But the truth is that Indica cannabis isn’t used to promote energy. Or creative thought, or motivate you to get a project done. You know that thing you’ve been putting off? You probably aren’t going to get to it after consuming Indica cannabis.
Indica strains have the opposite effect. Where Sativa’s can make your brain very active, Indica’s are known for a dumbing-down effect. When you actually don’t want to think about anything more substantial than what you will watch on Netflix. And then… ahhh!… relaxation.
People who have anxiety disorders, for example, may use Indica’s as an ‘end of day’ strain. When you have a lot of chatter going on in your head, and things get cognitively loud, Indica’s can provide relief. And they’re great, as long as you don’t plan to go anywhere or do anything ambitious for 5-7 hours.
Imagine your brain as a giant chalkboard with many ideas, concerns, and a checklist of things to do. A Sativa can make you want to complete those things. An Indica? The psychoactive effect is more like wiping that chalkboard completely clean and then ordering a pizza.
Energy and Creativity Overload: Why Hybrid Strains May Be Better
After taking a Sativa, have you ever been high and found your brain uncomfortably activated? It’s not the same as greening out. You may not feel bad, or nauseous, or need to lay down. But some strains are so cerebral that the stimulation can be a bit exhausting.
For example, pure Sativa cannabis can make you happy. And energetic. And all of a sudden, you are getting incredible ideas. Solutions to problems. Concepts for a new book or screenplay. Or maybe you grab some paints and start creating something on a canvas. Those are good things if being creative was your goal.
But what if you experience all those impulses at the same time? How you will feel depends on a number of factors, including your body chemistry, mood, and the strain’s potency. But the last thing you want to experience is a hyper manic state, where you want to do everything. Right now.
That could work to your advantage if you are supercharged and ready to clean the garage or organize your tax receipts in one day. But for most people, being supercharged is an energy and creativity overload. And you may find concentration and focus a little more complicated.
Hybrid cannabis strains may be a better choice for you—a more controlled boost to your energy and creativity. And the ability to still get things done with focus. The secret to using cannabis to increase productivity is finding the right balance with the right strain.
Cannabis Strains for Creativity
Ask your budtender about strains at your local dispensary that are specifically known to enhance creativity. Some of the best types can be hard to find, depending on where you live. If that isn’t motivation for packing up and visiting another state for a creative sabbatical, nothing is.
Some strains to explore for a creative boost include:
Kali Mist (90%) Sativa
Alaska Thunder Grape
Be careful about your selection of cannabis strains for creativity. Some creative strains can also create paranoia. And the last thing you want is to be home alone, thinking creatively about stuff that scares you. Check your strain profile carefully with your budtender to avoid +paranoia strains.