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Crackpot Studies: Does Marijuana Reduce your Creativity

Crackpot Studies: Does Marijuana Reduce your Creativity

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 12/10/2014 in Medical Marijuana Research

Cannabis related studies have been on the rise of late, some of which tried to prove the medical efficacy of cannabis while others tried to debunk the benefits of marijuana use.  A more recent study from Leiden University in the Netherlands claims that cannabis use reduces creativity.  For the thousands of artists and musicians that use cannabis regularly the notion that the plant to reduces creativity is quite absurd.  But first, let’s take a closer look at what the study found and more importantly how it was conducted.

The study

The way this study went was that the researchers separated people into three groups.  In one group high levels of THC was consumed any other groups may either consumed a low dose of THC or a placebo.  After all test subjects were sufficiently under the influence they were asked to think of creative uses for a pen.  Those who consumed high amounts of THC have more difficult time to answer the question than those in the other groups.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that THC inhibits creativity.  This kind of study is known as divergent thinking tests.

Much more to creativity

Creativity is a lot more complex than just thinking about multiple uses of a pen.  Domain specific creativity relates to how create if an individual is within a specific discipline such as music, sculpting, writing and more.

In the study conducted that groups were only subjected to the divergent thinking, which does measure some form of creative thinking but falls short of assessing creativity as a whole.  More importantly, if THC indeed does reduce creativity one must ask why all those musicians, comedians, artists, actors and many more claim that cannabis helps with creativity.

There are many factors of this study that simply doesn’t make sense in the larger picture.  According to the study that decreased scores of the high THC Group were based on fluency, flexibility and originality of responses.  According to the researchers this means that THC hinders creativity.

Cannabis and artists

While thinking of multiple uses of a pen might touch a certain aspects of creativity, it does not embark the totality of the subject.  For instance, writing a song that has never existed before isn’t the same as thinking for alternative uses of a common object.  Similarly, painting and abstract artwork is completely different than writing a song.

As an artist and a cannabis user I can attest personally that cannabis can help stimulate the creative process by either taking you out of your track of mind allowing you to perceive your work from an alternative perspective, to simply connecting into the creative flow and producing things spontaneously.

There are millions of other cannabis smokers that will say the same thing.


Many creative people use cannabis to stimulate their creativity.  These people have found a way to use the active ingredient to their favor.  While this study and dresses a specific form of creativity it does not address all measurements of creativity and thus to claim that THC hinders creativity is merely a reaching to find something negative about cannabis.

The study says if you want to overcome writer’s block or any other creative gap, don’t spark up.  But whenever I’m suffering writer’s block, giving up smoking a bowl and giving me a few minutes to adjust usually does the trick.  Will this work for everyone?  Probably not, but it works for me.

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