Cannabis has long been in the middle of a love triangle with creativity and laziness. To make things even more complicated, it’s very hard to say when and why exactly cannabis can migrate from one and to the other. In their many efforts to figure this out, neuroscientists, researchers, psychologists and aspiring and established artists seem to have come to the somewhat vague conclusion that as with most things, it’s mostly a matter of moderation, and respectively forgetting all about it.
And when it comes to cannabis consumption, what makes moderation and balance easier and more precise than ever? Concentrates. In that regard, cannabis oil distillate and creativity could possibly become the new match made in heaven, and the fruit of their love might be more and more Eureka! moments.
Artists and Cannabis
Up to 50% of cannabis users believe cannabis boosts their creativity(1). Manyartists like writer and director Benjamin Dickinson have seen their long-pondered ideas emerge in high definition amidst heavy cannabis smoke (2).
“Suddenly I was making connections I’d never made. I felt creatively free. I felt a new connection to the absurd and the bizarre and a comfort being in those places, so it really was a wonderful tool,” Dickinson shares with musician and songwriter Aaron Lammer on the latter’s podcast Stoner.
But many of those artists soon recognize that the positive effect cannabis has on their creativity eventually reaches a plateau and even starts shifting. Even George Michael who used to be one of cannabis’s most devoted supporters went through such a stage:
“I’d say it’s a great drug—but obviously it’s not very healthy. You can’t afford to smoke it if you’ve got anything else to do,” he said in 2006.“It can be a terrible, terrible drug. You’ve got to be in the right position to take it. You’ve got to have achieved most of your ambitions because it chills you out to such a degree that you could lose your ambitions.”(3)
Even when it’s not a matter of being unmotivated as a result of excessive cannabis use over long periods of time, many artists say that being too high tends to blur their ideas rather than crystallizing them.
THC and Creativity
THC has been proven to not just increase dopamine, but also divergent thinking since it highly resembles anandamide, a natural neurotransmitter that is like a catalyst of connections in the brain(4). This is one of the properties that has earned THC so many supporters.
But just like anything that has to do with the brain, it’s hardly that simple. A 2015 study from Leiden University in the Netherlands found that it’s all about the dosage. It showed that a low dose (5.5 mg of 19% THC) slightly boosts creativity, whereas a dose of 22mg significantly decreases it(5).
And the variables don’t end there. To the best of our knowledge, it’s THC that is both creativity’s main sidekick and arch-nemesis, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one. Since those experiments were all performed with cannabis flowers rather than concentrates, it would be almost impossible to determine the exact role each compound played in those scenarios, as well as their entourage effect.
Distillate and Concentrates
This is where concentrates could possibly be of huge benefit. Since they isolate different cannabis compounds, taking away the entourage effect, experts could possibly come much closer to pinning down the exact influence each one of them has on creativity. After that, mixes of two and more compounds, including added-in terpenes, could be tested with regards to divergent thinking, and through trial and error, the absolute creativity booster could eventually come to fruition.
But even if that remains an uncharted territory, distillate is still the best option in terms of a controlled creativity supplement, as much as something as elusive as creativity could be controlled. Cannabis users outside of lab test environments could experiment and regulate their dosage much more easily and precisely in order to maximize their chances of epiphanies.
Who knows, one day, we might see a trend of cannabis concentrates being used to help artists reach their creative potential just like LSD micro-doses are being used by Silicon Valley professionals to help them reach their mental one altogether (6).