A surprising correlation between smoking cannabis and levels of creativity has been found by new research, indicating that the drug has no effect on creative thinking – but does impact how the user sees themselves And the others.
A team of researchers conducted a number of experiments on how moderate daily cannabis use can affect users’ ability to think creatively and judge the level of creativity of others.
Inspired by the common perception that cannabis has certain creativity-enhancing properties, study author Christopher Barnes, Endowed Professor Michael G. Foster at the University of Washington, states the need to study the cognitive effects of drug since it was legalized in the United States. States.
“We thought there might be more nuance to the topic and the research literature should be expanded accordingly. A natural first step was to examine cannabis and creativity, given the common belief that they are linked. Barnes told Psypost.
The team recruited 191 participants from Washington state to take part in the first of two survey methods. The task required the group to generate as many creative uses for a brick as possible, either within 15 minutes of smoking cannabis or after 12 hours of abstinence. Participants were asked to complete the required study tasks at their own pace and submit their results remotely.
Creativity levels were assessed by an independent evaluation team and given a creativity score based on the usefulness of the idea as well as its uniqueness. The first method found that although stoned participants reported increased joviality, their cannabis use had no significant effect on their level of creativity.
For the second method, the team brought together a different group of 140 participants from the same state. This group was asked to imagine that they were working for a consulting company and needed to help generate ideas to increase revenue for a local group named File Drawers. The group then had to judge the creativity levels of each other’s ideas, which were produced by a completely different creativity task.
This method found the same results of increased joviality, with no effect on creativity levels. However, this method revealed a significant increase in self-rated creativity and other rating after cannabis use.
Although the findings of these studies indicate an effect on cognitive function resulting from cannabis use, a number of variables could affect their results.
The article reported a wide variation in what would be considered “moderate” cannabis use between participants, indicating that some used significantly more than others. The cannabis used throughout also came from the participants themselves and was not provided by the research team, meaning there may have been variables associated with potency and the strains used.
Despite the minor limitations of the studies, research like this on the effects of cannabis on cognitive function takes on increasing importance as the number of users in US states grows with legislative changes.
The study is published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.