Whether it was Hemingway writing literary classics from a hotel bar, the Beatles making “Sergeant Pepper’s” in an explosion of Flower Power, or Bob Marley puffing biblical quantities of sinsemilla while recording dozens of classic hits, the associations between altered states and creativity are well-documented. But can cannabis really help someone be more creative, or is it simply part of the artistic lifestyle for already wildly talented individuals? In this piece, we’ll explore ways you can utilize cannabis to explore your own creative inclinations or as a tool to enhance creative pursuits and hobbies that you may already have.
Step 1: Finding Inspiration
Among the many benefits of Cannabis is how it heightens our sensory perception, making us more thoughtful observers of the world around us. Interestingly, it also fosters unconventional patterns of thinking, which are hugely helpful when it comes to being creative. Because in reality, inspiration isn’t just a bolt out of the blue; it’s a by-product of unexpected things connecting memorably and paying enough attention to notice them. The key to inspiration is to change your context in a way that takes you out of yourself or be somewhere things are happening around you that are new, unexpected, or otherwise absorbing. Is it people-watching in a cool urban café? A walk through a leafy park to appreciate nature on your door-step? A peak experience like going to an art exhibition or a live music performance? Or is it just a quiet moment to yourself by a pool on holiday to take stock and let experiences and past moments and feelings filter through and coalesce? Cannabis can help you capture those magic moments when they do happen as long as you are ready with your creative tools to hand – a notebook, a sketch-pad, a camera, a musical instrument, or by using your cell-phone to make voice memos. Sativa’s that can provide a heady and energizing high are perfect for helping stimulate your mind and help you feel the moment’s emotion.
Step 2: Create your rituals
So you’ve got an idea, and you’re feeling inspired. The hard work starts now in terms of developing, making, crafting, doing… It’s a process that requires focus, application, and the willingness to avoid judging yourself. Thoughts like “This will never come out as good as I imagined” are toxic to your creativity. You have to be willing to go with it and enjoy the process for its own sake. Rituals can help. Whether you are power-dressing (what is power dressing?) for a meeting or burning incense before meditation, rituals help us to get into a desired frame of mind and stay there – in this case, the prolonged focus we need to do creative work and the willingness not to judge what we’re making – especially if you are starting a new creative hobby that you’ve never done before. Smoking or mindfully taking cannabis can form part of your own creative ritual – rather like burning a candle or playing a singing bowl (what is a singing bowl?). Its powerful sensory qualities can lend some magic to your creative habits that are inspiring in and of itself. Choosing a strain with a mellow and body rather than overly heady kind of high, so it compliments your need for sustained focus, and the intensity of the cannabis doesn’t prove (pleasantly) distracting all on its own.
Step 3: Cultivate your flow
Being creative is a habit or a practice – whether writing, playing music, or painting, the trick is repetition and persistence (or ‘perspiration’ as the old saying goes). The purpose of this is two-fold: learning and improving your craft and so you can put in the time that leads to ‘happy accidents’ – accidental discoveries that are sometimes more rewarding than what you set out to make or do. Getting into a flow state that enables learning and spontaneous creation to occur requires a context of its own. Rituals are part of that, but so is the ability to lose yourself in the process and be absorbed without interruption – something that is harder and harder to do in our always-on world. Certain strains are particularly well-suited to this kind of deep and concentrated state, as are low-dose edibles whose effects kick in slowly and gently and are sustained. Remember – creativity is a practice that anyone can cultivate. It’s a process and way of thinking. Cannabis can genuinely enhance your creative process when used mindfully, but it won’t make you more creative by itself. For more advice on what formats and strains suit your creative style, chat to one of our budtenders. We got you.