Jamaican Reggae Artist Protoje Creates an Energetic Feedback Loop Through Music

Oje Ken Ollivierre—the Jamaican artist known professionally as Protoje—is a thoughtful, contemplative individual—a thinker, if you will, who is consciously aware of his role as a creator and his responsibility as a creator to share what’s most authentic to him with the rest of the world.

Born into a family of music-minded parents, music started as a hobby for Protoje and eventually took form as a career once he made the conscious decision to go all-in and dedicate himself to his craft. His latest album Third Time’s A Charm acts as a culminating expression of his life experiences and feelings that have brought him through to the present moment.

When we connect over Zoom, Protoje is in a happy, expressive mood—having just taken a quick puff—and from a free and open mindset begins to share his journey through music, his relationship with cannabis, how he channels a higher power for his music’s creation, and how that higher power gives life to further music creation, performance, and sustenance.

High Times: Growing up in a musical family with both parents being musicians, was music always the path for you growing up in that environment?

Protoje: I really wanted to be an athlete first. I wanted to be a long distance runner and was obsessed with basketball in my teens. I always loved music and was involved in it, but it was like a hobby to me.

A little bit before I left high school I started to realize that the idea of getting a job or working somewhere was not sitting well. Not realizing the work it would take to be an artist, I thought maybe I could become one. Everyone was telling me how good I was and I could see how they were reacting [to my music]. So I declared that I was going to be an artist and that was what I was going to do [for “work”].

What was it about the artistic lifestyle that you realized was different from running, different from having a nine-to-five—what was it that really captivated your spirit?

To be honest, it was people’s reactions to hearing me DJ or doing other stuff. I just thought it would be a good way for me to express myself. I think where I felt most natural and felt most happy and content was writing music and singing it to my friends. I would get very excited and it’s what brought me joy.

So there’s a fulfillment element then that being on stage and expressing yourself provides, perhaps in a way that other occupations may not.

I think so. As simple as it is, I just didn’t want to have to report to anyone. I grew up with parents who always helped me feel very free. They had such busy schedules that they just kind of let me set my schedule, so it was very hard for me to adjust to operating on someone else’s clock. Doing so takes away my joy, so I knew that while I wanted to pursue music, I’d also have to do it under my own label. I just really didn’t want to have to report to someone, so I built my entire creative process around that.

When expressing yourself through music, is there a mission that you’re trying to fulfill or is it just an expression of yourself and music happens to be the tool to do that through?

I’ve found that the most honest way to approach music is to speak about experiences and the meaning that I derive from the way that I see things. That to me is me being my most honest self, and doing that is the most important thing for me musically.

So I may feel some way about something and I think the feeling is valid. After sitting with that feeling, I express it. A year later, I may be going through something else, but once it is valid and honest in me, I express it.

The overarching theme is to appreciate—to live in the moment of gratitude—to make use of the time that you have as best as you can. That’s really what I try to do as an individual. Because of that, that’s what my music tends to focus on.

When I listen to my music—look, I have to sing these songs everyday. I’m the only person who has to sing these songs one thousand times. I’m hearing myself sing this stuff all the time. So [the songs] need to be something that resonates with me and that I one hundred percent believe in. That they’re authentic from me. Otherwise, I’m going to hear it and I’m going to cringe.

The other day I had a show that was really hard to get up for energy-wise. I was tired, everyone was tired. I started the show singing “Deliverance” and said “Choosing how I spend my time is completely by design / They don’t even see the trying / All they see is dollar sign / All I make is sacrifice.” I was listening to those lyrics and I got an energy [that woke me up]. And this is why I [create] this way because it helps power the whole thing. Lyrics help power the whole thing of me being an artist.

So it’s almost like a really cool feedback loop. You’re channeling from a higher power, that channeling then leads to the creation of the music, and then the music gives you the energy you need to perform the music.

It’s like if you plant some lettuce yourself and you grow it and it comes up. You take it, and you wash it off, then you cook it, and you bring it out to the table for dinner. You break off a leaf of it and you taste the lettuce. You’re reminded of when you planted it and you get to experience it one more time and it’s a loop. It’s just like that, that’s [how making music] feels to me.

Photo by Yannick Reid

Was there a moment after deciding to focus on music where you realized the path could be both the vehicle to express yourself and provide you with sustenance?

I committed to music very early but it was very hard to get traction. I think when my first single “Arguments” came out and it came out and did well, I was like, “Wow, I’m an artist.” People were starting to recognize that I made music. I knew I had the skills and I knew I had the talent but my main problem was that I thought it was owed to me because I was so talented. I was like, “I’m talented, so why isn’t this person recording me? Why am I not getting the respect?”

Once I realized that nobody owed me anything and that talent alone had nothing to do with it—sure, I’m talented, but many people are talented—I began to realize I needed determination and discipline, and after that, everything started to happen fast.

Once you realized you weren’t owed anything, what was the shift in your actions that led to success?

The shift was immediate. I was at a friend’s playing video games and I went outside and started to smoke. Anxiety came over me like I’d never felt before. I didn’t understand. I knew I wanted to be an artist, I had a song that I was recording, but I was hanging out playing video games with friends during the day. I could tell you how many points Kobe had in the game the night before. But what was I doing every single day [to achieve my goals] apart from writing some songs at night? What else am I doing?

So I stopped everything that day. I got rid of my PlayStation, I stopped watching TV, I stopped everything else I was doing and I just started doing music all of the time. I started to bring my song to every radio station and go to every live event that they had where it was possible for me to get in front of people. Every day, everything I started doing was centered around “how is this helping me get closer to my goals?” I did that for a little and then everything started to happen when I stopped doing everything else. It was wild.

You went all-in and took the action of consistently showing up for yourself. And it sounds like, from that place, good things happened.

G, I’m telling you. In life, I’ve never seen it not work to really just narrow in on exactly what you’re trying to do and work towards it every day. I don’t see how that’s possible to not get closer to your goal if you work towards it every day. Once I realized that, everything changed.

That’s why I tell artists that I work with, “You want this and you want that, but have you done today to get there?”

From that day [of my realization] to now, no matter what it is that I’m doing, every day I do something that is helping me get towards where I am trying to go.

And you’ve had the positive feedback from the universe to validate that way of living.

I know that if I stay up another hour and send out another hundred emails today instead of tomorrow, I’m twenty-four hours closer to getting where I’m trying to go. That’s how I operate.

How do you protect your energy from getting burnt out?

The people around me will joke that I have an obsession or that I need to get hobbies, but I think it’s a balance. I have my family and my daughter, who give me a lot of relief. My family knows that I work really hard because I’m trying to do as much as I can do in as short a time as I can because I don’t want to be out here doing this forever.

I can spend five hours working feverishly on my craft today and then I have ten hours extra that I can use to go to the beach, I can hangout with my daughter, the whole family can chill and watch a movie or whatever—but the thing is, when I’m doing these things, the way my mind works is that these are all life experiences that are going into the process of me thinking. In turn, this leads to my music. You understand? It’s not focusing on being in the studio all of the time or recording all of the time, because that will burn you out. It’s living, experiencing, feeling.

Movies are a big thing for me and my writing because movies really make me feel. To someone else, watching a movie is time off—which it is for me, too—but at the same time, my mind is working and I’m getting ideas. So I’ve found a way to use it all as creativity.

Photo by Yannick Reid

In terms of creativity, what’s the inspiration behind your new album Third Time’s The Charm and what do you hope people take from it?

The album is an extension from [the album] In Search of Lost Time. It picks up right where it left off. Everything was coming from things that I was going through and experiencing. As I said, I communicate best with the world by talking about the things I’m going through and people can relate to it in some way and get something from it for their lives, as opposed to being preachy. That’s something I’m not interested in—being preachy and telling people what’s right, how you should live your life. I’m about sharing my experiences as you would when you meet someone and you’re talking to them.

Think about it: If you meet someone and you’re speaking to them and they say, “Hey look, you should live like this, this is wrong, this is the way,” or whatever, you’re not going to be receptive to the ideas and concepts I’m coming with, right? It’s the same thing musically. I’m just making music and communicating and sharing my thoughts and ideas. Maybe you connect with it, maybe it makes you come up with your own great idea.

I love this album, I really connect with it on a personal level. I love the words that are being said, I love the sounds that are playing behind the words. I love the way the album is mixed, I love the art. The visuals are possibly my most favorite that I’ve ever done. Everything is precisely how I want it to be and that’s what matters to me the most, knowing I’ve done exactly what I’ve wanted to do. However that’s perceived is up to people, and whatever that is, I’ll definitely be able to accept it.

It sounds like you’re consciously making art for yourself which enriches your life, and there’s an awareness of the power it has to also potentially enrich the lives of many others.

I like to think about van Gogh back in the day with an open canvas and him listening to his mind saying “Make this stroke with the brush here, use this color there.” I’d like to think he wasn’t there thinking “I wonder if someone is going to like this color here,” or “I wonder if people are going to like the way I do the grass here.” I don’t think that’s what people are doing when they’re making art. You have a picture in your head and you’re trying to put it as good as you can on the canvas. I feel like I’m hearing the songs in my head and all I’m trying to do is get it as close to how it sounds and looks in my head. When I really break it down to that, it takes away all of the pressure from making art. It helps you as an artist to not be anxious and feel like a hostage.

How does cannabis help you with this kind of creative process?

I have a very interesting relationship with marijuana. Sometimes, it gives me feelings that I’m not too comfortable with. Sometimes it makes me very anxious. Sometimes it makes me doubt myself. Sometimes it makes me question a lot of things. There’s lots of different reactions that I get from it depending on what I’m going through and how I’m feeling within myself.

When I smoke it causes me to overthink a lot and overanalyze. When I’m going through it, I feel anxious, but when I come out of it, I usually find something positive from the experience that I was having. So I’ve even learned to even accept the anxiety at times when it comes.

When I’m creating music—especially when I’m producing or recording another artist—and I’m smoking, it makes me able to spend as much time as needed without losing my focus. When I’m writing, marijuana will help me to be locked in and not be as easily distracted with outside elements. So creatively, I do think it helps me a lot, but I try to make sure that I’m not high all the time either because my conscious brain without being on marijuana is also such an effective thing and it brings its own qualities. It’s about finding the balance as with everything.

Follow @protoje and check out http://www.protoje.com for tickets, tour dates, and his latest album Third Time’s The Charm.

The post Jamaican Reggae Artist Protoje Creates an Energetic Feedback Loop Through Music appeared first on High Times.

How Cannabis Enhances Creativity And Unlocks New Ideas

Ever wonder why rappers regularly smoke a lot of marijuana? It may come as a surprise, but cannabis enhances creativity and allows the brain to create new ideas. We’ve all seen popular artists such as Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifa, really into smoking cannabis. To the average person, it may seem like they’re into […]

The post How Cannabis Enhances Creativity And Unlocks New Ideas appeared first on Cannabis News, Lifestyle – Headlines, Videos & Cooking.

Did Shakespeare Use Cannabis for Creativity?

It’s long been known that cannabis and creativity go hand in hand: Hendrix, the Beatles and even Carl Sagan, the world famous cosmologist, all used Cannabis’ creative powers. But there is one name to add to that list that may surprise many people and that’s UK nation’s poet, world famous playwright and every school child’s nightmare: William Shakespeare.

In 2001, a South African Anthropologist called Francis Thackeray was given permission from Shakespeare’s birthplace to analyze a collection of pipe fragments found in the grounds of Shakespeare’s garden. The study found that on eight of the pipes there was the residue of cannabis and these were the pipes most closely associated with the Bard’s property itself. It seems that Shakespeare operated on a work hard, play bard routine, perhaps even using cannabis as a stimulant for his creativity. But what evidence is there from the Bard’s own words that he liked to use cannabis and how does cannabis increases creativity in general? In this article, we’ll examine how Shakespeare’s timeline crosses neatly with the large scale introduction of Cannabis plants to the United Kingdom, we’ll look at Thackeray’s study in depth and we’ll investigate the science behind Cannabis and creativity, all to examine if the man ‘of all time’ may have been high whilst writing his finest works.

Cannabis has been known to boost creativity for centuries. Some of our greatest artists throughout history were using cannabis and other psychedelics to reach new heightened new levels of connectivity. To learn more about these compounds, and for exclusive deals on Delta 8, Delta 10 THCTHCVTHC-OTHCP, HHC and even on legal Delta-9 THC, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, your top source for all things cannabis related!


Cannabis and Shakespeare’s England

Before Cannabis was known and used as a recreational drug in Britain it was grown mostly as hemp, a crop used for medicinal reasons and to make fibre, clothes and rope. The earliest known usage of hemp seeds comes from Roman Britain as seeds were found in a well in York. Hemp was also used throughout Anglo-Saxon England as an important crop for the production of medicine, textiles and animal feed. Hemp very quickly became one of the most popular crops in Britain because of its many uses and indeed boomed in Elizabethan England, the time Shakespeare began to write.

Queen Elizabeth I even created a new law that meant every farmer with more than 60 acres of land had to grow hemp. The penalty of not carrying this out was a fine of 5 whole pounds (worth a lot more then than it is now). The medicinal properties of Cannabis were noted by many writers around Shakespeare’s era, John Gerard describes how many ailments Cannabis can cure in his book The Herball (1597). In a book titled ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’ by Robert Burton, hemp seeds made into a drink are offered as a treatment of depression.

But what about the recreational use of cannabis? Cannabis was being smoked recreationally around the world in the form of Hashish, particularly in the Middle East and Asia, but it’s not easy to find evidence of its use in Britain. However, It is not hard to imagine that travelers from these areas of the world would have found themselves in London pubs or theatres and shown the locals that cannabis plants could be used for more than making ropes or curing ailments.

The Thackeray Study

To make the claim that Shakespeare was using cannabis to help him write, we first need evidence that he was actually smoking it. Francis Thackeray’s study does just this, but beyond Shakespeare it also shows us that Cannabis was being smoked in this era and most likely for recreational reasons. In The study, nicely described in an independent article  written by Thackeray himself, the team used state-of-the-art forensic technology to chemically analyse residue found on the pipe fragments. Interestingly, Cannabis was not the only chemical found. Coca leaves, the predecessor of cocaine, were also found on two of the pipes. This is also in line with the fact that many variations of new smokable leaves were brought back from ‘the new world’ by sailors such as Walter Raleigh (Including Tobacco). 

To make matters even more interesting, the pipes with Coca residue were the only pipes analysed not from Shakespeare’s garden, but near to it. Instead, the pipes from his garden contained the cannabis residue mentioned earlier. Thackeray even goes as far as to say that “Shakespeare may have been aware of the deleterious (damaging) effects of cocaine as a strange compound. Possibly, he preferred cannabis as a weed of mind stimulating properties.” That says it all. Shakespeare’s choice drug was cannabis, because it boosted his creativity. The Bard of Avon was ahead of his times in many ways.

There are of course some issues with the study and some aspects have to be taken with a pinch of tobacco. Though the pipes were found in Shakespeare’s garden, it’s rather tricky to tie them directly to The Bard himself. Even when dating the pipes, the study can only say that the pipes date to ‘the early 17th Century’, this is quite a broad time-frame, especially considering Shakespeare died in 1616. So we have to be a tiny bit cautious when using Thackeray’s study, but it is very interesting.

The ‘Noted weed’: Shakespeare’s References to Cannabis

Is there any evidence from the man himself about his preference for Cannabis, do we find any enlightenment from flicking through the folio?  Amazingly we do, Shakespeare seems to make multiple references to what could be his ‘other muse’. In the Merry Wives of Windsor, the character Ford tells the audience that he wants to drink “pipe wine”, a line usually linked with tobacco, but with the knowledge of Thackeray’s study and the quotes to follow, it could be referencing smoking a different leaf altogether. 

In Sonnet 76 we find arguably the most clear evidence of Shakespeare’s use of Cannabis for creativity: 

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?

We see here Shakespeare’s reference his ‘noted weed’, which some (including Thackeray) have taken to be a nod to cannabis being used as a method to help with his writing, or ‘invention’. It seems from this poem that Shakespeare indeed keeps his invention in his weed (cannabis) and uses it whenever he strives to find the right words, or even uses it to show him his character’s histories, fleshing them out (showing their birth and where they did proceed). Earlier in this poem he describes how he doesn’t want to be linked to any ‘compounds strange,’ which Thackeray has taken to mean strange new drugs, even cocaine. More evidence of Shakespeare’s preference to the more natural and ancient method of finding his buzz.

In sonnet 118 Shakespeare says : 

Like as, to make our appetites more keen,
With eager compounds we our palate urge

Perhaps a reference again using compounds or drugs to help increase the appetite, both a reference to appetite of life but perhaps also his attitude to writing.

A potentially even more cryptic, but fascinating reference occurs in Henry V where Pistol tries to save a man doomed to hanging he exclaims: ‘Let man go free and let not hemp his windpipe suffocate’. This line has been analysed as potentially having a double meaning. As we’ve discussed above Hemp was used to make fibres and ropes, so Pistol is referring to the rope of the noose, but it could also be a wry nod to the burning feeling cannabis gives the throat.

Shakespeare, Cannabis and Creativity

It’s clear that Shakespeare would at least have come into contact with the use of Cannabis recreationally, and indeed he may have even shown his readers that he liked to use it for inspiration, but what is the science behind cannabis’s link to creativity and how might we use this to further understand why Shakespeare may have relied on it to come up with his most complicated plots.

To understand, we must look at the neuroscience: Cannabis smoking produces a wealth of Dopamine in the brain, including an area known as the frontal cortex. In a study by Schaffer et al in 2011, they took two groups of participants, some with high and some with low levels of creativity and tested them in two conditions: High on Cannabis and non-intoxicated. What they found was that the low creativity group increased their verbal fluency to that of the high-creative group. Verbal fluency is a measure of how quickly and creatively a participant can speak. The authors argue that this increase in fluency was because of the increase of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex which may lead to a swifter ability to produce words.

What Schaffer’s study showed was that creativity in verbal fluency could be increased in those with low creativity. This would seem almost too perfect to a playwright with a mental block. Cannabis also increases blood flow to areas of the brain needed for creativity, including the amygdala, an area needed for emotional processing and empathy. This would perfectly help the playwright put himself in Romeo’s shoes whilst writing the balcony scene.

A Summary on Shakespeare and Cannabis

So it seems rather likely that Shakespeare had indeed found inspiration in his ‘Noted weed’. The fragments of pipe show us that people were smoking Cannabis and more than that, it was being smoked in Shakespeare’s garden, the many quotes and references in Shakespeare’s own works and of course the science behind Cannabis’ link to creativity all point towards the Nation’s bard using cannabis as his muse. Without Cannabis, we wouldn’t have had Hendrix, we wouldn’t have had some of the Beatles finest albums and now we can assume we wouldn’t have even had Hamlet. A rather strong case for Cannabis’s powers of productivity.

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5 Famous Writers Who Smoked Weed and Let Their Creativity Flow

Weed helps artists tap into their creativity. Even writers have found weed helpful to produce some beautiful sonnets and novels. Here is a list of top 5 famous writers who have let their creativity flow while indulging in smoking weed. Stephen King Stephen King is known for his ingenious way of writing, especially his contribution […]

The post 5 Famous Writers Who Smoked Weed and Let Their Creativity Flow appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// New Mexico adult-use marijuana bill advanced by state House panel (Marijuana Business Daily)

// South Dakota AG abandons effort to defend adult-use marijuana initiative (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Washington Lawmakers Approve Drug Decriminalization Bill In Committee Vote (Marijuana Moment)


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// New York Governor To Send Amended Marijuana Legalization Plan To Lawmakers Amid Criticism (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts medical cannabis patient numbers top 100,000 (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Michigan’s marijuana industry surpasses Oregon in cannabis jobs report says (Michigan Live)

// Recreational pot sales have more than doubled since Maine’s market launch (Central Maine)

// Mississippi Senate Approves Alternate Medical Marijuana Program Hours After Defeating It (Marijuana Moment)

// Canopy unloads British Columbia cannabis greenhouses at large loss (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Cannabis spurs creative but unrealistic ideas study shows (Marijuana Business Daily)

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Starting A Collective As A Musician – Strength In Numbers

Take a look at how teaming up with other creatives as an indie musician can be beneficial. Learn some quick tips about positive networking from an independent artist and how starting a collective as a musician means strength in numbers. Having An In-House Producer Teaming up with an audio engineer as an artist offers so […]

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5 Musical Artists Cannabis Lovers Love

It’s no secret that many of the world’s greatest artists throughout history have indulged in mind or mood-altering substances from time to time. It was in those moments of relaxation that many new ideas, visions and innovations bubbled up the surface of their consciousness.

Just for fun, here are a few quotes from famous musicians about their relationship with cannabis:

“It’s a thousand times better than whiskey… it’s an assistant — a friend.” — Louis Armstrong

“Marijuana helped me write Pet Sounds.” — Brian Wilson, Beach Boys

“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.” — Bob Marley

“So if ever I need some clarity, or a quantum leap in my own consciousness, or a quantum leap in terms of writing something or getting an answer, it’s a quick way for me to get it.” — Alanis Morissette

Cannabis Now has done many interviews with musicians who have opened up about the role of cannabis (or lackthereof) in their creative process. Here are some of our favorites.

PHOTO courtesy Wiz Khalifa

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Wiz Khalifa has 11 platinum plaques and a wildly popular signature strain to his name. He also has a lot to say about the future of cannabis legalization, which he believes is inevitable. In this interview with Cannabis Now, he talks about his firsthand experience with the militarized Drug War and accurately predicts the success of Proposition 64.

Wayne Coyne Cannabis Now
PHOTO George Salisbury

READ: Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne Talks Music’s Meditative Trip

For 30 years now, the Flaming Lips have garnered a reputation for being one of the most delightfully eccentric and psychedelic bands in American history. Yet, considering their trippy soundscapes, trippier album artwork and mind-bending forays into film and live performances, it may come as a surprise to many that front man Wayne Coyne is not much of a cannabis consumer.

PHOTO Alison Clark

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Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hütz talks about headlining the Emerald Cup, his hopes for the future and how live performance can become a spiritual experience. Cannabis Now caught up with Hütz a few days before Gogol’s Emerald Cup performance for a wide-ranging discussion of cannabis legalization, spirituality and human integration.

Marco Pave Marijuana Music Cannabis Now
PHOTO Oleg Zharsky

READ: Marco Pave Spreads Social Activism Through Music & Cannabis

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Screaming Females Band Tour Mixtapes Marijuana Cannabis Now
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READ: Punk Group Screaming Females Trades Mixtapes for Weed

The New Jersey trio shares how they got their name, the efforts they’ve undertaken to get weed on tour and the pleasures of brushing teeth while high.

TELL US, does your favorite musician use cannabis?

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Spark of Creativity: How Cannabis Lights Up Inspiration

Carl Sagan. Frida Kahlo. Bob Marley. Pretty much
every hip-hop artist ever. Maybe they’re born with it? Maybe they’re just really
high.

It’s no secret that some of the most influential artists and brightest thinkers of our time have cited cannabis as a major creative influence. From Silicon Valley to art hubs around the world, cannabis has famously induced out-of-the-box thinking that’s led to many of the technological advancements that make our lives more streamlined and art that makes our lives more exquisite. Kahlo and Diego Rivera are just two of countless artists who painted their canvases with the help of cannabis and Steve Jobs and Sagan both praised the plant’s visionary prowess before they passed away.

Moreover, many cannabis consumers say that
getting high elevates both their mood and their creativity — and it’s not just
a herbin’ myth. Research is scant and inconclusive, but it’s beginning to catch
up to what the wakers-and-bakers, starry-eyed stoners and midnight tokers have
always known: Cannabis can make you more creative.

A 2017 study in the journal Consciousness and Cognition found that sparking up some hippie happiness may lead to connecting seemingly unrelated concepts. It’s the sort of thing stoner movies make fun of, but this kind of “divergent thinking” — wherein the brain unleashes a torrent of original ideas — is actually an essential precursor to creativity. The study further suggests that cannabis may assist in breaking free of ordinary thoughts and associations, leading to the kind of ingenuity that generates novel ideas. But just how this works isn’t as straightforward as one might think.

There are two main factors that determine to what degree cannabis can affect creativity levels: the amount of cannabis consumed and how creative you are naturally. A 2012 study by researchers at the University of London suggests, perhaps counterintuitively, that if you’re already naturally creative, cannabis may not increase original output by much. But for those who are not normally very imaginative, it could boost creativity substantially. Cannabis may also lift the fog of writer’s block for anyone not feeling inspired, regardless of their natural inclination toward creative thinking.

Moderation also seems to be a key factor in
enhancing creativity. Cannabis can be a magical muse that extracts inspiration
from the farthest reaches of the mind, if consumed in small doses. On the other
hand, taking more than a hit or two might catapult you beyond the brilliance
directly to just being stoned, which can actually make you even less creative
than when you’re sober. So, if you’re going for that “stable genius” glow, this
is one case where you really don’t want to keep it lit.

And although most studies haven’t addressed this factor of specificity directly, strain choice likely also has an impact. For example, CBD does not produce the psychotomimetic symptoms (meaning symptoms that induce altered states of mind) that lead to creativity the way THC does. Uplifting strains can also induce “convergent thinking,” a skill that helps you connect disparate ideas, making strains with the terpene limonene a great choice for brainstorming and tackling challenging problems.

Intriguingly, it seems cannabis also has the curious trait of allowing you to create as your truest self. Because the plant tends to lower inhibitions, you can let your imagination run wild without interference from your inner critic. This might explain cannabis enthusiast Lady Gaga’s fantastical wardrobe choices. It also lends credence to the maxim that some cannabis creatives swear by: create high, edit sober. (It’s worth noting, however, that many artists employ cannabis in the final stages of a project to tweak and perfect.)

Whether
as a muse to inspire creativity or a catalyst to clear creative blocks,
cannabis is the magic wand that artists and non-creatives alike could benefit
from having in their stash box. But a certain measure of experimentation is
required to find which strains and what doses make the inspiration flow. Start
slowly, with a minimal hit of an uplifting strain, and then wait 30 minutes
before taking another toke on your journey to find that creative sweet spot.

TELL US, do you use cannabis to
enhance your creativity?

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE.

The post Spark of Creativity: How Cannabis Lights Up Inspiration appeared first on Cannabis Now.