Cannabis And “Creativity”

Cannabis in North America, since its earliest roots with Jazz musicians, has always had an association with artists and musicians. Louie Armstrong, for instance, used cannabis extensively and spoke about the use during interviews. However, despite being anecdotally known as a creativity enhancer, cannabis’ creative effects have not been formally studied.  Aside from the normal limitations on cannabis research due to legality in the latter 1900’s, part of the difficulty stems from the problem that we still have a difficult time defining creative thinking scientifically. What makes a song or a work of art creative? One measure of creative thinking is called “schizotypy”. Schizotypy is not directly “creativity” and is actually defined as a measure of dissociative thinking. In this model, truly dissociative thinking, or the ability to have unrelated cognitive thought, which allows the creation of previously un-thought ideas, is schizophrenic. In this sense, dissociative thinking is not necessarily healthy. However, studies do confirm that artistic individuals and creative individuals are more likely to show schizophrenic symptoms. This indicates that schizotypy might be one indication of raw creativity. According to this theory, everyone displays traits of a general spectrum of schizotypic behavior. One group, from University College London, tested 160 cannabis users both under the influence of cannabis and abstinent either seven days before or after use, to measure schizotypy in both situations. To cover all bases, researchers ran multiple tests on test subjects, including: Psychotomimetic States Inventory (PSI) – a psychological inventory that measures symptoms of psychosis or…