Did smoking that joint instead of attending those lectures in your Fine Art degree get you closer to creative genius than that £9k a year you dropped? Probably not. But it turns out that differences in personality can explain the connection between creativity and marijuana use.
A study by Washington State University graduate, Emily LaFrance, has found that those who smoke weed are more open to new experiences than people who don’t. “Cannabis users tend to have different personality traits than non-users,” LaFrance toldPsyPost, “and openness to experience is associated with both cannabis use, and heightened creativity.”
Challenging 412 marijuana users (no, not 420) and 309 non-users to a series of psychological tests, LaFrance found that cannabis smokers were more extravert, and self-reported a higher level of artistic creativity than non-users – though, unsurprisingly, they didn’t actually create more art.
Although the users also proved better when it came to convergent thinking, LaFrance found that it was their adventure-seeking personalities, rather than having smoked weed, that enhanced their creative impulses. “Cannabis users may be more creative than non-users,” the researcher explained, “but this is not because using cannabis has increased their creativity.”
According to LaFrance, some previous studies have found mixed results when testing super-intoxicated smokers, she said: “It is important to keep in mind that we did not assess the impact of being acutely high on cannabis on creativity.” But her study is the first to examine the role of personality differences in relation to smoking weed and artistic tendencies.
So, your marijuana-smoking mates are probably more creative, but it’s only because they’re willing to try new things – including smoking weed. But even though you might not muster a Monet with a hot-boxed bathroom, you may be able to sort out your medical issues: last year, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK found that Cannabidiol (CBD) contains a “restoring, correcting or modifying” effect on “physiological functions”.