We all know that cannabis can boost creativity sky high, especially a good sativa strain. The thought-inducing properties of the favorite plant are well known to artists, writers, musicians and deep thinkers throughout history. However, what about alcohol? Does it possess the same stimulating effects found in cannabis? A new debate has sparked between the two by consumers trying to figure out exactly which mind-altering substance offers the most creative influence on the human brain.
When it comes to cannabis and creativity, there are countless recollections throughout history of the founding fathers and other brilliant minds using cannabis as a way to clear their mind and induce new and creative ideas.
William Shakespeare, the greatest playwright of all time, was known for using cannabis when he faced writer’s block. Founding father, James Madison, was once quoted as saying that cannabis gave him the necessary insight needed to create a new democratic nation.
These brilliant minds, and many others, certainly were not wrong in their assumptions.
Likewise, many important historical figures attributed their creativity to consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Winston Churchill advocated the use of alcohol to fellow authors and inquisitive minds of his time.
He famously proclaimed that he would never have been able to finish his memoirs without the help of alcohol, and was quoted as saying, “Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than it has taken out of me.”
A study conducted in 2004 revealed that 15% of white Americans carry a gene, fittingly nicknamed the Churchill Gene, which alters the way their bodies react to alcohol.
This gene is known for inducing thoughts of creativity and elation, also a likely reason why alcoholism occurs at higher rates in Caucasians than most other races.
The study states that one reason alcohol may cause more creativity is because alcohol reduces our inhibitions, reduces our fears, resulting in freer, more truthful thinking. These lowered inhibitions are often why people are presumed to speak the truth about their feelings when drunk.
A 2012 study showed that people with a blood alcohol level of .075 performed better on word association test, formulated to measure creative problem solving, than their sober counterparts. However, when the alcohol levels rose above this amount, the test results became skewed.
Creativity and cannabis
The placebo effect of cannabis use and creativity was studied in 2010, revealing some startling results. 60 participants were divided into 3 groups: one given cannabis, one not given cannabis and one given a placebo edible which they believed to contain cannabis.
After concluding the test, researchers discovered that those who believed they had consumed cannabis, but had actually not, performed higher on the creativity tests than those who had actually been given cannabis.
Many other studies found that THC and cannabinoids do, in fact, enhance creativity. According to a study conducted by the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, cannabinoids increase frontal lobe activity, the part of our brain that is responsible for creativity. This extra stimulation can lead to more fluid free thinking and enhanced creativity.
Check out our article on strains that will help boost your creativity.