By Justin Alexander
Does cannabis make you more creative? This is an age-old question for which there seems to be no scientific answer but, instead, only limited research and positive opinions. A 2010 study published in Psychiatry Research journal showed one of cannabis’s primary properties is its ability to increase hyper-priming, or make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. Research also suggests that cannabis blurs the lines between a person’s five senses, allowing for an increased capacity in that realm.
But like with many so things, creativity depends on the user, the situation and the strain, since a person’s state of being is subjective. But at the very least we know cannabis helps reduce a person’s inhibitions and turns off their “inner-editor” for more of a free-flowing experience while writing, drawing, creating art and music, or brainstorming.
elevate has found nine products from the Nevada marketplace that can help get the creative juices flowing and may inspire a new way to look at cannabis use when a creative block has become an obstacle.
Drawing a comparison to nature, he says, if creativity is a stream, cannabis removes the stones and allows it to flow freely. When Donado sits down to get fully immersed in his imagination, he reaches for the balanced hybrid strain Outer Space from Remedy. “I feel like the high amount of beta-myrcene in Outer Space allows me to relax and think with a clear head and to be able to work at my full potential,” he says.
Silver Sage originally acquired the strain from Denver Relief, and Donado says it has been on the shelf ever since. “Nick Hice, their master grower, picked up the strain many years ago from a grower in the mountains—presumably the original breeder.”
Heavy on sativa with an uplifting cerebral high, the first thing to note when smoking Outer Space is its totally unique taste—deep and earthy, like inhaling morning air straight from the forest, sour and pungent. The smell is sweet with whiffs of a floral bouquet intertwined with citrus fruits. Testing in at 25.8 percent THC and .05 percent CBD, Outer Space is relaxing, yet focus can be maintained, which makes it a great dayti
If you are looking for a totally relaxing high with a big cerebral boost, sativa-dominant hybrid Glass Slipper fits. In fact, you might even lose a shoe while drifting off into a creative space without a care in the world. Perfect for calming creative types who have mental blocks due to anxiety, Glass Slipper is an offspring of Cinderella 99 and Pineapple 99. It is an easy smoke and a pleasing high even for those less experienced with cannabis. Also, for those who have a hard time finding a truly calming medicine, Glass Slipper is ideal.
“It’s my feeling that as cannabis relaxes the human condition, the right side of the human brain relaxes as well,” says Eric V. Vega, director of operations at Nevada Organic Remedies. “In this relaxed state the creative side of the brain can see a boost in spatial awareness and imagination.”
The relaxing, sedative effect is a product of the terpene terpinolene, “which also works as an antioxidant, improving cognitive skills and slowing the aging of the brain,” Vega says of Glass Slipper which offers a ratio of 82.92 percent THC to 1.0 CBD.
It is said that dreams are a manifestation of one’s creative subconscious. Keep that in mind when vaping FlavRX’s Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid that will transport you into a sublime creative state while wide awake.
“Cannabis certainly can help unlock a person’s creativity, as many musicians and artists will proclaim,” says Kawehi Galuteria, brand ambassador for Evergreen Organix. “It depends on the individual and the specific strains they are utilizing. Cannabis possesses both CBD, which is naturally produced in the brain, and THC that closely resembles anandamide, which is a natural transmitter to neurons in the brain. This combination could potentially amplify a person’s thinking by allowing neurons to fire without as much interruption.”
FlavRX takes great care in mixing specific strains with proprietary terpenes, and Blue Dream was carefully curated to make sure the quality of the oil concentrate matched the taste and effects of the flower. “It’s a complex combination of terpenes derived directly from strain-specific cannabis and matching them with the pungent effects of certain fruit profiles, which also have their therapeutic properties,” Galuteria says of the distillate that tests at 56.20 percent THC.
Blue Dream works especially well for creative pursuits because it simulates without pushing the user into overdrive. “When trying this product, look for increased relaxation and a feeling of happiness,” Galuteria advises. “The combination is in fact not to overstimulate the mind, but certainly puts you in a creative and highly functional state.”
With no sedative vibes, Blue Dream relieves pain, nausea and depression throughout the day. “The effects of cannabis on the mind also have a lot to do with the individual person,” Galuteria says. “If a person has had a busy day and they keep going back into their mind over and over again to make sure they didn’t miss anything, but all they want to do is sit down, relax and work on their art project, the euphoric effects of the cannabis could ease them into a place where creativity can assume control over the mind and suppress the stressful recap of the busy day.”
The terpenes of limonene and pinene present in Cherry AK are most likely responsible for inspiring awareness and creativity, according to State Flower Cannabis’ Daniel Wacks. He stumbled upon it by accident at a dispensary in Oakland several years ago. “I thought the nose was really unique—almost offensive, but in an enticing way,” he recalls. “When we started growing it a few years later, it became a go-to for me at times when I was looking for a little shift in perspective.” It is a scent that he describes as cherries and garlic—super fruity with earthy notes and a robust woody aftertaste.
“Most growers believe Cherry AK to simply be a rare phenotype of AK-47 with a fruitier nose and dense bud structure as compared to the classic iteration,” Wacks says of the strain that tests at 21.89 percent THC. “AK-47 is a mostly sativa cross of a bunch of landraces from the 1970s from all over the world—Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and Afghanistan.”
The strain is known for its many positive qualities, including being an effective analgesic. Terpene caryophyllene is also found in Cherry AK and is known as an antioxidant good for the treatment of muscle spasms, pain, and insomnia. Pinene, a natural bronchodilator effective in treating respiratory conditions, is also present.
Since Cherry AK inspires both relaxation and focus—which go hand in hand in the quest for creativity—Wacks draws a comparison to the practice of Mindfulness Relaxation, a therapeutic technique that uses breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind, and help reduce stress. “The process essentially allows one to attain a higher state of awareness through relaxation,” he says. “In that sense, Cherry AK’s balanced effect provides just the right level of relaxation to help elevate awareness and creativity.”
Getting to a place of relaxed clarity is exactly what smoking Cherry AK can provide as euphoria leads to engagement and then connection, awareness, and creative flow. “Cannabis doesn’t “make” you creative per se, but it can certainly help you flow,” Wacks says, citing Scott Barry Kaufman, scientific director of The Imagination Institute who defines “flow” as “the mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task [which] is a strong contributor to creativity.” Kaufman continues, “When in flow, the creator and the universe become one, outside distractions recede from consciousness and one’s mind is fully open and attuned to the act of creating. There is very little self-awareness or critical self-judgement; just intrinsic joy for the task.”
A cross between Cherry Kush and Orange Tahoe, Mary Chino live resin induces an intense high that boosts energy, brain power, and the ability to concentrate with laser accuracy. It brings you into the present so you can tackle projects in a unique and creative way. With the Mary Chino as with all resins, a little goes a long way at 65.2 percent THC.
“This genetic cross seemed like a happy medium of effects that we were striving for,” offers David Farris, director of marketing at Medizin. “Studies have shown myrcene lowers the resistance across the blood to brain barrier. This allows for a greater maximum psychoactive effect, and a quicker one at that. The calming aspect of terpinolene also assists in the relaxed thought process without being [overbearing] on your high.”
Its consistency is gooey sugar and flavors of tropical orange are a delightful and refreshing way to clear the mind freeing it to explore outside the boundaries of the day-to-day rigmarole.
When seeking a product that can be characterized as a creativity inducer, look for prominent levels of beta-caryophyllene, alpha-pinene and limonene. Bliss distillate cartridge offers all these properties, making it a sure-fire way to fire on all cerebral cylinders.
“Almost like releasing a caged animal, cannabis leaves the mind free from the usual stress and burdens of day-to-day life,” says Don Decatur, City Trees’ director of operations. “Once the effects have set in and the user is relaxed, deep and creative thoughts are easily conjured.”
City Trees’ Bliss blend has a mild hybrid effect—a dash of focus with a hint of calming. Bliss tests at 79.6 percent THC and .75 percent CBD. The flavor is also mild for those who are sensitive to taste and want a more neutral smoke.
As an added benefit, City Trees Bliss cartridges are refillable. “This allows users to reuse the cartridges and helps lower the environmental impact of this product,” notes Decatur.
Cookie Stomper is Elephant Stomper crossed with Monster Cookies to produce a sativa-dominant hybrid. With a smell and taste that can be compared to a jammy grape, the high is mellow and cerebral and has no sedative effects. It frees the mind from all blocks and barriers including sleepiness and lack of focus.
This strain is high in limonene, myrcene, linalool and isopulegol with hints of camphene—all of which are terpenes that add to its special creativity-inducing composition. This is a rich smoke through and through and can be enjoyed by patients with varying levels of cannabis experience. Testing in at 24.21 percent THC and .018 CBD, expect a smooth burn.
Part Orange Crush part Lemon Burst, the name L’Orange is indicative of the scent of this pungent flower—pure, fresh citrus (also expect bright orange on the buds). When broken down, olfactory greatness wafts through the room in the most pleasant way while your fingers retain a residue of sugary stickiness.
The buzz is a happy one and perfect for morning creative sessions when you need to be at your peak. It is a get-out-of-bed-and-enjoy-the-day “morning sativa.”
“The terpene concoction gives you an uplifting and happy high,” says Cannabiotix COO Neema Samari. “I definitely think the sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids give you a creative buzz, no couchlock and get the juices flowing. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different and from there being able to knock out creative angles
An amazing even burn, the intensity of this product is refreshing and zesty in all its properties. L’Orange tests at between 24 and 27 percent THC and .015 percent CBD.
True to its name, Purple Dream takes you into a beautiful royal haze even when the tasks of the day are mundane. Everything becomes just a little bit more fun and a little bit more creative under the gaze of Purple Dream. A cross between the sativa-dominant hybrid Blue Dream, known for its lucid cerebral high, and the indica-dominant Grand Daddy Purple, known for its body buzz, Purple Dream is a great hybrid perfect for mid-afternoon or evening smoke sessions. Before you partake, make sure to have snacks on hand as this “dream” comes with the strong case of the munchies in addition to wildly imaginative thoughts.
Because of the desire to reach a dreamlike state, it is no accident that many creatives use cannabis while working, says Zach Wright, store manager for The Grove’s Pahrump location.
“Cannabis unlike other intoxicants contains chemicals and compounds naturally produced within the body,” Wright says. “The cannabinoids can increase the rate in which neurons fire in the brain allowing the user to feel a sense of focus and well-being.”
This strain not only tests at 26.10 percent THC but it has the terpene limonene, which elevates mood, increases alertness, and offers antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. “In my opinion, cannabis in general is always a happy ‘accident,’” Wright says. “While always striving to create perfect phenotypes, The Grove’s state-of-the-art cultivation continues to make strides in the right direction, ensuring all consumers needs are accounted for. This just happens to be one of those.”