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Cannabis and Art - What’s the Connection?

There has always been a special connection between artists and cannabis to boost creativity. From musical artists to painters, to writers, weed has always sparked that artistic process and let people express their true selves. Cannabis is known to bring out that creative side that allows people to have more experimental ideas with their art. It’s been seen throughout history, from famous painters from the 1900s to rappers and musicians in current pop culture. Smoking some herb before getting to the drawing board lets all of the ideas come to the forefront and broadens the horizon.


Does smoking affect creativity?

Weed lets people dive deeper into their thoughts and access those parts of the brain that go untouched without it. It lets people truly explore their creative side. Everyone who has smoked weed knows that feeling once you first get high where everything looks better, feels nicer, and sounds much better. Like when you’re listening to your favorite song after a sesh, and it really hits you- the melody is so much more beautiful, and you really understand the lyrics. Everything comes to life. That’s how artists feel when they’re in the studio to make some music or pull out the canvas to paint. 


According to research published by Psychology Today, cannabis produces psychotomimetic symptoms, which means it allows us to connect unrelated thoughts and concepts that we wouldn’t normally do sober. It leads to a type of divergent thinking which primarily sparks creative thinking, hence aiding artists in their creative processes. This state of mind, while high, lets artists break free from their ordinary ways of thinking and view thoughts in a different light, getting the creative juices flowing. Two completely different ideas might connect as soon as you light up, creating the possibility of a brand new masterpiece.


Basically, cannabis lets people connect thoughts that might seem abstract while sober, which leads to brand-new concepts and art. There’s a sort of openness that people get after lighting up that lets their thoughts flow freely. 


However, they suggested that cannabis produces psychotomimetic symptoms, which in turn might lead to connecting seemingly unrelated concepts, an aspect of divergent thinking considered primary to creative thinking.


Cannabis art and culture


It’s common to hear musicians in pop culture talk about smoking weed in their music, and we even hear them flicking their lighters and sparking a joint in the intro. There’s always been a connection between musicians and weed, and one musician who comes to everyone’s mind when it comes to weed is Snoop Dogg. He could be the face of the stoner movement dating back to the 90’s, being the weed connoisseur that he is. His music is heavily influenced by smoking weed and the stoner culture. He even said on the Martha Stewart Podcast that he normally smokes 15 joints a day, but when he’s making music, he smokes at least 25. This sparks his creativity and lets him get into the zone to make his hits. She laughingly said that he smokes so much that she even gets a second-hand high.


His influence is so major in popular weed culture that they even made a movie called Mac & Devin Go to High School with him and Wiz Khalifa, another known stoner in the cannabis community. The movie is all about them getting high and Mac (played by Snoop) introducing Devin (played by Wiz) to weed. It immediately transforms him and his way of thinking, which changes him from an uptight high schooler to a relaxed stoner introduced to a world influenced by weed. It’s a movie that you need to spark up for to watch, and it makes it even more enjoyable. Weed really gets his creativity going in the film and through this, he’s able to bring his thoughts to life, and make the perfect speech for graduation. 


Not only do musicians reap the benefits of getting high, but there are drawings and paintings dedicated to weed. Weed is all over the art scene and it sparks such a creative side and leads to inspiration that artists make pieces just to show their appreciation. There was even a Life magazine cover in 1969, which paid homage to weed.


This one might not be a shock, but the abstract and outside-the-box artist Pablo Picasso was known to be a weed smoker. He was so inspired by it that he even created a painting of men smoking pot. He was no stranger to the plant, and he used it to find creativity and bring his ideas to life. Another surrealist painter who was known to have loved weed was Salvador Dali. Weed let them connect all of their thoughts and display it through pieces of art. Weed has been used for decades and centuries to spark that creativity in artists. 


To bring it even further back in time, William Shakespeare was known to be a friend of the plant. It has a long history of use amongst not only rappers and painters, but writers and poets dating back to the 17th century. Clay pipes were found in his house with traces of cannabis which probably led him to many of his masterpieces that we still read today.


To Sum It Up

Cannabis can open people up to a whole new stream of thoughts. People might see weed as a plant for partying or having fun with friends, but it has different uses for different people. Some nights it might be used to relax or have some fun, but other times artists really use it to get their creativity flowing. With connecting different thoughts and ideas not normally possible while sober, it opens people up to a whole new realm of thought processes. From writers to rappers to painters, weed affects the brain in a way that can connect people through art.