- About reality and imagination
- Physical and mental energy
- Be smart and cunning
- An equation for creativity
- The science of cannabis and creativity
About reality and imagination
Creativity is a far-reaching term, which seems to have been claimed by those who define themselves as "artists" as if it were a mystical power, of which only a few elected people are endowed. But is it really so? Everyone has imagination. Having a creative mind helps us try new things and engage in activities that help us get closer to realizing our full potential. Still, the question remains: is creativity a talent that some individuals are born with or a skill that can be developed like any muscle in the body?
Creative people have different characteristics, often opposite between them; the higher the level of creativity in the individual, the more these characteristics interact in a complex way and influence their overall inventiveness. The main characteristic of the average creative person is to make connections; the baggage of information and culture is therefore very important, based on his/her knowledge the creative type can be able to create something unusual and original by connecting ideas or ideas that sometimes seem to have nothing in common.
Creative people love to daydream, and to develop practical and innovative solutions, often seeing potential where no one else sees it. They may get lost in fantasies and imagination, but that doesn't stop them from turning their fantasies into reality. They are often labeled as dreamers, but that doesn’t really imply that they perpetually live with their heads in the clouds.
Scientists, artists, and musicians are all creative types who can find unique solutions to real-world problems. Others may dismiss their ideas as mere dreams or irrelevant, but people with creative brains find ways to turn their thoughts into reality.
Physical and mental energy
Creative people have plenty of physical and mental energy. They can work for hours on a single activity that grabs their attention, and yet they seem to get excited about it. Their energy level remains high because they are doing something that intellectually stimulates them.
Having a creative mind does not imply that you always work on something creative or artistic. Sometimes creative people are excellent "problem solvers" and in the most advanced and smart businesses, they are at the top of the decision-making process. Creative and artistic people are imaginative, curious, and, while they can work non-stop for many hours, they also dedicate plenty of time apparently resting, silently meditating on issues that interest them, and letting their minds wander.
Be smart and cunning
It has been scientifically proven by various cognitive studies that the creative person has an IQ above average. This is because the creative type is used to thinking in a lateral and original way and, unlike mnemonic people, they can think in original and innovative ways, “outside the box”.
Although creative people are often intelligent, research has shown that the opposite is not always true, i.e. having a high IQ is not always associated with higher levels of creative achievement, as personality qualities also often play a key role. Studies imply that there is a cut-off point in IQ, at around 120.1. Having an above-average IQ can help with creativity but having an IQ above 120 does not guarantee greater originality.
Being a creative person requires a range of skills and abilities; knowing which ideas to explore or discard is the key to balancing creativity with practical experience, maintaining the feeling of surprise and curiosity among creative individuals is essential to making the most of their abilities. Living in a stimulating environment is one of the aspects but being surrounded by other creative individuals is also essential.
So, we can all be creative in our own way. We may not all be "artists", but we can all create art. The question is: how can we find the inspiration that fuels our imagination? In this article, we will look at some practical hints that date back half a century but still work today.
An equation for creativity
A playful attitude is one of the trademarks of creativity. In fact, you will often hear creative people say that they love to do their job, but this lightheartedness and joy is also often accompanied by a contradictory trait: persistence.
Creative people are famous for their perseverance, they can in fact work on a project or an idea for hours. They usually don't have working hours and don’t work “on the clock”; if you have creative people working in your office you will notice that they will hardly sing in early in the morning to leave at 5 pm; if creative people are working on a stimulating project there will be no way of getting them out of the office! They will not stop working until they are satisfied with the results.
The lives of artists, from singers to successful writers may seem thrilling, passionate, and gorgeous, but being a successful artist, on the other hand, requires a lot of effort, which many people overlook. A creative individual fully understands that true creativity requires a balance between fun and hard work, an artistic or creative person can seem relaxed and uninterested in everyday problems, but when it comes to pursuing one's passion, they can be tremendously laborious and totally dedicated.
Wouldn't it be great if there was a formula to come up with ideas? Well, there actually is one. Sure, it has its roots in the world of advertising, but it's an interesting starting point, nonetheless. James Webb Young was a legendary American advertising executive. In 1939, he published a book outlining his creative process, "A Technique for Producing Ideas". These are the main key outtakes about his technique for setting up a creative process, adapted to our internet era days.
Step 1: Research. Research. More research.
Gather as much information as you can on a topic. In advertising, this would mean everything about the product and its target audience. But if you want to write a screenplay or a short story, for example, it means doing research on the topic you want to write about: reading, searching on Google, noting your experiences, or any anecdote you may have heard.
Step 2: Think. A lot.
Mix and match different pieces of information and see how they fit together. See if you can stick two or three random elements together and if they connect in some sort of storyline or setting. Write down any ideas, however terrible they may seem to you. And keep working on it: keep going, keep going ...
Step 3: Don't do anything.
When you are completely exhausted, put down the pen. Turn off the laptop. Get away from your desk. Go for something completely different: a walk, a relaxing bath. Repair that thing that has been waiting too long to be fixed. Call a friend for a silly chat.
Step 4: Relax
Hopefully, at this point, you will have "the seed" of a good idea. Now you need to fix it, refine it, and keep testing it until it's ready for the world out there. If you are a practical person, try these steps and see what happens. But what if you weren't? Is there a more general approach to take?
Step 5: Let the magic happen.
While you are busy doing other things, you may not consciously think you are in a creative phase, but your subconscious will be working for you. And then suddenly - Eureka! An idea should materialize in your mind. Or not. In that case, you might need to go back to step 2, if not even step 1.
Following James Webb Young’s process and completing these steps can sometimes be easier said than done. Relaxing body and mind is a condition that is often reached with meditation, or after practicing sport; meditation is certainly a healthy exercise to practice but you do not always have the ability to reach the total relaxation status that you would like.
To reach a status of predisposition to inspiration, we recommend that you also try cannabis with a high CBD content, such as the products of the MA True Cannabis CREATE line, a CBD product line specially designed to enhance your creative side. MA True Cannabis CREATE includes CBD cannabis flowers, pre-rolled joints with no tobacco, where the legal cannabis is mixed with officinal plants, African Kanna and Mint, in a blend expressly designed to stimulate creativity. The MA True Cannabis CREATE line also includes CBD oil for those who are not too keen on smoking products. Its blend of broad-spectrum CBD in MTC oil with Mint, Lemon, and Palmarosa essential oils will please your palate while boosting your creativity. Stay tuned, as we are also about to launch the MA True Cannabis line of CBD infusions, so you will be able to relax, party, sleep or, in this case, create, also while sipping a nice and tasty cup of CBD infusion.
We are not proposing the adoption of CBD cannabis to get creative just because this is our business. There is a long history, tradition, and even scientific and medical research on cannabis and creativity. Let’s dig into it.
The science of cannabis and creativity
Cannabis is being used all around the world and across history to enhance creativity, especially by artists, musicians, writers, painters, and beyond. Just think, just to make a few names, to Rihanna, Robert Downey Jr, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Matthew McConaughey, Bob Marley, Seth Rogen, Alanis Morissette, Pablo Picasso, Kevin Smith, The Grateful Death, Willie Nelson, Oliver Stone, Stephen King, Lewis Carrol, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong… all these great artists have all admitted that cannabis plays a big role in their creative process and, in general, in their lives – and the list can go on forever. By the way, did you see our recent article on Medium about the role of cannabis in the creative process of The Beatles? And did you know that there is also proof that even William Shakespeare loved to indulge in cannabis too?
Cannabis is not a tool to help ignite creativity only among artists, also creative minds in technology and business are “friends of the plant”. Bill Gates is transparent in admitting that he used to smoke weed when he started Microsoft, and the billionaire today is among those supporting the federal legalization of cannabis in the United States. Staying at “billionaire level”, Elon Musk doesn’t hide his love for cannabis, even if smoking a blunt during an interview for the famous Joe Rogan podcast turned out to be a famous internet meme. It’s also very famous the remark made by Steve Jobs during a government background check in 1988 when he publicly admitted: “The best way I would describe the effect of the marijuana and the hashish is that it would make me relaxed and creative.”
But let’s get into the science of it. Research by Jasen Talise published in the Berkeley Medical Journal has pointed out that creativity is associated with the brain’s frontal lobe, and that use of cannabis increases cerebral blood flow to this area, making it more active. J. Talise’s research dates back to1992, and since then many experiments have been carried out, including by the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, confirming such findings. Many of these studies are cited on a paper recently published by the US National Institute of Health, even if the overall evidence, as much of the research around cannabis, is not conclusive.
Such increases in cerebral blood flow to the frontal lobe stimulate creativity in two ways. While activating the area near the brain correlated to creativity, it boosts the activity of the frontal lobe, which is home to the so-called “creative divergent thinking”, a common scientific measure of creativity. Divergent thinking is the kind of thinking that explores alternative possible solutions and normally occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, and non-linear way, to come up with the classic “outside-the-box” ideas.
Basically, cannabis alters not only perceptions but also the thought processes, allowing creativity to flow as its users look at things and analyze facts with a more open-mindedness. Cannabis is not the source of creativity but rather the influencer of the mental processes which lead to creative production.
As reported by many sources, cannabinoids in cannabis cause the brain to have longer and uninterrupted thought patterns by shortening the time between breaks of neuron transmissions. This constant flow of neuron transmissions hence leads to a faster and consecutive train of thought which allows the creation of more ideas and concepts, leading to increased levels of imagination and dopamine. A recent psychopharmacology article published by Psychology Today reports the findings of a research team led by Dr. Schafer, who suggests that cannabis produces psychotomimetic symptoms which leads to the connection of seemingly unrelated concepts and ideas, an aspect of divergent thinking considered primary to creative thinking.
Talking about cannabis and creative divergent thinking, all research and sources also quote an important aspect that must be taken into consideration – dosing. Apparently, a high dosage of cannabis ultimately impairs creative thinking and negatively impacts productivity – that’s because it gets you stoned. But we need to consider the fact that all these experiments and research always focus on cannabis containing THC, the psychotropic cannabinoid that gets you high. This is why we are keen to advocate CBD cannabis, where the legal content of THC is neglectable and not suitable for “the high”, while its CBD content can help you relax, create, and get inspired, depending on the CBD variety and the plant’s genetics.
And again, with the MA True Cannabis CBD product line you have multiple choices, whether you like to smoke or not. Try our CBD cannabis flowers, our pre-rolls of CBD cannabis with officinal plants and no tobacco, our CBD oils with essential oils, and our (coming soon) CBD infusions.
We’d like to know how our CBD cannabis products work with your creative process, and how you can leverage them whether your choice is to CREATE, RELAX, PARTY or SLEEP. Let us know by following us and starting a conversation on our social media spaces, we are active on Facebook, Instagram, Medium, Reddit, and Ello!