Cannabis and creativity go hand in hand. And while the effect Mary Jane has on the creative brain are highly dependent on an artist’s personality, many artists contend they feel a creative spark after they spark one up.
Singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette describes it in the following way:
“As an artist, there’s a sweet jump-starting quality to [marijuana] for me. I’ve often felt telepathic and receptive to inexplicable messages my whole life. I can stave those off when I’m not high. When I’m high – well, they come in and there’s less of a veil, so to speak. So, if ever I need some clarity… or a quantum leap in terms of writing something, it’s a quick way for me to get to it.”
Is There a Link Between Cannabis and Creativity?
While there’s decidedly some speculation about whether or not cannabis leads to heightened creativity, some studies indicate that the frequency of cannabis use and creativity are directly related. A 1980 study, for example, found that the greater the self-reported frequency of marijuana among some 300 college students, the higher the scores on creativity tended to be.
A 2017 study found that cannabis consumers tended to be more creative in general, but not necessarily from the herb. Emily LaFrance, author of the study and graduate student of Washington State University, “became interested in this topic upon the realization that a number of my favorite musicians and artists were well known for their cannabis use, and that this cannabis use was commonly thought to have been a cause of the creative success of many artists.”
LaFrance found was that yes, cannabis consumers tended to be more creative, but there was a catch:
“The average person should understand that according to the results of this study, cannabis users may be more creative than non-users, but this is not because using cannabis has increased their creativity,” she said. “Instead, cannabis users tend to have different personality traits (they are more open to experience) than non-users, and this openness to experience is associated with both cannabis use and heightened creativity. So, cannabis use does not increase creativity, but certain personality traits tend to increase the likelihood that one will use cannabis, and that they will also be more creative.”
Whatever the case may be, there has been many an artist throughout history that has expressed cannabis consumption leads to enhanced creativity. From musicians that praise weed to artists that consume cannabis before getting down on a blank canvas, there are countless creatives who by with a little help from their friend Mary Jane.
Glenn Little II
Before becoming one of the most prolific cannabis artists around, Glenn Little II was a professional skier out of Colorado. When injuries ended his career on the snow, he began using cannabis to manage his pain. In 2015, Little began to paint. By the end of 2016, he was painting full-time.
"Cannabis and creativity come hand and hand in my artwork." Little says. "My main influences Alex Grey and Allyson Grey once gave a speech about Seshat the Egyptian goddess pictured in hieroglyphics with a seven-point leaf above her head at all times. She was the creator of scripture and Arabic writing which gave meaning to all things! We all have this same power inside of us and marijuana helps to convey these messages through creativity and sharing that with others."
His art speaks volumes of his love for cannabis, a substance he feels has greatly supported him both personally and professionally.
“I have gained so much inspiration from smoking cannabis every single day of my life,” Little says. “If you set your mind to it, you can do anything you want and create your own reality.”
The reality Little has created through cannabis is undoubtedly one of the most creative and captivating we’ve seen.
Cathy Lee is a professional cannabis artist from California. Since she was 5, Lee has been fascinated by the world of creativity, heavily influence by comic books, cartoons, graffiti art, and photography.
Lee is a long-time supporter of cannabis, working as an independent cannabis baker from 2006-2009, when she provided marijuana edibles to Proposition 215 patients. In 2008, she studied medical cannabis at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California, taking her canna-knowledge to a higher level indeed.
Lee began to combine her love of cannabis and art in 2010 and launched “Cathy Lee Art,” where she creates cannabis-themed paintings from paints she mixes by hand and stretched canvases she builds by herself. She says that this process helps build a deeper connection with each beautifully-crafted piece she creates.
Trog is a cannabis artist from Melbourne, Australia whose vivid colors and psychedelic pop have made him one of the most recognized cannabis artists of our time. His work has been featured at several events including, the Seattle Hempfest, Kush Cup LA, Kush Expo OC, Hempcon, Hempstock, Secret Cup LA, and more. He’s also created eye-catching art for bands like Slightly Stoopid, The Family Stone, Kottonmouth Kings, and more.
He draws his inspiration from artists like Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, Robert Crumb, and Victor Moscoso. He also finds inspiration from Mary Jane, depicting his love of cannabis through vibrant hues and colors that pop from the canvases he creates.
His “Killer Weed Coloring Book” was recently featured in Ganjapreneur, and his artwork adorns everything from t-shirts and posters to stickers and cannabis products. He’s also killing it with his weed-rendition of Garbage Pail Kids. Trog is a cannabis artist known around the world for good reason so. His weed-inspired work is psychedelic-style eye candy at its finest.
Cannabis Artists are Killing it with Weed-Inspired Creativity
No matter what studies have to say, these cannabis artists are proving that pot is something that inspires their creativity. Weed does, after all, release dopamine, offering that calm euphoria cannabis is famous for. And whether or not this contributes to the creative process or not, these cannabis artists are a clear example of people killing it with weed-inspired creativity.