The Curious History of Cannabis Enhancing Creativity

December 18, 2023 Bud Love Team
Discover the hidden inspirations of famous creatives like Shakespeare, Picasso, and Carl Sagan, who found their muse in cannabis. From the written word to visual arts and music, explore how cannabis has shaped the creative landscape throughout history.

As we embark on a journey through the kaleidoscope of creativity, one cannot help but be drawn to the timeless companion of artistic minds: cannabis. From the smoky-filled salons of Paris to the sun-dappled studios of California, cannabis has woven itself into the tapestry of artistic expression – its influence echoing through the ages.

Beyond its seductive allure lies a complex interplay between cannabis and the intricate workings of our brains. Join us on a journey through history and neurology, as we unravel the captivating relationship between cannabis consumption and the boundless realm of human creativity.

The Role and History of Cannabis Consumption and Creativity

Though cannabis seems to have  blossomed into mainstream culture more recently, cannabis has been found in artworks dating centuries ago. Based on our current records, the earliest depictions of cannabis in art stem back to 10,000 BC. Artists in Neolithic Japan created cave art near present day Kyushu.

These paintings display a leaf motif, a common theme in cannabis inspired artwork, with the appearance of smoke rising. At this time, hemp was a very common crop harvested for food, fibers, as well as a smoking herb in Asia.

Since then, there have been many creatives from all crafts experimenting with cannabis as part of their creative process. Here, we will break it down into three common creative fields where artists have been inspired by cannabis: music, written word, and visual art.

But, before we reveal which of your favorite artists use cannabis in their creative process, let’s break down the science behind cannabinoids and creativity.

The Science Behind Creativity and Cannabis

In the intricate dance of brain and bud, cannabis may impact the brain and body in very intriguing ways. Though there is still considerable research that must be done to conclude the exact impact that cannabis has on brain function, there are a number of clues already studied that offer a great deal of promise on the topic.

Cannabis increases cerebral blood flow

Cannabis acts as a vasodilator, causing more active blood flow to the brain and body. This may impact the function of the frontal lobe and affect the parts of our brain that control expressive language, emotions, and problem-solving.

It is important to note that these effects rely heavily on dosing, as heavy use can lower prefrontal blood flow.

Cannabis can reduce your limiting beliefs

The anxiety-relieving compounds in cannabis are excellent at regulating stress response and inflammation within the body. This can help lessen self imposed limitations, leading creative minds towards their most innovative and profound connections.

In fact, a modest and accurate dose of cannabis can actually impact a person’s impulsivity, tackling writer’s block and other mental barriers. As cannabis helps the body manage stress, it is possible for it to loosen our inhibitions, opening us to new connections and perceptions. Thus, cannabis has the potential to be an incredible tool for inspiration or problem solving in the creative process.

Cannabis can increase the interconnectivity between mind and body

Much like other plant-based psychedelics, cannabis works on the nervous system in a way that supports nervous system regulation. This process is a key part in strengthening the gut-brain-axis, a critical communication network that links the central nervous system to the enteric nervous system.

When the body is communicating in well-regulated ways, it becomes easier to process complex information, manage stress, and create powerful connections between emotions, thoughts, and experiences in the world around us.

Cannabis Creativity Throughout History

Let’s swiftly cover the last few centuries of cannabis inspired artists, starting with one of the oldest forms of art and history, touching on some of the world’s most popular creators!

Weed and the Written Word

We begin almost 400 years ago with the famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Anthropologist Francis Thackeray excavated and studied four clay pipes at the site of one of Shakespeare’s personal gardens. Using gas chromatography they were able to identify the residue of cannabis on the pipes found.

Scholars have also quoted some of Shakespeare’s sonnets referencing his use of ‘weed’ for creative writing, such as in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76.

Fast forward to the 1970’s, where the world renowned author and scientist Carl Sagan wrote an important essay on the positive impact of cannabis. Sagan wrote Marihuana Reconsidered under the pseudonym “Mr. X” offering details of his own personal experience using cannabis. Throughout this essay, Sagan makes it clear that cannabis has profoundly impacted his life, and his way of thought. Sagan writes,

“Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds.”

Painting with Pot: How the Greats Utilized Cannabis 

When it comes to visual artists, there is quite a long list of painters who dabbled with cannabis. Artists like Pierre Schmidt have acknowledged cannabis offered a creative boost when inspiring his ‘disturbingly delightful’ artwork.

In the 1960’s Pablo Picasso was also rumored to partake in cannabis himself. It is still unconfirmed whether or not Picasso enjoyed cannabis, however his piece titled “Men Smoking Pot” suggests Picasso was at the very least inspired by scenes where cannabis was present. The imagery depicts a group of men consuming cannabis, and although Picasso may not have publicly addressed his relationship with cannabis, its influence on his work is evident in this cannabis-culture inspired painting.

Cannabis-inspired Music

It’s no surprise that musicians hold a long history of inspiration through cannabis. Everyone from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones experimented with cannabis to enhance their creative process. But, it wasn’t just the big rock bands who took to a toke for inspiration.

Artists like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa have not only been fans of cannabis themselves, but they have also done a considerable amount of advocacy work in the movement towards safe, decriminalized cannabis. Cannabis inspired many artists to destigmatize the plant for therapeutic use, providing opportunities for community building, new jobs, and better access to quality cannabis for patients and consumers alike.

Additionally Stevie Nicks and Rihanna have also been huge advocates for cannabis’ positive effects on their art. Nicks has opened up about previous drug addictions that limited her ability to write and perform. Although Nicks avoids drug use now, she has mentioned still using the occasional cannabis as creative aid when writing to this day.

Bud Love and Creativity

Bud Love’s CBG-infused Inspired blends act as a catalyst, unlocking the doors to creative imagination. By combining CBG with rich botanicals and complementary herbs, Bud Love’s Inspired blends create a synergy that amplifies the potential for inspiration and innovation and ignite your creative fire. Embrace the power of CBG and the artistic potential it offers. Let Bud Love be your companion on your creative journey as you unlock the boundless realms of imagination and self-expression.

The Future of Cannabis Inspired Art

Even as the art world continues to move into the digital landscape, it is certain that cannabis will never cease to inspire artists and free-thinkers to innovate and express.

Whether it’s in the form of technological advancement, imaginative literature, or a killer album cannabis will fuel creativity for decades to come.

––This article comes to you from the Bud Love team.