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Cannabis Use and Musical Creativity



Will taking marijuana boost your creativity and help make you a better songwriter? Though this subject is largely contested, recent research has shown that users of cannabis have a more remarkable convergent thinking ability when compared to non-users. 

Does that mean you can dash out and grab the next available joint out on the street? Absolutely not. 

Join us as we explore the effect of cannabis use on musical creativity, and what exactly you should take in the hope of boosting yours.

Let’s dive right in! 

The Relationship Between Cannabis and Musical creativity

The extra-therapeutic uses of marijuana and other ancient psychoactive plants do not habitually come to the forefront. Moral entrepreneurs, religious and political leaders, and some members of the academic community would rather the subject was ignored.  If you choose to experiment, you might be doing so at a small risk to your reputation, or freedom.

However, despite the social constraints, the intake of cannabis has been linked with some creatives, with some even crediting it for their musical genius. Some preliminary studies even showed a link between the use of weed and jazz in the 20th century. 

With all these claims and counterclaims, let us look at five properties of marijuana that may help in the enhancement of musical creativity. 

  • It inspires Divergent Thinking

As Bob Marley the legend put it so aptly, “When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.”

Recent studies have shown that using cannabis can help in making connections between thoughts that are seemingly unrelated —which form a crucial part in divergent thinking. 

In the creative process, divergent thinking is a significant part because creativity is based on the notion that when faced with a problem, a number of possible solutions exist. Being able to make those connections in divergent thinking is a big part of creativity.

  • It enhances focus

Focus is vitally important in the creativity process. Cannabis helps many songwriters to narrow their focus, and intensify their attention on the music they are creating.  The chaotic lives we lead make it quite difficult to tune everything out and completely focus on the task at hand. Marijuana helps you ease into that mode, and allows you to enjoy the process with minimal distractions.

This is not only useful for a musician writing his own songs, but also for ghostwriters and freelancers trying to write in someone else’s style.

  • It stimulates your imagination

Cannabis is known to be mind-altering. This goes to show how the whole idea of “high thoughts” ,and  “stoned thinking” might have a basis in the formulation of new, and innovative ideas. 

It has been well documented that some musicians, as well as tech visionaries, experiment with mind-altering substances such as marijuana to enable them to think differently about a problem. It is said that sometimes it has even led to unique, cutting-edge ideas. 

In music writing, it all depends on the part of the songwriting process that is weaker. If your problem is coming up with unique, original thoughts, there is evidence that marijuana might actually help. However, though marijuana might help you have great, unique ideas, it might also impair your ability to comprehensively put your thoughts to paper.

To put it in the words of Jim Morrison, “Drugs are a bet with your mind.”

  • It is energizing and uplifting

Many famous songwriters have been known to enjoy concentrates as well as uplifting strains. This is because they are able to have more control over the creativity process and are able to put in the work required. The need for energy and an uplifted mood cannot be overstated. 

  • It relaxes you

Have you ever tried getting something done when you are a bunch of nerves or filled with anxiety? Marijuana, as well as enhancing your creativity will make you relax enough to tap into your inner resources and come up with that billboard shattering piece. 

The Best Cannabis Strains For Musical creativity

With thousands of marijuana strains out there, identifying the ones that will get your creativity juices flowing might be quite a daunting task. As we have mentioned earlier, not all strains are created equal. The whole process of finding the perfect strain that sets off your creativity might be quite arduous, and has to be done practically, but some pointers are:  

  • Hybrids might work better for creativity. While strong sativas lead to a mind that is too racy to focus, heavy indicas will leave you feeling sleepy and foggy. It is claimed that any derivative OG Kush will kill your creativity.
  • Limonene is a terpene that has been lauded for creativity.  Its smell of lemon and citrus goodness have anecdotally helped a musician or two churn out a thousand words at “the wave of a wand”.
  • Anything that contains a high CBG content is both uplifting, and energizing.

If you are looking for a strain that will leave you with the feeling of euphoria, and thoughts that are outside the box, Blue Dream and its genetics are a good place to start. 

To further help you narrow down to strains that can help enhance your musical creativity, we have identified some strains:

Snoop's Dream: This is an indica-dominant strain that is a cross between Master Kush, and the famous Blue Dream. Legend has it that this strain got its name from the two parent strains being Snoop Dogg's favorite strains. Though we cannot verify this story, what is for certain is that Snoop Dream will kick out a piney flavor that is also refreshingly fruity, which will be followed by a high that will catapult you into musical creativity. At least we hope it will. 

Island Sweet Skunk: This strain will make you deliriously happy , and unlock your creativity and sense of adventure. There are several variations of this Sativa dominant hybrid, but the most common is a cross between Haze, Grapefruit, and Northern Lights.

Super Silver Haze: This is a great daytime suggestion that is a cross between Northern Lights#5, and Shiva Skunk. It hits with a powerful dose of energy that stimulates the mind vividly. If you are able to manage the high and channel the energy into musical genius, this is the strain for you. 

Cinderella 99: This is an excellent hybrid strain which provides strong euphoric effects. In a nutshell, Cindy 99 will hit your head with a burst of energetic stimulation which cascades down onto a deep body high. The mental stimulation emanating from this strain can set off a creative boost that you could take advantage of in your musical quest. A complex backcross of Shiva Skunk, Princess, and Cinderella 88, Cinderella 99 can be traced back to Jack Herer. This is probably why it has such great mental stimulation.

Stardawg: So far, we have been dealing with light weight strains that induce manageable head highs. Stardawg does not play fair. This is an extremely potent strain that is not suited for novices. It is a cross of Tres Dawg, and Chemdawg 4, and has a mix of earthy, gassy and floral flavors and aromas. Its heavy dose of sharply uplifting effects, translate into a creative energy burst. If you can tolerate this strain, it could probably help your creativity. 

Super Sour Diesel: Also from Super Silver Haze, Super Sour Diesel is another excellent choice for creativity. It is the result of crossing the famous Sour Diesel with Super Silver Haze. This strain both boosts appetite, and fights fatigue. It also has profound mental stimulating effects that could kick one out of a creative rut. Its terpene profile features lemon, diesel, and black pepper hints. 

XJ-13: This list would not be complete without a Jack Herer derivative. A cross between G-13, an Indica dominant strain, and Jack Herer, a Sativa dominant strain, XJ-13 will leave you feeling creative, uplifted, and euphoric. In other words, you will have a very heady high that will set the stage for great exploits. Its aroma has earthy, mint, and citrus hints. 

AK-47: Saved for the last, this strain is of Thai, Mexican, Columbian, and Afghani descent. Its aroma is pretty earthy, and even a little a little chemmy with slight citrus and gas undertones. Its effects are however very direct with a long-lasting euphoria that will keep you focused and keep your mind active. 


So, will using Marijuana instantly transform you into a musical genius? Probably not. However, if you are already gifted in this area, using the correct strain and blend could actually get that creativity flowing, and give you the spurt of energy and focus needed to pen down that next great song. It is important to note that different strains of weed might have different effects on different people, and you might be one of the few who does not benefit from this particular train of gravy.

The best way to find out, however, is to put the weed to the test. So go right on and sample the different strains to find which works for you. 


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.