ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Can Drugs Help Your Creativity?

Posted by Plish on September 19, 2018

With all the emphasis on legalizing marijuana, and along with it, scores of users that claim it helps their creativity, I figured this would be an opportunity to dig into the science a little bit.

Dr. Heidi Moawad, over at Neurology Times has thankfully addressed the question recently here.

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT condoning or recommending  experimentation with, or use of any drugs, legal or illegal.

Cannabis is the bomb!

Actually, it may be, in that smoking weed may mean you bomb your next brainstorming session.  People who were administered low  and high doses of THC were measured for their level of divergent thinking – the thinking that most people identify with being creative and coming up with wild ideas.  Low doses had no effect and high doses actually resulted in lower levels of divergent thinking.

So, lighting up or getting some THC candy might not be the best solution to come up with creative solutions.

What about LSD??

Sorry, this didn’t help either.   Using brain imaging  while under the influence of psychedelics, researchers concluded that while the drug may have been responsible for some far out experiences, the problem is that the brain has trouble with cause/effect relationships.  In other words, it can’t make sense of what it’s seeing and apply it in a meaningful way.  Does this mean that if a person narrates his/her trip and a non-drugged person listens, that the far out imagery of a trip might be usable for someone? (AGAIN, NOT CONDONING THIS!) Something to think about.  But having said that, there are ways of creating the same effect of prompting ideas using random words and images that would probably work just as well.

Even Microdosing LSD?

There is some evidence, though it’s considered dubious, that microdosing might actually help with creativity, but only now is this becoming a topic for serious research, so the jury is still out.

Can I have a drink?

Actually, you can.  There is some evidence that alcohol can help out of the box thinking.  There is again, a point of diminishing returns as can be expected.  But, loosening up by having a couple drinks might have some merit.

What about Nootropics?

Nooo-what?

Nootropics. These are substances that enhance brain function.  Sometimes they’re called smart drugs.  People are already familiar with many of them, and use them, without realizing they’re using nootropics.

Caffeine, B-vitamins, Vitamin D, Turmeric, Ginseng, Ginkgo, are some of the more obvious ones.  As with any substance, you can have too much of a good thing.  But, there is a growing body of evidence that many of these have some merit.  Research is in its early phases and there are people that use nootropics as part of their biohacking regime.  I’m planning on doing an article about some of the more common ones in the future.

What’s the verdict then?

Do your research!  Everyone is looking for an edge but at the end of the day, if we manage stress, eat well, exercise, maybe we’d need less of an edge.  It’d be interesting to compare someone who is physically and mentally fit with someone who isn’t, but is trying to supplement with other substances.  I wonder if the drugs or nootropics would give much benefit?

Until that study is done, here’s to being more creative and healthy!

CHEERS!!!

 

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