If you took a survey of 100 people asking them whether or not there is any association between marijuana and creativity, how many do you think would vote yes? Throughout time many people have attributed their successes to the stimulated brain processes that you undergo when smoking marijuana. Artists, musicians, writers, and entrepreneurs have frequently embraced this culture to benefit their personal achievements. Big names like The Beatles, the Beach Boys, Lady Gaga, among several others have accredited their own artistic evolution to his discovery of, and experimentation with marijuana. Even when all of this is taking place the beneficial aspects of marijuana use still remain out of sight in the eyes of the masses.
A paper published in Psychiatry Research took a much more in depth look on this spectacle, delving further into the reason marijuana seems to release some type of loose associative thought. In the study, researchers discuss a phenomenon called “semantic priming”, in which the activation of one word triggers a quicker association to related words. For example, the word “water” might lead to a decreased reaction time for “pool”, “ocean”, and “drink” but would not alter how quickly one would react to “car”. They found that smoking marijuana induces a state of “hyper-priming”, in which the reach of semantic priming is exponentially extended to distantly related words, thoughts, and concepts. As a result, when we hear the word “water” when under the influence of marijuana, you may not only create an extended thought tree of “pool”, “ocean”, and “drink”, but also perhaps a memory of a specific circumstance you encountered at the beach.
If the science is valid, hyper-priming is related to these altered brain functions and evidence would conclude that marijuana most certainly enhances creativity. However, to the best of my knowledge, the science backing this evidence is still theoretical and not fact. In some eyes, these extended thoughts are what cause space-outs and lack of attention, but to others they are a gateway to expanded ideas, which could lead to further success in regards to your career, personal life, or whatever dilemma you may be facing.