The art of writing is one of extremes. It can either be an experience of pure joy where the mind enters a flow state, or one of utter frustration. At the best of times, it feels as though words are being summoned from the finger tips in an unstoppable barrage of clear and concise communication. But writing isn’t always so smooth and blissful. Sometimes putting pen to paper can be a mental slog. Every single word is forced, sentences are bumpy and disjointed, and every draft appears just as bad as the last. In fact, sometimes the pen doesn’t even hit the paper, nor do the fingers make contact with the keyboard. Sometimes the writer's mind can’t even conjure lucid thoughts, let alone transmute them into writing form.

This latter state is known widely as writer's block, and it can be an extremely frustrating and annoying reality. But thankfully, it doesn’t last forever. Still, there’s no promising it won’t come back with a vengeance. There are several methods you can use to try and overcome such a phase, including ingesting cannabis, an herb that has influenced writers throughout the ages. And cannabis need not only be ingested in times of creative strife; smoking the herb during peak flow states can also help to bring your writing game to another level. It can lift you out of your normal style and help push your boundaries toward excellence.

CANNABIS AND CREATIVITY

Smoking cannabis has long been closely associated with increased creativity. It seems to be beyond coincidence that scores of top-level musicians, artists, writers, and performers partake in the herb. From an anecdotal perspective, shortly after the ingestion of cannabis, the mind appears to perceive the world through a new lens. The default mode of analysing the world seems to melt away and is swiftly replaced by intrigue, fascination, awe, and wonder. Emotions such as anger, jealousy, and resentment seem to evaporate, making room for forgiveness, understanding, and appreciation. This renewed mental state appears to be fantastic when it comes to engaging in the creative process. Feelings of empathy and a greater attention span allow the mind room to breathe.

How many times have you heard a cannabis user claim how the herb “blows the mind” or “opens the eyes”. These archetypal descriptions truly surpass cliche and have some real substance to them. There really is a huge difference in mental state when sitting down with pen and paper sober, compared to hitting a bong or blunt first.

The idea that cannabis enhances creativity isn’t just some justification for idle hippies to continue hitting the pipe. The herb’s impact on creative faculties is so noticeable that it has been investigated by scientific researchers.

CANNABIS AND CREATIVITY

A 2012 paper from the journal Consciousness and Cognition attempted to study the link between cannabis and creativity. The authors of the paper state that there is a lack of research in this area simply because of how hard creativity is to define or objectively measure. The researchers chose to use a model of creative thinking that conceptualises creativity as a distinction between divergent and convergent thinking. Convergent thinking is linked to concrete problem solving and the collection of knowledge focussed towards a single solution. On the other hand, divergent thinking is associated with novel ideas and solutions, fluency, and flexibility.

The study tested 160 participants during one day when they were sober, and another day when they were under the influence of THC. It was found that cannabis increased verbal fluency in participants who were classed as “low creatives”, and also in those classed as “high creatives”. The authors of the paper concluded that acute cannabis use increases divergent thinking as indexed by verbal fluency in low creatives.

CAN CANNABIS USE ENHANCE WRITING ABILITY?

So, it looks like cannabis may increase creativity and divergent thinking in some individuals, but how does this apply to writing? The study mentioned above documents how the herb enhanced verbal fluency in participants, a trait that can translate over into writing.

Although cannabis use does seem to correlate to certain elements of creativity, the real question is whether cannabis itself leads to creativity, or if creative people are simply more likely to use cannabis. A 2017 paper from the journal Consciousness and Cognition suggests that personality type plays a large role in creativity, and personality traits such as openness to experience may explain cannabis users’ enhanced creativity. The study showed that sober cannabis users displayed enhanced self-reported creativity in comparison to non-users, suggesting that personality may be the root cause.

Many of the best-known and greatest writers smoked and ingested cannabis including Carl Sagan, Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, and Quentin Tarantino. Reports also state that the great William Shakespeare most likely engaged in the occasional smoking session.

CAN CANNABIS USE ENHANCE WRITING ABILITY?

HOW CANNABIS MIGHT NEGATIVELY AFFECT WRITING

Although cannabis is superb for creative writing, not all writing is strictly creative. New and original ideas are essential to the writing process, and cannabis can help immensely in this domain. Yet, being stoned out of your mind might prove detrimental when it comes to writing quality, grammar, and structure. Plus, many forms of writing don’t require as much creativity, and instead prioritise factual evidence and clarity of communication. Don’t misunderstand; cannabis can still be superb for these writing styles, especially due to its stimulating aspects and ability to increase attention span. However, it may lead some writers away from their main point, and may have a detrimental effect on short-term memory.

EXPERIMENTATION, MICRODOSING, AND CBD

The key to writing with cannabis is self-experimentation. There is no rule book, and the experience will vary between individuals. Try out different doses and strains and see what works for you. In most cases, less is more. The act of microdosing involves taking very small, sometimes sub-perceptual doses. Some users find this increases creativity and focus without being too intoxicating.

If THC is causing you to daydream or making you too drowsy to keep up a solid work flow, you can also try high-CBD strains or extracts. CBD provides a clear-headed experience that can improve focus and immerse users into the present moment. CBD is also excellent if you find yourself becoming too stoned whilst writing, as the molecule can lessen some of the effects of THC.

STRAINS TO TRY WHILST WRITING

These strains are good choices to try if you’re thinking of experimenting with weed and writing. They have mild THC levels and high CBD levels, making the high subtle but effective.

Euphoria is an excellent cannabis strain for writing. This indica-dominant autoflowering strain will relax the body and let your mind do all the work. Her flowers contain THC levels of 9% and high levels of CBD, offering a subtle but effective high that will not overwhelm you.

Euphoria

Euphoria

Euphoria

Genetic background Great White Shark x CBD dominant plant
Yield indoor 450 - 5002
Height indoor 60 - 100
Flowering time 8 weeks
THC strength THC: 9%(aprox.) / CBD: High
Blend 20% Sativa, 80% Indica, 00% Ruderalis
Yield outdoor 450 - 500 g/per plant (dried)
Height outdoor 120 - 150 cm
Harvest time Early October
Effect A motivating and inspiring feeling
 

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Fast Eddy is another fantastic writing strain. She’s a sativa-dominant auto also with THC levels of 9% and high levels of CBD. A few tokes of these flowers will ease you into a clear-headed high that elevates the mood. Tastes of citrus accompany this motivating state of mind.

Fast Eddy

Fast Eddy Automatic

Fast Eddy Automatic

Genetic background Cheese x Juanita la Lagrimosa x Ruderalis
Yield indoor 80 - 1302
Height indoor 60 - 100
Flowering time 6 - 7 weeks
THC strength THC: 9%(aprox.) / CBD: High
Blend 50% Sativa, 40% Indica, 10% Ruderalis
Yield outdoor 80 - 130 g/per plant (dried)
Height outdoor 80 - 120 cm
Harvest time 8 - 9 weeks after sprouting
Effect Clear, Painrelief
 

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