“One thing we know well is that THC produces short-term memory impairment…when somebody’s used cannabis and they say they’ve lost their train of thought, that’s one of the known effects,” Russo told The GrowthOp.
As Russo explains, THC reduces a person’s ability to focus on the big picture. This in turn allows for more focus on the finer details. And once you start zeroing in on the subtleties of a painting, song or movie you will probably understand it in a much different way.
“Altered states of consciousness can offer a different experience and, therefore, a different perspective on the source of stimulation,” Russo said. “Cannabis can sharpen senses for certain activities…people say they’ve never ‘heard it’ or ‘seen it’ that way before.”
And when speaking of visual art more specifically, cannabis may enhance the experience in other ways. Some studies have shown that consuming cannabis can improve a person’s night vision, which might increase their ability to pick out details in an image.
“The retina is very rich in cannabinoid receptors,” said Russo.
Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, a researcher who studies neruoaestetics—the field interested in how people perceive ‘aesthetic’ experiences—says that THC might also be interacting with the parts of the brain most active when a person is taking in art.
“If the work is colorful, parts of the brain that engage with color are activated,” explains Dr. Chatterjee. “If there’s motion, even in something abstract like a Jackson Pollock that showcases ‘movement,’ the motion centers in the occipital cortex are involved with that. And those perceptions differ when you’re looking at something static like a Piet Mondrian.”
When THC is ingested neurons in your brain begin to fire more quickly, giving you that racing mind feeling. It’s possible that this encourages creative thinking, and may strengthen the affects art has on the different parts of the brain that Chatterjee discusses.
We still don’t really know why cannabis makes some people feel more creative, but it doesn’t seem to be some kind of placebo effect either. And while smoking up might not ensure you become the next big thing in the art world, it might just help you finally understand modern art.
First published on Civilized as “Here’s Why Cannabis Boosts Your Artistic Side”
Thank you for such a wonderfully informative website – I have just joined!
Having read about the legalisation in USA, and now they are introducing Coffee Shops with little cookies etc….. Wonderful…… But I believe a Bill/Law needs to be passed in that ‘NO alcohol on sale where Cannabis is available’ – the two DON’T go together!! Irresponsible people will only get trashed and Cannabis will be blamed for the behaviour. There should be a maximum radius – no Off Licence shop within so many miles?? AND the seller of Cannabis products in these little shops have THE right to refuse sale to anyone who is inebriated in ANY WAY!. I believe this is SO VITAL for the whole system to work well; keeping users safe and well-behaved.
Many thanks for reading this.
Hi Tracey, Thank you for adding your interesting ideas. I respectfully disagree with limiting the proximity between bars (does this included restaurants that serve) and edible lounges. I agree any place of consumption, be it a bar, cannabis lounge, or a bar/cannabis lounge combined should have the authority to cut off and ask people to leave if they have over imbibed. However, you are making an unnecessary distinction between the two.
Most main streets of certain sized towns have many bars/restaurants in close proximity to each other. We know that, for the inexperienced cannabis users, mixing alcohol and cannabis can be a powerful cocktail. However, prohibiting the proximity feels more like unnecessary regulation and a bit controlling on those of us who are experienced and know our limits. The answer is education, not through added laws. But your point of caution is well taken. I just believe this is a matter for added legal regulation.