Cannabis and Creativity

If you’re a medical cannabis patient who finds that your medicine makes you more creative, you’re in good company. Influential people around the world have used cannabis for hundreds of years to stimulate the muses and open their minds to new possibilities and connections. From Shakespeare to Maya Angelo, Justin Timberlake to Matt Damon, Martha Stewart to Steve Jobs, supremely successful writers, artists, actors, politicians and business people, not to mention everyday people living around the world, have used cannabis to relax and create everything from classic plays to multi-billion dollar empires.

How does it work?

Despite all the anecdotal evidence that cannabis heightens creativity, scientific evidence largely refutes those claims. Issues Berkley Medical Journal, however, reported that experiments done by researchers in 1992 showed that thirty minutes after cannabis consumption, subjects had increased cerebral blood flow in the frontal lobe, which may be responsible for “promoting the creative drive and divergent thinking characteristic of the creative process.”1 Perhaps a little extra blood flow is all it takes? Certainly many strains of cannabis induce a relaxed and open state of mind and silence the inner critic that can inhibit creative output. Increased blood flow or not, these factors alone may allow a person with creative tendencies to transition from a state of being filled with everyday worries and chatter to a quiet, peaceful state where thoughts flow and connect.

Does cannabis increase your creativity?

Whether cannabis actually stimulates creative thought or whether it just puts some people into a receptive mood remains to be seen. Either way, the list of people who swear that cannabis helps them innovate is impressive. We’re sure there are many more, but here’s a partial list of famous creative people who are open about their past or ongoing cannabis use. Thanks to the many sources listed at the end of this post.

Writers and artists who use/used cannabis

Alexandre Dumas

Carl Sagan

Hunter S. Thompson

Jennifer Egan

Ken Kesey

Lee Child

Maya Angelou

Norman Mailer

Salvador Dali

Stephen King

Susan Sontag

William Shakespeare

Entertainers who use/used cannabis

Alanis Morissette

Bill Maher

Brad Pitt

Bryan Cranston

Dave Matthews

David Letterman

George Clooney

Jennifer Aniston

Johnny Depp

Jon Stewart

Justin Bieber

Justin Timberlake

Kirsten Dunst

Lady Gaga


Matt Damon

Matthew McConaughey

Mick Jagger

Miley Cyrus

Morgan Freeman

Oliver Stone

Paul McCartney


Robert Downey, Jr.

Rush Limbaugh

Snoop Lion

Stephen Colbert

Willie Nelson

Woody Harrelson

Business people who use/used cannabis

Bill Gates

Hugh Hefner

Martha Stewart

Rick Steves

Steve Jobs

Ted Turner

Politicians who use/used cannabis

Hmmm, maybe we’ll save that one for a future post.

What do you think? Does cannabis help you be more creative? As always, we’re interested in your thoughts and perspective.


  1. Talise, Jasen, “Marijuana As Muse: How Cannabis and Novelty-Seeking Affect Your Health,” Issues Berkeley Medical Journal. Spring 2011. Retrieved from:

Other sources:

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