Van der Pop

Artistically Inclined


Dear Vandy,
Why are cannabis and creativity so closely linked?
Artistically Inclined

AP composition book goodship tin popsticks.jpg

Dear Artistically Inclined,

As kids, we are constantly creating. Our uninhibited minds create imaginary worlds, alternate realities, beautiful and unbelievable versions of ourselves. As kids, we know that our paintbrushes are dipped in magic and we can draw anything we want. We know that our thoughts are bound by nothing, our imagination is endless, and the process is effortless.

As adults, things are not so simple. After years of being told how to act, who to be and what standards to aspire to, it can be impossible to imagine an alternate version of our own life, let alone to create wonderfully inspired things in our brains! As adults, our tired minds can have a difficult time getting to that place of stillness, inspiration and true freedom of expression. Bogged down by the stresses of daily life, we often forget about the magic and about our own power to create.

So, sometimes, we need a little help from our favorite flower.

As I write this, I find myself in a Dela Haze-inspired state of bliss (If you’re not yet familiar, Dela Haze is a sativa dominant strain known for its creative and uplifting initial high which is then followed by a powerful sense of relaxation). My body is wrapped in a weightless warm blanket so comforting that I allow my words to fearlessly flow onto the page. My brain buzzes with non-deliberate thoughts that effortlessly flow out of me. When I sat down to write this, I had no plans or expectations for what I was going to say. I decided to smoke a joint and speak from a different place.

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When paired with the right intention of letting go, cannabis can be an incredible catalyst for creativity. Being creative in your thoughts and actions can be impossible to do if you are constantly bogged down by others’ expectations of you, their perceptions of your actions, and their value judgments of your worth.  

The anxiety-reducing and stress-relieving effects of flower can facilitate a return to a place of safety and inner power, a place free from the anxiety and stress of life’s challenges —a place from which our creativity can flow.

Using cannabis to facilitate creativity is also an exercise in existing in the moment. One of the popular misconceptions around weed is that it impairs your perception of time, and that this somehow makes us slow and unproductive. But, since we are now hip to the fact that the stigma surrounding cannabis has generated lots of misinformation, we can get creative with how we flip that idea on its head.

Consuming weed most definitely alters your perception of time, but it does so by slowing everything down and allowing you to connect to the present moment and exist in the now. The anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) effects of cannabis are key here, because step number one to being present is deciding to do just that, and letting go of anything that might be contributing to a stressful state of mind.

Rather than focusing on the million and one things we have to do, and the abundance of negative self-talk (“I can’t do this because I’m not good enough”) we are sure to experience in a state of stress, cannabis can alter our experience of time and help us focus not on what comes next, but on simply being and acting in the now. Cannabis’ effects on treating attention deficit disorders is also currently being explored in the scientific community, so it’s no wonder you may find yourself feeling a little more focused on and in tune with the present moment, as well.

Decluttering our minds from the pressures we and others put on ourselves can help us exist in the present moment and experience ourselves and our creative power in the most simple and genuine way.

  Photo by Morgan English

Photo by Morgan English

A cannabis ritual at the end of a long day can help you take time for yourself, be with yourself and recognize that you are enough. When we create in this stress-free way, we are cultivating habits which came so effortlessly to us as children. We allow ourselves to pursue our creative ideas without judgment and execute them in a seemingly second-nature way.

And, remember, creativity isn’t only reserved for the artistically inclined. Anything we come in contact with has the power to be creative. Whether that creativity manifests in us finding beautifully flawless solutions to business challenges or through more traditional creative avenues is up to each one of us.

Highest Regards,

Van der Pop does not endorse or condone the illegal consumption of cannabis.

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