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Tuesday October 9, 2018

Updated on 3/4/2022

By Michael Walters

Cannabis leaves in a multimedia art piece 420 Culture

Artists of all varieties have traditionally used cannabis to enhance their creativity and expand the horizons of their artwork. From painters and sculptors to musicians and photographers, cannabis has been a major influence for many of our favorite artists and will certainly be a factor for years to come – especially now that legalization is sweeping the nation. But what are the specifics behind the relationship between art and cannabis? And how has cannabis helped shape the artistic world and community? To truly explore this connection, we’ll have to dig a little deeper into the cultural impact as well as take a peek into the future of innovation.

Current Relationship Between Art and Cannabis

Despite the copious amount of experiential evidence, there is actually some scientific reasoning behind the influence of cannabis on art. In fact, cannabis has an inherent neurological relationship with both art and creativity. According to Dr. Alice Weaver Flaherty, a neurologist and specialist in deep brain stimulation, cannabis has the ability to stimulate the brain’s frontal lobe – an area that is highly active in creative people. She notes that “marijuana is a stimulant. And most stimulants…boost output of all kinds.”

Cannabis Art
Cannabis has shown to stimulate the frontal lobe, one of the brain's main creativity centers. photo credit

Speaking more specifically to artists, Flaherty goes on to note that the effect cannabis has on creative productivity is based largely on dosage and other individual traits. Simply put, cannabis affects everyone differently and what works well for one artist might spell catastrophe for another. That being said, remember that cannabis does increase frontal lobe activity, meaning there is a “sweet spot” that individuals can dial in to enhance their creativity. Finding the right dosage is imperative for artists, as it can help elevate (no pun intended) their work and expand their minds to open up new patterns of possibility.

Abstract Joint
Selecting the right strain and dosage is critical for achieving enhanced creativity.

Some artists who struggle with anxiety may prefer a calming indica to help them settle into the groove while others may look for a motivating sativa to help push their creativity to new heights. No matter what their personal preference is, cannabis has been helping artists create new and exciting pieces for hundreds of years. Many legendary figures have consumed cannabis to influence their work, too. William Shakespeare used to consume cannabis for inspiration in his playwriting as did Pablo Picasso to fuel his unique style of abstract painting.

How Cannabis Culture is Changing the Art World

While cannabis has helped many artists expand their creativity, until recently many artists have kept their marijuana consumption habits under wraps. But with the ongoing trend of cannabis legalization spreading across the United States and other nations like Canada, more and more artists are publicly embracing their cannabis usage. Whether they want to raise awareness for the benefits cannabis has to offer or simply are relieved to not hide their cannabis habits, we’re seeing a strong trend of artists openly using cannabis – many who create cannabis-inspired art as well!

The emergence of cannabis culture within the art community has created a crossover of sorts, with tons of unique opportunities popping up each day.

Taking advantage of this trend (as well as the booming cannabis tourism market), some companies are creating unique cannabis-based experiences for art lovers of all shapes and sizes. Cannabis activities seek to connect art and cannabis while offering consumers a fun and exciting way to get together with likeminded people and create something special. Many tourists are flocking to these classes to get a taste of the cannabis industry and also explore the plant’s effects on their creative output. On top of activities and classes, there are also many cannabis events beginning to include art into the mix.

Interactive Canna-Experiences: A Fresh Take on Industry Events

Cannabis events are becoming an integral part of the cannabis community and one of the easiest ways for consumers and advocates to connect. As cannabis and art often appeal to a similar crowd, there are many cannabis events that incorporate art into the festivities. From live paintings to art galleries and almost everything in between, there is usually a pretty strong representation of art culture at cannabis events. Nowadays there are even cannabis-themed events focusing exclusively on interactive art experiences.

The Future of Art and Cannabis

Only time will tell how the relationship between art and cannabis progresses. One thing is for certain though, cannabis will always have a place in artistic culture as a major influence for many artists. As evidenced by the growing number of cannabis and art events across the country, marijuana consumers are just as interested in art culture as they are cannabis culture. Luckily, cannabis consumers have a front row seat to this evolution and are in for some awesome experiences for years to come!

What are your thoughts on the relationship between cannabis and art? Comment below!

Photo Credit: Jurassic Blueberries (license)


Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

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