A Dutch research team has published a study showing that smoking marihuana does not improve creativity.
The study was conducted by a team led by University of Leiden psychologists Lorenza Colzato and Mikael Kowal, who published their findings Tuesday in the journal Psychopharmacology.
Study participants who smoked cannabis with a high concentration of THC showed no improvement in creativity compared to those who smoked low THC cannabis or didn’t smoke at all. In fact, high THC doses had a negative effect on smokers’ ability to think up as many solutions to a problem as possible, ScienceDaily reports.
The study disproves anecdotal claims that marijuana use makes thinking more dynamic and original. According to Colzato, “The improved creativity that they believe they experience is an illusion.”
“If you want to overcome writer’s block or any other creative gap, lighting up a joint isn’t the best solution. Smoking several joints one after the other can even be counterproductive to creative thinking,” Colzato said.
The study is the first one to monitor the effect of cannabis on creative thinking. Participants imbibed cannabis with either high or low THC levels, with a third group as a control. They were then given tasks that tested both their ability to quickly solve a given problem in as many ways as possible, and their ability to answer logic questions with only one correct answer.