Have you ever noticed how music seems to sound better when you are mellow, relaxed, and enjoying a euphoric high? Well, you are not alone. The combination of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in most cannabis strains is known to increase the release of dopamine, which triggers contentment and happiness and can make all forms of art even more interesting and inspiring.
Additionally, cannabis has long been associated with increased creativity, and for good reason. Research shows that consuming cannabis can increase cerebral blood flow (CBF) to the brain’s frontal lobe, the part of the brain that triggers creative thought. When more blood reaches this area, it becomes more active and can stimulate, what is often referred to as, “creative divergent thinking.”
Divergent thinking allows us to explore non-linear, spontaneous, and free-flowing ideas. It can encourage brainstorming and outside-the-box thinking that helps us uncover solutions and visualize concepts that might otherwise have been closed off.
However, some cannabis strains may spark creativity more than others. A strain’s terpenes, the compounds that determine its taste, aroma, and effect, can affect how it may or may not inspire creative thinking.
To help you find the right strains for crafting your next masterpiece, whether that be painting or putting together a playlist, we break down the best terpenes for creativity.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- Limonene: Best for Mood
- Caryophyllene: Best for Stress Relief
- Myrcene: Best for Discomfort
- Pinene: Best for Inspiration
Best for Mood
Found In: Lemon Rind, Orange Rind, and Juniper
Limonene is best known for its bright citrus flavor and aroma, which has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, triggering feelings of peace and tranquility — the perfect mood to tackle creative tasks.
We suggest selecting sativa and hybrid strains, such as Canndescent CREATE, and Baker’s Chem-Reserve and MAC (Miracle Alien Cookies), because they offer uplifting and mood-boosting effects that can make it easier to focus and put your creative skills to good use.
Best for Stress Relief
Found In: Black Pepper, Cloves, and Cinnamon
Caryophyllene (beta-caryophyllene), is one of the few terpenes that binds directly to the endocannabinoid receptors, making strains with high levels of this terpene fast-acting and potent — delivering a much-needed boost in inspiration. This terpene’s ability to activate CB2 receptors in the ECS also means that it can aid in reducing inflammation and pain, so if pain or discomfort inhibits your creative abilities, caryophyllene can help.
To experience the effects of caryophyllene for yourself, try strains such as Canndescent CRUISE or Baker’s GG #4 (Gorilla Glue #4). These strains can help warm the joints, make movement easier, and help you tackle creative tasks.
Best for Discomfort
Found In: Thyme, Mango, and Lemongrass
Myrcene is the most common cannabis terpene: About 40% of all strains found in legalized states have a higher percentage of myrcene than any other terpene. It has long been used as a sleep aid; however, high levels of myrcene have been found across popular indica, hybrid, and sativa strains. The overall effect of high myrcene strains depends on the other terpenes and cannabinoids present, so not every high myrcene strain will put you to sleep.
Myrcene seems to have relaxing effects on the body. For creatives that need to remain seated for long periods of time, we suggest sativa strains high in Myrcene, such as Canndescent CONNECT and goodbrands™ Jack Herer. These strains with higher levels of myrcene may be able to ward off muscle spasms and cramps.
Best for Inspiration
Found In: Pine Needles, Rosemary, and Basil
The creative process often requires us to tap into memories and experiences for inspiration. However, memories can sometimes be difficult to access. Thankfully, pinene can help!
A 2011 study found that pinene (alpha-pinene) acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that stops certain enzymes in the brain from breaking down neurotransmitters. Essentially, this brain activity can aid in long-term memory and increase attention span, both of which can create more successful creative pursuits.
To enjoy the benefits of pinene and stay motivated to create, we suggest sativa-dominant hybrids like Baker’s Cereal Milk. This balanced hybrid will leave you feeling calm and focused so you can find your muse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sativa or indica better for creativity?
Sativa and sativa-dominant hybrid strains are generally thought to be the best for creativity because they have uplifting, energizing effects that are perfect for daytime use. Since we often need to stay awake in order to accomplish creative tasks, sativa strains are typically the best option.
However, some indica strains can be calming and relaxing without causing extreme drowsiness. Before purchasing strains for your creative endeavors, it’s important to first look at the expected effects.
Is Blue Dream good for energy?
Although Blue Dream can vary from grower to grower, it typically has 60% sativa and 40% indica. Blue Dream offers energizing, euphoric, and happy effects that are ideal for inspiring creativity.
What terpenes are uplifting?
Limonene, pinene, and ocimene are known to have uplifting effects. Terpene blends such as limonene, myrcene, and beta-caryophyllene can also offer mental euphoria and help relax the body without causing drowsiness or couch-lock.
Which are the top cannabis terpenes?
There are over 150 cannabis terpenes. However, the 8 terpenes listed below are the most common and the most dominant.
- Myrcene (Herbal)
- Pinene (Pine)
- Caryophyllene (Peppery)
- Limonene (Citrus)
- Terpinolene (Fruity)
- Humulene (Hops)
- Linalool (Floral)
- Ocimene (Minty)
Which terpenes may cause energetic uplifting sativa effects?
Limonene and terpinolene are most commonly associated with uplifting and energizing effects. However, it’s important to look at the strain’s characteristics to determine how it will affect you. Even if a strain is high in limonene, it may not necessarily be sativa dominant.
Find Products with Your Favorite Terpenes
Although more research on the effects of terpenes on humans is still needed, early studies and cultural evidence shows that they may be able to relax the mind and body and open up new ways of thinking. With an open mind, you may be able to push your creativity to the next level. While you don’t need cannabis to think outside the box, it definitely can help.
To explore all that these terpenes have to offer, shop our full assortment of Canndescent Brands products available in a wide range of strains. Get inspiration delivered right to your door or find our products at your local dispensary by shopping weedmaps.com or iheartjane.com.