Regular cannabis use is linked to worse creative thinking, new research concludes.
They also find it harder to spot their own mistakes.
The conclusions come from a series of studies carried out by psychologist Mikael Kowal.
Regular cannabis use
One of the studies tested people’s brainstorming abilities.
It showed that regular cannabis users performed worse.
Mr Kowal said:
“There is a widespread belief among users that these drugs enhance creativity.
This experiment disproves that belief.”
Another study tested how good people were at detecting their own mistakes.
Again, regular cannabis users performed poorly.
Mr Kowal said:
“It is important that we gather more knowledge about the effects of cannabis on a person’s ability to detect mistakes.
This can help with putting together a treatment programme for drug addiction.”
In the long-term cannabis disrupts the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
One sign of this is that regular users blink significantly less than non-users.
Mr Kowal concluded:
“More research is needed on the effects of cannabis and on the individual consequences it can have on mental functions.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The studies are part of Mr Kowal’s PhD.