Investigating the interaction between schizotypy, divergent thinking and cannabis use

Authors: Schafer G, Feilding A, Morgan CJ, Agathangelou M, Freeman TP, Curran VH.


Cannabis acutely increases schizotypy and chronic use is associated with elevated rates of psychosis. Creative individuals have higher levels ofschizotypy, however links between cannabis use, schizotypy and creativity have not been investigated. We investigated the effects of cannabissmoked naturalistically on schizotypy and divergent thinking, a measure of creativity. One hundred and sixty cannabis users were tested on 1 day when sober and another day when intoxicated with cannabis. State and trait measures of both schizotypy and creativity were administered. Quartile splits compared those lowest (n=47) and highest (n=43) in trait creativity. Cannabis increased verbal fluency in low creatives to the same level as that of high creatives. Cannabis increased state psychosis-like symptoms in both groups and the high creativity group were significantly higher in trait schizotypy, but this does not appear to be linked to the verbal fluency change. Acute cannabis use increases divergent thinking as indexed by verbal fluency in low creatives.