Cannabis May Help — But Can Also Hinder — Creativity in Entrepreneurs

cannabis entrepreneur

Confused by the headline? You’re not alone. A new study in the Journal of Business Venturing, by Washington State University researchers, found that when entrepreneurs dream up ideas for new business, cannabis use might help, and hinder, their creativity.

Wait, what? Still confused? Essentially, entrepreneurs who use cannabis generate new business ideas that are more original than their non-using counterparts. The hindrance? Well, these new ideas are less feasible. We’re talking things like a weightless, gravity-free virtual reality workout.

Interestingly, this phenomenon only surfaced for entrepreneurs who reported relatively strong passion for exploring new business ideas. As for cannabis-using entrepreneurs with experience founding more than one business? The effect was absent with them.

To put a study like this together, researchers took 254 entrepreneurs, who completed a new venture ideation task – generating as many ideas for a new business as possible based on virtual reality technology. The researchers separated the entrepreneurs into cannabis users and non-users.

The results suggest that the effects of marijuana use may have some benefits in the early brainstorming stages of the venture ideation process. A note to all of you cannabis using entrepreneurs, however – researchers stressed the importance of grounding creativity in reality to successfully launch a new company.

Alexander Kier, assistant professor of entrepreneurship in the Carson College of Business, said “Our results suggest that cannabis-using entrepreneurs might benefit from non-users’ insights to develop the feasibility of their ideas.”

Oh, and the lead author of the study, Benjamin Warnick, noted that the cognitive effects of chronic cannabis use have been shown to last for up to a month. These effects? They include increased impulsivity and free-thinking tendencies.

What’s that mean for the future of cannabis use? Well, researchers hope their work will paint a clearer picture of the implications of cannabis use among entrepreneurs – especially timely as it could be used to treat STIs, for mental treatments, and is already used for beauty. And it’ll soon be available over the counter.

Read more stories from The Latch and follow us on Facebook.