Cannabis and Creative Writing
Strains of Choice and the Golden Rule
What is the Golden Rule with cannabis and creative writing? Don’t hurt anyone and make sure to edit your words the next morning.
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If you grew up reading writers like Tom Robbins, especially his legendary stoner bible, Still Life with Woodpecker, then you might know what he, Hunter S. Thompson, Ernest Hemingway and many other writers knew; that stimulants help during the creative process. In Thompson’s case I think he took it to extremes in order to give himself a gonzo excuse to ignore the standing rules of journalistic writing. He wanted to be a columnist before earning his stripes as a reporter. In the days of Walter Kronkite-style news, Thompson was sort of like his generation’s version of Quentin Tarentino, a creator of chaos, but with drugs and words instead of on-screen violence.
“. . . and I was, after all, a professional journalist; so I had an obligation to cover the story, for good or ill.
The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, seventy – five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high – powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi – colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.” – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, page 1
The thing about creative writing though is that the rules were made to be broken. Thompson didn’t succeed in creating a new genre of journalism as he had hoped. However, he did open the door for writers to pen just about anything from a non-fiction point of view when he mixed real events with his over-the-top injections of fiction. If you enjoy writing, at some point you have to admit you owe the guy a bit of gratitude. Even if he got wasted and passed out during a speech you paid money to watch him give.
Robbins on the other hand, is not a drug addict or a derelict. But he was friends with Timothy Leary back in the Liquid Kool-Aid Acid Trip days, and is now a cannabis proponent. What makes Robbins special is not that he might smoke a joint before writing, but that he uses his words to get his readers stoned. I get so high on his words. He was and still is the master of packing a sentence with meaning. Screw Tolstoy. Sometimes I read Robbins’ sentences four or five times before moving on, still doubting that I grasped all of it. He is the shining example of what gold can be produced when you combine cannabis and creative writing.
At the tender age of 17, Still Life with Woodpecker stole my writing innocence, sentence by sentence. Then I graduated to Even Cow Girls Get the Blues, Jitterbug Perfume and what I consider his masterpiece, Wild Ducks Flying Backwards, which is a collection of his short stories. I only call it a masterpiece because I’m prone to love a short story more than a novel.
Robbins is a Seattle resident and if you haven’t read any of his work, I’d start with this amazing review of a Doors concert he wrote for Seattle Magazine, circa 1967. Plus his commentary about the importance of that review in his progression as a writer in the Seattle PI 30 years later. Then jump right into Still Life with Woodpecker or Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Maybe then you will better understand my suggestions for cannabis strains that could stimulate your writing process below.
My Favorite Strains for Cannabis and Creative Writing:
Raven Grass: Panama Red! This brand is a winner in just about every flower category (sativa/hybrid/indica). They just get it right, on all levels and the Panama Red is a sativa that will enable you to write and write and write and write and write…I guarantee that your prose will not sound ill-composed. You will be sharp. I can’t promise you that this weed will push you past your comfort zone in terms of your creativity though. It’s a ‘get shit done’ type of ganja.
Canna Organix: Melonade (sativa) another slam dunk new offering from Canna Organix. This strain is strong up front and sort of mellows out into a productive and happy high. I guess it depends what you are writing for, and about. I think the Canna Organix brand is a “must have” for creative writing purposes with just about all of its strains.
Pagoda Premium Indoor: Bubba Kush just about every piece of creative content the world has ever produced, where the creator was stoned, was under the influence of Kush. Yes it is indica, but not every indica wants to put you to sleep. Some of them like to keep you up late into the night, creating some weird shit. It is my go to for writing anything remotely off the wall.
Inflation Busters: The entire stock of Oz Gardenz flower is 20% OFF, as is the selection of Stoopid Cannabis. There are some great strains worth trying from each, such as Pablo’s Revenge from Oz, and Stoopid’s Strawberry zKittlez.
Part of the ‘writing while high’ adventure is exploring which strains enhance your creative process, and which ones don’t. You’ll have to conduct your own tests to find out! I personally swing between sativas to keep me going, and indicas to put me into more of a storytelling mode. It’s based on my mood and the topic. What I’ve learned is that cannabis and creative writing changed the entire literacy landscape for me. I hope this post helps inspire you to put pen to paper today!