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Does Weed Affect Dreams?

Sep, 2022
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A dream is a wish your heart gets high from, or whatever Cinderella said. Dreams are a mysterious part of life and although impossible to decipher, may harness therapeutic benefits. What if you’ve stopped dreaming? If you’re a consistent cannabis consumer, marijuana dreams may be nonexistent. 

Simultaneously, cannabis might be the only thing that helps you sleep and carry out your day-to-day life. So what’s the verdict? Can THC affect your dreams? Does weed stop dreams? Here, Elevate Holistics will dive into the science behind marijuana and dreaming.

Let’s put this debate to rest. Does weed affect dreams? How do weed and dreams relate?

does weed affect dreams

The Basics of Dreaming

Before we go into marijuana and dreaming, let’s discuss the stage of sleep in which we dream. Dream sleep, or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, is the fourth stage of sleep.

REM sleep is preceded by stages one through three of sleep – otherwise known as non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) or quiescent sleep. REM sleep periods can occur every 90 to 120 minutes but often take place in the final hours of sleep.

During REM sleep, EEGs (brain activity recordings) are much like those of someone awake. Because of this, some scientists prefer the terms ‘active sleep’ or ‘paradoxical sleep.’

REM sleep is characterized by:

  • Brain waves of reduced amplitude and faster frequency, similar to those of being awake
  • Active suppression of skeletal muscle activity
  • Intermittent muscle twitches
  • Fluctuations in brain and body temperature

It’s clear that we dream during REM sleep, so what is the functionality of REM sleep and dreaming? Why do we dream and how does it benefit us?

The Benefits of REM Sleep

How and why do we dream? Are dreams random or trying to tell us something? Science magazine defined this lack of information as “one of the most important and conspicuous knowledge gaps in science.”

Some say dreams are a “data dump,” helping us filter information, gain clarity, and form resolutions. However, the “why” behind dreaming and REM sleep remains unclear.

While the benefits of REM sleep for overall well-being are apparent, scientists can’t exactly understand its functionality. Certain hypotheses suggest that REM sleep might:

  • Support brain development
  • Help form and solidify certain types of memory
  • Facilitate learning and memory by regulating neuronal synapses
  • Heighten general creativity
  • Help process emotions

Now, let’s get to it. Does weed affect dreams? How do marijuana and dreaming relate?

Cannabis and Sleep

It’s widely known that cannabis promotes sleep. Studies show that CBD, the primary nonpsychoactive compound in cannabis, may have therapeutic potential for treating insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness disorder. CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system.

THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid, can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and help individuals stay asleep. However, it could also impair sleep quality long-term. So how could THC affect the long-term quality of sleep? 

Studies suggest that THC reduces REM sleep in frequent cannabis consumers. However, researchers have been unable to consistently replicate these findings. How can something that might suppress REM sleep be safe? Can marijuana and dreams coexist?

Can THC Affect Your Dreams?

So how can THC affect your dreams? Although THC can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, it may reduce the time spent in REM sleep. If an individual spends less time in REM sleep periods, they’re less likely to dream.

The relationship between weed and dreams could be dependent on dosage. Smaller doses and less frequent consumption of cannabis might not pose the same sleep issues as larger, more frequent doses.

Combining THC with a balance of CBD might also help. Clinical trials show that a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio is associated with sleep improvements among patients with chronic pain conditions.

Is it harmful to miss out on REM sleep? There are theories about the benefits of REM sleep, but scientists can’t precisely determine the function it serves. 

does weed affect dreams

Can CBD Affect REM Sleep? 

CBD does not have the same effect on REM sleep as THC. In fact, it may have the opposite effect. Research shows that a medium to high dose of CBD is associated with an increase in the percentage of total sleep, while smaller amounts of CBD may be stimulating.

Researchers have yielded mixed results when it comes to weed and sleep, so the topic is still up for debate. So what’s the verdict on marijuana and dreaming? Does weed stop dreams or not? 

Does Weed Stop Dreams?

So, does marijuana suppress your dreams? Are marijuana dreams a thing? While frequent THC consumption may reduce dreams, some consumers say that CBD has enhanced their marijuana dreams.

Consumers might notice that their dream life becomes much more active and vivid during a weed tolerance break, likely due to the lack of THC.

Research suggests that frequent THC consumption and large doses of THC may reduce REM sleep, therefore suppressing dreams.

Weed and Dreams Conclusion

Does weed affect dreams? Cannabis consumers can weigh the perks of consuming cannabis for sleep and the possible long-term drawbacks themselves. With limited research, it primarily depends on how cannabis makes you feel. 

If you struggle with insomnia and require a sleep aid, cannabis is likely your best bet compared to chemical-based sleep aids. However, we suggest you speak with a physician about your sleep issues.

If you feel the quality of your sleep has worsened from consuming cannabis, try consuming less THC or switching to products that don’t contain THC.

In conclusion, the therapeutic benefits of cannabis might exceed its potential downfalls – but that’s up to you to decide.

LEARN MORE: Have You Tried Medical Marijuana for Insomnia? | What are the Best Strains for Insomnia?

Feel Better Naturally With Elevate Holistics

So can THC affect your dreams? Research suggests that frequent THC consumption can affect the amount of time spent in REM sleep. 

How do weed and dreams relate? Does weed stop dreams? With less time spent in REM sleep, THC may reduce dreams. On the other hand, personal accounts claim that CBD may enhance marijuana dreams.

So should you quit smoking weed? You will have to outline the pros and cons yourself. Cannabis has a plethora of healing properties that may outweigh potential downsides. The plant has the potential to help with pain and inflammation, nausea and vomiting, mental health disorders, and more. 

Are you ready to test out the therapeutic benefits of cannabis? Elevate Holistics offers a hassle-free, fully online way to get medical marijuana certification. Our secure process virtually connects patients with an MMJ doctor for medical marijuana approval. 

Book a doctor’s appointment with Elevate Holistics to get your medical marijuana card today.