The usefulness of marijuana as a sleep aid is quite evident. Several people across the nation have time and again reported the advantages of marijuana for sleep. And there are research studies showing cannabis can promote sleep. In fact, many people get a medical marijuana evaluation to have a good night’s sleep. If we go back in history, there are pieces of evidence showing how ancient Chinese pharmacology combined cannabis flowers with several ingredients to create a powerful sleep powder. Although, western medicine still lags because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level and more research is required in the case of cannabis and sleep.
However, have you ever wondered what are the effects of medical cannabis on sleep? Particularly when you are well acquainted with the usage of cannabis and how it affects your body. I am sure you have witnessed that after a certain dose of your herbal nightcap, you go into a deep slumber of nothingness. Simply put, you dream about nothing, while some, conversely, witness a bizarre dream. So, what is the actual deal with cannabis and dreams? Should you be concerned or let it sit on the back burner? Let’s find out in this write-up below.
The Story Behind Dreams
The sleep-cycle has four stages with repeated multiple intervals. Soon after going into bed, stage 1 begins. This is one of the lightest stages of sleep. In stage 2, you enter a deep slumber. Your heart rate drops and the body temperature decreases. Next comes stage 3. This is one of the deepest phases of sleep. Your body receivers in this stage. In other words, your body starts strengthening and repairing itself. Last but not the least, the fourth stage. This stage is called the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or the dream sleep where you spent most of your time dreaming. More vitally, experts believe that dreams are a crucial part of the recovery process and it helps prevent ailments such as cognitive dysfunctions. That said, let us find more about cannabis and sleep.
Does Cannabis Affect Dreaming?
When it comes to analyzing the effects of cannabis on dreams, the answer is not concrete and clear. The reason for the same is that we do not have concrete studies showing a connection between cannabis and sleep. There are studies that determine cannabis can decrease the patterns of dreams or completely suppress the REM phase. However, the larger picture still hangs by a cliffhanger. In other words, it’s not clear whether cannabis is bad or good for the dreaming phase. Some might say yes to some extent while others might say that we do not have a factual answer to prove the hypothesis.
So, how can a cannabis patient learn whether cannabis is good for their sleep or not? To answer the question, here is a study from 2019, that indicates cannabis consumers have a shortened REM sleep cycle. On the other hand, non-consumers have a regular REM cycle. The authors of the study also showed that THC, one of the main components of the cannabis plant eliminates the ability of individuals to dream. In fact, THC shortens the REM phase and it is vital to note that scientists are still studying the effects of cannabis on the sleep cycle.
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The Connection Between Cannabis and Dreaming
While people all over the nation are getting a medical marijuana evaluation to purchase high-quality products. Some might have questions regarding the safe use of cannabis. Particularly, when CBD use to improve sleep is on the rise. To understand the connection between sleep and cannabis, here’s another review of sleep that shows how cannabis dosing plays a role in determining the dream patterns.
The review reports that a high dose of CBD increases the onset of REM dreams initially. Whereas, a mild dose of CBD decreased the onset of REM dreams soon after administration. This means that a high dose of CBD will enhance the effects of the REM phase. Under a high dose, you might experience nocturnal adventures or some bad dreams. In contrast, a mild or controlled dose can help a patient sleep properly without any lucid dreams. Although, in some cases, a mild dose may cause a person to dream. After all, cannabis affects each individual differently.
Additionally, there is evidence that proves cannabis could be beneficial in cases of people who experience nightmares. Especially patients with PTSD. In such cases, CBD can decrease the effectiveness of the REM phase and alleviate the symptoms of behavior disorder. Dreaming disturbances in PTSD patients or otherwise occurs due to personal harrowing life experiences. All in all, cannabis can help suppress the REM and cause the patient to sleep peacefully. However, make sure that you consult your doctor before administering CBD for PTSD.
REM And Cannabis
So far we have evidence suggesting that cannabis suppresses the REM dream phase. However, there are studies suggesting that cannabis might also increase the effectiveness of the REM phase. And it all depends on the type of cannabis dose and compound you are consuming. For instance, in the case of a high dose of THC, most people experience hallucinations. Which are often connected with dreams? On the contrary, dreams are very different from hallucinations. And hallucinations are just one side effect of cannabis consumption. Also, people who refrain from cannabis use after a long period might start having unusual dreams. The reason behind this is quite evident. You see, cannabis suppresses the REM.
So, soon after withdrawal, you will experience REM rebound. This means that your REM will start functioning the same way as before. Your mind will start making space for lost dreams. Which, in turn, can be quite disturbing. In fact, in some cases, people start having nightmares and denser REM dreams to fill the gap that was created by regular consumption of cannabis. This is why mainstream doctors advise people from consuming heavy doses of cannabis.
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I Consume Cannabis Regularly – What Should I do?
As mentioned earlier cannabis can suppress the REM. So, I am sure that if you use cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, the functionality of the REM may have been altered to some extent. So, many experts suggest that to avoid the side effects of REM suppression and REM rebound, you have to maintain a balance. To maintain a balance between the overall sleep cycle and the REM phase you have to consume the right dose.
Small cannabis doses are good for sleep but larger doses can be problematic. So, those who consume cannabis for recreational purposes can take a small dose. On the other hand, people who use cannabis for a good night’s sleep should first consult their physician. In addition to this, they can also seek guidance from a cannabis expert and then use a medical marijuana evaluation to avail of high-quality cannabis products.