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There are many cannabinoids that are said to impact your dreams. There is growing speculation that cannabinoids can cause crazy dreams, but not in the manner you might think. Different cannabinoids have varied effects on sleep, dreams, and your sleeping cycle.
How do cannabinoids affect your sleep and dreams?
Cannabinoids work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is integral to all human beings. The endocannabinoid system consists of CB1 & CB2 receptors that manage the regulation of the body and bodily functions.
Cannabinoids like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are psychoactive and can alter your perception of your surroundings. CBD is non-psychoactive but has pain relieving properties as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory.
As cannabinoids all interact with the ECS in different ways, certain cannabinoids suppress REM sleep while other cannabinoids enhance REM sleep.
How does THC affect your dreams?
THC can reduce the amount of time that you remain in REM sleep and can increase stage 4 of REM sleep. The interaction with your sleeping pattern can suppress dream activity by prolonging the time that is spent in non-REM sleep. THC can help those that use it feel more rested but can reduce the amount of time spent in REM sleep.
THC can be useful for those who suffer from insomnia and research indicates that THC may induce a deeper state of sleep.
How does CBD affect your dreams?
CBD is not psychoactive and has a different effect on REM sleep when compared to THC. One particular study found that CBD effectively blocked REM sleep suppression caused by anxiety. However, CBD has very little effect on non-REM sleep.
These findings indicate that CBD can increase the period of time spent dreaming during the night, there is however much research that needs to be conducted to confirm this.
Some CBD users have disclosed that CBD enables them to recall their dreams with more clarity.
How does CBG affect your dreams?
CBG (cannabigerol) is a lesser-known cannabinoid than THC & CBD. There are suggestions that CBG may help induce sleep and allow you to be more rested. CBG is growing in popularity and there are a growing number of products on the market which contain CBG.
There is anecdotal evidence that suggests that CBG can assist with insomnia by inducing sleep and enabling the user to achieve a deeper state of rest without impacting REM sleep. There are circles that believe that CBG is actually more effective than CBD or THC in improving the user’s sleep.
There is still a tremendous amount of research that needs to be carried out to define the true effects of CBG and to enable consumers to assess what cannabinoid best suits their needs.
Do cannabinoids enhance crazy dreams or prevent them?
It is commonly said that smoking cannabis before sleeping means that you will not dream, and your dreams will be suppressed.
There are many people that claim they’re not able to recall or describe dreams they have had after smoking marijuana, or if they are using marijuana on a regular basis. Cannabis can enhance a deep sleep, but it also suppresses dreams.
A study researched the effects of THC on REM sleep and it discovered that THC may reduce REM sleep and decreases sleep latency.
REM sleep means rapid eye movement and it is the stage during the sleep cycle that dreams happen.
Both vivid dreams and immersive nightmares are very common side effects of withdrawal from cannabis. If you use cannabis regularly, you may not experience the intense dreams while using but if you stop using cannabis for a while, you will notice that you have intense dreams or nightmares.
When you smoke marijuana on a regular basis, the THC reduces the amount of time you spend in the REM stage of sleep while increasing the amount of time you are in stage 4 of the sleep cycle. This causes you to have less collectible dream activity.
While the suppression of REM sleep does not have any known long-term side effects, it can affect you when you stop using marijuana. You may experience a rebound effect where your REM sleep activity increases and you spend more time in this phase of the sleep cycle. This can result in heightened brain activity.
It remains a mystery as to why this happens, but it is well documented. A study that was carried out in 2011 researched cannabis withdrawal symptoms and found that the most reported side effects were sleep disturbances, nightmares and vivid dreams.
Do cannabinoids really cause vivid dreams and nightmares?
THC can suppress dream activity and cannabinoids such as CBD can encourage more vivid dreams.
Marijuana does not tend to cause crazy dreams or nightmares. It is more likely to result in a decrease of REM sleep which as a result causes a decline in dreaming activity.
When THC use is abruptly stopped, an intense period of dreaming and nightmares can be induced as you return to REM sleep.