A dream is something that happens to all of us and while sometimes it can be enjoyable, it can also be disturbing. Dreaming is an essential aspect of our sleep routine that occurs when we enter what is called Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. Regularly experiencing REM sleep can improve learning abilities, improve memory, and enhance our moods. The lack of REM sleep can make us dreamless and lead to physical and emotional stress. So, can cannabis affects dreams? As people become more aware of the medical purposes of cannabis, scientists have begun to conduct studies on how it affects dreaming and sleep overall.
The different stages of dreaming
Sleeping is part of our metabolism and it’s something every human does. We encounter four stages of sleep on an average night.
The first stage is Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep. This is a less intensive sleep that occurs when you’re just beginning to drift off. It’s the period when you’re still alive but yet sleeping. This stage consists of about 5% of our total sleep time.
The second stage is the longest and consists of about half of our sleep. This sleep is intense and usually characterized by slow breaths in which you become less aware of your surroundings. You start experiencing a drop in body temperature and a balanced heart rate.
Stage 3 is the most intense sleep and you become completely unaware of your environment. You also find difficulties recovering from this stage of sleep. When you immediately wake from this stage, you become cognitively impaired and groggy for about an hour because your body hasn’t fully completed the normal sleep routine.
The last stage is the fourth stage, and this is the stage where dreams happen. REM sleep usually lasts for about two hours each night. The dream is due to the increased neural activity that naturally occurs when we sleep.
Cannabis affects dreams
Several studies conducted on cannabis and dreams show that THC can block REM sleep while increasing the duration of the other deep sleep stages. This means recurrent cannabis consumers will experience fewer or even zero dreams each day. While THC can make us have a comfortable sleep, it won’t necessarily make you dream in most circumstances. Interestingly, CBD acts differently than THC– consuming CBD will still send you to the REM sleep stage.
Cannabis affects dreams ? Cannabis and dreams are linked in a way that can be beneficial for those who don’t like dreaming and less beneficial for those who like dreaming. Sufferers of PTSD will find cannabis useful as it eliminates REM sleep which can save them from recurrent nightmares that results from the condition. Cannabis improves their overall sleep for patients with sleep disorders.
While dreams can be a way of retaining memories, cope with different emotions, and enhance healthy functionality, they can still pose a threat to many since they can also come with nightmares. Therefore it will mostly depend on your sleep preferences on whether to use cannabis or not.