Using cannabis could make you dream less

Published Aug 22, 2021 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / agsandrew

Consumers have long taken advantage of the deep relationship between cannabis and sleep, with millions reliant on its soothing, sedating effects to get some type of rest. It’s a natural combination that seems almost too good to be true, as cannabinoids can work to relieve pain and discomfort from the body, mind, and soul, putting even the most stressed and restless people at ease, but it also comes with a lesser understood cost, and that is the dreams of those who use it.

If you take a moment to think about it and ask yourself a few simple questions, you’ll likely realize just how true this is. When was the last time you dreamt? Do you ever wonder why your dreams and nightmares were most frequent and vivid prior to picking up the habit of using cannabis? On the rare occasion you do dream, is it more difficult to remember the details of the experience than it was before you started dabbling in weed?

All of your answers probably point towards a significant decline in time spent in a dream world, as well as a fuzzier connection with it, on the odd occasion you manage to make it there. That’s no coincidence, and there is scientific research that seems to suggest there is a perfectly logical reason for this common phenomenon.

How cannabis influences dream frequency

According to a 2008 study conducted by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Freiburg University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany, cannabis can have a huge influence on the sleeping patterns of those who use it by disrupting the deepest part of sleep called the REM cycle. This is where all dreams and nightmares happen, so reducing the amount of time a person spends there will significantly reduce the likelihood of them ever having the pleasure or terror of a mind-constructed dream world.

A potential solution for those who want to prevent nightmares

This now impossible to ignore side effect is why so many PTSD sufferers manage successful treatments with cannabis because it has the ability to eliminate or at the very least, reduce the number and frequency of bad dreams and flashbacks. Though it isn’t going to work the same way for everyone, for those who are trying to figure out how to stop nightmares cannabis is certainly a viable potential solution that could do the trick. Of course, the good dreams also get tossed out with the bad, but for many, that is a small sacrifice that is more than worth it.

Want to keep dreaming and using cannabis?

If you aren’t trying to battle nightly demons and you really want to keep on toking, without losing all of the positive, entertaining nightly journeys you could go on, then there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of erasing them. There are no guarantees because, as far as the experts can tell most cannabis consumers dream less, but with patience and experience, anything is possible, and these tips and tricks can really help with that.

  • Harness the power of even THC and CBD strains
  • Avoid high THC strains before bed
  • Stop smoking at least 2 hours before bed
  • Stop eating cannabis at least 6 hours before bed
  • Eat well and stay hydrated
How to get the best nights sleep with cannabis


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