Weed Affect on Sleep | Source: The Happy Campers
Have you ever wondered how smoking weed affects your dreams? Have you ever dreamt something so vivid that it felt like reality? Or have you ever smoked before bed and woke up feeling like you didn’t dream at all?
Some people who were asked about marijuana and dreams report that it can suppress their dreams, making it more difficult to remember their dreams or reducing the overall amount of time they spend dreaming. When it comes to THC and dreaming, THC and sleep quality can potentially interfere with the brain’s ability to form memories, including memories of dreams. Practicing psychopharmacologist and psychiatrist Dr. Samoon Ahmad explains in this video for Business Insider the impact of cannabis and REM sleep. Smoking weed before bed can greatly alter our dreams.
If you have, then you’re not alone. The relationship between weed effect and our dreams is a complex one, and we’re here to answer the question of “Does smoking weed affect dreams?” So, chill out and let’s deep dive into the world of weed effects and dreams.
The Art & Science Behind Weed and Dreams
People Snoozing Around | Source: Unsplash
Weed affects our sleep, particularly during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, which is when most dreaming occurs. And how does weed affect REM sleep?
The active compound in weed, THC, is known to suppress REM sleep, which means we have less dreams. When we have less REM sleep, we also have less of an opportunity to process and make sense of our experiences, emotions, and memories. This is why many people who use weed regularly report having a harder time remembering their dreams or feeling like they didn’t dream at all.
On the other hand, when we stop smoking weed, we experience what is known as the “rebound effect.” This is when our body tries to catch up on all the dreams we missed during our time of suppressed REM sleep. This can lead to intense and vivid dreams that can sometimes be overwhelming or scary.
What Happens When We Suppress Our Dreams?
Weed Plant | Source: Unsplash
When we suppress our dreams, we also suppress our brain’s ability to make sense of our experiences and emotions.
Dreams are a way for our brain to process and integrate the information and emotions we experience during the day. Without dreams, we may feel more anxious, stressed, or emotionally overwhelmed. We may also have a harder time making decisions or coping with difficult situations.
Dr. Hamburger for Vice Magazine confirms that “By smoking weed, you suppress the REM sleep, and with that, you also suppress a lot of important functions of that REM sleep. One of those functions is reliving the things you have experienced and coming to terms with them, as it were. Processing all kinds of psychological influences is something you do in REM sleep. You also anticipate the things that will happen the next day or the days after that. While you’re sleeping, you already consider those and make decisions in advance.”
So, if you’re a heavy smoker and you’re having a hard time coping with stress, anxiety, or difficult situations, it may be worth considering taking a break from weed to allow your brain to process and integrate your experiences.
The Rebound Effect: When Our Dreams Come Back Stronger
As we mentioned earlier, when we stop smoking weed, we experience the rebound effect, which means our dreams come back stronger and more intense.
This is because our brain is trying to catch up on all the dreams we missed during our time of suppressed REM sleep. While this can be a bit overwhelming at first, it can also be an opportunity to explore and process our experiences and emotions in a deeper way.
So, if you’re someone who enjoys exploring your dreams, taking a break from weed might be worth it just to experience the rebound effect. Who knows what kind of wild and crazy dreams you might have? Keep in mind that everyone is different!
It’s important to remember that everyone experiences weed and dreams differently. While some people may have a harder time remembering their dreams when they smoke, others may have more vivid and intense dreams. This can also depend on the strain of weed you’re smoking, your tolerance level, and how much you smoke.
When You Stop Smoking Weed, What Happens?
Now that we’ve discussed the weed effect on our dreams, you may be wondering what happens to your dreams when you stop smoking.
As it turns out, your dreams can actually become more vivid and intense once you quit smoking. This is because weed effect can suppress the REM stage of sleep, so, basically when weed and lucid dreaming is at their peak!
According to Dr. Hamburger, the body recovers from the rebound effect on its own over time. “It is a temporary attempt to catch up on all the dreams you missed when you were smoking weed. It usually goes away after two to three weeks,” he said. “Your body will know when it’s all caught up and ready to go back to business as usual.”
So if you’ve been smoking weed for a while and decide to take a break, get ready for some intense dreamscapes. Who knows, you might even start lucid dreaming!
Can Smoking Weed Cause Nightmares?
Vivid Nightmares | Source: Unsplash
We’ve talked about how weed can affect the quality and intensity of our dreams, but what about nightmares? Can weed help or hinder our ability to have them?
There is some evidence that suggests that weed can help with nightmares, particularly for individuals who suffer from PTSD. In fact, some states have even legalized medical marijuana specifically for the treatment of PTSD. Weed’s ability to suppress the REM stage of sleep can help reduce the occurrence of nightmares, which is said to be super helpful for smokers who suffer from PTSD-related nightmares.
However, it’s worth noting that weed can also potentially increase anxiety, which can lead to more frequent and intense nightmares. So if you’re someone who tends to have nightmares after smoking, it’s best to avoid smoking weed before bed.
What have we learned about weed and its effects on our dreams? Here are a few key takeaways:
- Weed can suppress the REM stage of sleep, which is when most dreaming occurs.
- This can lead to a reduction in dream recall and a decrease in the overall quality and intensity of our dreams.
- When you stop smoking weed, your dreams can become more vivid and intense due to the rebound effect.
- Weed may be helpful for reducing nightmares in individuals who suffer from PTSD, but it can also potentially increase anxiety and lead to more frequent and intense nightmares.
- Overall, everyone experiences weed differently, so it’s important to pay attention to how it affects your sleep and dreams.
So, the next time someone asks you about your dreams or the effects of marijuana on sleep and dreams, you can confidently say that weed can have a huge effect on them. Whether you’re a frequent smoker or just starting out, it’s important to understand how weed can impact your sleep and dream patterns. Until then, check out “How to Control your Cannabis Consumption” to get the answer to “Does marijuana affect the quality of sleep?”