Cannabis proves as a great aid for sleep for those who struggle to fall asleep easily. While western medicine is researching on the benefits of medicinal cannabis for sleep, ancient Chinese pharmacology has been prescribing the use of the same in the form of a powder called shui sheng san, since centuries. However, a question that often arises is; how cannabis affects dreams. Frequent users of marijuana or recreational marijuana are well acquainted with the decrease in dreams associated with its use. It is also well-known that when heavy users stop consuming, they start seeing elaborate, and even lucid dreams. But how exactly does cannabis impact our ability to dream?
Understanding the process of dreaming
Understanding the root of dreams is not an easy task. Over the past decades, a lot of theorists and psychologists have researched dreams, and tried to dissect the working of the brain in order to understand why we dream and what our dreams mean. Freud and Jung have worked a great deal on the subject and according to Freud, our dreams are a representation of our unconscious. A lot of times our dreams can be connected to the events conspiring in our lives; however, at times, they might not make any sense to us.
Our sleep-wake cycle consists of four stages which repeat a number of times during the night. Our sleep progresses from light (Stage 1), to deeper sleep (Stage 2), and subsequently moves forward to stage 3 which is the deepest stage of sleep. The fourth stage of sleep is called the REM sleep where our dreams occur. REM refers to Rapid Eye Movement, and this stage of the cycle occurs about 90 minutes after we fall asleep. Our dreams are a result of deep neural activity that occurs in our brains when we fall asleep. Dreaming as a process not only helps the restorative process, but also the memory and learning capabilities of individuals. The basic development of neurological functions happens during the REM sleep as well.
How cannabis affects dreams
A number of studies have shown that the consumption of cannabis leads to a decrease in REM sleep. This is the reason why cannabis users do not dream. Since REM sleep is quite important for individuals, doctors and therapists do not recommend avoiding the stage. However, REM abstention is highly beneficial for PTSD patients.
War veterans, victims of abuse, and other people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD can consume cannabis in order to avoid problems while sleeping. The nightmares and flashbacks associated with PTSD and anxiety disorders can impact their health negatively and even cause heart attacks while sleeping if severe enough. In such cases, consumption of cannabis could help mitigate such extreme conditions while sleeping. Cannabis would ensure that the patients would get uninterrupted sleep. It is also beneficial for those suffering from insomnia.
CBD is said to be effective as a sleep aid and its dosages can be adjusted for appropriate conditions. For instance, in patients suffering from PTSD, a low to mid-range dosage of CBD could be given, which would decrease the onset of REM sleep. On the other hand, for patients suffering from insomnia who would prefer to dream, high dosage of CBD can be administered. CBD consumers have reported vivid and positive dreams after consumption.
Word From HempStreet
It is clear that the consumption of cannabis could be helpful for many who face problems associated with dreams and sleep. However, we do not encourage self-medication. If you think that cannabis could help treat your problem, you could contact your medical health professional for prescription.