Marijuana has many known effects on the body, but one that is still not that well understood is its effects on the dream state. There is a lot of speculation when it comes to the topic, but some stoners would agree that when taking a break from smoking the sticky plant, they find that they have more dreams than before.
Many smokers have stated that when they abstain from smoking weed for a few days, the frequency of their dreams and lucid dreaming increase by quite a substantial amount. A new report has come out detailing just how this happens and why it could be the case.
The report states that there may be “decreased REM duration in subjects with 15mg of THC as well as a THC/CBD mixture, but did not record the effects of cannabis cessation.” For those who don’t know, there are various states of sleep that we enter once we close our eyes. When we first go to bed, we enter the light sleep phase which many know to be a precursor to the sort of heavier sleep we encounter after.
In the second stage of sleep, our brain begins to slow down its functions, where the third stage can then engage delta waves which appear in larger numbers. These waves are still not yet totally understood, but what we do know is that they are high-amplitude brain waves that come from the cortex of the brain.
These waves are often thought to be a commonality with the deeper sleep stages. In the fourth stage of sleep, our brain only is producing these waves with little to no eye movement as well as bodily function in regard to our muscles. When we enter this REM sleep, we start to have dreams which can have a rather interesting effect on the body. Each sleep cycle, which lasts around two hours, occurs roughly an hour after we first fall asleep.
So then the question becomes, are dreams important and if so, is cannabis affecting that? Interestingly enough, some patients who use marijuana, the fact that they don’t have dreams could potentially be a little known benefit. These patients who often suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can come into contact with night terrors quite regularly. When consuming cannabis, often times that report having less of these nightmares and having an easier time staying asleep.
The studies in the area still seem to be quite limited and have yet to be conclusive as to whether or not cannabis has a profound effect on dreams. With the information above, we can only conclude that cannabis may have an effect on our dream state, but what that does to the body is still mostly unknown. All in all, it is still considered safe to consume cannabis despite the effects it may have when we close our eyes. The hopes are that this topic can continue to be studied so that we can begin to understand it better and better.
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