Besides helping to fight insomnia and get better sleep, marijuana has another interesting effect that is worth looking at: it prevents us from remembering dreams. This is due to the action of THC during REM sleep, when most dreams occur. Cannabis shortens this stage, acts on remembrances and extends the deep sleep stage, the one in which the body rests and regenerates. What’s more, if you stop taking marijuana before going to sleep, there is a rebound effect and dreams are more vivid than ever.
Cannabis has been proven to be beneficial for falling asleep: cannabinoids help us relax and fight insomnia, either with a small sedative effect or as a strong narcotic depending on the strain and on the dosage. However, it could have further effects and, according to recent studies, it also affects our dreams. But how?
Many night users notice they are not having any dreams at night, just as if cannabis had wiped them out. And if, for whatever reason, they don’t use cannabis for several nights in a row, they see how their dreams re-emerge, often more vivid than before.
The key to all this is REM sleep (‘rapid eye movement’ with the eyelids closed), the stage in which dreams are more likely to occur as the brain works faster and consciousness is more active. This stage accounts for 20-25% of total sleep time and is the one that precedes wakefulness. This is why we are more prone to remember dreams if we wake up in the middle of it.
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