I thought you might enjoy this — how stopping consuming cannabis impacts dreaming, and why. Read on:
It is well-known, among those who use a lot of marijuana, that to stop doing so is to invite a sudden torrent of crazy, vivid dreams. Just Google “weed and dreams” and you’ll see that most of the top results are about what happens when you stop smoking pot . . . There seems to be a widespread belief that the connection between marijuana and dreams has to do with REM sleep. In this story line, versions of which have appeared on highly Google-ranked articles addressing the weed/dreams question in Vice, Psychology Today, and LeafScience, smoking pot reduces REM sleep and therefore dreaming, and when you quit, there’s a rebound effect: more REM sleep, and more — and more vivid — dreams . . . As part of a larger study that wasn’t specifically about marijuana and dreams, he and Lundahl brought a bunch of heavy marijuana users into a sleep lab.
“In the design of the study that was being conducted, marijuana was being smoked in the morning and the afternoon, and on some days it was active marijuana, and on other days it was a placebo, 0.4 percent THC or something,” he said. “The active marijuana was 3 percent THC.”
3% just makes me sad.
So the participants alternated, in other words: one day smoking real pot provided by the researchers, the next day smoking placebo pot (Roehrs said he wasn’t sure whether or not the participants could tell the difference).
What do you think?
The researchers recorded the participants’ sleep and compared it to the members of an age-matched healthy control group whose members weren’t heavy pot smokers, and who didn’t smoke during the experiment. If smoking pot does something to REM sleep, that could show up in an experiment like this in at least one of two ways . . . On the potent-versus-impotent weed question, “smoking the 3 percent THC marijuana relative to smoking the placebo marijuana had no effect on REM sleep,” said Roehrs.
Well, duh. 3% OMG. Welcome to current, government approved research cannabis. Again, sad.
And when the researchers compared the two groups, said Roehrs (that is, the night when they smoked the barely-weed weed), they found the two groups got the same amount of REM sleep.
Long trip for nothing.
That’s what Roehrs thinks is going on, and he pointed out that this could be part of a more general, well-established withdrawal pattern that goes on when people cut out other substances, too. “This is what happens to alcoholics,” he said. “When they discontinue alcohol, they have frequent awakenings and disruptions of sleep and they report vivid dreaming. So this might be very much a parallel.” Roehrs also pointed out that while marijuana didn’t seem to reduce the duration of REM sleep, it did seem to reduce the duration of slow-wave sleep, which could be part of the story here, too.
Okay, enough. But does cannabis interfere with remembering dreams or experiencing dreams? What do you think?
Complete original post is HERE.
[image: wellness universe blog]
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