Many people using cannabis products, either recreationally or medicinally, know that marijuana can drastically affect sleep patterns. Many studies show that THC and CBD really do encourage a longer and more restful sleep. However, in many of these cases dreaming occurs less frequently, if at all.
The sleep cycle has several stages, but probably the most well-known stages are deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep, and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The brain is most active in REM sleep, which is when dreaming occurs. While REM sleep is important, compared to slow-wave sleep it usually doesn’t receive much attention.
THC has been demonstrated in studies to decrease the time spent in REM sleep by increasing the duration of deep sleep. Cannabis may be indicated for the sleep-deprived because the body needs that slow-wave sleep in order to fully repair itself. However, because CBD and THC encourage more time in slow-wave sleep, the sleeper subsequently spends less time in REM sleep, thus less time dreaming. In cases of nightmares and night terrors, the lack of time spent in REM sleep can be viewed as a benefit
Another benefit CBD users may experience is a much easier time falling asleep. CBD’s effects on sleep appear to be largely dose-dependent, according to the research compiled by Babson, Sottile, and Morabito. The study suggests that low doses can actually be stimulating, whereas higher doses induce sleep more reliably.
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