Why don’t you Dream after Smoking Weed?

By Joshua

One would think that smoking some daaaank bud would make you have wildly intense, vivid dreams. But funnily enough, the exact opposite is true. It’s more likely for your dreams to become more intense once you stop or take a break from smoking.
“I honestly thought that I couldn’t dream, then I took a tolerance break from smoking weed. Those couple of nights, my dreams got weird and super intense. I realised it must be connected”, says Paul, an avid smoker of the good herb.
The First Hit
The reasons for this are simple from a biological standpoint. There are several stages of sleep, which can be divided into two basic categories: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep can be divided into four categories, N1-N4, with stages 1-3 being those that involve the transition of being awake to being asleep. N4 and REM sleep are the most important and restful stages, with N4 also known as deep sleep.
REM is where most of our dreams occur, although it is still possible to dream in the other stages. It is just less likely, and far less likely that you’d remember them.
This cycle of stages 1-4 followed by REM sleep will happen approximately three times a night, if you manage to get your full eight hours of shuteye.
The last Puff
Now that we’ve got the science out of the way, we can get back to why smoking that good good makes your dreams go missing.
A 1972 research paper written by Pivik et al. found that while there were relatively small changes to the first three stages of our sleep patterns, a higher dose of THC drastically changed the relationship between N4 (deep sleep), which became increased, and REM sleep, which decreased.
This study answers our questions about dreams, as well as why we sleep so well after smoking just before bed. Your sleep is much deeper than it normally would be, while your REM sleep, where more than 80% of your dreams occur, is cut short.
But is it dangerous to lose out on dreams?
Not necessarily, as there is a ‘rebound’ period of high-REM sleep that occurs when you take that tactical tolerance break. Just be prepared for some wacky dreams the first night you go to bed sober.