Updated on February 16, 2024

Does Cannabis Affect Dreams?

Fact Checked

Key takeaways

  • People who actively use cannabis are most likely not to dream since THC affects the amount of time spent in Rapid Eye movement. This is the part of sleep where people dream.
  • The shorter you experience REM sleep, the lower your chances of dreaming.
  • Withdrawing from cannabis consumption may produce a withdrawal symptom that intensifies dreams.
  • Withdrawal from cannabis may produce what is known as cannabis dreams.
  • Cannabis dreams generally refer to the vivid and often unusual dreams that some individuals report experiencing during periods of reduced or discontinued cannabis use.
  • While THC has the tendency to diminish dream activity, cannabinoids like CBD might promote more vivid dreams

There is a significant relationship between cannabis use and sleep. While CBD may enhance sleep, the consistent use of THC may have a detrimental impact on sleep. Research indicates that ongoing THC use could adversely affect both sleep quality and dreams. In this article, we will explore the potential ways cannabis can influence dreams and strategies for controlling its impact.

Relationship between Cannabis and sleep

The relationship between cannabis use and dreams is a topic that has been studied to some extent, but the exact mechanisms and effects can vary among individuals. Cannabis, particularly its psychoactive component THC, is known to have various effects on the sleep cycle, and this can indirectly impact dreams.

How cannabis affect dreams

Cannabis especially THC affect dreams in the following ways;

  1. REM Sleep Suppression: THC has been found to reduce the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the stage of sleep associated with vivid dreaming. As a result, regular cannabis use may lead to a decrease in dream recall or intensity.
  2. Withdrawal Effects: Some individuals who use cannabis regularly and then stop may experience a rebound effect in REM sleep, leading to more vivid and intense dreams. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as "REM rebound." Withdrawal from cannabis may produce what is known as cannabis dreams.

What are cannabis dreams?

Cannabis dreams generally refer to the vivid and often unusual dreams that some individuals report experiencing during periods of reduced or discontinued cannabis use. The relationship between cannabis and dreams is complex and can vary among individuals.

As mentioned earlier, cannabis, particularly THC, has been shown to suppress REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the stage of sleep associated with vivid dreaming. When individuals use cannabis regularly, especially in the evening before bedtime, there is often a reduction in REM sleep, leading to a decrease in dream activity.

However, when individuals take a break from cannabis or stop using it altogether, there can be a rebound effect. This means that REM sleep increases, and individuals may experience more intense and vivid dreams. These dreams are sometimes referred to as "cannabis dreams" because they occur during a period of altered sleep patterns caused by changes in cannabis use.

The content and nature of these dreams can vary widely among individuals, and some people report having unusually vivid, memorable, or even surreal dreams during this rebound period. It's important to note that not everyone experiences these effects, and individual responses to cannabis and its impact on dreams can differ.

If you find that your dreams are influenced by changes in cannabis use and it's affecting your sleep patterns, it's advisable to discuss your concerns with an expert for personalized advice.

How to control Cannabis dreams

Controlling dreams, including those influenced by changes in cannabis use, falls into the realm of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is when you become aware that you are dreaming and may be able to influence or control the dream. While there is no guaranteed method to control dreams, including those influenced by cannabis, some techniques may increase the likelihood of experiencing lucid dreams:

  1. Reality Checks: Develop the habit of regularly questioning whether you are dreaming throughout the day. Perform reality checks, such as looking at your hands, trying to push a finger through your palm, or asking yourself if you are dreaming.
  2. Keep a Dream Journal: Record your dreams in a journal as soon as you wake up. This helps increase dream recall and may enhance your awareness of dreaming.
  3. Set Intentions: Before going to bed, set an intention to become aware that you are dreaming. Reaffirm your commitment to recognize the dream state.
  4. Wake-Back-to-Bed (WBTB) Technique: Wake up after about 4-6 hours of sleep and stay awake for a short period (20-30 minutes) before going back to bed. This can increase the likelihood of entering a REM sleep phase conducive to vivid dreams.
  5. Meditation and Mindfulness: Practices like meditation and mindfulness can enhance self-awareness, which may carry over into your dream state.
  6. Visualization: Practice visualizing yourself becoming aware in a dream and exercising control over the dream scenario.

How to improve sleep if you are withdrawing from Cannabis

The following habits will play a major role in improving your sleep especially if you are in a period of recovery from cannabis use or quitting altogether.

  1. Establish a regular wake-up and bedtime routine for improved sleep and dream patterns.
  2. Cultivate a tranquil and relaxing sleep environment.
  3. Keep lighting subdued in the period leading up to bedtime.
  4. Refrain from using electronic devices or watching TV one hour before going to bed.
  5. Incorporate relaxation techniques and spaces into your bedtime routine.
  6. Consider investing in high-quality bedding, pillows, and comfortable sheets for a more restful sleep experience.

Frequently asked Questions

Why don't you dream when you are high?

Individuals who frequently use marijuana often mention a reduced ability to dream or recall their dreams. This is attributed to the impact of marijuana on the quality of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the stage during which our most vivid dreams typically occur.

Can CBD cause crazy dreams?

While THC has the tendency to diminish dream activity, cannabinoids like CBD might promote more vivid dreams. Marijuana use is not typically associated with the generation of intense or nightmarish dreams. Instead, it is more inclined to reduce REM sleep, subsequently leading to a decrease in dream frequency.

Can smoking CBD cause nightmares?

Smoking CBD has not been scientifically linked to causing nightmares. On the contrary, some studies have indicated that CBD could potentially have a positive impact on sleep and may even contribute to a decrease in nightmares, especially in individuals with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Want to Learn More?

  1. CBDa Is Not a Drug — It's a Natural, Hemp-Derived Compound
  2. CBD and Martial Arts
  3. CBD for Muscle Spasms
  4. Enhancing Your Endocannabinoid System: 4 Ways To Do This Now
  5. CBDa for Severe Behavioral Disorders - CBD Oil


Mamelak, M. (2020). Nightmares and the Cannabinoids. Current Neuropharmacology, 18(8), 754-768. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X18666200114142321

Gates, P. J., Albertella, L., & Copeland, J. (2014). The effects of cannabinoid administration on sleep: a systematic review of human studies. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 18(6), 477–487. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2014.02.005 

Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19(4). doi:10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9 

Angarita, G.A., Emadi, N., Hodges, S. et al. Sleep abnormalities associated with alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and opiate use: a comprehensive review. Addict Sci Clin Pract 11, 9 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-016-0056-7

Martin-Willett, R., Master, A., Bidwell, L.C., Sznitman, S.R. (2022). Cannabis Use and Sleep. In: Patel, V.B., Preedy, V.R. (eds) Handbook of Substance Misuse and Addictions. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67928-6_70-1

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

Let's Stay Connected!

Get insights on healthy living, CBD news, and the latest deals.

Subscription Form
*By signing up via email, you agree to receive marketing messages e.g. promos, cart reminders) from Nesa’s Hemp LLC. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link (where available)
This product is not for use by or sale to persons under the age of 18. This product should be used only as directed on the label. It should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Void where prohibited by law.
usercrossmenucheckmark-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram