Why Does CBD Make Me Dream? (5 Things To Consider)
CBD has been a great help for many with various ailments and conditions over the last few years.
However, there are a number of side effects people have encountered while taking it.
One side effect of CBD has been that people have been experiencing vivid dreams.
Why is this the case?
Why Does CBD Make Me Dream?
CBD has been known to make people dream more than they normally would, or that they are able to recall their dreams in abundance while taking CBD. This side effect is heavily based on anecdotal accounts, but the fact remains a large number of people are aware of this happening to them. CBD is thought to interrupt REM sleep, which might be the reason your dreams are easier to remember after waking up. It may also be down to the relationship between CBD and the Endocannabinoid System, which regulates many functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction and fertility, as to why you are having vivid dreams. CBD can also Lower anxiety levels, which may make the individual worry less about sleeping, plus other things to consider are: What time of the day are you taking CBD? What is the strength of CBD you are taking? Are you on any kind of medication? What product are you using and maybe its worth changing if you don’t like the effects it is giving you? The bottom line is that there’s no medical or scientific proof stating CBD will increase your ability to dream.
The Various Sleep Cycles
Each stage of sleep plays an important role in how you feel the next day. There are 4 stages to a sleep cycle, which can change depending on the individual and environment.
There are three phases of non-REM sleep. Each stage can last from 5 to 15 minutes. You go through all three phases before reaching REM sleep.
Stage 1: Your eyes are closed, but it’s easy to wake up. This phase lasts for around 5 to 10 minutes.
Stage 2: You are in light sleep. Your heart rate slows and your body temperature drops. You are getting ready for deep sleep. This can last for 10 to 25 minutes.
Stage 3: The deep sleep stage. It’s harder to awaken during this stage, but if someone woke you up, you would feel disoriented for a few minutes.
During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.
Stage 4: Usually, REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. Each of your later REM stages gets longer, and the final one may last up to an hour. Your heart rate and breathing quickens.
You can experience intense dreams during REM sleep, as your brain is more active. REM is important because it stimulates the areas of the brain that help with learning and is associated with increased production of proteins.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has a slightly different effect on REM sleep compared to THC.
One study found that CBD effectively blocked anxiety-induced REM sleep suppression but had little effect on non-REM sleep.
This may indicate CBD increases the amount of time spent dreaming during the night – however, this effect is only a hypothesis.
1. The Endocannabinoid System
The full extent of the ECS is still unknown, however it is believed to regulate a range of functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction and fertility.
The ECS has three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids are molecules made by your body.
While the receptors are found throughout your body. Endocannabinoids bind to them in order to signal that the ECS needs to get involved.
There are two main endocannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system
- CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells
Endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor. The effects that result depend on where the receptor is located and which endocannabinoid it binds to.
Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.
The ECS is linked to the following processes:
- appetite and digestion
- chronic pain
- inflammation and other immune system responses
- learning and memory
- motor control
- cardiovascular system function
- muscle formation
- bone remodeling and growth
- liver function
- reproductive system function
- skin and nerve function
The effects of CBD and sleep are still not really understood. More research needs to be completed to really understand the complex relationship between the endocannabinoid system, CBD and sleep, although many users have reported having vivid dreams.
As there’s no data available yet, we can only hypothesise. CBD may optimise melatonin and serotonin levels while enhancing your REM sleep, this may account for the vivid dreams you are experiencing.
These functions all contribute to the stability of your internal environment. If an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, throws off your body out of whack, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation.
Experts believe that maintaining this balance is the primary role of the ECS.
2. Is Timing Everything?
Some say you should never take it right before bed. Take it a few hours earlier and separate from other medication if you are taking any.
It is known that there’s often a circadian rhythm interaction with substances. If you use CBD at night, you may find that it synergises with your circadian rhythm to increase drowsiness to a greater extent than it would if administered in the morning.
Understand that the time at which you use CBD may determine the intensity of dreams that you experience.
The specifics related with when you take your CBD could influence the dreams that you experience.
Specifics you may want to consider include – whether you took CBD on an empty or full stomach, how was CBD taken and timing.
Someone who takes CBD sublingually (under the tongue) on an empty stomach at night might have completely different side effects than if they had taken it transdermally (used as a cream/lotion) on a full stomach in the early afternoon.
Certain individuals may experience a greater number of side effects and/or more severe side effects when taking CBD on an empty stomach.
Yet others might report experiencing more side effects when they use CBD on a full stomach.
Nevertheless, your degree of fullness might impact the CBD side effects that you experience.
There are many different ways in which CBD can be taken/used. The way in which CBD is administered can affect its bioavailability, metabolism and ultimately influence the side effects that users experience.
Taking CBD transdermally may minimise gastrointestinal side effects (e.g. diarrhea) because most of the CBD is absorbed locally (rubbed on area of skin). Consider that you might experience side effects with one variation of CBD compared to another.
3. Dosage And Strength
The effects can vary on a number of factors, for the small amount of people that experience this, it could be that you have taken too much CBD oil or the CBD you’re using could have higher amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in it.
Try reducing the dosage of your oil and find out what the amount of THC is in the product. Companies legally must keep their products within 0 to 0.2% THC.
If the dreams bother you, perhaps give another CBD product a try, as better brands provide Certificates of analysis (lab reports), these are crucial to look out for when researching what CBD to purchase.
Strength, dosage and potency of CBD varies massively from product to product. For example, strength of CBD can go from 300mg – 5000mg per bottle, with varying dosages from a whole dropper full to only a few drops. This is why the potency needs considering if CBD is making you dream.
I have had CBD where you need to take the entire dropper to get the recommended dose, while another one I have used only took four single drops to get 50mg of CBD.
When it comes to CBD the dosage structure can get a little confusing, you should keep in mind that the correct dosage might also differ for different people, but always read the label of the product in question.
For most people, the recommended dose is sufficient, but Increasing or decreasing the dosage yourself could be potentially harmful. If you feel any negative side effects, either revert back to the manufacturers recommendation or stop using the item and seek advice from your doctor.
4. Sativa or indica?
You may or may not know, that there are two different strains of cannibis. These are Indica and Sativa.
Indica is generally relaxing, whilst Sativa is uplifting. Terpenes will also steer the effect (both for THC and CBD), therefore terpenes that are uplifting will energise you and terpenes that are relaxing will calm you down.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, though these are commonly associate with cannabis because the plants contain high concentrations of them. These aromatic compounds create the characteristic scent of many plants, such as cannabis, pine, lavender, as well as fresh orange peel.
It’s always worth investigating the source material and terpene content of your product.
5. Product Details
When purchasing a CBD product always check to see how the product is made, where it is made, the strength and look for third party laboratory testing with batch counts. Lets take a look at these below.
If the manufacturer you are buying from doesn’t have third party testing with lab results to hand on the website or shop, then consider giving the brand a miss.
All reputable CBD companies offer third party testing to authenticate the quality of the product and there will also be batch counts to ensure the quality too.
Safety elements a lab tests for and report on a Certificate of Analysis (COA) include:
- Exactly amount of each cannabinoid (The majority of labs only test for up to 11 of the 113 known cannabinoids).
- Terpene and flavonoid profile.
- Heavy metals.
Certain particular attributes of the CBD formula that you ingest, including: additives, brand, contaminants, potency, purity, sourcing, etc – may determine whether you experience vivid dreams.
Administering a CBD formula containing additives (THC) or contaminants (pesticides) may increase risk of severe side effects and/or adverse reactions, which may affect how much you dream while using CBD.
CBD doesn’t make me dream more in my personal experience, I have used it for over two years now with various different products and brands.
However, everyone is different and it could be the way you react to it, a contaminant in the CBD, the carrier oil or almost anything else.
Most of the time it is down to the product itself, not being of a certain quality, not stating the contents or the type of CBD reacts with you.
Either way, experiencing vivid dreams is something that shouldn’t be cause for concern if the dreams don’t bother you and you haven’t felt a loss of sleep quality during this period.
Although there’s no proof of CBD enhancing your dream experience, its worth taking this into account if you are thinking of taking it for any other reason.
Always seek the professional opinion from your doctor before trying CBD or any changes to your diet.