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Ask a Stoner: How Does Marijuana Affect My Dreams?

Ask a Stoner: How Does Marijuana Affect My Dreams?
Westword

Dear Stoner: I stopped smoking weed recently, and my dreams have been more intense. Does that mean anything?
Kelsey

Dear Kelsey: Most psychopharmacologists and psychiatrists believe that cannabis use has a profound effect on our dreams — or the way we perceive and retain them, at least. Several studies have shown a link between regular cannabis use and decreased REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, or the stage of sleep when your body sort of enters paralysis as it plays out the movies your mind creates.

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Cannabis doesn't stop affecting you once you're asleep.EXPAND
Cannabis doesn't stop affecting you once you're asleep.
Flickr/Lain

Dreams occur during the REM stage of sleep, so if smoking pot leads to less REM, your mind is likely to create fewer dreams. Once most former users stop consuming and start sleeping regularly, they report more frequent, intense dreams. If you suffer from nightmares, that could be a bad thing, but let’s face it: We all love to ride a T-Rex into battle to save Beyoncé every once in a while.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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