vivid dreams after quitting weed

Weird / Vivid Dreams after Quitting Weed (How Long do They Last?)

by Kevin

There’s nothing like the topic of dreams to spark discussions and debates, as some people will swear they rarely remember dreaming at all, while others seem to star in a Hollywood blockbuster every other night. What is interesting is that smoking weed often seems to stop people dreaming at all, but if they quit then not only do their dreams return but they are often really odd and very realistic. So what makes this happen, and how long are these dreams likely to last for after giving up weed? Read more about how marijuana affects your sleep here.


What happens when we sleep?

Falling asleep at the end of the day is not only natural it’s essential. Without sleep the human body cannot survive, which is why disturbed sleep patterns can cause things like poor concentration, and depression. However, even when we sleep our brain doesn’t fully rest, instead it seems to do some kind of mind maintenance, which runs in a continuous loop – each around two or two and a half hours – through five stages of sleep. Stage 1 is light sleeping; through to the fifth and deepest stage called REM. Experts think it is during the REM period that we dream. This suggests that smoking weed changes the way the brain functions during REM sleep, most likely by making the REM stage much shorter than usual.


Squashing dreams is not healthy

It’s normal to dream, and not counting those using weed everyone does, although some people will never remember any of them. (That’s not because they don’t dream, they simply don’t ever wake up during the final REM cycle of the night – the only time when you can remember you dreamed at all, or what they were about.)

Dreams exist for a reason though; they are the brain’s way of dealing with the events of the day, things on your mind, worries, concerns and general recent experiences. This is also the time when our subconscious can work things out, heal, make plans, and get ideas for how to deal with future challenges. Not allowing this process to happen can be psychologically damaging in the long term.


What happens to dreams when you quit smoking weed?

Pretty soon after you give up cannabis your brain will kickstart the REM sleep stage, and you will start dreaming again. However, at the start those dreams are probably going to be very vivid and generally odd because your brain is trying to make up for lost ground. This is sometimes called the ‘rebound effect’.


How long are these strange dreams likely to last for?

Most people will find that after anything from a few days to three weeks of unusual dream activity they will settle back into a normal routine, so long as they keep avoiding weed. This can be a very challenging time as not only can this kind of dreaming make you wake up feeling tired, if your dreams become scary or disturbing the temptation to go back to weed for some relief may be quite strong.

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