Can CBD Induce Lucid Dreaming?
We’ve all experienced those nightmares in which, no matter how great an effort you make, your body just won’t do what you want it to. This tends to occur at remarkably inopportune times, for instance when you’re being chased by an ax-wielding maniac.
But what about the opposite? Have you ever felt that you were able to manipulate the circumstances of your dream? Moreover, have you ever been fully conscious of the fact that you were dreaming?
If so, you’re a lucid dreamer. While not as prevalent as the paralysis nightmare described above, lucid dreams aren’t as rare as you might suspect. It’s estimated that roughly half of all people have had at least one lucid dream in the past. What’s more, there are several theories about how to induce them.
Why would you want to induce them, you say? Because it’s a fascinating and empowering experience that studies have shown may translate to enhanced creativity, better problem-solving skills, and even improved motor skills.
If you’ve ever researched this question, you know that bringing on a lucid dream isn’t exactly easy—in fact it can be pretty complicated. That’s why it’s encouraging to hear that a simple dose of CBD might—repeat, might—be the gateway to achieving that elusive lucid state.
CBD—what is it and how does it work?
CBD is a plant derived compound known as a cannabinoid. More than one hundred cannabinoids exist, and their effects vary. One nice thing about CBD is that it has no psychoactive effect. As a result, the federal government legalized CBD in 2018.
CBD is known for inducing feelings of relaxation. Thus, it is frequently used as a natural remedy for anxiety. But CBD does more than just calm you down: studies have demonstrated that it can effectively treat pain, inflammation, seizure disorders, depression, and insomnia.
Precisely how CBD works as a sleep aid is an open question. It could be that it promotes a chemical in our brain that regulates sleep patterns. Or it might be that CBD helps us sleep by addressing some of the underlying causes of insomnia (anxiety, inflammation, chronic pain, etc.).
In any case, there is good evidence that CBD improves sleep quality, including for people who suffer from REM sleep disorder.
CBD and lucid dreams
That CBD can help facilitate REM sleep may help to explain the anecdotal connection between CBD and lucid dreams. That’s because lucid dreaming typically occurs during REM sleep.
Short for rapid eye movement, REM is a phase of very deep sleep that begins about 90 minutes after you doze off and occurs at regular intervals until you wake up. During REM, your eyes move around, your respiratory rate goes up, and your brain is more active.
The more time you spend in REM sleep, the more likely you are to have a lucid dream.
To reiterate: any link between CBD and lucid dreaming remains anecdotal. Many people claim to have experienced lucid dreams following a dose of CBD; others simply report having more vivid and memorable dreams. Given that research into the effects of CBD on sleep is just beginning, it will be some time before science provides us with a conclusive answer.
Until then, keep calm (with CBD) and dream on.