How does Marijuana disrupt your sleep?


Marijuana, specifically THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), disrupts sleep by affecting the depth and architecture of sleep. THC can speed the onset of non-consciousness, making users feel like they can fall asleep faster, but this does not lead to restorative sleep. THC seems to block REM sleep, a critical phase for memory consolidation and mood regulation. Regular users often report not remembering their dreams while using THC, but experience a rebound effect with intense and vivid dreams when they stop using it due to a REM sleep debt 1.

Some individuals may experience intense anxiety or even rebound insomnia upon stopping THC usage, highlighting the potential for dependency and tolerance that can arise when using THC as a sleep aid 2. THC and CBD bind to endogenous cannabinoid receptors with greater potency than the body's own cannabinoids. This can lead to dependence and potential withdrawal symptoms, such as heightened anxiety, disrupted mood, and disruption of restorative sleep when not ingested 3.

Marijuana and Sleep

Matt explains that THC in marijuana can speed up the onset of non-consciousness, but it disrupts the architecture of sleep and blocks REM sleep. People using THC may not remember their dreams, but when they stop using it, they experience a rebound mechanism, leading to intense dreams.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Matthew Walker: The Science & Practice of Perfecting Your Sleep | Huberman Lab Podcast #31

THC impairs the function of mitochondria in the brain, which can lead to premature aging and memory impairment, further highlighting the negative effects of THC on sleep and brain health 4.