How does Marijuana disrupt your sleep?


Marijuana, particularly THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), disrupts sleep by affecting the architecture and depth of sleep. THC can speed up the time it takes to fall asleep, but the resulting sleep often lacks the restorative qualities of natural sleep. Importantly, THC interferes with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. People using THC may not recall their dreams, and when they stop using it, they may experience intense dreams as a result of a REM rebound mechanism. Furthermore, there are concerns with dependency and tolerance when THC is used regularly for sleep, leading to withdrawal symptoms and severe rebound insomnia 1 2.

THC interacts with the brain and body's cannabinoid system, specifically through CB1 receptors, which can either speed up or slow down various biological mechanisms. The effects are varied and can be dramatically different between individuals, making it difficult to predict how any particular strain or product will affect someone's sleep 3. Nonetheless, it's clear that THC affects sleep architecture, diminishing the quality of sleep and potentially harming mental and metabolic health over time due to the impact on brain mitochondria 4.

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