One Aspect of a Tolerance Break
Coming off of a tolerance break is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. To be able to sit down at the end of the day and enjoy either a medicated waffle or a mini pumpkin pie is sensational. Especially if the tolerance break was mandated. One of the most interesting things I noticed immediately when I started was the difference in sleep, specifically in the recollection of my dreams.
Many people who consume somewhat regularly will notice the stark contrast between a sleep cycle while consuming and while abstaining. This has of course been talked about as well as researched somewhat extensively; however, no one really knows if a significant effect can be determined objectively.
One study from the National Center for PTSD-Dissemination and Training Division of the VA Palo Alto found an interesting connection between THC and the various cycles of sleep. This study showed THC’s potential to inhibit REM sleep, the final
stage of the cycle. REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, is the cycle at which dreams initiate with an increase in cognitive function, respiration increases, and the eyes begin to move rapidly.
The entire brain becomes active during REM, with the limbic system controlling the amygdala associated with fear and emotion, and the cortex controlling content and sensations of dreams. Since most CB1 receptors are located in the brain, the most responsive receptor to THC; it begs the question of some degree of causation. This study also showed a positive response in the reduction of nightmares in PTSD patients because of this inhibition.
So if THC could potentially inhibit the occurrence of REM, where does that leave the second most sought after cannabinoid—CBD? As it turns out, just like nearly everything surrounding this plant, there hasn’t been enough research to show the effects of CBD on sleep. While CBD has shown promise for enhancing REM sleep, there is not enough definitive data to show to what extent.
This is just one element of Cannabis that remains to be study to the fullest extent. The one thing that health care administrators, physicians, Cannabis skeptics and crusaders, and even our lovely AG agree upon is that we need more information. Will the Department of Justice be allowed to use federal resources to prosecute Cannabis patients, caregivers, developers, and retailers? Or will this be a time when the hunger for scientific understanding trumps the veil of ignorance? We all need to learn more about this plant, and we need to make it known.