“I am aware that marijuana suppresses REM sleep, which is something that I have missed incredibly, so after learning of this I stopped smoking entirely and have been dreaming nightly. I am a legitimate medicinal marijuana user, however, and my arthritis, aches and pains have come back. With that being said, I am trying to find research on (but have had no luck) whether or not there are REM sleep differences between CBD and THC? I’ve read CBD oil would also suppress REM sleep, or if using that would allow me to figuratively have my cake and eat it too? I want to be able to continue dreaming lucidly, vividly, and nightly as I currently am, but I also don’t want to have to deal with the pain. Thank you for your time.”
There are REM sleep differences between CBD and THC. According to one study, similar to THC, CBD was shown to reduce the time spent in REM sleep. The study also suggested that CBD reduced stage 4 sleep.
However, in order to better understand how CBD affects your own ability to dream, I recommend that you consume pure CBD at the same time you would take your “standard” cannabis. If you still don’t dream much, try taking the dose earlier, so that the CBD and or/THC has more time for elimination.
The effect of cannabis on REM sleep duration is well established, and most regular cannabis users report increased dreaming upon stopping their cannabis use. I agree with Dr. Kim that you should just go ahead and try pure CBD to see if it affects your dreaming. Here is some evidence that CBD does not, in fact, disturb the normal sleep cycle https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5895650/
Of course, I also want to note that I’m not aware of any adverse health effects attributable to the shortening of REM sleep in regular cannabis users. There is a potential health consequence of REM deprivation, but no evidence at all that the changes observed with cannabis use in any way constitute ‘deprivation.’ For some people (eg PTSD patients) this reduction in dreaming is, in fact, experienced as therapeutic, especially when subjectively compared with their former sleep quality.