Journey to Restful Sleep and Revealing Dreams!
If you have some experience with weed, you probably have already noticed its effects on dreams: almost no dreaming during periods of heavy consumption (and when dreams are recalled they are more bizarre than dreams of non-users) with vivid and strange dreams during periods of abstinence.
When someone tells me they do not dream, the first thing I ask is: Do you smoke marijuana?
It’s not that cannabis suppresses dreaming.
(Actually the THC in cannabis does seem to suppress REM sleep, the stage of sleep where most dreams occur and a REM sleep rebound does happen during cannabis withdrawal, but this suppression is mild; more seriously, chronic THC consumption disrupts the deeper stages of sleep.)
The main problem with cannabis for oneironauts is that it causes memory problems (and, to repeat, not that it suppresses dreams.)
I realize that I’m saying something that goes against almost everything else you can find online.
But my conclusions are based not on academic study, but on introspectology, or the systematic usage of introspection to study states of consciousness.
In my experience, even while taking heavy doses of cannabis chronically, I do dream and my REM sleep remains unchanged (I use a Fitbit sleep tracker).
The only difference is that while I’m in a period of chronic cannabis consumption, it is A LOT more difficult to remember dreams and sometimes I do not remember any dreams at all – as if I am not dreaming.
(Occasionally I will remember some dream fragments, indicating that I do dream…)
But my Fitbit tells another story: I’m getting good amount of REM sleep nightly.
Moreover, if the problem with cannabis was that it decreases the amount of REM sleep, you would expect smokers to just remember less dreams; not be unable to remember any dreams at all…
So my conclusion again is that cannabis in general and THC in particular disrupts the ability to recall dreams and dream lucidly, but does not significantly affect the occurrence of non-lucid dreams and REM sleep.
For most people who smoke cannabis daily, dreaming still occurs, but the dreams are just not usually remembered upon awakening from them.
Lucid dreaming and dream recall go hand in hand not just because without dream recall you would not remember your lucid dreams, but also because both skills are based on the same cognitive faculty: attention. Lucidity entails being attentive to the fact you’re dreaming and memory also requires paying attention.
Do not forget that the THC in cannabis is first and foremost a strong sedative. Give cannabis to a child and she will become sleepy.
Any depressant, a substance which induces sedation, can be expected to disrupt attention, a cognitive faculty which requires alertness, and therefore wakefulness.
Depressants, including cannabis, alcohol, opioids, and sleeping pills, decrease energy levels while retaining memory and attention in altered states of consciousness requires very high energy levels. (A possible exception may be Amanita muscaria, the Fly Agaric mushroom, which may actually promote out-of-body experiences and lucid dreams.)
So, must the aspiring Dimensional Traveler give up the beneficial effects of cannabis, such as instant euphoria, pain relief, and happiness?
The following article illuminates the path to dream recall for cannabis consumers.
Note that unlike REM dreams, liminal dreams, that is brief dreams that occur during the transition from wakefulness to sleep (hypnagogia) and the transition from sleep to wakefulness (hypnopompia), are not effected by cannabis use. Thus, there’s always the option of limiting your dream work to the realm of liminal dreams. Learn more.
How to Overcome Disrupted Dream Recall?
Obviously, the easiest way is to quit using THC altogether and switch to CBD strains.
But if you’re reading this article, it is probably the THC that you’re after and the purpose of this article is to allow you to keep enjoying THC, while regaining your dream recall.
Here are a few simple methods to accomplish that:
I have a lot of experience microdosing psychedelics.
However, the first time I found about microdosing cannabis was when I visited a friend once who used a smoking blend with about 95-99% tobacco with 1-5% cannabis.
When I first saw this mixture I was sure it is pure tobacco, but my friend said that not only is there cannabis in it, but it also affects him and he gets slightly stoned when smoking it.
Suddenly, I realized I have been smoking too much. I have been macrodosing!
I then started experimenting with different smoking blends and found that I could lower my dosage quite a bit without losing much of the effect.
In fact, using too much cannabis may have blunted the effects due to tolerance.
Why am I telling you this?
It turns out that the relationship between cannabis and sleep quality is very dose-dependent.
Experiment with different smoking blends (you don’t have to use tobacco, I suggest many tobacco alternatives here) until you find one that is less disruptive to you.
Smokable herbs that may have the power to counteract the effects of cannabis on memory include herbs which increase blood flow to the brain, such as rosemary and ginkgo.
The Alternating Method
I developed a method I call the Alternating Method because it involves alternating periods of cannabis use with periods of abstention.
The method uses the power of REM rebound to keep you continuously enjoy long and vivid dreams.
Here’s how it works:
- Smoke your THC for as many days as you care to not recall your dreams.
- Then, when you’re ready to start remembering your dreams again, stop using cannabis altogether. (You can keep using CBD strains; see below.)
- Wait until you reach REM rebound: You will suddenly remember many dreams and if you have a sleep tracker, you will notice an increase in time spent in REM sleep.
- Enjoy the REM rebound for as long as it lasts (usually 1-2 nights.)
- Then, when you are ready, smoke cannabis again.
- Rinse, and repeat.
- Vary the time spent smoking THC and refraining from it until you discover your ideal schedule. As long as the breaks are longer than the using periods, then you may be able to retain your dream recall even during the short smoking periods.
Experimenting with Different Schedules
Another method for retaining dream recall while using cannabis involves experimenting with different daily schedules, stopping smoking earlier and earlier during the day until you discover when you need to stop in order to be able to remember your dreams.
For some people, if they smoke during the morning only, it will not influence their dreams as much. Others may be able to smoke into the afternoon or evening, but should avoid smoking before bedtime.
Experiment until you find what works for you.
It’s a lot like coffee. Some people can drink coffee before bedtime without any apparent sleep disruption. For others, even one dose at noon may be problematic.
Edibles instead of Smoking/Vaping
Another option is to switch to edibles.
Many people who smoke (or vape) do so repeatedly throughout the day and night.
They have to because the effects of such methods of consumption last for up to 30-90 minutes.
But if you eat cannabis, then the effects may last for 3-4 hours or more, allowing you to take your last daily dose far enough from bedtime so that it does not interfere with dreams as much.
Another problem with smoking/vaping is that the act of inhaling anything besides fresh air may cause sedation.
In the Appendix below you will find a more in depth explanation of this method along with an evidence-based recipe for cannabis-infused oil you can easily make yourself.
Choosing the Least Disruptive Strains
If all or some of these methods work for you, great.
Otherwise, let’s cover now some methods that do not require changing your schedule or method of cannabis consumption.
(Though unless you’re able to get some highly rare strains or breed new ones, you will need a vaporizer because smoking burns the herb while a vaporizer allows you to modify the temperature so that the more sensitive psychoactive substances are preserved.)
But first, we need to understand the effects of various substances in the cannabis plant.
THC is the “problematic” substance in cannabis.
On the one hand, it is what produces the cannabis intoxication including the characteristic happiness and euphoria, but on the other hand, it can also interfere with sleep and particularly with dream recall.
But besides THC there are other cannabinoids in cannabis (more than 120), some of which may actually modulate the effects of THC, even serving as an antidote to cancel or diminish some of its effects.
While THC is a mild sedative in low doses (it is a hallucinogen in a higher doses) and can increase total sleep time and deep sleep in new users while decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep, it can also cause sleep disruption.
Specifically, ingestion of as little as 4 mg THC may cause a slight reduction of REM sleep.
Moreover, long-term use (e.g., a week of repeated nightly use) or high doses (50 mg) of THC may suppress deep sleep.
Surprisingly however THC was observed to be an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, but perhaps its effects on memory outweigh its acetylcholine agonist capabilities.
To discover how to counter the soporific (sleep-related) effects of THC and more importantly its effects on memory, we need an understanding of other substances in the Cannabis plant.
Anecdotal reports regarding the effects of CBD (even in a THC:CBD ratio of 1:1):
- Vivid dreams
- Lucid dreams
- Improved sleep
- Strange dreams
- Well-remembered dreams
- Nightmares/relief from nightmares
- Positive dreams, including sexual dreams
According to one study, a 15 mg dose of CBD appears to have alerting properties. Specifically, “it increased awake activity during sleep and counteracted the residual sedative activity” of the THC.
A 2013 review discussed studies which suggest possible protective effect CBD and “have shown that CBD can counteract the negative effects of THC.”
CBD (when present in significant proportion to THC) has been shown to eliminate induced cognitive and memory deficits from smoking cannabis.
For the purpose of dream recall, the more CBD relative to THC your cannabis contains, the better.
If CBD only strains do not speak to you, then try THC:CBD balanced strains, or at least strains which have some CBD in them.
You can also supplement with extra CBD in other ways (e.g., take a tincture before bedtime).
CBN is a non-intoxicating, mildly psychoactive cannabinoid which is contained in the Cannabis plant in trace amounts.
As the THC (more accurately THCA) in cannabis degrades (e.g., if exposed to air or ultraviolet light), it turns into CBN, which is why CBN is particularly plentiful in older cannabis and hashish.
If THC is a sedative, CBN combined with THC is believed to produce an even higher level of drowsiness, while also increasing the euphoric effects of THC.
This is called the entourage effect.
The whole is greater than its parts; the hundreds of botanical compounds in cannabis, each with its own set of effects, work synergistically to produce unique effects which would not be possible otherwise.
In the case of the CBN and THC combination, this would be a greater sedation and euphoria.
For the purpose of enhancing dream recall, you probably do not want to be more sedated.
Therefore, I would recommend avoiding preparations and products containing CBN, including weed that has been standing for a long time.
CBG is another non-psychotropic cannabinoid present in trace amounts in cannabis people are starting to become aware of.
It appears to be:
- a powerful vasodilator – by dilating blood vessels, more blood may reach the brain, potentially improving cognitive functions including memory.
- a neuroprotective substance – by protecting the brain, its performance may be enhanced.
Contrary to THC, CBG antagonizes cannabinoid receptors. This suggests that CBG may reverse or block some of the deleterious effects of THC on cognition.
It’s not easy to find strains with high CBG, but if you are able to, then I’d recommend trying them and seeing how they affect your dream recall.
CBC is also non-intoxicating, and like CBG it may have neuroprotective effects and promote healthy brain function.
Little is known about it and its effects on dreams.
THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
THCA is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in raw cannabis. When the plant is dried, its THCA content slowly converts to THC, a process which can be expedited by decarobxylating under heat.
To consume THCA, you would need to eat raw cannabis because heat (e.g., smoking/vaping) converts THCA to THC.
Therefore, even though THCA may have neuroprotective proprieties, it is quite useless for our purposes.
THCV is similar to THC, but it has a higher boiling point (428 °F or 220 °C).
Research is in progress regarding potential benefits of THCV for Alzheimer’s disease and often we find that Alzheimer’s medications are often beneficial for lucid dreaming (e.g., galantamine).
But in the case of THCV, not only are we lacking the understanding of its effects, but also it is difficult to control the amount of THCV you’re getting.
However, THCV seems to be helpful mostly in relatively low doses.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds in cannabis.
Different terpene profile give different cannabis strains their characteristic aromas.
Most commercial cannabis strains have myrcene as the dominant terpene.
Other common terpenes that tend to dominate the terpene profile or cannabis strains include:
- pinene (rarely)
These terpenes are also found in other plants.
In the past, plants used as cannabis antidotes (such as lemon, pine nuts, and black pepper) contained them, which has led to the idea that cannabis may contains within itself its own antidote: the terpenes.
Unfortunately, when drying/smoking cannabis, many of the terpenes are lost.
In order to enjoy the power of terpenes, ideally you would need to take a full spectrum oil product or use a vaporizer.
There are also vaporizer cartridges containing terpene sauce or live resin.
Terp sauce is a full spectrum extract that contains a high concentration of terpenes.
Live resin is a type of concentrate that is produced from fresh cannabis. By skipping the drying and curing phases, live resin contains high levels of terpenes.
One more thing to clarify. When I use the word Energizing in the context of Cannabis, I do not mean it in the sense of being a stimulant. THC is a depressant so cannabis can never wake you or make you more alert than baseline. Energizing Cannabis strains and terpenes simply increase activity (energy) in the mind-body, which may manifest as sexual stimulation for instance or increased thinking/motivation. But in a functional human energy system, the energy should be able to flow unobstructed to the crown chakra where it can create a strong focused attention, which may be beneficial in the context of dream work.
So what are the effects of different terpenes?
Potential effects: Mood enhancement, sedation, promotes relaxation (including muscle relaxation), calming, pain relief, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, anti-fungal.
Can also be found in: lavender, bay laurel, and sweet basil.
Notes: Linalool reduces the signaling strength of acetylcholine, which is the opposite of what we need happening in the brain in order to have lucid and memorable dreams. By different mechanisms this terpene causes sedation and unconsciousness, which is why you may want to go for strains containing little or no linalool.
Potential effects: Anti-inflammatory.
Can also be found in: Hops, coriander, cloves, and basil.
Notes: There’s no evidence to suggest humulene may be useful. But if it is sedating like the plant it gets it name from (Humulus lupulus), then it would probably be wise to stir away from strains containing humulene, such as Gelato, Sherbert, and GSC.
Potential effects: Antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, decongestant, antibacterial.
Can also be found in: Mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, and kumquats.
Notes: There’s no evidence that ocimene can be beneficial for purposes of preventing memory impairment.
Potential effects: Sedating, relaxing, pain relief, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic.
Notes: Myrcene is not only the most common terpene in modern commercial cannabis, but also the most calming terpene. Ideally, you probably should choose strains which do not contain myrcene because the goal is to induce/promote alertness, not sedation.
Potential effects: Alertness, memory retention, pain relief, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, bronchodilator (helps open airways), antibiotic.
Can also be found in: rosemary, pine needles, pine nuts, basil, dill, sage, orange peels, and parsley.
Notes: Pinene may help counteracts some THC effects, including memory impairment. One of the mechanisms by which it works appears to be as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, similar to many lucid dreaming pills. It is the most common terpene in the natural world, but there are very few cannabis strains which are pinene-dominant.
The first one I personally tried was the indica marijuana strain Peyote Cookies. It also contains 1% CBG. However, it also contains myrcene and is highly sedating. Not a good idea when trying to cultivate alertness.
Later, I was able to procure some of the sativa marijuana strain Pink Lemonade, which also contains pinene as the dominant terpene, as well as 1% CBG, relatively low THC levels, caryophyllene, and myrcene. Most people report that it induces an energizing effect.
An even better idea to make use of pinene might be to supplement with other foods that contain it, such as pine nuts. (And see more suggestions below.)
Potential effects: Anti-inflammatory, pain relief, anti anxiety, sedative, anti-stress, antidepressant.
Can also be found in: Black pepper, hops, oregano, cinnamon, basil, cloves, black caraway, lavender, rosemary, and cinnamon.
Notes: Caryophyllene is not only a terpene, but also a cannabinoid. Unlike THC though it activates cannabinoid receptors located outside of the brain, thereby not producing euphoria. CBD and caryophyllene together create an entourage effect which may be beneficial in the treatment of addiction. However, I do not know if it may have any benefits for improving dream recall.
Potential effects: Relieves anxiety, pain, and stress, elevates the mood, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer.
Can also be found in: citrus fruit rinds (e.g. lemon and orange rinds), rosemary, juniper, and peppermint.
Notes: CBD and limonene might work together to alleviate anxiety through various possible mechanisms, such as the adenosine, GABA, dopamine, and serotonin systems, which also play a role in controlling alertness. However, I am not aware of any specific benefit of limonene for dream recall, except for it being the second most energizing terpene after terpinolene.
Potential effects: Uplifting, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer.
Can also be found in: Apples, lilacs, nutmeg, tea tree, and cumin.
Notes: It is the most energizing and uplifting of the terpenes, which makes it the second best choice after pinene as the dominant terpene for your cannabis.
Warning: Terpinolene-dominant strain, such as Jack Herer, can be so energizing that they may create an overactivation of the sexual chakra, causing increased libido. In people with intact dream recall this may lead to erotic dreams.
So Based on All That, Which Strains Are Best?
To summarize all the above data, I would say that for the purpose of causing the least disruption to dream recall, pick a cannabis product that:
- is high in CBD relative to THC
- contains CBG/CBC and no CBN
- is properly dried and cured
- contains pinene as its dominant terpene
- contains little or no linalool, humulene, myrcene, or caryophyllene
While terpene concentration depends on a variety of environmental factors, there are strains which tend to produce elevated levels of specific terpenes.
The strain known as Game Changer for example contains 18% THC as well as pinene as its dominant terpene, with terpinolene and limonene following.
Timberline Haze contains 20% THC with 2% CBG, pinene as the dominant terpene, and terpinolene and limonene as secondary terpenes.
Other strains which contain pinene, terpinolene, and limonene include Snowcap.
Terpinolene-dominant strains which contain pinene and limonene include:
- Nana’s Fix (contains also 2% CBG)
- Golden Soda (contains also 1% CBG)
- Hazelnut Cream (contains also 2% CBG)
Limonene-dominant strains which contain pinene include Rene Mist, which also contains 4% CBG.
To these you can add a CBD product, or you can look for a strain that already contains CBD, such as Skunk Haze which contains 10% CBD with 6% THC with pinene as the dominant terpene or Astral Works with 8% CBD, 5% THC, terpinolene as the dominant terpene, and with some pinene.
Or if you prefer a higher THC concentration then try Rosaberry which contains 8% THC, 7% CBD, and some pinene and limonene.
How to Select the Temperature (for Vaporizers)
If you’re using a vaporizer, you can customize the effects of cannabis by setting it on different temperatures.
Here’s how it works:
When selecting the temperature for your vaporizer, try to stick with the Buddha’s suggestion of remaining in the Middle Way.
A temperature which is too low will not be effective in evaporating any cannabinoids and terpenes, while a temperature that is too high will burn your herb and with it all the sensitive compounds within it and create toxic byproducts.
(Note: In reality it’s not really that simple because compounds begin to vaporize at temperatures lower than their boiling points. The general rule is: Use a temperature that is 10°F or 1°C higher than the boiling point of your desired terpenes and/or cannabinoids.)
Set your vaporizer to 311°F (155°C) and you will mostly be inhaling pinene. If you are able to enjoy this temperature, then you may find your dreams are much less disturbed.
Only when the temperature is set to 315°F (157°C) significant amounts of THC start vaporizing.
This is when you should start experiencing mild euphoria.
Now unless your cannabis contains CBD or unless you’re looking for a stronger euphoria, you might want to not increase the temperature further to avoid the sedating terpene myrcene at 333°F (167°C).
If you’re keeping your vaporizer in the lower temperature range, then make sure to keep vaped herb, which still contains cannabinoids and terpenes and may now be used for making teas and edibles since it has already been decarboxylated.
If however your cannabis does contain CBD, you will need to set your vaporizer to a temperature of 356°F (180°C).
This will also enable you to enjoy limonene which has a boiling point of 349°F (176°C), as well as stronger euphoria.
For our purposes it’s better not to raise the temperature above 356°F (180°C), unless you are after the most intense euphoria possible or would like to enjoy the energizing effects of terpinolene, which has a boiling point of 365°F (185°C).
Even if you are going for higher temperatures, start with the lower ones to make sure you’re not destroying any terpenes, especially pinene and limonene.
CBN vaporizes at 365°F (185°C) and linalool at 388°F (198°C), but both may be sedating.
Many vaporizers cannot reach the boiling point of THCv, which is 428°F (220°C).
Regarding CBG and caryophyllene, I do not know what their boiling point is. If you do, please comment below. Online sources cite differing values.
In summary, I would recommend that you set your vaporizer at around 320°F (160°C) for the least disruptive effect possible while still reaching the level of euphoria which satisfies you.
In addition, take a CBD supplement (ideally full spectrum) as well as pinene (e.g., pine nuts), get a pinene supplement, or take a walk in a pine forest, remembering to breath deeply.
Indica vs. Sativa
You would think you need to choose a sativa energizing strain and not an indica sedating strain.
However, my advice is to not pay too much attention to whether a strain is indica or sativa.
- What is its terpene profile?
- Is it full of those sedating terpenes such as myrcene and linalool?
- Does it contain a lot of CBN?
- Does it contain a lot of THC?
These are the factors that make a strain problematic for the oneironaut, not whether it is indica or sativa.
Dreaming Supplements & Crystals
If none of the above strategies work for you, then you may need to employ the power of some supplements and crystals.
Also, if you like stones and crystals, check out my article about the best crystals for dreaming and improving dream recall.
Deprogramming the Mind
Finally, the most powerful technique is also the most simple one.
Our unconscious has a lot more control over our brain than our consciousness. Therefore, if you are able to program your subconscious mind, or deprogram your conscious mind, then you can change your underlying belief that you cannot dream while smoking cannabis.
Course that’s easier said than done.
If you need help with this, then feel free to get in touch with me.
The general idea is to self-hypnotize yourself with the thought that you will now remember all your dreams even while smoking cannabis.
One way to do this is to repeat an affirmation such as “I remember my dreams even though I smoke cannabis.” Ideally, repeat it mentally over and over in bed, trying to make this the last thought passing in your mind before you fall asleep.
Conclusion: The 10 Commandments for Improving Dream Recall in Cannabis Users
To conclude all the above, here are the ideal conditions for having normal dream recall while using cannabis:
- First, and perhaps most importantly, try not smoking in the evening or even better, only early during the day. Experiment with different schedules until you find what works for you.
- Ideally, use a vaporizer. (Or edibles, but take your last edible for the day at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.) Set the temperate of your vaporizer to as low as possible, trying not to exceed 356°F (180°C).
- Choose a strain that is low in THC, CBN, linalool, humulene, myrcene, and caryophellene and high in CBD, CBG, CBC, pinene, and terpinolene. This is a tool which can help you find suitable strains.
- Choose a product that contains cannabis which has been properly dried and cured.
- If possible, create a herbal blend which contains more than just cannabis. Tobacco is not a good idea, but any other dried herb especially herbs which contain pinene, may be beneficial. For example: sage, rosemary, orange pill, and eucalyptus.
- Experiment with different cannabis to other herbs ratio. The less cannabis you can use, the better.
- Get extra pinene, a CBD supplement, and try other dreaming supplements, especially vitamin B6 and galantamine.
- Use crystals if you’re inspired to do so.
- Before bed, also repeat mentally “I remember my dreams” over and over, letting it be the last thought passing in your mind before you fall asleep.
- If you are able to take occasional breaks, that would be helpful. Try to abstain for a few days until your dream recall returns, then smoke for a couple of days, alternating periods of smoking with periods of non-smoking.
Best Strains for Lucid Dreaming (DILDs)
For those who aren’t concerned with dream recall, but just with enhancing their dreams and inducing lucid dreams, here’s a short guide for the best cannabis strains to support a DILD (Dream-Initiated Lucid Dreaming) practice.
In general, you want to choose strains that are energizing and focusing.
Strains that make you feel Energetic may improve your mental alertness rather than make you sleepy and unaware. That is exactly the state of mind you need in order to be able to recognize that you are dreaming.
You also want to be Focused because once you know you are dreaming within the dream, you must focus on that constantly, otherwise you may fall back to sleep.
These will tend to be sativas, such as Sour Diesel, Strawberry Cough, and Tangie.
Many of them have the energizing terpinolene as the dominant terpene, such as Jack Herer, Durban Poison, Super Lemon Haze, and Super Silver Haze.
However, there are also energizing indicas and hybrids, such as Jesus OG, Mimosa, and Jet Fuel.
Whichever strain you choose, watch out for excessively high THC levels.
One of my favorite strains for promoting DILDs is Green Crack. Most people experience an energizing effect under its influence, and 40% report a focusing effect. It also contains some pinene and (sometimes) a relatively low THC level (17%).
Best Strains for Astral Projection (OBEs) & Wake-Initiated Lucid Dreams (WILDs)
There are a few things cannabis can help us with in this sort of practice.
Firstly, it can relax us and help us Sleep. Relaxation is arguably the most important prerequisite for astral projection, WILDs, and entering the trance state in general (body asleep, mind awake).
We can also use help with Focusing on the technique. Retaining focus is essential in order to be able to remain awake when the body falls asleep.
Some cannabis strains generate a Tingly feeling. These are energy sensations in the body, which can easily become the vibratory stage of astral projection.
Finally, strains which produce a Creative feeling may help with entering the hypnagogic state, creating and sustaining the imagery. Dreams after all are a creative process.
Now, what’s most important to you?
If you find it difficult to fall asleep, then try Sleep-inducing strains, such as Tahoe OG, Pink Kush, or Gelatti, all of which are also helpful for relaxation.
If you don’t need much help falling asleep, but could use some help with Relaxation, then try Ice Cream Cake, Gary Payton, or White Runtz. White Runtz may also be useful if the vibrations allude you despite all efforts since almost a third of people using it report Tingly sensations (or try Biscotti).
If Focusing is where your weak spot lies, then choose relaxing strains such as Zookies, Wedding Crasher, or Superglue, or energizing strains such as Green Crack or Durban Poison.
If you just wish to enhance your Creativity, then try energetic strains like energetic strains like Acapulco Gold, Jack Herer, Haze, or Super Silver Haze, or relaxing strains such as Purple Haze or LSD.
You can find additional examples based on your needs at Leafly.com.
Is there any strain that’s perfect based on what people report the effects are?
There are some which come close. For example:
- Dreamcatcher is reported to be relaxing and sleep-inducing while also helping with creativity.
- Satellite OG and Rocklock may help with both relaxation and creativity.
- Watermelon Zkittlez induces a state of consciousness of focused relaxation.
Cannabis Substitutes – Psychoactive Smoking Blends
I sell different smoking blends which can be used as cannabis substitutes/potentiators.
What I recommend for most cannabis users who find it difficult to recall their dreams is to use a Euphoric Daytime Blend instead of cannabis.
If you don’t want to give up cannabis or you would like to give it up gradually in order to avoid a difficult withdrawal, then I suggest microdosing cannabis by blending very small amounts into the Euphoric Daytime Blend.
To give you an idea how little to use, let’s just say that grinding the blend in a grinder you previously used for cannabis, should be enough to strongly potentiate it.
Ideally, however, take a tolerance break for 1-2 weeks and then start microdosing cannabis with the euphoric blend.
You can also do it gradually, for example, by first smoking 50:50 cannabis and the blend, then going down to 40:60, 30:70, etc., until you reach something like 10:90 or even 1:99. Basically try to get to the lowest ratio of cannabis to the blend which will provide you the effects you need from the cannabis.
Appendix: Cannabis Oil Recipe – Avoid Impaired Dream Recall
The people of the world can be divided into two groups. There is a minority of people who smoke cannabis, go to sleep, and enjoy vivid and lucid dreams. But if most of us smoke weed, even in the afternoon, we will not be able to remember our dreams. Marijuana thus is one of the factors which can impair dream recall.
Why does it happen?
THC, one of the active components in cannabis, may inhibit REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep in which we experience dreams.
However, you will still be dreaming even if you smoke cannabis. You will still experience REM sleep. You just won’t remember your dreams. I believe that cannabis interferes with our memory, and not with the dreams themselves.
In this article, I suggest a method by which one can still enjoy cannabis, yet maintain fully functional dream recall. It involves ingesting the medicine orally instead of smoking it, preferably in the form of an infused olive oil.
The evidence-based recipe I include herein is for marijuana oil is based on a scientific paper by Casiraghi et al, published in 2017 in the Thieme journal – “Extraction Method and Analysis of Cannabinoids in Cannabis Oil Preparations.”
The authors sought to come up with a standardized method for manufactures and pharmacists to create Cannabis infused olive oil for medical patients and recreational users.
What temperature is ideal for extracting the active components of marijuana?
Is decarboxylation required before extraction?
Finally, a scientific answer would be available for these questions and we could make the perfect cannabis oil, even at home.
DISCLAIMER: The below recipe should only be used where cannabis use is legal. Do not start using cannabis and other psychoactive herbs and supplements without consulting with your physician first.
But why use oil? The problem with Smoking
Smoking is fun. There’s no doubt about that. However, even if you don’t smoke cigarettes, smoking cannabis is still a health hazard as it involves breathing carcinogens into the lungs. But the main problem with smoking for oneironauts (explorers of altered states of consciousness) is that the effect of smoking weed is short-lasting compared to eating the plant.
Eating a cannabis edible can induce an effect for 3 hours or more, and even when the effect dissipates, there’s still a sort of satiation.
Smoking, on the other hand, induces a short effect of no longer than 1 hour, followed by craving for more. If you could smoke one joint in the morning and be done with it for the day, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But if you find yourself smoking into the afternoon, you can probably say goodbye to remembering any dreams the following night.
If you eat the plant, then not only are you getting some chlorophyll, which is always great, but also it becomes a lot more possible to have a morning dose of the medicine, let’s say a teaspoon of cannabis-infused olive oil on your whole spelt toast, and enjoy a happy and productive day, then maybe another dose in the afternoon, if you must.
Another possible reason why eating marijuana rather than smoking it is beneficial to our dream lives is that it smoking (not just cannabis) tends to block the energetic structures located near the heart causing energy to get stuck in the lower chakras. This may result in an unbridled libido and difficulties in raising energy to the higher centers of the third eye and crown, which are responsible for awareness and memory, and thus dream recall.
With this approach, you can improve your chances of remembering dreams, while still enjoying the effects of marijuana.
What about Butter?
Some people make cannabutter, cannabis-infused butter. But butter (including ghee) is not that good for most of us.
We already eat too much unhealthy fats. We don’t need more.
Diabetes is another health risk associated with butter consumption. Research shows that “substitution of 8 g olive oil for an equivalent amount of butter was associated with an 8% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Diabetes and heart disease may cause sleep disorders, such as insomnia.
Olive oil has no cholesterol and trans fats. While olive oil consists of 14% saturated fats, it also contains healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (73%) and 11% of the even healthier polyunsaturated fat.
Nonetheless, in the below recipe, butter can be substituted for olive oil.
Don’t Fry It! Use an Oven
Virgin olive oil burns when it reaches a temperature of 190 °C (374 °F). This is olive oil’s smoke point.
If you fry or cook the plant matter in oil, the resulting infusion will be harmful and bitter-tasting and some of the fat will be converted to trans fats, the most dangerous type of fat.
When using an oven, it’s advisable never to heat olive oil above 180 °C (356 °F).
As you will see below, a much lower temperature is ideal.
Evidence-Based Recipe – Cannabis Infused Olive Oil
According to the researchers whose research is the basis for this recipe, decarboxylation (step 2) is indeed necessary. They experimented with different temperatures, and got the best results with the temperatures specified below.
- Grind the cannabis and put in an ovenproof container, spreading the plant material evenly.
- Heat at 115 °C (239 °F) for 40 minutes (decarboxylation).
- Add 20 mL (18 grams/0.68 US fl oz/1.5 tbsp) of olive oil (preferably extra virgin) for every gram (0.03 oz) of plant material. You can use less oil for a more concentrated result although you would need a container that allows the plant material to soak completely in the oil.
- Make sure the plant is completely covered in oil. If not, add more oil.
- Heat at 100 °C (212 °F) for 40 minutes.
- Pour the olive oil into a jar through a cheesecloth to filter our the plant material.
You can store the resulting oil in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 weeks without losing any of the active ingredients.
Experiment to find your ideal dose, starting with 1-2 grams of prepared oil, and increasing by 1 gram per dose until you’re happy with the strength of the effect.
The effect may only be felt about 45-60 minutes after eating the oil and usually lasts 2-3 hours or more, depending on the dose.
I designed a memory elixir to mobilize memory enhancing compounds to the brain.
It also contains pinene, which can be particularly beneficial for cannabis users as I’ve mentioned above.
It contains the following herbs:
- Sage (Salvia) – A classic memory enhancement-herb, sage has been shown to improve alertness, attention, and memory. Much like galantamine and many other lucid dreaming supplements, sage acts as a powerful inhibitor of the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in memory and attention. By increasing acetylcholine levels in the brain, sage may improve your ability to remember your dreams.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Rosemary supports memory and alertness by increasing blood flow to the brain. It also serves to facilitate the transport of the other substances in the potion to the brain.
- Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) – Gotu kola has been used in traditional medicine to improve brain function. It may boost memory, alertness, and attention.
- Bacopa monnieri – an Ayurvedic memory herb used to treat memory issues. It contains neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing saponins (bacosides) and may improve brain function, alertness, and memory.
The pinene content in this elixir comes from the sage, rosemary, and gotu kola.
I recommend taking the Memory Elixir together with my Dream Elixir, which contains:
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – improves memory, attention, sleep quality, and mental alertness. Promotes deep, dreamless sleep, followed by vivid and easy to recall dreams.
- Ginkgo biloba – Like rosemary, Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain, thereby boosting memory and concentration.
- Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) – A herb well known to induce vivid, memorable dreams and to improve dream recall.
- Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) – Improves sleep and memory, including induced memory deficits, and provides a general nervine tonic effect.