For all the daydreaming, astral traveling and inner journeying cannabis use inspire, it’s kind of a drag that it doesn’t do much for our actual dreams.
It’s a common complaint among many heavy THC users: Consistent daily weed smoke has a smothering effect on REM-activated dreamscapes. A handful of studies from the 1970s devoted to sleep and cannabis found that THC use reduced both the movement and duration of a typical REM cycle—the cycle in which we have our most vivid dreams.
It’s fairly frustrating to be a creative stoner who never remembers their dreams. For all the sleep-supporting phenotypes and cannabinoids strain science has cultivated, many have yet to come across a cannabis product capable of activating an REM rebound without requiring a full-fledged cannabis break...well, until now.
Greater Goods, the CBD arm of Leif Goods, recently introduced two CBN products to its already considerable lineup of CBD chocolate bars and tinctures. For those not yet in the know, CBN is a lesser-known cannabinoid derived from degraded THC. It isn’t psychotropic, but it does have pronounced tranquilizing effects. Greater Goods’ particular formulation reportedly has the potential to give heavy THC users back what they traded for their habit: super-weird dreams.
WW tried both the CBN tincture and chocolate bar and found that whether through the power of suggestion, or their specific formulation, dreams, and sometimes nightmares, might not need to be sacrificed for weed after all.
Night One: Evening Tincture 2:1 CBD:CBN (600 mg:300 mg per bottle)
The suggested dose was 10 to 20 drops to begin, so I started with a dropperful (less than 20 drops) under the tongue. Greater Goods Evening Tincture is made with flavorless MCT oil but is embellished with lemon essence. The resulting mouthfeel is bright and tangy, but ephemeral—the oil absorbed into my cheeks so quickly I didn’t have time to savor the citrus. I was prepared to dose myself again based on my varsity-level tolerance, but inside of 45 minutes, I was already feeling the full effects of the tincture and ready to bed down, far too heavy-lidded to engage in my usual pre-sleep routine of scrolling memes on Tumblr. Within minutes of my head hitting the pillow I was asleep.
The dreams I awoke from the next morning were psychedelic mashups of my favorite movies from childhood: Beetlejuice, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder version), and that one scene from Xanadu where Olivia Newton-John roller-skates into a mural on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. I could remember the folds of Olivia’s dress and the powder-pink ribbons fluttering in her beige blond hair. I could see bright-red candy (Twizzlers? Red Vines?) stuck between Willy Wonka’s teeth, and I could feel the sand between my toes as I watched the Sandworm chase a cartoon Michael Keaton into a multicolored horizon. I hadn’t had such an epic, cinematic dream since my last dalliance with prolonged sobriety.
Waking up with such distinct dream memories was striking, but what struck me even more was that despite the rollicking nature of my dreams, I woke up feeling refreshed and well rested, which is a luxury I have not experienced since giving birth to my son six years ago. I’m not particularly plagued with insomnia, but I would suggest this to anyone who is. For me, the dreams combined with the feeling of rejuvenation were totally worth the ticket price, but to someone for whom sleep is evasive, this tincture may well be priceless.
Night Two: Evening Chocolate Bar, 2:1 CBD:CBN (60 mg:30 mg per bar)
The suggested dose of Greater Goods Evening Chocolate Bar is only three bite-sized squares, but the chocolate is so freaking delicious it took considerable effort not to continue to pop squares in my mouth after I’d finished my third “pip.” The chocolate, provided by local chocolatiers Ranger, is bittersweet and complex, with notes of currant and coffee rounding out its ultra-rich darkness. Even though a full-spectrum hemp extract is the source of the CBD—the CBN is in isolate form—there is no grassy aftertaste to suggest this bar is anything but high-quality, artisan chocolate.
The onset of this particular dose was less discernible than that of the tincture. The chocolate’s effects were far more gradual, taking a bit more than an hour to quiet my mind enough to usher in restful sleep. And while the sleep was indeed restful, the dreams were hazier. I woke up struggling to recall the final moments of a dream in which I soared high over a rural plain in a cotton candy-pink air balloon. For as gratifying as the sleep was, the frustration of a technicolor dream slipping through my fingers was correspondingly disappointing.
If sleep was all I was after, I could attest unwaveringly to this chocolate’s efficacy, but I wasn’t eating this chocolate to sleep. I was eating it to dream. I was trying to tap into a subconscious that’d been cognitively off-limits for years. Sleep was, for me, the pleasant side effect. Your results, of course, may vary.
Night Three: Half Doses of Each
Night three was when things got notably weird.
As anticipated, a pip and half of the Evening Chocolate Bar and approximately 10 drops of the tincture laid me out inside of an hour, but on this night, the surreal dreamscapes I’d been chasing transformed into shadowy nightmares. I woke up after a full night’s sleep in a confused state of both terror and revitalization. I’ll save the gory details, but let it suffice to say many of my nightmare scenes were disturbing enough to linger in the dark corners of my mind for days afterward, and yet the sleep was deep enough for me to feel as if it had totally rejuvenated my body. That is a very WTF combination of feelings.
My takeaway here was that sticking with one or the other is probably a best practice.
Despite the nightmare hiccup, after three straight days using these products, my eyes appeared unburdened by their usual blueish-beige baggage, my skin looked brighter and bouncier, and my mood was noticeably affected for the better. I can attribute all of these effects to good-ass sleep, and certainly a few nights of recuperative rest are of inarguable value, but my usage seemed go further than a typical sleep aid, evening out my sleeping patterns so that even on nights when I skipped a dose, I could still fall asleep easily, stay asleep all night, and wake up considerably refreshed. all things that had more or less evaded me for the past several years.
Bottom line: Regardless of your stance on tapping into a previously dormant wellspring of subconsciousness, good sleep will change your whole life. Whether you can handle what dreams may come is entirely up to you.
BUY IT: Greater Goods Evening Tincture and Chocolate Bar are available at hellogreater.com.