How is it that marijuana affects dreams – and can this somehow benefit post-traumatic stress disorder patients? Chances are if you to ask the nearest Stoner… if they are aware of dreaming, the answer will come back a resounding no. Yet if that same marijuana smoker were asked to stop smoking pot for 7 to 14 days, they would again find their slumber state rich with vivid dreams… sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Its one thing for the average pot head to make that observation after years of smoking, it’s another to try and find any psychological research based on scientific studies.
As sure as there is day and night… the human condition has grown dependent on a good restful night’s sleep. Unfortunatelywhen that sleep, and its four stages are interrupted for any reason, the outcomes can be less than desirable. The normal daily ebb and flow of sleep and slumber is called a circadian sleep rhythm. Many species aside from humans bow before the circadian sleep rhythm master: dogs, cats, rats and bats all must succumb to the powers of a restful night’s sleep, should they hope for a productive tomorrow.
While sleep appears to be a rather reflexive activity, at least to us, the mind utilizes this time to processes the day’s activities. In studies, sleep volunteers have been shown through the use of an electroencephalogram [EEG] — the different cycles of sleep which occurs on a nightly basis and how the depth of your sleep affects your next day’s productivity. As scientists have noted, each stage of sleep becomes increasingly deeper and sounder, and is repeated several times within an evening’s rest. When the sleeping volunteers were awoken during the REM section of their sleep cycle, all test subjects reported having vivid dreams.
So the obvious question becomes… If dreams only occur during REM sleep — and REM sleep is adversely affected by marijuana smoke, can smoking marijuana cure post-traumatic stress disorder?
There are many scientific research papers which point to use of marijuana’s cannabinoids as a potential memory suppressant in the treatment of PTSD, specifically with the THC cannabinoid. As scientist gaze into the future of PTSD and the THC compound found in cannabis. It is believed that THC may have the curing properties so desperately sought by those that suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder.
This is the report of an open label clinical trial to evaluate the effects of Nabilone (a synthetic cannabinoid) , used on treatment-resistant nightmares in patients diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods: Charts of 47 patients diagnosed with PTSD and having continuing nightmares in spite of conventional antidepressants and hypnotics were reviewed after adjunctive treatment with nabilone was initiated. These patients had been referred to a psychiatric specialist outpatient clinic between 2004 and 2006. The majority of patients (72%) receiving nabilone experienced either cessation of nightmares or a significant reduction in nightmare intensity. Subjective improvement in sleep time, the quality of sleep, and the reduction of daytime flashbacks and nightsweats were also noted by some patients. The results of this study indicate the potential benefits of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, in patients with PTSD experiencing poor control of nightmares with standard pharmacotherapy.
With the mounting proof showing support for medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD continues to grow, the Department of Veterans Affairs finally decided that the scientific evidence was too strong to ignore. And back in July, 2010, finally gave in to common sense and scientific evidence. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs then made clear that it would permit certain war veterans the use of medicinal pot so long as they lived in a medical marijuana state, had received a doctors recommendation to smoke medical marijuana and were currently enrolled in a state approved program.
While marijuana continues to be classified as a schedule 1 narcotic under federal law, the newly adopted guidelines will potentially allow for doctors at hospitals and clinics to utilize medicinal cannabis; bringing marijuana back into the pharmacopeia of – ‘pain treatment plans’ offered to the vets which suffer from PTSD and the nightmarish dreams which accompany them.
By Chandi Devi
Tantra brings you playfulness and pleasure
Spirituality is taken very seriously and often seekers become rigid and serious instead of flexible and light-hearted. To embrace life, we need to, as Jesus said, become like children again. This is the virgin spirit of the goddess Kumari– the sweet innocence, the pure joy, expressing through the exuberance of life. We often suppress our childlike qualities of wonder and enthusiasm, and replace those feelings with complacency, boredom, suspicion, seriousness, skepticism and other emotions that stop the flow of joy.
Evoking feelings of happiness is something that we all have to work at. It’s not always automatic. We have to make a conscious effort to create, develop and maintain emotions that sustain our feelings of wellbeing at all times. And we must learn how to live in a perpetual state of loving awareness. This is a huge challenge at times, but no one else can do this for us. Since we create our own reality every moment of every day, we really have no choice.
Part of tantric work requires playfulness as we explore our sensuality through music, dance, movement, singing, art and sexuality. In fact, play and pleasure, as well as every other aspect of life, such as work, eating, lovemaking are regarded as opportunities for spiritual development.
The mind is a world of complex images and concepts, but the body’s world is one of sensation. So we can only experience pleasure through the senses. Our bodies want to feel pleasurable sensations constantly — touching, breathing deeply, dancing, looking with curiosity, walking rhythmically, and making love.
Tantra increases intuition and psychic abilities
Intuition has also been called insight, revelation, inspiration, direct apprehension, gut instinct, a flash, a hunch, a premonition, “Eureka” or “Aha,” a sixth sense, an inner voice, “vibes,” a feeling, “reading between the lines,” “red flags,” a “nagging” feeling, sensitivity, “ringing true,” “an educated guess,” “reading him (or her) like a book,” “inner radar,” “a light coming on,” preconscious concept formation, and ESP (or “being psychic,” although intuition is not truly a psychic phenomenon).
Intuition is a natural function which we all possess. It cannot be developed; it is already fully functioning and accurate, such that this part of us always knows everything which is affecting our lives or will affect our lives.
But a reliable sense of “knowing” is developed only when our minds are free from thought, for only through this inner silence can messages from our higher self-reach us.
Tantra work helps us maintain a type of inner silence and stillness even when we are busy. I call it “active body, still mind”.
Clairvoyance… clairaudience…clairsentience…the abilities to see, hear and feel through paranormal senses could become prominent, as well as the ability to heal, see, feel and manipulate energy.
Manifestation of thoughts may occur and with that comes the realization that one has to be very cognizant of his or her thoughts, feelings and actions. With power comes grave responsibility.
I might add that this phenomenon is not sought, it is earned. It is a gift.