FAQs, and thoroughly researched answers

by ross
December 10, 2019

Sleep Apnea patients raising hands during 2020 weedcon testing event

In this article, we tackle some of the frequently asked questions that we have encountered about dreamt so far, and break down the science supporting our product.

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Ensuring that our customers are well-informed about dreamt and can trust it to help them get a good night’s sleep is a cornerstone of our business. Establishing and earning this trust has become that much more important following the outbreak of illnesses related to vaping. While those issues have been almost entirely connected to vapes containing the cutting agent vitamin E acetate, all of which are suspected to have been purchased on the illicit market. 

dreamt’s all-in-one pen contains no cutting agents, is thoroughly tested for pesticides and heavy metals, and is only available in licensed dispensaries and retailers.

But despite those simple assurances of safety, we want to take this opportunity to:

  • fully explain the science behind the product
  • help you understand exactly how each of our ingredients work
  • debunk a few widely held cannabis myths along the way!

We sat down with dreamt’s founder and Chief Scientific Officer Carolina Vazquez Mitchell to get the skinny on the science that supports dreamt. Some of these questions have come up in our early conversations with budtenders, journalists and the public, and we thought I’d be a good idea to write them all down and post them on the site.

Enjoy!

What’s in dreamt?

THC, CBD, melatonin, valerian root extract, cannabis terpenes and sleep-inducing terpenes from other plants.

What is the ratio of THC:CBD?

Approximately 2.5:1.

Why did you choose that ratio?

THC has drowsy, sleep-inducing effects but it can also make you feel euphoric or anxious. In combination with CBD, these effects are reduced or even eliminated. On the other hand, if CBD is taken alone, it can have wake-promoting effects. So in order for THC to be a sleep-inducing drug, it must be used with CBD.

We found this ratio to be optimal for inducing sleep while minimizing the risk of anxiety.

Do you use filler in your pen?

We don’t use any fillers at all. Why don’t you use filler? Some molecules used in fillers cannot be absorbed in the lungs. If they are oil-soluble they can build up and produce a rare condition called lipoid pneumonia: a form of lung inflammation that develops when lipids enter the bronchial tree.

Do you use CBN?

The current research doesn’t show any significant data supporting CBN as a sleep aid. Several studies show no difference in the effects on sleep in patients smoking THC alone and THC with CBN. Research has also discovered that CBN can actually hinder the drowsy and muscle-relaxing effects of THC, therefore, reducing the effectiveness of THC as a sleep aid. 

CBN is believed to have similar effects to THC, but is much weaker. 

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring neuro-hormone found in animals, plants, and microbes. It’s plays a key role in regulating your sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin is produced in the brain from serotonin, so a depletion of serotonin due to stress and anxiety prevents healthy sleep by reducing the melatonin available in the brain. 

The most common method of ingesting melatonin is orally via a pill. In order to be effective this way, it should be taken 1-2 hours prior to bedtime, to allow it to dissolve in the stomach and be absorbed into the bloodstream. When taken orally, melatonin also has a low bioavailability and suffers a variable first-pass metabolism in the liver. But, inhalation of melatonin gives users a more predictable, higher bioavailable dose than melatonin taken orally. Using this delivery method allows for rapid absorption of the ingredients making it one of the fastest-acting sleep aids available. Inhaling melatonin allows for a near-instant effect.

Is it safe? 

One of the main reasons an inhaled compound is harmful is because of a process called heat-induced decomposition. This means that some substances get destroyed by heat, producing other chemicals that are toxic or irritate the respiratory tract. Additionally, some of these molecules are oil-soluble and too big to be absorbed in the lungs. So they accumulate, producing a rare condition called lipoid pneumonia. This is what happens when vitamin E acetate is used as a thickening agent. 

However, this does not occur when inhaling melatonin. Melatonin is a very stable molecule, and it boils at over 900F. It is also water-soluble, meaning it will be easily absorbed in the low dose used in our formulation without accumulation. Inhaling melatonin does not cause lipoid pneumonia.  

So you’re inhaling something that’s water-soluble? 

You are inhaling hydrosoluble molecules all day! Air has water vapor for example and you breathe that your entire life. There is no scientific evidence that inhaling melatonin is unsafe, besides melatonin is also well dispersed and in low concentration which avoids accumulation in the lungs.  

Can melatonin be vaporized then?

Technically no. However, because the majority of dreamt’s formulation is THC/CBD distillate and terpenes, these ingredients are vaporized and serve as the vehicle for melatonin. In our formulation and any formulation, individual molecules interact with each other and enable the transportation of compounds. 

Imagine a subway full of people holding hands together. If 90% of the people want to get out of the subway at a specific stop, they will drag along the 10% that does not want to get out. That’s what happens when THC, CBD, and terpenes are vaporized and carry melatonin molecules, even if they are not heated enough to enter the gas phase. 

What is valerian root?

Valerian root is a plant from which extracts have been used in oral administration and inhalable form to treat anxiety and insomnia for millennia. 

Its extract increases the levels of GABA and enhances its effect. GABA inhibits the activity of neurotransmitters that excite the brain, shortening the time to fall asleep and prolonging total sleep time. Research has suggested that some pharmacologically active molecules in valerian root interact with the benzodiazepine receptors producing similar effects, but without the addictive response. 

Is it safe? 

The molecular composition of our valerian root extract is very similar to terpenes (some of the active ingredients in valerian are terpenoids). Additionally, it has been inhaled in traditional Chinese medicine with other terpenes tor treatment of insomnia, stress, and anxiety for millennia. 

What terpenes are you using?

Around 50% of the terpenes in our formula are found in cannabis, such as limonene, myrcene, and linalool. We also incorporate a proprietary blend of terpenes found in other plants that have been used in clinical trials as an effective method to treat insomnia via inhalation.

How does dreamt work? Is it more effective than other vape pens? Why?

Almost all inhalable sleep formulas on the market consist of a high ratio of THC: CBD and terpenes only. Despite the onset time of inhalable cannabinoids being just 10-20 minutes, the effects disappear after only 2-3 hours. For a person that has difficulty staying asleep, this is a big concern since they may need to inhale several times throughout the night to have a full eight hours of sleep. Besides, a high content of THC vs CBD can produce anxiety and euphoric effects. 

Some formulas contain CBN, but as mentioned before this cannabinoid is much less effective than THC. While these formulations approach the sleep problem from one side, dreamt has a much broader array of effects, attacking the problem from many angles. 

Our ingredients and how they help you sleep

Cannabinoids 

THC will help you feel drowsy, sleepy and catatonic (which means a significant decrease in someone’s reactivity to their environment). This is very useful for people with hyperactivity or restless legs syndrome. However, THC can produce anxiety, euphoria or paranoia.

CBD has anxiolytic effects and, at the correct concentration, it is synergized with THC’s sleep-inducing properties. However, using CBD alone can be wake-promoting, which means it will keep a person relaxed but alert, which is not ideal when trying to fall asleep. 

Melatonin

Serotonin is the precursor of melatonin. It is essential for sleep and is depleted in people suffering from chronic stress. This results in low concentrations of melatonin. Therefore, melatonin must be replenished in order to initiate and complete a healthy sleep cycle. In inhalable form, its bioavailability is higher than in oral form. 

Valerian root

Besides serotonin and melatonin, other molecules are essential for relaxation, pain management, mood regulation, and sleep. One such molecule is GABA, a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether GABA taken directly as a supplement reaches the brain in large enough quantities to have an effect. Valerian root increases the concentration of GABA naturally by inhibiting molecules that destroy GABA in our brain. 

Terpenes

Our proprietary terpene blend has been specifically formulated to yield a broader sleep-inducing effect than any other terpene blend on the market. This is because the terpenes in our blend: 

  • Make it easier to fall asleep by acting on the nervous system for enhanced relaxation and reduced anxiety. Select terpenes in our formulation have been shown to inhibit the excitement of the sympathetic nervous system (this system prepares the body for intense physical activity and is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response) so that the parasympathetic nervous system dominates (this system has almost the exact opposite effect and relaxes the body and inhibits or slows many high energy functions).  
  • Help with pain relief. Researchers have found select terpenes likely bind to the opioid receptors and are analogous to opioids, such as morphine. But in contrast to morphine, terpenes there is no tolerance and therefore no addiction. 
  • Give you a deeper sleep because they significantly decrease sleep stages 1 and 2 and significantly increase stage 4 and REM sleep.
  • Make you feel better by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and endorphins. 

dreamt is the only science-backed cannabis sleep aid. Each ingredient has scientific journal-published studies behind it showing its effectiveness for sleep. To see these reference papers, scroll to the bottom of our article Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis For Sleep’.