Can the brain replicate the sensation of being high on pot - without pot?

Every time I have a dream where I smoke pot, getting high in the dream feels EXACTLY like getting high in real life. The physical and mental sensations of it are duplicated perfectly. (I have extremely vivid dreams, which feel exactly like reality, almost every night.)

What’s the science behind this? I haven’t smoked pot in months - yet in the dream, it felt exactly like the influence of THC on my brain. But my brain had no THC in it, leading me to guess that it “recorded” what THC feels like, and “replayed” it for me. (If only I could do this in waking life, and at will.) Can anyone with a better understanding of neuroscience than I have give me an explanation?

IANAS and this will be a very broad WAG.

THC is similar in chemical structure to some other chemical our bodies make. So maybe when you got to the part of your dream where you were smoking the pot your brain released that other chemical.

I wish!

I don’t think we’ve figured out exactly why we dream, but the theory that seems the most reasonable to me is that as you sleep, your brain is busy compiling the day’s memories, and dreams are an artifact of this brain activity. So if you associated certain emotional states with being high, it seems natural that the association would remain as you dream. As an analogy, there are some people in my life that I have had conflicts with, and sometimes when I dream about these people, I experience anger. I think it’s that there’s an association in my brain between that person and that emotion, which is activated in the dream.

All I can add right now is that I have had the same experience with alcohol. In fact, I am amazed at the “realities” the brain can create in dreams.

IANADream Analyst, but my suspicion is that “suspension of disbelief” within the mind is total when it comes to dreams.

I’m not sure of any other way to say this except: if you remember the sense of being high well enough to say that the dream replicated it perfectly, then that is where the sensation came from. When you dream, “I’m high” or “I’m smoking pot” you immediately fill in the blanks. Any aspect of being high that does not conform to your dream is either overlooked or contributes to the surreal feeling of a dream.

I suspect some of this is illusion, though. There’s evidence that dreams are time-compressed. You experience an hour in a dream that actually only lasted 5 minutes, because you didn’t actually experience the mundane details - you only manufactured a memory of an hour’s worth of stuff happening. So let’s say you had dinner in the dream. Did you actually “taste” the food, in real-time, in the dream, or do you just have a memory that you ate dinner and tasted the food? Maybe you only had some vague impressions and emotions, but since brains love to fill in blanks, you compiled this as a vivid memory of eating a sumptuous meal.

I thought it had recently (like, in the last few decades) been shown that dreams are NOT time-compressed. I don’t recall where I read that, though.

In this youtube clip Derren Brown hypnotizes a guy into acting drunk. The guy says later that he felt drunk. I think this is similar. Also maybe similar–I often have orgasms in my sleep. I don’t know whether they’re mental or “real” but they don’t come from physical stimulation.

I don’t really have a point to make, just wanted to throw that out there.

I dunno, but if it becomes one of those premium channels to which you can susbscribe, I’m in! :smiley:

I think there’s maybe a dream>memory>key>lock>feeling that we can sort of tune into, like a distant radio station sometimes.

Why don’t hypnotists hire out to induce people to think they’re pleasantly under the influence of their drug of choice?

The clients could enjoy all the benefits of narcosis, but without the bad side effects.