Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep: Easing Insomnia with Weed
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Cannabis is a popular sleep aid. Historically, people have taken weed to sleep better, and the trend is increasing by the day with the dawn of legal cannabis.
From stress & anxiety to chronic pain, there are many reasons why a person may not get enough sleep. All accounts support the fact that marijuana can help with these conditions and provide relief from insomnia.
With that in mind, we have compiled below a list of the top 7 cannabis strains that can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Cannabis strains for insomnia
Marijuana flowers come in three varieties:
- Rich in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the main psychoactive chemical in the plant
- Rich in CBD (cannabidiol) – the non-intoxicating compound
- Balanced CBD & THC ratio
CBD & THC have shown great promise in helping with sleep. Weed Review recommends trying different strains to find your preferred nighttime flower.
1. Northern Lights
An Indica-dominant flower, Northern Lights has made a name for itself in the medical cannabis world. With THC levels ranging from 15-20%, it delivers a powerful body high that will make you forget the world and indulge in a restful slumber. People globally swear by its ability to help them sleep better.
NL is also rich in sleep-promoting terpenes like myrcene and pinene, which makes this strain all the more valuable for sleep.
2. Granddaddy Purple
Think of Granddaddy Purple as a slightly stronger version of Northern Lights. This Indica-dominant cultivar can have THC up to 25%, which makes it a go-to choice for those who suffer from serious sleeplessness.
The couchlock feeling is strong with this one. As such, you should try GDP if chronic pain, stress, or spasms are contributing to your insomnia.
Grand Daddy Purple also boasts linalool terpene – the same aromatic compound found in lavender which gives the plant its soothing, calming properties.
3. Afghan Kush
Kush strains are often praised for their sleep-inducing benefits. While there are many to try, Afghan Kush takes the cake at the top.
You cannot go wrong with this near-pure Indica cultivar. The THC content averages 20%, and with it, it also features other cannabinoids like CBD and CBN. Combined with terpenes like caryophyllene and myrcene, you have got yourself an entourage effect powerhouse that eases your pain and takes your worries away.
Afghan Kush is notoriously famous for its sedating effects. Deep sleep and lazy evenings are almost guaranteed with this landrace.
Consider Harlequin– a CBD-dominant flower – if you are not fond of getting too high from THC.
The cannabidiol levels vary at 13-17% while the THC remains at a modest 4-7%. This translates into a soothing, relaxing experience that does not overpower your mind.
The two cannabinoids and the terpenes present in the bud work together to reduce your pain, relax your mind, and produce good vibes. Harlequin takes a load off your mind and clears the path to peaceful sleep.
5. Charlotte’s Angel CBD
Charlotte’s Angel CBD is a gentle introduction to the world of marijuana flowers. With a CBD: THC ratio of 15:1, this CBD variety eases you into smoking or enjoying buds without any mental high.
While improved sleep or sedation is not an outright effect of this bud, it does help with chronic pain, stress, anxiety, spasms, and other conditions that can get in the way of your shut-eye. The strain is highly therapeutic and recommended for anyone who wants to try medicinal marijuana for their symptoms.
6. Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies is a potent cannabis strain that you may try for sleep if your tolerance is high. With THC levels as high as 28%, GSC is recommended for experienced users who are unable to ease their insomnia with weaker strains.
This cultivar also delivers the best of both worlds – a powerful body high that glues you to the couch and a euphoric rush that fills your brain with happy thoughts. It helps set the tone for a good night’s sleep after a long day – but be mindful that the bedtime is not immediate. Give yourself 2-3 hours for the physical high to take over.
Girl Scout Cookies is rich in terpenes like myrcene and caryophyllene, which work synergistically to provide pain relief and sedating effects.
7. White Widow
White Widow is a timeless classic that is famous for its sedative high. The THC concentration tops at 20% while also featuring small amounts of CBD and CBG (cannabigerol).
The experience starts as a burst of energy and mental stimulation, which quickly transforms into a drowsy, lazy feeling that takes over your physical self. Pain relief, relaxed mind, and sleep are the most common effects of White Widow.
Sativa v Indica: What to choose?
Cannabis dispensaries label the buds as Sativa, Indica, and hybrids. Sativa is thought to be more uplifting and mentally energising, while Indica varieties are geared towards a physical and sedating high. Hybrids give you a mix of the two effects – they can help you sleep while also improving your mood greatly.
Indicas strains are best recommended for sleep. You should start your search for the best strains for insomnia by trying the flowers mentioned in the list. If they don’t work for you, try other Indicas. Remember – everyone is unique, and therefore, cannabis can affect each person differently.
Knowing the amounts of THC, CBD, and different terpenes in a strain can also help you choose better. For example, terpenes like myrcene and pinene can help with sleep. so strains rich in these terpenes are a good bet for sleep.
How does marijuana help with sleep?
Cannabis can assist with insomnia in the following ways:
- Reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
- Increase the time spent in the deep sleep stage.
- Decrease REM sleep, which leads to fewer dreams & nightmares.
- Improve sleep quality.
- Assist with PTSD symptoms.
- Ease chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and other symptoms that interfere with sleep.
Are there any side effects to taking weed for sleep?
Yes, in addition to the usual adverse effects of marijuana, there are some sleep-specific side effects you must keep in mind:
- Potential for addiction/dependence.
- Increased tolerance to the sedating effects of THC.
- Changes to the sleep architecture.
- Sleep problems after quitting weed.
- Fewer dreams, which can affect how you process your emotions.
These side effects are generally seen when people take mainly THC for sleep.
Such problems are not seen with cannabidiol, as CBD is non-intoxicating and well-tolerated for sleep. For more information, you can learn how CBD works to improve sleep.
How much cannabis should you take for sleep?
There are no universal guidelines on how much weed you should take for sleep. It is a personal journey that differs from person to person.
Some people pack 1 gram of weed in a joint to sleep, but for others, just 100 milligrams do the trick.
The good rule is to start low, go slow, and see how you feel before increasing your dosage.
With joints, this translates into a few drags, monitoring the effects, and then increasing/decreasing the intake from there.
Cannabis has a long and well-documented history of being used as a sleep supplement. The list here features Weed Review’s take on the 7 best strains for insomnia. If these do not help you sleep, you should give other varieties a try.
There are 100s of cultivars with different THC, CBD, cannabinoids, and terpene profiles – each with unique effects on the body. What works for one person may not work for the other – that is why you should try and experiment with different marijuana strains to find your preferred nighttime remedy.