People have long loved cannabis as a way to get a great night’s sleep. Insomniacs around the world have relied on its mild sedative powers to not only help them get to sleep but to stay asleep.
If you are one of the countless people who experience insomnia, you know it can be a relentless experience. A sleepless night causes stress, which can impact your day, affect your mood, and reduce productivity. Insomnia leads to increased stress, and we know it is linked to other illnesses. It’s best to avoid it at all costs.
Many of us have demanding schedules, so you need to get as much sleep as you can get. What options are available without a prescription or resorting to addictive pharmaceuticals? Considering cannabis is already a beloved option by many sleepless souls, why not explore its mild sedative powers yourself?
This article will explore the best cannabis strains to help you get a deeper sleep and get to sleep faster. With enough healthy sleep, you’ll have the energy to face whatever the day throws at you!
The Best Strains for Sleep Contain THC
According to the experts at Leafly, a THC based strain is the way to go. Leafly states, “THC strains are typically the most effective for sleep. If THC agrees with your body and doesn’t cause unpleasant side effects like anxiety, a THC-dominant strain might be your most reliable source of sedating effects.”
For those with anxiety or a sensitivity to the intoxicating effects of THC, go easy on the high-THC strains. All cannabinoids, including THC, deliver different experiences depending on the dose. This is called the dose-dependent curve. A little THC may help you count sheep, but larger doses can shift into a different gear. A hefty dose of THC, for some people, can actually increase anxiety and keep them up longer. You may want to try a strain balanced between THC and CBD instead.
Don’t Forget About Terpene Profile
What gives cannabis that delicious smell? It’s the terpene profile. Marijuana Break tells us there are over 200 terpenes now linked to cannabis. Each strain contains a beautiful bouquet, creating its unique fingerprint. Generally, each strain will have about ten to 20 major terpenes.
Myrcene is by far the main terpene connected to sleep. Myrcene is a significant aspect of the flavor profile of a mango, which means it comes across as a spicy and musky aroma. Other great sleep-inducing terpenes include limonene, linalool, terpineol, and caryophyllene.
What does this mean as you head out to hunt for the next best strain for sleep? Target a strong myrcene profile first, followed by undertones of the secondary options.
What are the Best Strains for a Deep Sleep?
Some may wonder if the type of strain makes a difference. Strains differ in cannabinoid and terpene profiles, which create many nuanced experiences. There is now some debate about the differences between the two prominent families of cannabis: indica and sativa. But despite this argument over genetics, most people still associate indicas with the best sleep. Indicas, after all, are lovingly referred to as “In-da-Couch” for their couch locking and sedative effects.
The folks at Honest Marijuana explain, “Indica produces a more lethargic and lazy body high. It should be consumed at night for optimal results. It produces more of a heavy feeling on the body, causing most of its users to want to sit down and relax.” On the other side of the coin, they detail how a sativa heritage “leads to more of an energetic head high and is best used during the day. It gives its users a lighter ‘high’ feeling, making it easier to take action on the user’s creativity.”
While geneticists might argue over what makes a true indica or a true sativa, the consensus among consumers is that strong indica s are great for relaxation and sedation. Sativa roots will generally be ‘buzzier,’ more wakeful varieties.
Well-Balanced Strains for the Best Sleep
It’s all about finding the right strain for the job. If sleep is what you are after, balance is everything. Seek out strains with a profile containing both THC and CBD and perhaps a sleep-inducing flavor profile. Terpenes, the essential oils behind cannabis’ unique scents, play a role in the experience, so it’s best to consider these as well.
A few sedative options to try:
This is a strong indica with close to 17 percent THC and a strong presence of myrcene. Granddaddy Purple is a cross between two other fan favorites, Big Bud and Purple Urkle. The flowers are tightly packed and full of big flavors like berry and sweet grape. It’s a long time favorite for those who need help getting to sleep but have a higher tolerance for THC.
Another strain that contains myrcene is the well-known strain Blue Dream. Blue Dream contains roughly 19% THC, and the dominant terpene is myrcene. This strain fits the bill of a low to moderate THC content. It may be a good strain for those who have insomnia.
White Fire OG
According to Leafly, this is a relaxing, sociable strain, making it the before party-favor that won’t leave you up at night when everyone goes home. White Fire OG is also high in myrcene like the others on this list, which may be why it helps so many fall asleep after a night out. White Fire OG has a relatively high amount of THC, usually around 20 percent.
For those that can’t stand high levels of THC, Harlequin is an excellent option. This myrcene-heavy strain is low in THC (under six percent) and high in CBD (under ten percent). With such a combination, it leaves you feeling mellow and relaxed.
Rockstar Gas is a tasty strain with strong sleep-inducing qualities. These properties may be fueled by its terpene profile, which includes high levels of caryophyllene. Caryophyllene smells like black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. The strain also contains a herby undertone from humulene, a common terpene in basil. Rockstar is a THC-rich strain, usually measuring about 17 percent THC.
What Characteristics Make a Strain into a Powerful Sleep Aid
So far, we have determined that if you are taking cannabis in order to experience its sedative effects, there are several things to look for when selecting a strain:
- Low to medium THC levels (around or below 20% THC.)
- Some CBD can be beneficial
- Myrcene terpene profile
- Indica genetics
If you can’t find any of the strains on our list or want to explore natural cannabis sleep-aids on your own — use these notes to guide you. Cannabis does indeed affect everyone differently, but there are some similarities when it comes to sleep. Think balance, aim for myrcene, and choose indica-leaning strains to get the best results.
A Final Word on Cannabis for Sleep
For long term sleep issues, it’s always valuable to work out a treatment plan with your doctor. While cannabis is an excellent option for short term use, like all sleep-aids, long term use may make the condition worse. Remember, chronic sleep issues may be connected with other medical conditions, and it’s worth getting professional guidance.
Sleep and insomnia are some of the main reasons why people love the plant. Unlike over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, cannabis is all-natural. Plus, cannabis has only mild side effects. Sleep aids are addictive and can leave you feeling groggy. Cannabis, on the other hand, has low-addiction rates, and with the right dose, it won’t leave you feeling slow the next day.
Stick with high myrcene, well-balanced strains like Granddaddy Purple and Harlequin. And, if you can find an indica, even better.