5 Best Marijuana Strains for an Awesome Night’s Sleep
I recently listened to a series of podcasts by famed motivational speaker Tony Robbins. While he made a lot of great points, he was wrong about one thing. He suggested that ‘too many people sleep their lives away,’ yet research shows that he is inaccurate. According to data from a Global Relaxation Report in 2018, 51% of the world’s adult population gets less sleep than they need.
An incredible 80% of adults use the weekend to make up for lost sleeping time! The United States ranked #4 in sleep-deprived nations, with 58% of adults failing to get enough sleep. Incidentally, the UK ranked #1, as 63% of British adults do not get the requisite level of sleep.
Back in America, 25 million adults have obstructive sleep apnea, and 35% report getting less than seven hours of sleep every 24 hours. 30% of Americans report short-term issues with insomnia, while 10% of the adult population has chronic insomnia.
We could bombard you with facts and figures, but one thing is obvious: Most of us need assistance when it comes to sleeping.
It is often falsely assumed that using cannabis will make you feel sleepy. In reality, some strains ARE potentially extremely effective as a sleep aid, but others provide you with energy. The latter strains are used in the morning, and some people swap their cup of coffee for an energizing joint!
Therefore, finding the best strains for sleeping is essential. Today, we look at the science behind cannabis and sleep, check out some studies, and provide you with five marijuana strains that could help you get to sleep.
The Science Behind Cannabis & Sleep
The relative lack of research into marijuana has resulted in people jumping to conclusions. It has long been assumed that sativa strains give you energy, and indica strains help you sleep. While it is true that pure indicas and indica-dominant hybrids are more likely to cause full-body relaxation, the reason could be due to the concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes, rather than simply being an indica or sativa strain.
THC is the most abundant intoxicating compound in cannabis, and it has been associated with sedative effects. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may work as a pain reliever. It is linked with increased relaxation and, when combined with THC, could increase a marijuana strain’s sedative qualities. CBN is also said to have sedative effects when combined with THC.
There are around 200+ terpenes found in the marijuana plant. The ones believed to best aid sleep include myrcene, limonene, linalool, terpineol, and caryophyllene. It so happens that indica-dominant strains tend to have high concentrations of these terpenes, which may explain why they provide a relaxing and sedative effect.
What Do the Studies Say?
Studies into marijuana’s effects on sleep have provided conflicting results. Most pertinently, there is evidence that insomnia could be a withdrawal symptom when you quit using the herb. A study by Budney et al., published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in January 2015, found that up to 76% of regular cannabis users reported poor quality sleep once they quit.
Make sure you check certain sites when they cite studies. One website, which we won’t name, claimed that a study by Budney et al., published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology in August 2003, showed that the withdrawal effects when quitting cannabis last for 45 days.
In reality, the study looked at 18 cannabis users who smoked as normal for five days and abstained for the next 45 days. Symptoms such as sleep problems became apparent within three days, with peak effects from days 2 to 6. The study clearly states that “most effects lasted 4-14 days.” Still a problem, but not as bad as anti-marijuana sites like to claim.
A study by Gorelick et al., published in The American Journal of Addiction in August 2013, looked at the sleep patterns of 13 chronic daily cannabis smokers. The subjects consumed oral THC doses of 20mg each time around the clock for seven days. They consumed between 40mg and 120mg of THC each day.
The research team found that using higher concentrations of THC in the evening resulted in shorter sleep latency, greater ease in falling asleep, but also increased daytime sleep the following day.
Numerous studies have looked into marijuana’s ability to combat conditions that could prevent us from sleeping. Cannabis could promote better breathing (great news if you have sleep apnea), and reduce the time spent in REM (a good thing if you have PTSD and suffer from nightmares).
It isn’t all good news, though. Long-term loss of REM sleep may cause issues such as memory impairment. Also, using cannabis before the age of 15 could result in sleep problems as an adult.
Side effects of nighttime marijuana use include grogginess the next day, dry mouth and increased appetite.
Nonetheless, for an increasing number of people, marijuana is a much better option to help aid a good night’s sleep than sleeping pills or other forms of prescription medication. Below, we look at five great cannabis strains for a decent night’s sleep.
1. Tahoe OG Kush – The Stay at Home Strain
This marijuana strain is praised for its analgesic properties. It is a balanced hybrid (although the indica side shines through) that’s a cross of SFV OG Kush and OG Kush, possibly mixed with Afghani. It has minimal CBD, and its THC content can hit as high as 25% – more than enough for the experienced user.
Tahoe OG Kush is one of the strongest members of the Kush family. If you are familiar with the effects of OG strains, the high provided by this strain will make you feel right at home. It’s extremely relaxing and makes you feel as if you are wrapped in a warm and comfortable blanket.
If you are feeling a little down after a rough day, Tahoe OG Kush is capable of lifting your spirits. You should feel euphoric and happy soon after using it, and if you want to eat dinner but find that your appetite isn’t the best, this strain can also help. Once you have satiated your hunger, the next step is to find a relaxing spot on your bed, close your eyes, and go to sleep.
2 – Purple Kush (The Pain-Relieving King)
Another member of the Kush family, this strain is a huge favorite on the West Coast. It is an almost pure indica that’s a cross of a Purple Afghani and Hindu Kush. Purple Kush is known for its sweet taste. It has a THC content of 22% and a CBD level that’s usually less than 0.1%.
The sedative properties of Purple Kush are helpful, but it is this strain’s ability to relieve pain that helps it stand out. The National Sleep Foundation says that only 37% of Americans with chronic pain report good or very good sleep quality. Pain triggers poor sleep.
If aches and pains keep you awake at night, try Purple Kush an hour or two before bed. It gets to work fairly quickly and causes you to feel utterly sedated. Once the warm, fuzzy feelings take over, you will be ready to unwind; and as the effects last for hours, even individuals with chronic pain should find sleep almost impossible to resist.
3 – God’s Gift (The Dreamy Strain)
Be warned; this strain is a heavy hitter and should only be used close to bedtime! God’s Gift is a heavily indica-dominant strain that’s a cross of OG Kush and Granddaddy Purple. It is believed to have been bred in California, although no one is completely sure. It was probably used on the West Coast in the mid-1990s, and its THC content of 27% is sure to impact even users with a high tolerance.
It doesn’t take long for God’s Gift to take hold. You will be taken aback by just how potent this strain is as it provides a relaxing full-body high that makes it almost impossible to move.
Users report feeling happy, and it isn’t unusual to suddenly burst out in fits of giggles for no particular reason.
Most pertinently, God’s Gift can help you sleep. Users have reported having a few tokes on the couch and waking up many hours later without realizing what happened! It is the ideal strain to help you chill out after a hard day at work. Not only does it help you handle insomnia, but it also ensures you go to bed with a smile on your face.
4 – Critical Kush (The Therapeutic Strain)
Once again, this is a strongly indica-dominant strain that’s a cross of OG Kush and Critical Mass. It should be obvious by now that the Kush family is your ‘go-to’ collection for better sleep. Critical Kush was bred by Barney’s Farm Seeds and its THC content of 25%, versus its 1% CBD, means it isn’t a strain for the novice.
The phrase ‘couch lock’ has become synonymous with Critical Kush. We recommend using this strain close to bedtime because its effects hit you hard and fast. The high begins with a feeling of happiness, but it doesn’t take long for your entire body and mind to succumb to the siren call of sleep.
While you may feel invigorated in the early stages of the high, and may even become more talkative than usual, these effects don’t last. Soon enough, you may be giggling at things that aren’t even funny and feel wrapped in a haze. If you use a large dosage of Critical Kush, expect to wake up several hours later!
5 – Northern Lights (The Legendary Strain)
If a person is only able to name one marijuana strain, chances are Northern Lights is the one they know. It is one of the most famous strains of all time and is known for its relaxing properties. Northern Lights is a strongly indica-dominant hybrid that’s a cross of a Thai Sativa and an Afghani Indica.
By the standards of modern cannabis, Northern Lights isn’t especially strong, with just 18% THC. It has been used in the U.S. since the mid-1980s and may be one of the most used types of cannabis in history. While its THC content is ‘only’ on the higher end of moderate, this strain is renowned for being fast-acting.
Users are often delighted by the smoothness of the smoke and soon feel compelled to relax as the Northern Lights high grabs them. The potent cerebral high lures you to a comfortable place and keeps you there for hours. This strain makes you feel good about life and helps melt away stress and anxiety, two common barriers to a great night’s sleep.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana & Sleep
A lack of sleep can do a lot more damage to your life than merely making you feel grumpy and irritable. Did you know that fatigue is linked to over 100,000 automobile crashes and over 1,500 crash-related deaths in the United States alone each year?
Sleep loss and low-quality sleep increase the risk of workplace accidents and also harm performance in general.
Sleep deprivation can even lead to serious health issues such as stroke, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. It is estimated that 90% of people with insomnia also have another health condition! Lack of sleep hurts your sex drive, slows your thinking, ages your skin, increases the risk of depression, and increases the risk of unwanted weight gain.
Therefore, if you have problems sleeping, you must do everything possible to rectify the situation. If you have tried altering your sleep pattern, avoided the ‘blue light’ from electronics at night, and attempted to establish a healthy bedtime routine but still can’t sleep, marijuana could be the answer.
Research is divided on the subject, but countless individuals swear by the herb as an effective sleep aid. If you decide to try it for yourself, do so with caution, and make sure you begin with a very small dose to see how it affects your body and mind.
If there is one thing cannabis is known for, it has to be its ability to send you off into a deep slumber. Here are the best 5 strains for that.
The Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep and Insomnia
Bailey Rahn for Leafly
Insomniacs, this list of sleepy cannabis strains is for you. You’re tired, but your eyes just won’t close. You toss and turn until you’ve tried every humanly possible position. You wake up lethargic and irritable. Insomnia is the worst, but luckily cannabis is shown to be an effective and safe sleep aid for many people. It can slow racing thoughts, dissolve pain, relax muscles, and deliver its own sleepy chemicals to help you fall and stay asleep. However, as many have testified, finding the right strain is key.
We put together a list of 5 particularly sedating strains to give you an idea of what to look out for on your next visit to the dispensary. But first, some tips to keep in mind:
- Edibles can help you stay asleep longer. Though inhaling cannabis yields faster effects, edibles last a lot longer.
- Go easy on the high-THC strains if it’s anxiety keeping you up. A light dose of these strains can float you to sleep, but larger doses can worsen anxiety in some. You may also want to try a strain with some CBD in it if you’re sensitive to THC, as it often eases its anxious side effects.
- Browse Leafly and find out which strains other Leafly users have described as “sleepy”.
Keep in mind that no strain or product affects everyone the same, and finding the solution for you may require a little trial and error. The below strains were selected based on user-submitted reviews and data, but everyone’s experience is different.
Tahoe OG Kush – Smoking or vaporizing this strain can yield fast-acting effects that let muscles relax, easing that need to roll around in your blankets all night. Tahoe OG is also known to slow racing thoughts so you can float into sleep with a calm and peaceful mind.
Granddaddy Purple – This classic strain is fairly easy to find, and Granddaddy Purple is shown to exhibit high levels of the potentially sleepy terpene myrcene. It’s a favorite among patients whose pain keeps them up at night.
Northern Lights – Imagine yourself on a winter night, wrapped in a warm blanket as green lights dance above you. This isn’t altogether unlike the experience provided by Northern Lights, an old-school strain that has been lulling minds to sleep since its inception in the mid-1980s. Commanding sleep with a heavy hand, Northern Lights uses its high-THC content to annihilate pain and insomnia.
Querkle – Querkle seems to attack insomnia at its many sources. Anxiety calms, nausea dulls, and depression evaporates, leaving you in a meditative state as you gently coast into restful sleep. That being said, this strain may not be the one you rely on for forcing your brain into sleep; rather, it pre-conditions a tranquil mindset so sleep comes easier when it’s time to shut the lights out.
9 Pound Hammer – This strain is perfect for insomniacs who can’t escape the prison of their mind while lying in bed. Its mild CBD content is just enough to pacify the mind and relax the body, like a counterweight to the mental speediness sometimes caused by THC. ✦
Over 40% of People Using CBD Report Taking it for Pain Management – But Are They Getting the Most out of Their CBD Regimen?
The CBD (cannabidiol) craze continues to sweep the nation; over 29 million American adults are using at least one CBD oil product. It’s gaining undeniable traction and notoriety and seems to be available anywhere and everywhere these days. And while millions of Americans are including CBD in their routines, are they choosing brands that help them to get the most out of it?
Those living in or around the Pacific Northwest that are interested in wellness products may have heard of one local brand – Fairwinds. Their award-winning CBD products (tinctures, topicals, capsules, and more) have established this Vancouver, Washington company as the best-selling, most trusted source for cannabis wellness products in the
PNW. This fall, they’re taking a selection of their best products nationwide with the launch of Fairwinds CBD!
The most common reason that people report using any CBD product is to assist with pain management (40% of users, according to a recent poll conducted by Gallup in June 2019), followed by anxiety (20%) and sleep (11%). While CBD can certainly help with each of these three things (and several more as well), most CBD brands simply provide one product that people can take regardless of what they are hoping to target. A blanket treatment may work to an extent, but Fairwinds takes a different approach. With solution-specific products like Digestify (digestion support), Deep Sleep (sleep support), and Release (anxiety support) the company produces a wide range of options, allowing customers to choose which specific product is most likely to help with their individual needs.
Since their start in 2015, Fairwinds has placed their primary focus on the philosophy and science of wholebody wellness. Through formulating their products at the crossroads
where ancient herbalism and current technology intersect – blending and balancing the worlds of traditional and modern medicine – they create CBD products unlike anything else on the market today. By working to strike this balance, Fairwinds is able to ensure they are getting at the heart of why people are using their products; far from being a simple CBD oil, their products are formulated using a blend of herbs, essential oils, and cannabidiol (CBD) extract to target specific reasons people may be interested in trying CBD.
Developing products that work for you is part of the Fairwinds promise. As with anything else, it’s so important for people to be able to find a brand that they can rely on and feel good about when it comes to CBD products. Whether you’re considering CBD as a general supplement or looking for help with something specific, your needs come first. But with new CBD companies launching seemingly every week, it can be easy to get bogged down in the ever-growing number of options available if you’re seeking a starting
point. Fairwinds has years of experience crafting award-winning, patient verified products; while their hemp CBD line may be new, the formulas are familiar – and the products loved by Washingtonians for years will now be available for their friends and family across the US. ✦
The Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep and Insomnia Bailey Rahn for Leafly Insomniacs, this list of sleepy cannabis strains is for you. You’re tired, but your eyes just won’t close. You toss and turn until