Best indica strain for sleep

Best indica strain for sleep

Insomnia is the worst, but luckily cannabis can be an effective sleep aid for many. It can slow racing thoughts,  dissolve pain, relax muscles, and deliver its own sleepy chemicals to help you fall and stay asleep.

Best indica strain for sleep

Although Indica is probably the type of strain you want to go with, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the flower you choose has to be packed with high levels of THC. In fact, a strain that works as a sleep aid doesn’t even have to be a psychoactive substance, contrary to coffee (apparently). Take Savage CBD Lifter Sauce CBD Flower, for instance, a flower that has levels of THC under 0.3% but takes it upon its higher dose of CBD to induce a powerful sensation of relaxation that will help you get to the point where you feel “bedtime” is a good idea.

There are many theories out there as to why Indica strains might be the best option for nighttime use, but conclusive evidence is still lacking. There is definitely a reason for it, but theories are honestly all over the place, so I won’t really delve into them in this article. The one that makes more sense to my dumb non-scientist brain is that CBD has been found to be more closely correlated with Indica strains.

That said, CBD has been found to be a substance that induces relaxation efficiently and most importantly, in a non-psychoactive fashion. This is why we’ve created this list, a list for the anxious, a list for the restless, a list for the insomniacs.

We put together a list of 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:

  • 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.
  • Go easy on the high-THC strains if it’s anxiety keeping you up. A light dose of THC can float you to sleep, but larger doses can worsen anxiety in some consumers. You may want to try a strain higher in CBD if you’re sensitive to THC.
  • Edibles can help you stay asleep longer. Though inhaling cannabis yields faster effects, edibles last a lot longer.
  • Browse Leafly for sleepy strains. Find out which strains other Leafly users have described as “sleepy” here.

Finding the right strain for you is a personalized endeavor and often requires a little trial and error. The strains below offer a few starting points—take note of which ones you like or don’t like, and use those shapes (cannabinoids) and colors (terpenes) to guide you to other strains that are likely to help you achieve a good night’s sleep.

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.

Tahoe OG Kush

Primary terpenes: Limonene, caryophyllene, myrcene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

With effects that tend to be heavier than your average OG Kush hybrid, Tahoe OG is a godsend for many insomniacs. 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.

Granddaddy Purple

Primary terpenes: Myrcene, caryophyllene, pinene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

It would be a crime to leave this classic off any list touting top sleepy strains. Not only is it fairly easy to find, Granddaddy Purple is shown to exhibit high levels of myrcene, a terpene that is commonly believed to provide relaxing effects. A favorite among those who use cannabis for pain or anxiety, GDP carries strong flavors of berry and grape to sweeten the deal.

God’s Gift

Primary terpenes: Myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

God’s Gift is indeed a gift to insomnia sufferers, as all that stress keeping you up at night feels suddenly overpowered by a surefooted sense of peace. Releasing the exhale with notes of berry and citrus, you’re sure to feel your mood lift as your body sinks.

Sweet and Sour Widow

Primary terpenes: Not enough data

Cannabinoid profile: Balanced THC/CBD

While strains containing THC are generally preferred for sleep, those sensitive to its anxious side effects may not have the same success. Choose instead a CBD strain like Sweet and Sour Widow. Its CBD can help curb the paranoid, racy side effects while still containing small amounts of THC to make you drowsy.

Northern Lights

Primary terpenes: Not enough data

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

Imagine yourself on a cold 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.


Primary terpenes: Myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

The sleep-inducing hybrid Ogre stomps out insomnia with ease. Sweet citrus flavors dance over the palate on the inhale, giving your senses something to delight in as the sedative effects kick in.

9 Pound Hammer

Primary terpenes: Myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

Crushing insomnia like a war hammer, this no-nonsense strain is perfect for insomniacs who can’t escape the prison of their mind while lying in bed. The mild fruity flavors of ripe berry and grapes are just another reason to love this insomnia-crusher appropriately named 9 Pound Hammer.


Primary terpenes: Myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene

Cannabinoid profile: CBD-dominant

With virtually no THC in its chemical makeup, Remedy is meant for consumers who are shy about the high. You’re really not looking to get stoned, and that’s okay. CBD-dominant strains like Remedy can help you sleep by relieving pain, anxiety, stress, and other symptoms that fuel insomnia.

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.

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