Best Weed Strains for Insomnia

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What is Insomnia?

Everybody experiences nights (or days if you’re on a different sleep schedule) where they cannot fall asleep or they keep waking up over and over again. If it’s only an occasional situation brought on by an event or specific short-term worry, then the problem (acute insomnia) usually disappears on its own.

If, however, a person has long-term difficulty falling asleep, remaining asleep, or wakes too early and is unable to get back to sleep, they are said to be suffering from insomnia.

Insomnia can rob sufferers of their energy, impact their mood and harm their quality of life. They may feel irritable, depressed, and anxious. They may also have difficulty focusing on tasks.

Often insomnia can be solved with an improved diet and sleep schedule. However, if you suffer from anything other than an acute case of insomnia that does not resolve itself on its own, it is worthwhile to talk to your doctor about it.

Here’s How to Properly Use Marijuana for Insomnia

There are many over-the-counter and prescription medications that attempt to address sleeping disorders. Certain strains of marijuana have also proven to be effective.

Some marijuana strains assist in inducing sleep. Others will make the user feel energetic, creative, and euphoric. And then there are some that make the user feel energetic, then sleepy.

Close up view of medical marijuana buds on marble surface

If you are going to treat your sleeplessness with marijuana, then the trick is to select the appropriate strain of marijuana that works best for you and take it in the proper size dosage and at the correct time of day.

Science Behind the Deep Sleep of Cannabis

Not getting enough sleep can be a problem. But it’s not just the quantity of sleep that is important but also the quality.

Researchers who have studied the brain activity of sleeping persons have found there are actually four stages of sleep, and healthy sleepers tend to cycle through them about four to six times a night. Although the stages vary in length, each is important to a person’s overall general health.

  • Stage 1 – Dozing Off/Half Awake Sleep – This is usually the first five to ten minutes of sleep
  • Stage 2 – Light Sleep – 10 to 60 minutes punctuated by slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Stage 3 – Deep Sleep – 20 to 40 minutes and critical to restorative sleep
  • Stage 4 – Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep – 10 to 60 minutes – brain activity increases

The partaking of cannabis before bedtime tends to push users into the third, most restorative stage of sleep, which explains why they often feel more energized during the day. This, however, often takes away from the fourth stage, REM sleep.

Which Type of Pot Should Be Used?

There are three main types of cannabis — sativas, indicas, and ruderalis, and of the three, sativa and indica strains are the two that are grown for their buds and other attributes. Both have their positive qualities, and you can get pure strains or hybrids of the two.

Today’s market provides a great many strains of weed to choose from. However, if your goal in using cannabis is to obtain a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, then a pure indica strain is the best choice.

That’s because indicas are known for their soothing, calming and tranquilizing effects.

When to Smoke (or Vape)

As noted previously, it’s not just the strain of marijuana that will impact your sleeping, but also the time of day you smoke or vape it. And here you may notice we left out edibles in the mix.

Edibles tend to produce an intense high that lasts too long for the purposes being discussed here.

So when to smoke or vape? The best time is about 60 to 90 minutes before you retire. This will give your mind sufficient time for the psychoactive impacts of THC to dissipate.

The Promise of Cannabinol (CBN)

Cannabinol is just one of over 100 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and researchers have yet a lot to learn about its health benefits. However, research studies on mice have found it can be a powerful sedative helping to prolong sleep–a sign of hope for sleep-deprived people the world over.

Close up view of medical marijuana, joints and herb grinder

Other research suggests cannabinol may have other beneficial uses:

  • pain relief
  • antibiotic
  • appetite stimulant
  • anti-convulsant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • cancer fighting
  • bone healing and growth

Best Cannabis Strains for Insomnia

Finding the strain that works best for your insomnia may be easy. Or it may take a little experimentation. The following is a good list to start with:

#1 – Tahoe OG Kush

Want to get to sleep quickly? After a period of euphoria, this hybrid strain will do the trick leaving you feeling heavy-bodied and extremely relaxed. It’s also helpful in inducing appetite and for treating pain.

#2 – Northern Lights

If pain or anxiety is the cause of your sleeplessness, this sweet and spicy strain may be your solution. It has also been found to be effective in treating patients with a lack of appetite.

#3 – God’s Gift

At 18 to 25 percent THC content, this strain born from Granddaddy Purple and OG Kush can really pack a punch and is not the best recommendation for beginners. However, once you’ve gotten a little more experience under your belt (or preferably on top of your pillow), you may come to enjoy the heavy-body high it produces.

#4 – Granddaddy Purple

Want to catch some Z’s? Take a look at the terpene level of your cannabis strain. Myrcene is a terpene that is understood to provide strong sedative-like effects, and the indica-hybrid Granddaddy Purple has a high concentration of it.

#5 – Purple Kush

Do you find yourself able to fall asleep but constantly waking up? This strain lets the user slip into a state of deep relaxation which leads to deep and uninterrupted sleep.

It’s also been found to be effective in treating cancer patients who are dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy.

#6 – Cannatonic

Did you know you can grow two or more strains of weed together? Cannatonic is a perfect example.

Skunk in rizla

This cross between Reina Madre and NYC Diesel leaves the user feeling deeply relaxed but still with a focused mind.

#7 – Afghan Kush

Sweet, with an earthy aroma, this indica strain contains 21 percent THC. The results are a gentle slide into relaxation.

Afghan Kush is effective in treating not only insomnia but also pain and lack of appetite.

#8 – Chronic Widow

If you want a good night’s sleep but a good, hard, mind and body kick of euphoria before you get there, then this indica strain is an excellent choice. Try it out early enough to give yourself time to come down and you’ll melt into a peaceful, relaxing sleep.

#9 – G13 Haze

A potent strain that pairs ultimate happy feelings with heavy body effects. It is used medically to treat stress, depression, and insomnia. Warning: Not recommended for beginners.

#10 – LA Confidential

This sativa/indica hybrid with a sweet, piney scent is admired for its sedating effects and is a must have in any medical marijuana medicine cabinet. It has been found to be beneficial in treating not only insomnia but also stress, ADHD, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Is Indica or Sativa Better for Sleeping?

Pure indicas are always the best choice for sleeping. However, if you want to experiment with different effects on your sleeping, indica-dominant hybrids are often a good choice as well.

Timing and Ingestion of Marijuana to Fall Fast Asleep

Beyond the cannabis strain and time of day to smoke or vape marijuana, one needs also to pay attention to the dosage. Too much or too little can have a negative effect.

If you’re going to experiment with dosages, the basic rule of thumb is to start with a low dose and go slow. You should also do your experimenting on a night when you don’t have any early morning commitments the next day.

Cannabis therapeutics specialist Dr. Jordan Tishler recommends that insomnia sufferers also choose a strain that has a THC content under 20 percent. One with a higher content is likely to leave the user feeling too groggy in the morning.

Final Words

Sleep is an essential component of life. Without the proper amount and quality of sleep your physical and mental health can suffer exponentially. If you suffer from insomnia and are interested in treating it with cannabis, it’s recommended you talk to your doctor about the best strain, timing, and dosage that works for you.

Be sure also to keep her informed about your experimentation. Beyond that, enjoy the exploration. And, of course, sweet dreams!