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Best Strains for Sleep | Using Indica for Insomnia

If asked about which kind of weed is best for falling asleep, seasoned stoners would probably say “all of them, if you smoke enough.” That might have been true years ago, before legalization and the rise of distinctive brands and strains, but now you can customize your cannabis experience to achieve specific goals or address specific maladies, including insomnia.

Insomnia sucks, whether it’s acute or chronic

Insomnia is more than just an inability to fall asleep—it’s a medical condition that can be acute (difficulty falling or staying asleep for at least three nights over a two-week period) or chronic (difficulty sleeping for at least three nights a week for three consecutive months). And as anyone who has lain awake at 3 a.m. wishing their brain would shut up already can tell you, the effects of a bad night’s sleep continue on throughout the next day, negatively impacting your attention, productivity, and tolerance for irritating people or situations. Sleep allows your brain and body to recharge and refresh, so getting a full night of uninterrupted rest is crucial to your overall physical and mental health.

Many people with insomnia find relief with cannabis.

How cannabis helps you sleep

Even though cannabis wasn’t legalized for medical purposes until a couple decades ago, there is research from as far back as the 1970s that shows how marijuana is an effective treatment for insomnia. Recent clinical trials show that consuming THC not only helps you fall asleep, but it also reduces REM sleep, which is the phase when you have dreams and nightmares and your brain isn’t in restoration mode. At the same time, THC consumption increases non-REM stage 3 sleep, otherwise known as “deep” sleep, which is the most restorative form of sleep possible.

The best strains for sleep

As you probably already know, cannabis plants come in two basic subspecies: indica and sativa. Sativa is also known as “daytime” weed due to its uplifting effects, while indica is more relaxing and sedating. Some strains are hybrids of both. In general, indica varieties are the best for combating insomnia, but not all indica strains are equally effective. For inducing and sustaining sleep, the best indica strains for sleep will have a THC content of around 20%, but you might want to avoid anything stronger or else you might have some serious residual drowsiness (aka a weed hangover) the next day.

Indica brands to try for insomnia

There are plenty of indica strains out there with varying degrees of THC content, so the best way to find out which one works best for your insomnia is getting recommendations from a dispensary expert followed by some good ol’ trial and error. Here’s a few options to start with:

  • Canndescent Calm: quiets the mind to allow for gentle relaxation
  • Cream of the Crop Gardens Hidden Pastry: calms and relaxes with a heavy body high
  • WCTC The Bling: advertised as the “ultimate night time chill pill”

End your battle with insomnia the natural way

There are plenty of pharmaceuticals out there that claim to help with insomnia, but why not try a research-supported, all-natural remedy? Balboa Ave. Cooperative carries a variety of indica strains that will help you get the full night’s sleep your body and brain crave, so stop in or check out our full menu on our Weedmaps page. Have a question for us? Give us a call today at (858) 598-5004.

For inducing and sustaining sleep, the best indica strains for sleep will have a THC content of around 20%, but you might want to avoid anything stronger or else you might have some serious residual drowsiness (aka a weed hangover) the next day.

The best cannabis strains for sleep and insomnia

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ogre

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.

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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 .

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Remedy

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.

Explore cannabis strains that are known to deliver sedating effects perfect for finding a good night's sleep.