Can Cannabis Help You Sleep? 22 Jan, 2018
Can Cannabis Help You Sleep?
If you’ve ever struggled to fall asleep, you know how frustrating it can be. Exhaustion coupled with hours of tossing and turning can be baffling, infuriating, and even depressing. Sleep issues are stressful to experience at night and then, to make matters even worse, failing to get enough quality sleep at night also disrupts our daytime life. Sleep is incredibly important for our overall health, since the body restores itself while we sleep. So failing to get enough sleep is not only frustrating, but also detrimental to our physical, mental, and emotional health.
Unfortunately for many of us, struggling to fall or stay asleep is incredibly common. If you’re among the many people who suffer from insomnia, trouble falling asleep, or trouble staying asleep, you’ve probably considered or tried many solutions. There are many things you can try to help you sleep, like herbal remedies, audio sleep programs, prescription drugs, and the list goes on. But if you’re looking for something that can pack a bit more punch than a bedtime tea— or are perhaps looking for a strong solution that isn’t a prescription drug that may come with unpleasant side effects— there’s also cannabis.
Many medical marijuana patients are prescribed cannabis as a natural sleep aid for their insomnia, enabling them to get the good nighttime rest they so desperately need. And now, as recreational marijuana has become legal in more and more states, you don’t necessarily need to be a medical marijuana patient to try marijuana use for sleep.
If you’re interested in trying cannabis to help with sleep or insomnia, this guide is for you. Below, we’ll talk about what types of cannabis can help aid sleep, how cannabis can ease issues that are related to sleep problems, and give our top cannabis strain recommendations for easing sleep and insomnia.
Cannabis and Sleep: It’s All About the Indica
If you’re looking to try cannabis for sleep, you need the right strain. Specifically, you want an indica-dominant strain, which will give you a deep, relaxing body high, otherwise known as the “couch lock” effect. Just as you should look for indica-dominant strains for sleep, you should avoid sativa-dominant strains. These will boost your energy and may put your mind into overdrive, which is the opposite of what you need when you’re trying to sleep.
So, indica strains are best if you’re looking to promote sleep. Among indicas, high cannabidiol (CBD) low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) indica strains rank high in our recommendation list, since these usually work especially well for those looking to relieve sleep issues like trouble falling asleep or repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night.
Many cannabis users report that high CBD low THC indica strains work particularly well as a sleep aid when combined with other natural remedies and aromatherapy. Things like lavender, chamomile, hops, valerian root, and melatonin can further induce drowsiness and relaxation, making it easier to relax, both mentally and physically. The end result is that it typically becomes much easier to let go of the day’s worries and relax comfortably so that you can fall asleep and get the restful REM sleep that you need.
A Note on Trying Cannabis for Sleep if You Don’t Want a High
Some people tell us that they really want to try cannabis to help with their sleep or sleep quality, but that they just don’t want to feel high. If that’s the case for you, we’d recommend trying cannabidiol (CBD) alone, rather than a high CBD low TCH indica strain like we would normally suggest.
THC and CBD are two cannabinoids that naturally occur in cannabis. TCH is psychoactive, which means it’s responsible for the “high” feeling you get when you consume marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive, so there’s absolutely no high when you consume isolated CBD. CBD still has potent medicinal properties on its own (it can be used as an anxiety reliever and can help treat insomnia), but you won’t feel a mental or physical high when you take it.
While most of our recommendations for cannabis strains for better sleep (listed at the end of this post) do contain some level of THC, here’s a recommendation for those of you who want to try just CBD for sleep: this CBD Sleep Elixir. The Canna Hemp Sleep Elixir is a topical product that can either be applied topically or consumed, whichever you prefer. This tincture contains 27 mg of CBD per serving and some aromatic terpenes (myrcene, camphene, and linalool) that deliver a calming, relaxing, and sedating effect.
How Cannabis Use Can Ease Issues Related to Poor Sleep
The use of cannabis can relax your body and mind, providing a short-term sedative effect and helping you fall asleep. But the various different effects of cannabis can also ease some other issues that may be exacerbating your sleep troubles.
One thing that can keep people up at night is pain, whether they have chronic pain issues or acute pain issues. Sativa cannabis strains work exceptionally well for pain relief, helping to get rid of nagging aches and pains that would otherwise keep you awake. Some recent studies also suggest that cannabis may have anti-inflammatory properties, so it may be able to ease aches and pains caused by excess inflammation.
Then, medical marijuana in general is sometimes used to treat both anxiety and PTSD, both of which can cause sleep issues. Cannabis can help to ease and switch off the unwanted, racing thoughts that are keeping you up at night. This can help you fall asleep more easily and help you sleep better more regularly.
Another way medical cannabis can help individuals with sleep issues is by helping to level out breathing. Medical marijuana patients with sleep disorder sleep apnea are sometimes recommended high THC strains because these have a tendency to level out breathing. When breathing is better regulated, patients are less likely to suffer from bouts of obstructive sleep apnea that can wake them up and have a negative impact on their health.
Cannabis Strains for Easing Sleep and Insomnia: Our Recommendations
Now that you know more about the general types of cannabis that can help ease sleep and insomnia, let’s talk specifics! Below, discover some of our favorite strains for promoting sleep and easing insomnia. For each different strain, we’ve included some notes on specific sleep issues these strains may help with, as well as notes on their amazing aromatics.
1. Black Afghan
We all know how difficult it is to fall asleep when your mind is racing a mile a minute.
Fortunately, the heavy Indica Black Afghan can help slow things down faster than you can say, ”Black Afghan!
The head high will come first, instantly putting you in a nice, relaxed state as you savor that peppery, piney flavor. Once your mind has properly mellowed out, the body high will come next, helping you melt into your mattress and sleep like a baby.
2. Granddaddy Purple
Cannabis users who try Granddaddy Purple say it’s a favorite for easing both anxiety and insomnia. So if anxiety or insomnia is keeping you up at night, you can’t go wrong with Granddad.
Cannabis users who try Granddad report a head high with a mild couch-lock effect once you initially smoke this sweet- tasting strain. But as time goes on, the euphoria decreases and the couch-lock intensifies. Before you know it, the Sandman will be there with an extra ticket to Never-Never Land.
Anyone who’s suffered from insomnia knows what a monster it can be. Kinda like the Wampa. Or the Rancor. Or the Sarlacc Pit. See where we’re going with this? Oh yes. It’s time to unleash your inner Jedi Knight to defeat this monster for good!
Like Yoda says, the Force is a powerful ally. And so is Skywalker, an Indica dominant-hybrid that packs a MIGHTY wallop. You can expect a nice head buzz and intense relaxation, so go easy on the dosage here, whether you’re smoking or vaping. Oh, and once you arrive in Cloud City, tell Lando we said, “Hi.”
4. XXX OG
Sometimes, less is more. And sometimes, more is more. XXX OG is to insomnia what a shark is to a minnow; it’ll swallow it whole.
This mega-Indica strain took home the 2014 Los Angeles Cannabis Cup. Be sure to enjoy those earthy, piney, lemon notes while you’re still awake to taste them!
5. Venom OG
They say a little venom can actually be good for you. So when it comes to a sleepless night, Venom OG might really be good for you.
This dense, piney, lemony, skunky, diesel-y, smelling bud is an Indica-dominant hybrid strain that boasts some truly incredible terpenes. Cannabis users who try Venom OG say that it’s highly relaxing and also reports that it eases pain, anxiety, arthritis, stress, and insomnia. No anti-venom needed here. Just sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis for Sleep and Insomnia
This concludes our comprehensive guide to trying cannabis for sleep issues or insomnia! We hope that this guide has been informative for all our readers who are looking to ease troublesome sleep issues. If you have any questions for us about trying cannabis for good sleep, please feel free to contact us here or stop into one of our dispensaries to chat with a member of our knowledgable staff.