The 10 Best Marijuana Strains for Insomnia

The 10 Best Marijuana Strains for Insomnia
The 10 Best Marijuana Strains for Insomnia

Finding the best strain of marijuana to help ease your insomnia is based a lot on what the cause of your sleeping problems are. The causes of insomnia can be rooted in a variety of different psychiatric or medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits or other biological factors. Insomnia can be caused by issues such as acid reflux, hypertension, chronic pain, depression, stress, anxiety or a recent trauma such as the death of a loved one.

Insomnia can also be due to engaging in late-night activities that cause spikes in adrenaline such as exercising after work. As well, drinking caffeine in the late afternoon or evening can be a potential cause of insomnia as can working, watching TV or eating in bed. And traveling across time zones or simply having an erratic sleep-wake cycle can cause insomnia.

It’s estimated that one in three people have some form of insomnia. Insomnia can cause:

  • an increased number of accidents
  • absenteeism from work
  • an overall decreased quality of life

Roughly 95% of people who have insomnia take some kind of medication to help them with sleep. A number of prescription sleep medications such as Ambien can be very addictive.

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What Can I Do for Insomnia? Try a Natural Alternative: Cannabis

If your insomnia can be resolved simply by adjusting your bedtime routine, then by all means, make those changes. However, if you’re suffering from insomnia due to other issues such as pain, depression, stress or anxiety, then marijuana can help. A 1973 study published in Human Pharmacology found that subjects had a significant decrease in the amount of time it took them to fall asleep when given THC. Meanwhile, a 1981 study also found that when patients with insomnia took a 160 mg dose of CBD, the length in which they were able to sleep increased compared to those who took a placebo.

Some strains of marijuana are better at easing insomnia caused by chronic pain, whereas others are better at targeting anxiety-induced insomnia. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known for its sedative qualities, especially the indica varieties of cannabis.

However, if you’re having trouble sleeping due to anxiety, cannabidiol (CBD) may do a better job of helping with your insomnia. Regular use of a high CBD cannabis product, or at least including some CBD to balance out the psychoactive effects of THC, will be more helpful in bringing an end to sleepless nights.

Meanwhile, cannabinol (CBN), a lesser known cannabinoid, is five times more sedating than THC, so it’s something you may want to look for to help you get a good night’s sleep.

The Top 10 Marijuana Strains for Insomnia

Because everyone has a unique biochemistry and endocannabinoid system, cannabis will work differently from individual to individual. This means you’ll need to experiment with a few strains to see what works best for you. It’s also important to consider the right balance between the levels of THC and CBD, keeping in mind many strains have almost no CBD.

As well, the method of administration and ingestion is an important factor to consider when seeking relief for your insomnia. Marijuana edibles take effect much more slowly since they first need to be digested and then processed through the liver; this makes them effective at helping people stay asleep. In contrast, vaporising or smoking cannabis produces faster effects that could help people fall asleep more quickly. Here are some of the best marijuana strains for insomnia relief.

1. Harlequin

This is a 75% sativa-dominant hybrid cannabis strain. Harlequin is high in CBD with a ratio of CBD to THC that’s 5:2. The strain is known for its ability to relieve pain, stress, anxiety and depression. Though it’s sativa-dominant, Harlequin is known to be a calming strain that helps people fall and stay asleep. It’s particularly good for people who have anxiety-driven insomnia because it has very little to no psychoactivity.

2. Cookie Jar

Cookie Jar is a hybrid of Platinum Girl Scout Cookies and White Fire Alien OG. This marijuana strain may help with anxiety and headaches, but it’s best known for its full body relaxation effects. For this reason, Cookie Jar is a great choice for those suffering with insomnia.

3. Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies is an indica strain with 20% THC and 2% CBD. Used to help with depression, it’s known for its sedating, full body relaxation effects, making it a good choice for those suffering from insomnia. Girl Scout Cookies is a very potent strain, so people are advised to go slowly, because it can produce strong psychoactive effects.

4. White Widow

This balanced hybrid marijuana strain is known to be more cerebral and relaxing while providing a well-balanced psychoactive effect. It has about 20% THC and 2% CBD. White Widow is particularly helpful for insomnia associated with pain and depression.

5. Grape Ape

Grape Ape is an indica cannabis strain that produces what’s known as a heavy high or “couch lock.” However, its effects are known to come on slowly, which makes it good for helping people fall asleep and stay asleep. The effects of Grape Ape are said to be both sedative and relaxing, and it’s also known to be helpful at relieving anxiety.

6. Afghani CBD

This is a high CBD strain that’s known to be relaxing and therapeutic. Due to its high levels of CBD, Afghani CBD is particularly helpful at reducing anxiety while producing a calming effect that can help people fall asleep. Afghani CBD is also very good at easing chronic pain and reducing muscle spasms, which can help people with conditions like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

7. A-10

A-10 is an indica strain with a high THC and CBD content. It’s known for its ability to fight chronic pain, reduce anxiety and numb migraines. Its high THC content makes it helpful in eliminating sleeping problems. Meanwhile, A-10’s high CBD content also helps people stay asleep while balancing out any psychoactivity from the high levels of THC. A-10 is known for its long-lasting potency, which helps promote a good night’s sleep.

8. Hawaiian Purple Kush

This strain is an 80% indica-dominant hybrid that’s a mix of Hawaiian and Purple Kush. Hawaiian Purple Kush has about 15% THC with low levels of CBD. It’s known for promoting muscle relaxation and having pain-relieving qualities. Hawaiian Purple Kush’s ability to induce an overall relaxed state makes it a good choice in helping with insomnia.

9. Hindu Kush

Hindu Kush in an indica with about 14% THC content. Known for its ability to quell severe pain and headaches, Hindu Kush is a great choice if you’re suffering from insomnia caused by pain. The cannabis strain is also helpful at relieving stress-related disorders and nausea. Hindu Kush is known to induce a deep calming effect that can help people relax and fall asleep.

10. Kryptonite

This is a hybrid strain that’s a mix between Mendocino Purps and Killer Queen. Kryptonite has high levels of THC, which can climb to 25%. An indica-dominant strain with sedating effects, Kryptonite can help reduce pain and anxiety while providing relaxation to help people fall asleep. It’s important to note that some people find that this strain can cause stimulation. The effects of Kryptonite vary based on the person: Some people find it creatively stimulating, while others find it the perfect marijuana strain to help ease them into sleep.

5 Sleep Disorders Cannabis Can Help Alleviate

5 Sleep Disorders Cannabis Can Help Alleviate
5 Sleep Disorders Cannabis Can Help Alleviate

If you’re reading this after a restful, rejuvenating night of sleep, count your blessings. For millions of adults, high-quality sleep is hard to come by. This causes further problems, such as poor work performance, affecting relationships and other accidents.

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The things that can keep you up at night can include:

  • Stress
  • Breathing issues
  • Night terrors
  • Chronic pain

But there’s some good news: Cannabis is a natural way to treat these issues and has been proven effective in easing sleeplessness.

Here are five sleep disorders along with five cannabis products that can help treat them.

1. Cannabis Plus Melatonin Can Help Ease Insomnia

It’s 3 a.m., and you’re still awake. Finally, you fade into sleep, only to wake up two hours later. If this sounds familiar, chances are you’re suffering from insomnia.

Insomnia can encapsulate a range of symptoms like:

  • Having trouble falling and staying asleep
  • Frequent sleeplessness at least three times per week for a month
  • Lack of sleep due to stress
  • Bad sleep quality

In 2011, a study in The Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice looked at 116 participants with sleep disorders. Of those interviewed in the study, 79% reported better sleep quality thanks to the help of medical marijuana.

Cannabis, specifically indica-based products, helps ease insomnia by promoting muscle relaxation and imparting anti-anxiety and pain-relieving properties. It also seems to reduce the amount of REM sleep and increase the amount of deep sleep, which is the most restorative phase of sleep.

Indica marijuana strains are already known to be more sedative and better equipped to help with sleep than sativas are. CBD is also known to promote better relaxation and sleep overall. A product such as LeafLabs can provide a peaceful night’s sleep.

2. Some Cannabis Is a Bronchodilator, so Can Help Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is an incredibly common condition that can be very scary for those living with it. It’s a chronic condition that causes pauses in breathing during sleep or breathing so shallow that a person doesn’t inhale enough oxygen.

The lack of oxygen, which can last for just a few seconds or more than a minute, wakes the person suffering from apnea with a start and disrupts their sleep throughout the night. Beyond just disrupting sleep, this disorder can lead to other undesirable health conditions like heart trouble and high blood pressure.

A 2002 study from the University of Illinois looked at animals with sleep apnea to test whether tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or oleamide—another cannabinoid naturally found in cannabis—could help. Researchers found that cannabis was effective in stabilising breathing and respiration during sleep.

It’s still unclear exactly how the relationship between cannabis and breathing works, but there’s at least one study that can help illuminate the answer. Although it’s admittedly dated and the test pool small, a 1973 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that cannabis can actually act as a bronchodilator, increasing the activity in the central respiratory system and opening up air passages.

Pinene, a terpene found in many cannabis strains, has also been proven to be a bronchodilator. So, any cannabis products that contain pinene could also be a good choice for sleep apnea sufferers.

3. Let Marijuana Relax You so That You Can Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Bruxism is a fancy way of describing incessant teeth grinding. If you routinely wake up with a sore jaw, your dentist notices damage to your teeth, and/or you often feel headaches starting in the temples, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep.

This odd-sounding habit isn’t all that odd. It affects many, causing symptoms like:

  • Extremely sensitive teeth
  • Soreness throughout the jaw muscles
  • Pain similar to an earache
  • Tooth wear
  • Damage to teeth or dental restorations like crowns.

The main cause of bruxism is stress. When we experience intense stress in our daily lives, our minds can encourage our bodies to deal with it in very weird ways, like grinding teeth throughout the night. The good news is that cannabis can help ease stress and the pain it can create.

If you’re dealing with bruxism, try including Wildflower CBD+ Relief tincture in your evening/nighttime routine. This CBD product will help provide pain relief, manage stress and anxiety, and relax the muscles while you sleep, without any psychoactive effects. And since it’s made with hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).

4. CBD Can Keep You Awake at the Right Times to Get Narcolepsy Under Control

Narcolepsy is different than the other conditions on this list, because it’s known to cause excessive sleepiness, not a lack of sleep. The issue is that this drowsiness often comes during the day, which can cause unusual patterns in REM sleep when going to bed at night.

An individual suffering from narcolepsy can be overcome with sleepiness while driving a car, at work or any other activity that requires being alert. And battling sleepiness during the day with a lot of caffeine can worsen the issue.

Luckily, there’s a better alternative.

While it may sound funny since this article suggests cannabis products can help people fall and stay asleep, CBD can actually help you stay awake, too. At lower doses, CBD can be the energizing boost you need to get through your day.

5. Keep PTSD-Induced Night Terrors at Bay With Indica-Dominant Cannabis

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by all sorts of things, from a car accident to being in a war zone. PTSD can manifest itself in many ways, including night terrors that keep sufferers from getting a good night’s sleep that they need. Cannabis can help treat PTSD with its anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, but it can also have a very specific benefit when it comes to nightmares.

The same 1973 study about cannabinoids and sleep mentioned earlier discovered that THC (and a synthetic version of THC called synhexl) has a very interesting effect on sleep patterns. When we sleep, we move through five sleep stages. After consuming cannabis, Stage 4 (deep sleep, which is known to be the most restorative) increases and REM sleep (where the majority, but not all, dreaming occurs) decreases.

To be clear, REM sleep is important. Some doctors believe it’s when much-needed oxygen is sent to the cornea of the eye, and many see dreams as a way to emotionally process trauma and/or grief. But for those suffering from extreme PTSD struggling with night terrors for days on end with no sleep, cannabis can be a necessary respite from those nightmares.

It’s time to put cannabis to the test