Person smoking cannabis out of bong in the nighttime.

The Best Nighttime Strains

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, we need at least 7 hours of sleep every night to function properly. But how many of us actually achieve that? Many of us have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for seven to eight hours each night. Or, in some cases, falling asleep at all. So what does this have to do with the best nighttime strains? Everything.

According to a study, 70% of recreational cannabis users report that the use of cannabis helps them sleep well. But there are still many questions that plague users. Is there scientific evidence to suggest cannabis treats chronic insomnia? Which strains help induce sleep? How does this really work?

Calm down! We’ve got the rundown. Our guide covers the best weed strains for the night, how cannabis affects sleep, and the science behind it all. So let’s get into it.

Can Cannabis Help Treat Insomnia?

We feel you if you’re one of the many people who just can’t get a good night’s sleep or enough sleep. So you’ll be happy to hear that cannabis is beneficial in treating insomnia, chronic pain, PTSD, and restless leg syndrome. Cannabis helps these patients fall asleep easier and wake up fewer times during the night. They also report feeling more rested throughout the day.

Several studies have found a difference in the sleep symptoms of daily, regular, and occasional cannabis users. Cannabis users who use it daily or even just regularly reported having fewer issues with insomnia and sleep quality than those who only use it occasionally.

How Can Cannabis Help You Sleep?

There are several ways that cannabis helps people sleep. The primary method is by working with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates many vital functions in the human body, like pain, inflammation, and, you guessed it, sleep.

THC and CBD for Sleep

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system (CB1 and CB2) and influence sleep. THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, has been found to decrease REM. This is the stage of sleep when we dream, and our brain is very active. While this sounds counteractive, it has been suggested that circadian rhythms are less pronounced after administration of THC, leading to more profound and longer-lasting sleep.

CBD, on the other hand, does not have psychoactive effects. It’s shown to actually increase wakefulness during the day. But at night, it can help you sleep by reducing anxiety and pain. CBD can also increase the length of time you spend in REM sleep, which is the most restorative stage of sleep. This sleep regulation is achieved by the cannabinoids binding to the CB1 receptor, which is known to influence sleep.

How Cannabis Works in Our Body

Cannabis interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which promotes sleepiness. The cannabinoids attach themselves to these receptors in the brain, sending a message to increase the adenosine levels.

Adenosine is a therapeutic chemical responsible for inducing sleep and suppressing the arousal system. This also leads to many cannabis users usually feeling drowsy after consuming it.

Cannabis also includes potent chemicals like THC and cannabidiol, which can produce sedative effects in moderate dosages. It aids in the induction of sleep and treating sleep-related issues, among other things. Synthetic THC, for example, can be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. It can also help reduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) anxiety or discomfort during bedtime by decreasing nightmares from a traumatic experience.

Furthermore, CBD reduces REM sleep behavior disorder and chances of daytime drowsiness. The Sleep Foundation conducted a study that found that after using CBD for one month, 80% of the participants experienced minimal anxiety symptoms. In addition, 65% of participants reported drastic improvements in sleep quality.

Does Cannabis Alter Sleep Quality?

As we previously mentioned, THC and CBD both work to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. However, they don’t seem to significantly alter sleep quality once you’re actually asleep. So while you’re cycling through the different stages of sleep, you’ll still experience the same amount of time in each stage.

The most notable difference is that people who use cannabis report an increase in deep sleep. Deep sleep is when your body repairs and resets for the next day. This is why you often feel refreshed after a great night’s sleep and why deep sleep is so important.

Likewise, those plaguing nightmares and sleep terrors brought on by PTSD or sleep disorders can also find some relief from consuming cannabis. With regular cannabis use, the severity and frequency of these nightmares can be decreased, allowing for a better night’s sleep.

Does the Strain Matter When Choosing a Sleep-inducing Cannabis Product?

The right strain can make all the difference when trying to get a good night’s sleep.

What are nighttime cannabis strains?

With so many marijuana strains on the market, it can be hard to know which ones will help you sleep. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

First, it’s best to understand what Sativa strains, Indica strains, and hybrid strains are. These are the three main types of cannabis, and each one produces different effects.

Sativas

Sativa strains are known for their uplifting, cerebral effects that boost creativity and energy. However, they’re not ideal for sleep since they may keep you awake.

Indicas

Indica strains are the opposite of Sativas. They provide a full-body high that relaxes both the mind and body. Indicas are perfect for sleep since they can help you relax and reduce pain.

Hybrids

Hybrid strains are a mix of Sativas and Indicas, providing a combination of effects. Some hybrid strains can be more Sativa dominant, while others are more Indica dominant hybrids.

Now that you know the difference between the three main types of cannabis, let’s look at some of the best indica strains for sleep.

What are the Best Indica Strains for Sleep?

Again, certain cannabis strains are better for sleep than others. This is where indica weed strains really get to shine! From pure Indica strains to hybrid strains that are indica dominant, these strains will give you the full physical body high you need to relax and fall asleep in just a few hours.

Some of the best cannabis strains for sleep include:

Lemon Fuel

Lemon Fuel, also called Lemon Fuel OG, is a cross between Jet Fuel and Lemon Cake. Terpinolene is the dominant terpene in this strain. It gives euphoric, tingly, and sleepy effects.

Blackberry Kush

Blackberry Kush is a potent strain with a strong Kush aroma. It is apt for nighttime use as it makes you sleepy. This Blackberry Kush hybrid is soothing and relaxing for individuals suffering from stress, anxiety, nervousness, pain, and sleeplessness. It contains 24% THC and 0.10 percent CBD.

Pineapple OG

The Pineapple OG is an Indica recommended for experienced smokers as it is a potent strain. It contains high levels of CBD and THC, which work together to relieve pain, treat insomnia, deeply relax the user, and boost appetite. Pineapple OG is a cross between OG Kush and Sour Grape containing Pinene, Limonene, and Linalool terpenes. It contains 34.12% THC and 0.09% CBD.

Ambrosia

Ambrosia is a cross between XXX OG and Brülée. It is a hard-hitting strain that retains the vital characteristics of OG Kush. Along with psychedelic effects, it is a proven nightcap for restful sleep. In addition, it releases physical tension and has a calming effect.

Crystal Skull OG

Crystal Skull OG has a mild fuel-like aroma and produces relaxing, stress relieving and sedative effects. It contains 22.48% THC and 0.21% CBD.

Tahoe OG Kush

Tahoe OG Kush is a cross between OG Kush and Tahoe OG and works best for those users who experience insomnia. It has intense relaxing effects and contains terpenes like caryophyllene and myrcene.

Granddaddy Purple

The dominant terpene in this strain is myrcene which relaxes the body. This sleepy strain also helps treat pain and anxiety.

Sweet and Sour Widow

Sweet and Sour Widow is a balance between THC and CBD. The CBD in this strain works well to stop paranoia, while the THC induces drowsiness.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights is an Indica strain cross between Thai and Afghani. It has 16-22% THC and less than 1% CBD. Consumers report that this strain relaxes the muscle and mind and lulls them to sleep.

Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush is an Indica strain, and many cannabis consumers believe it has effects like a tranquilizer. It has high THC content ranging between 17-27% and less than 1%of CBD.

Are Terpenes Sedative?

Myrcene

Myrcene is more commonly found in strains than other terpenes. It has a musky, clove-like fragrance. Myrcene induces sleep and reduces chronic pain. Cannabis strains that have high myrcene levels include:

  • Skunk XL
  • White Widow
  • Purple Kush

β-Caryophyllene

This terpene is found in marijuana strains and has a peppery feature. Along with sedative effects and pain alleviating benefits, β-Caryophyllene activates the CB2-receptors to treat inflammation, heart-related problems, chronic joint pains, high blood sugar, and mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Stains with high levels include:

  • Death Star
  • Candyland
  • Girl Scout Cookies

Linalool

The linalool terpene in cannabis has a flowery and spicy fragrance. It has relaxing effects, beneficial in treating mental health disorders and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Stains with high levels include:

  • Purple Kush
  • Scooby Snacks
  • OG Shark

Beta Pinene

This terpene is also commonly found in weed strains and has a woody, pine-like fragrance. Apart from sedative effects, it has anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. Stains with high levels include:

  • Bubba Kush
    • Big Smooth
    • Blue Dream
    • God’s Gift

Terpinolene

Cannabis has the lowest terpinolenes levels and a floral, citrusy, and pine-like fragrance. They have mild sedative effects and can treat inflammation. Stains with high levels include:

  • Ace of Spade
  • Golden Pineapple
  • Super Lemon Haze

Nerolidol

This is a mild terpene with a woody and earthy aroma with sedative effects. It also helps to treat joint pain and sore muscles. You can find it in the following cannabis strains:

  • Blue Dream
  • Bubba Kush
  • Skywalker OG

It is also more effective to combine terpenes rather than use one in isolation. For example, a strain high in myrcene and limonene might be more effective in promoting sleep than one that is just high in myrcene. When looking for a strain to help you sleep, pay attention to the terpene profile to understand how it might affect you.

Tips for Consuming Cannabis Before Bedtime

If you’re using cannabis for health reasons, your healthcare provider will be the best person to guide you. However, here are a few tips so you can have a smooth experience and sleep well:

  • Start with a low dose: If you’re new to cannabis or trying a new strain, start with a low dose. You can always take more, but you can’t take less.
  • Know your limit: Pay attention to how cannabis affects you. If you start feeling anxious or paranoid, that’s a sign you’ve had too much.
  • Use a method of consumption that works for you: Different ways of consuming cannabis will produce different effects. For example, smoking or vaporizing cannabis will have effects more quickly than consuming edibles. Find a method of consumption that works for you and stick to it.
  • Don’t drink alcohol: Drinking alcohol while using cannabis can amplify the effects of both substances and make it more difficult to sleep. If you do choose to drink, do so in moderation.
  • Create a bedtime routine: A bedtime routine can cue your body that it’s time to wind down for the night. This might include taking a bath, reading a book, or stretching.

Overall, ensure you’re in a comfortable environment where you feel safe and can relax. This might mean having a cool, dark, and quiet bedroom or turning off your phone and other screens.

How can you decide on the best strain for yourself?

An effective way to find the best strain for yourself is through experimenting. If you’re in a weed dispensary, you should have an open conversation with the staff and lay down your expectations, and they’ll guide you to the best strain.

FAQ

What forms of cannabis can you use to induce sleep?

Cannabis can be consumed in several ways. It can be smoked, eaten as an edible, vaporized, or tinctures can be placed under the tongue. Smoking cannabis can affect your lungs and cause inflammation of the air pathways. However, smoking can produce instant results.

When should you take cannabis to get the best sleep?

When you should consume cannabis depends on the type of product you have chosen. Since edibles take longer to take effect, they should ideally be taken an hour or two before bedtime. However, since smoking produces instant results, you can do it within 15 minutes of your sleeping schedule.

What are some effects you may experience?

Because THC is a psychoactive compound, everyone has different intolerances to it. Some might feel overwhelmingly tired, while others may feel restless and anxious. Start with small doses until you determine how your body will react to the chemical makeup. Cannabinoids have been known to cause similar reactions such as nausea, sleepiness, diarrhea, fatigue and anxiety, though effects depend largely on strain type.

Other possible side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Boost in appetite
  • Bouts of paranoia
  • Slow reaction times
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Lack of motor controls
  • Increase in the heart rate
  • Extreme sedative effects

The best way to try cannabis for the first time is to follow the go low and slow rule. This means starting with a strain with low THC levels and using only small amounts at once.

Body and Mind for Better Sleep

Ready to throw out your sleeping pills and every other sleep aid? Body and Mind has several dispensaries in California, Arkansas, Ohio, Nevada, and Michigan. You can talk to our experts about what you’re looking for, and they’ll recommend the best strains. All of our budtenders have years of experience in the field and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

At Body and Mind, you will have a unique shopping experience where all cannabis products are available under one roof. You can shop for a diverse spectrum of flowers with unique colors and complex aromas. You can also find hand-trimmed, full-gram joints if you want to spend a relaxing day with your friends.

Take advantage of our extensive edibles menu and treat yourself to gummies, salty pretzels dipped in chocolate, or some infused mini chocolate bites.

You can visit one of our dispensaries or shop from our online store.