Determining the best Weed Strains for sleep is a subjective endeavor. We all react differently to varying Cannabinoids and strengths. There are, however, good scientific guidelines in terms of both Cannabinoid content (notably THC) and Terpene composition, which can help us determine the best weed strains for insomnia.
We will look into how Cannabis and Sleep are related and recommend the top 5 strains based on their ability to create a sedative and calming effect.
‘To sleep, perchance to dream,’
Sleep, what is it, why do we need it, can we do without it? These are some of the questions that have obsessed humanity for millennia, and with excellent reason.
In his book, “Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams,” Matthew Walker explains how consistent, high-quality sleep is necessary for regulating most physical and psychological processes (Brain and body homeostasis).
It is now increasingly understood that the pandemic of sleeplessness significantly shapes the lives of both individuals and societies. This book should be included as an introductory set-work text for all humans.
“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”
― Matthew Walker
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a collective term for not falling asleep, staying asleep, or generally getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per evening).
Insomnia Isn’t That Uncommon.
Many studies across the globe have shown insomnia to be a severe problem, with consistent reports of over 50% of people suffering from some form of the disease. Chronic insomnia was seen in 33% of the adult population sampled. “Cold Comfort” indeed, but it’s better than suffering alone.
Perhaps because of these vast numbers, the Medical fraternity in general and big Pharma specifically have conspired (and I use the word carefully) to force-feed us a diet of sleep medication, which has exponentially exacerbated the problem.
Prescription sleeping medication has a similar effect to passing out from alcohol consumption. You are unconscious but not asleep. The signals between your mind, body, and cells are dormant, and no healing is associated with sleep (mental or physical). These pills are a multi-billion dollar illusion, and the world has literally ‘swallowed it.’
Different Types Of Insomnia
We can distinguish between Primary and Secondary Insomnia. This distinction may help determine some obvious underlying causes (bright light, noisy room). However, insomnia is often related to an inability to calm the mind. This may be due to mental or physical disease, and we shall examine the role of Cannabis in the alleviation of both.
It is not linked to underlying health conditions.
Linked to underlying reasons such as Pain, Arthritis, Depression, Alcohol Abuse
Secondary Insomnia Causes
Cannabis vs. Sleeping Pills
“Try cooking with your pills.”
It can feel like ‘bringing a stick to a gunfight. I see a David v Goliath battle, with us on the one side holding up our flowers and leaves and staring down a literal mountain of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) disguised as pills.
Approximately 10 Million American Adults swallow these daily.
Sleeping pills are fast-acting (when they work) and render you unconscious quickly. They can repeat this effect consistently until they wear off (your body no longer responds) or kill you.
“People who take 1-18 sleeping pills annually are 3.5 times more likely to die within a two-and-a-half-year follow-up period. The likelihood of death increases with the number of sleeping pills taken annually”.
And if ‘death’ is not a serious enough side effect, the use of sleeping pills is positively correlated with a plethora of problems, including;
Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
Changes in appetite
Difficulty keeping balance
Dry mouth or throat
Impairment the next day
Mental slowing or problems with attention or memory
Stomach pain or tenderness
Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
And these are the side effects that they admit to on the packaging. In conjunction with the FDA, most Pharma companies acknowledge a ‘black box’ threshold where findings beyond specific parameters are ignored.
“Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s good for you!”
Cannabis, on the other hand, is a natural substance: no hidden agendas or corporate cover-ups. There are no known reports of people overdosing on Cannabis alone. It is practically impossible to ingest enough Cannabinoid through the usual consumption methods to have a long-term permanent damaging effect.
That is not to say that those who have consumed Weed while drunk has not perhaps “wished they were dead,” as they convulsed from “green fever” (nausea brought on from excessive alcohol consumption triggered by a small amount of Cannabis)
Can Cannabis Help You Sleep?
The concise answer is YES! How do I know? Personal life experience and the overwhelming anecdotal and increasingly scientific body of evidence.
“2017 survey of over 1,500 patients at a New England medical marijuana dispensary indicated that roughly two-thirds of patients decreased their use of pharmaceutical sleep medication upon medical cannabis use.”
“Results show that consumption of Cannabis flower is associated with significant improvements in perceived insomnia.”
Best Weed Strains For Sleep
Tahoe OG Kush Weed Strain is a potent indica-dominant hybrid cannabis strain that can help get you to sleep with its heavy, long-lasting euphoria.
God’s Gift Weed Strain is a high-quality Indica dominant strain that produces a powerful, long-lasting body stone. It provides relaxation and uplifting feelings, and if you’re looking for appetite stimulation, this is the strain for you!
Afghan Kush is a heavy-body and sedative strain with a long half-life, making it perfect for winding down.
Northern Lights is an award-winning Indica dominant strain. With a touch of Sativa, this strain is perfect for those with chronic pain and insomnia.
If you’re looking for a weed strain to help you sleep, Granddaddy Purple Weed Strain is the one for you. It’s a Strain that is best enjoyed if you want to stay in one place for hours and hours on end. The intense body high that this strain provides and its sweet, earthy grape scent with a hint of lavender will ensure that your troubles drift away easily.
How To Use Cannabis For Sleep
Whether you are just beginning your journey into Cannabis or are a seasoned user testing out new products, it will always benefit you to keep to the mantra:
“Start low. Go slow”
Start with minimal doses, and monitor your progress. There is a vast array of products available, so it is a good idea to keep a journal of quantities consumed, time of consumption, hours of sleep, and quality of sleep. Remember that Cannabis is a natural product, and the effects may take time and be cumulative.
Your choices may also be limited by what is accessible in your region (click here to go to our regions search page). Assuming you have access to most products, we have included recommendations for each consumption method.
Smoke is a Good method for speed of the effect; however, it may not last as long as desired.
Vape – Good for speed, healthier than smoke, however milder and potentially shorter lasting.
Pills – It can take up to an hour to have an effect. Oil/s combined with a carrier (usually coconut oil) helps determine precise quantities.
Edibles: You need to be extremely careful with quantities when initially ingesting edibles. They tend to take longer than you expect to kick in and, as a result, can be much stronger than you first think.
Sublingual – Strips that dissolve under the tongue are becoming more prolific. These can be fast-acting (through the many receptors found under the tongue) and deliver precise doses, making them suitable for long-term use.
Tinctures – Cannabis extracts suspended in alcohol, and administered in drop format, have the double advantage of providing precise doses (literally down to the last drop) and fast-acting when absorbed under the tongue.
Tips for Healthy Sleep (“Why We Sleep”)
Cannabis can play a significant role in improving sleep patterns in those who have insomnia. Sleep is a complicated topic, and many factors can have a considerable influence. We therefore recommend
Cannabis is part of a regime you can implement to improve your sleep quality and quality of life.
To be most beneficial, you should use Cannabis in conjunction with most (all if possible) of the following tips from the book The New Science of Sleep and Dreams;
Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As creatures of habits, people have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns.
Exercise is great, but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least thirty minutes on most days but not later than two to three hours before bedtime.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, colas, certain teas, and chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and its effects can take as long as eight hours to wear off fully.
Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Having a nightcap or alcoholic beverage before sleep may help some people relax, but heavy use robs you of REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. Serious alcohol ingestion also may contribute to impairment in breathing at night.
Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion, interfering with sleep.
If possible, avoid medications that delay or disrupt your sleep. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns.
Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. Naps can help compensate for lost sleep, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
Relax before bed. Don’t overschedule your day so that no time is left for unwinding. A relaxing activity like reading or listening to music should be part of your bedtime ritual.
Take a hot bath before bed. The drop in body temperature after getting out of the tub may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help you relax and slow down, so you’re more ready to sleep.
Dark bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget-free bedroom. Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or warm temperatures. You sleep better if the temperature in the room is kept on the cool side. A TV, cell phone, or computer in the bedroom can be a distraction and deprive you of needed sleep.
Have the correct sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least thirty minutes daily. If possible, wake up with the sun or use bright morning lights.
Don’t lie in bed awake. If you are still awake after staying in bed for more than twenty minutes or starting to feel anxious or worried, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for Insomnia. Most health practitioners are now recommending this as the first line of defense against insomnia. Several specialist psychologists are offering this service, so please chat with your local health professionals and get a recommendation.
Scientific Papers The Best Weed Strains For Sleep