Finding the best strain of cannabis to help ease your insomnia depends on the root cause of your sleeplessness. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of psychiatric or medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits or other biological factors including:
- chronic pain
Some strains of marijuana are better at treating insomnia caused by chronic pain, whereas others are better at targeting anxiety-related insomnia. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known for its sedative qualities, especially indica varieties. However, if you have anxiety-related insomnia, it’s important that the strain contains some cannabidiol (CBD) to balance out the psychoactive effects of the THC. Cannabinol (CBN), a lesser-known cannabinoid, is five times more sedating than THC, so it can also be helpful at promoting sleep, too.
Can Cannabis Help With Insomnia?
Around a third of Canadians don’t get the recommended amount of sleep. Insomnia can cause an increased number of accidents, absenteeism from work and an overall decreased quality of life. Most people who have insomnia take some kind of medication to help them with sleep, and sleep medications can become very addictive.
Cannabis is a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals for insomnia relief. A study out of Southern California in 2011 concluded that 79% of participants reported improved sleep quality after ingesting cannabis.
Further back, a 1981 study also found that when patients with insomnia took a 160mg dose of CBD, their length of sleep increased compared to those who took a placebo.
Choosing the Right Marijuana for Insomnia
It’s important to try a few different cannabis strains to see what works best for you. It’s also important to consider the right balance between THC and CBD.
Your method of administration and ingestion is also an important factor to consider. Edibles release their marijuana content slower, making them effective at helping people stay asleep, whereas vaporizing produces faster effects that could help people fall asleep more quickly. Here are some of the best strains on the market for insomnia relief.
Top 10 Marijuana Strains for Insomnia
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. The high THC content makes it helpful with falling asleep, while its high CBD content helps people stay asleep and balances out any psychoactivity from the THC. A-10 is known for being potent and long lasting, which is ideal for a nighttime sleep.
This is a high-CBD strain known to be relaxing and therapeutic. Due to its high levels of CBD it’s particularly helpful at reducing anxiety, while producing a calming effect that can help people fall asleep. Afghani CBD is also very good at combating chronic pain and reducing muscle spasms, which can help people with conditions like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
Cookie Jar is a hybrid of Platinum Girl Scout Cookies and White Fire Alien OG. This strain may help with anxiety and headaches, but it’s best known for its full body relaxation effect. For this reason, it makes a great choice for those suffering with insomnia.
Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies is an indica with 20% THC and 2% CBD. It’s known for its sedating effects and is very good at fighting depression, while also helping people with insomnia. It’s a very potent strain, so people are advised to go slowly at first because it can produce strong psychoactive effects. Girl Scout Cookies is also known for its full body relaxation qualities, which helps to induce sleep.
Grape Ape is an indica strain that produces an intense high, sometimes called “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 combatting anxiety.
This is a 75% sativa-dominant hybrid strain that’s high in CBD with a 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC. Harlequin is known for its ability to relieve pain, stress, anxiety and depression. Though it’s sativa dominant, it’s known to be a calming strain that helps people fall asleep and stay asleep. Harlequin’s particularly good for people who have anxiety-driven insomnia because it doesn’t produce any psychoactivity.
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 and low levels of CBD. It’s known for its muscle relaxation and pain-relieving qualities. Hawaiian Purple Kush’s ability to cause an overall relaxed feeling makes it very helpful for the treatment of insomnia.
Hindu Kush in an indica with about 14% THC content. It’s great for relieving insomnia related to pain because of its ability to quell severe pain and headaches. Hindu Kush is also helpful at treating stress-related disorders and nausea. It’s known to bring a deep calming effect that can help people fall asleep.
This is an indica-dominant hybrid strain with sedative qualities that’s a mix of Mendocino Purps and Killer Queen. Kryptonite has high levels of THC, which can reach up to 25%. Kryptonite can help to 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, so some people find it creatively stimulating, while others say it’s the perfect strain to help ease them into sleep.
This balanced hybrid 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 at relieving insomnia associated with pain and depression.