Can cannabis help you sleep?
Sleepless nights are the worst. Tossing and turning, glancing at the clock. That all-too-familiar feeling of dread as you do the math and realise that if you fall asleep now, you’ll get a solid 90 minutes before the alarm goes off. Trying to navigate the working day with impaired cognitive function and fight off the amorous advances of the sandman at 2 o’clock the afternoon is never fun.
Before you run to the doctor for some sleeping pills – which could cause any number of unwanted side effects – you could do much worse than looking to cannabis to get your sleeping pattern back on track.
Among its medicinal properties, this helpful herb boasts a proven track record as a sleep aid – for some, at least. As far back as 1843, a paper was published observing the effects of what the author describes as “Indian Hemp Tincture” in several case studies, the first of which saw the tincture effectively promote a whole night’s sleep in a subject who ordinarily never slept more than three to four hours[i].
Fast forward to today, and medical marijuana is routinely prescribed for some people suffering from sleep disorders, including full-on insomnia.
How Cannabis Helps Regulate Sleep
Firstly, we must understand the two key components in cannabis thought to have an effect on sleep.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive cannabinoid and will cause you to feel high and, in larger doses, drowsy.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. With numerous medicinal benefits, it does not cause you to feel high or impaired – although may help in higher doses with anxiety-related sleep disorders[ii]
According to studies[iii], 15mg of Delta-9THC can be an effective sedative, useful in inducing sleep, and may assist in restoring the natural sleep cycle. From this, we can gather that strains of cannabis with a medium to high THC content would be the best to try to promote natural sleep.
Delta-9 THC binds to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the brain and, in doing so, increases levels of sleep-promoting adenosine. At the same time, it limits arousal in the brain. Providing the right chemical launchpad to fire you off to the land of nod.
How To Use Cannabis Effectively for Sleep
The right strain, at least an hour before bed, could be beneficial in helping get your sleep back on track. That way, the initial effects will most likely have passed. Leaving with you the residual sleepiness needed to fall over the night without any busy mental effects still in play. Indicas and indica-dominant hybrids are best for promoting sleep. But if anxiety is part of what’s keeping you awake, you’re best to avoid anything too high in THC content. Getting baked before bed is not the goal here!
As usual, Seedsman’s got you covered. Here are three of our favourite strains for securing a decent night’s sleep:
This mostly-indica hybrid comes in packing THC in the range of 15-20%. And with a reputation for its powerful sedative effects, no list of sleepy strains would be complete without Bubba Kush. A high-yielding but compact strain which grows comfortably in any media or environment, Bubba Kush is a great strain for novice growers. She rewards your care with a dazzling range of vivid hues and a spicy taste of sweet hash, coffee and chocolate. Before delivering its famed knockout potency upon consumption.
This amazing strain quiets anxiety and provides the muscle relaxation needed to help calm, soothe and cuddle you into a warm and happy sleep. End your day with a nug of Bubba Kush, and let it ease you into a long, luxurious, restful night.
Critical Purple Kush
If you’re struggling to get some quality shut-eye, Critical Purple Kush from Seedsman can help. This visually stunning hybrid of Blueberry, Critical and Peyote Purple is 80% indica with a THC content between 15-20%. Making it an ideal choice to help soothe you last thing in the evening before climbing into bed. A strong, physically relaxing body effect is just what you need at the end of the day. Critical Purple Kush delivers in abundance.
She’ll leave you happy and sleepy, exactly what you want as you burrow down for the night. A tall plant, which yields generously indoors and impressively outdoors, Critical Purple Kush from Seedsman’s relaxing medicinal properties make it a great choice for insomniacs.
No list of sleepy strains would be complete without a nod to this highly potent insomnia-killer! Packing a considerable punch with an off-the-scale THC content of between 25-35%, it’s hardly surprising that Granddaddy Purple makes our Top 3 recommendations for a sleep-inducing cannabis strain. Buyer beware. This one is for experienced smokers only!
With a potency that’s hard to rival (put it this way – it’s reportedly Snoop Dogg’s go-to!) this stunning plant is recommended for insomnia and anxiety. And could be just the thing to induce the kind of warm, fuzzy, relaxing drowsiness you need the last thing at night. Granddaddy Purple is a stunning plant. Known for yielding well, and throws sweet berry and grape tastes in for good measure – just the tonic.