My friend struggles with insomnia.
To the point that he has to call in sick to work with some frequency.
He knows that the lack of sleep is affecting his career and his health, but nothing he’s tried in the past seems to work. Sleep masks, no TV or phone before bed, changing his diet, taking natural supplements, even sleep hypnosis.
He still can’t get a good night’s rest—at least not consistently.
Even when he is able to fall asleep quickly, he has a hard time staying asleep.
So when he asked me about the best cannabis strains for insomnia, I was all too happy to help.
In this guide, I highlight nine (9) of the highest-rated recreational cannabis strains for insomnia. This list focuses primarily on indica strains, but you will find a few hybrids known for their stress-busting, calming high perfect for right before bed.
Even better, we grow many of these strains in our own garden using the best available environmentally friendly methods.
A great night’s sleep could be a short drive to the dispensary away.
Are Indicas Best for Insomnia?
Indicas are known for delivering a relaxing body high ideal for evening use. This has led many cannabis consumers to assume any indica strain will always be better than a sativa or hybrid for treating insomnia.
And while you’re more likely to find indicas touted as “sleepy” strains, that doesn’t mean you should avoid sativas or hybrids entirely. One factor that contributes to sleepless nights for many smokers is an increase in stress or anxiety. And that’s where select hybrid strains—even sativa-leaning hybrids—can be just as effective as some indicas.
In the end, the best strain for a better night’s sleep depends on why you feel so awake in the first place, and how your body responds to different cannabinoids.
Now, let’s look at the best cannabis strains for treating insomnia.
9 Cannabis Strains to Help You Fall Asleep Faster (and Stay Asleep Longer)
Granddaddy Purple (Indica)
A potent body high and pleasant, dreamy cerebral buzz have made Granddaddy Purple a popular nighttime strain praised for its ability to combat pain, insomnia and loss of appetite.
As one Leafly reviewer puts it, “Unless your daytime gig involves watching the Deadpool trailer 19 times, you probably don’t want to try this when you need to be productive.”
Extremely potent and highly resinous, Afghani delivers sedating relaxation and a sleepy euphoria that will leave you smiling until you can’t keep your eyes open.
Northern Lights (Indica)
A descendant of Afghani (another insomnia-fighting strain on this list), Northern Lights combines many of the effects that you look for in a nighttime strain. Let the day’s stress and frustration wash away with the lazy, muscle-relaxing body high and a dreamy sense of mellow euphoria.
Grape Ape (Indica)
Another descendant of the stress-busting, sleep-inducing Afghani strain, Grape Ape provides soothing relief from pain, stress and anxiety—three of the primary factors that keep many people awake at night.
Death Star (Indica)
Like a Sith plan to take over the galaxy, Death Star’s potent effects can take a little while to kick in. But when they do, they hit you like a superlaser. An extremely relaxing full body high that disintegrates stress, it’s what Darth Vader smokes when he needs to sleep before a big battle with the rebels.
Don’t let Lavender’s sweet, flowery aroma fool you: this indica packs a serious punch. Known for delivering relaxing relief from stress, pain, muscle spasms, inflammation and insomnia, it may be one of the lesser-known strains on our list, but it’s just as effective in combatting insomnia and many of the factors that play a role in difficulty falling or staying asleep.
OG Kush (Hybrid)
One of the genetic originators of “West Coast” cannabis, OG Kush delivers heavy, relaxing euphoria that knocks out stress and helps you drift off to sleep.
Tahoe OG Kush (Hybrid)
A phenotype of OG Kush, Tahoe OG is a powerhouse of relaxation and stress relief, offering an extremely heavy body high with the euphoria of a sativa.
Chemdawg 4 (Hybrid)
Unlike other Chemdawg phenotypes you may have tried, Chemdawg 4 is a fast-acting, indica-dominant hybrid with a relaxing, full-body high and potent stress relief perfect for starting your sleep routine.
Additional Tips for Using Cannabis to Sleep Better
You might be wondering what options you have to get a better night’s rest if you can’t find any of these strains available at your local dispensary.
So let’s consider a few general tips you can use to get some Z’s with THC.
Try edibles. It takes longer for the effects from edibles to kick in, but those effects also last longer. So while this might not be your best option if you’re trying to fall asleep in the next 5-10 minutes, edibles are a great way to help you stay asleep.
Smoke aged cannabis. If you find a bit of bud you never got around to smoking, save that for evening use. Cannabis that isn’t as fresh has actually been shown to have higher levels of cannabinol (CBN), a cannabinoid known for its sedating effects.
Watch THC levels. A strong indica is a great way to get high. Too much THC, however, can cause an increase in anxiety for some cannabis consumers. This won’t apply to everyone, but if you’re struggling to sleep after smoking a bowl of 27% THC indica, try something a little closer to 17-21% and see how you respond.
Increase CBD levels. CBD can help reduce pain, stress, inflammation and a range of issues that contribute to sleeplessness. It can also help manage the psychoactive effects of THC, which may cause anxious thoughts in some smokers and strains.
You’re Getting Sleepy
We hope this list of the best cannabis strains for insomnia helps you get a better night’s rest.
And we’d love to hear about your favorite nighttime strains in the comments—your recommendation could help a fellow bud-lover get to bed sooner and wake up feeling recharged.
Stop by Karing Kind in North Boulder to stock up on top-shelf flower, CO2 extracted concentrates, and some of the highest-rated edibles in Colorado.
Karing Kind is located just off of US-36, one mile north of Broadway, open MON-SUN from 9am to 10pm.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available.