Marijuana has long been used to help people drift off to sleep, and recent research even suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in sleep regulation; but exactly how does cannabis affect sleep? And what are the best strains for insomnia?

Cannabis can have such a huge impact on sleep, so much so that many who suffer from sleeping disorders, or just generally find it harder to drift off, regularly use it before bed. Night time users not only tend to report an increased drowsiness, but also a shorter sleep onset latency (how long it takes to fall asleep), waking less often during the night, and generally a higher quality of sleep.
This holds a significant draw for insomniacs looking for a natural alternative to sleeping medicine, and many are now turning to cannabis and its use.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that tends to be a symptom of a larger condition, such as depression or nervous tension. It is rarely a condition on its own. It causes those who suffer from it to have extreme difficulty falling into and maintaining sleep. It is thought that 10-30 percent of all adults have suffered from insomnia, and of those diagnosed with it, 95 percent are prescribed sleeping medication to deal with it. Unfortunately, sleeping medicine can have long lasting and unwanted side effects, such as prolonged drowsiness when awake and even a risk of death. It is no wonder then that many have decided to substitute prescribed medication for marijuana use; but is this wise? And how does marijuana help?

Cannabis, sleep and research

There is surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) little research into how the two main cannabinoids within cannabis, THC and CBD, affect sleep. With the recent wave of cannabis reform, and the mounting research coming out about the other medicinal properties of cannabis, researchers are only now beginning to focus on this area. What research has been done suggest that the endocannabinoid system within our body, (the system that THC, CBD and the other cannabinoids interact with), plays a significant role in sleep regulation. A study from 2012 even goes as far as to suggest that insomnia may be caused by an abnormality within the endocannabinoid system, and that this system should be focused on for finding a treatment. Whilst not implicating cannabis directly, as one of the few things that successfully interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it only makes sense that the solution lies within cannabis – which fits the anecdotal reports.

Marijuana and the sleep cycle

Cannabis has been found to not only affect how easily we fall into and maintain sleep, but also the actual sleep cycle itself. Cannabis significantly increases deeper stage 3 sleep and reduces the amount of lighter REM sleep we experience. Stage 3 sleep is thought to be the most important for those suffering from a sleep deprivation condition. REM sleep is the light sleep in which we dream. As a result of less REM sleep, those who tend to use cannabis as a sleep aid tend to report dreamless sleep.
A reduced period of REM sleep has been linked to improved memory and reducing the symptoms of depression. However, it is worth noting that not much is actually known about REM sleep and what it does. For this reason caution is always advised, as by reducing the REM phase of the sleep cycle, you enter fairly uncharted territory as far as scientific investigation goes.
Saying this, many people swear by the use of cannabis in order to get to sleep, and what research suggests there is, at the minimum, positive effects on sleep.

Sativa or indica?

So, let‘s move onto the best strains to get the job done, but do you want to be focusing on sativa or indica strains? The simple answer is indica. Typically, sativa strains are more energising and heady in effect. Since they are commonly bred to be high in THC, it‘s easy to end up getting a little too spacey, as shown by the previously mentioned research, which demonstrates that high doses of THC can counteract sleepiness.
Conversely, indica strains tend to induce a more profound body-centred stoned effect. Indica also tend to show a wider range of cannabinoids, often also higher levels of CBD, which goes hand in hand with THC to induce and maintain good sleep. So even when you have an extremely powerful strain with high THC, the CBD also contained within it can take off the edge.

Top 12 Strains that help you sleep better

1.Bubba Kush marijuana_strain_bubba_kush Is a near pure indica strain that is the result of breeding Bubble Gum and Kush. Whilst not as strong as some of the other Kush strains on the market in terms of THC, this well balanced strain make it an ideal choice for those who lack sleep. The high is one of relaxation and ease, which can be taken further into a couch-lock if desired. If smoked, has a sweet yet earthy taste, with lemony Kush undertones.

2. Critical Mass

critical mass_optMuch like all of their other strains, the emphasis on Critical Mass is the high CBD content, which works in tandem with THC to offer and route to slumber. This relaxing and potentially couch-locking indica dominant strain has a citrusy sweet taste and a cannabinoid content that will not disappoint those looking for a sleep focused medical strain.

3.Vanilla Kush


Is an indica dominant strain that both tastes good and has a strong cannabinoid content. The combination of the subtle yet highly enjoyable vanilla flavours and its ability to take you in to the depths of a far reaching stone makes it the ideal choice for those needing to lose the tension within their body and mind, aiding them in drifting off to sleep.

4. O G Kush


OG Kush is cherished for its ability to crush stress under the weight of its heavy euphoria. It carries an earthy pine and sour lemon scent with woody undertones, an aroma that has become the signature of OG Kush varieties and descendants. With OG Kush, patients most commonly cite improvements in migraines, ADD/ADHD, and stress disorders.

5. Purple kush

purple_opt (1)

Is a pure indica strain that emerged from the Oakland area of California as the result of a Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani cross. Its aroma is subtle and earthy with sweet overtones typical of Kush varieties. Blissful, long-lasting euphoria blankets the mind while physical relaxation rids the body of pain, sleeplessness, and stress.

6. Girls Scout Cookies


So unique.Velvety thick textured smoke that coats your mouth with the flavor and then stays there. THIN MINTS! No joke, it’s very earthy and chocolatey. You will understand why this strain is called GS Cookies.
Effects: Incredibly baked! Very narcotic. Stone is strong and mostly cerebral, but a pleasant body narcotic undertone as well. Great jamming herb.
Patients needing a strong dose of relief, however, may look to GSC for severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss Good For: Recreation, Sleep, relaxing, anxiety, insomnia, hunger inducing.

7. Blue Cheese


Blue Cheese is an indica cross created by crossing a Blueberry male with an original U.K. Cheese female. The sweet and savory smells of berry and blue cheese combine to create a creamy, unique flavor reminiscent of the original Cheese. The heavy indica effects will help you feel relaxed at the end of the day and can provide relief for muscle spasms, pain, and stress.

8. Northern Lights


Stands among the most famous strains of all time, a pure indica cherished for its resinous buds, fast flowering, and resilience during growth. Itself a descendant of indigenous Afghani landrace strains, Northern Lights has given rise to famous hybrids like Sour Diesel, Shiva Skunk, and Super Silver Haze. Rumor has it that Northern Lights first sprouted near Seattle, Washington, but was propagated out of Holland after 1985 at what is now Sensi Seeds.

Pungently sweet, spicy aromas radiate from the crystal-coated buds, which sometimes reveal themselves in hues of purple. Northern Lights’ psychoactive effects settle in firmly throughout the body, relaxing muscles and pacifying the mind in dreamy euphoria. Comfortable laziness allows patients to relieve pain and sleeplessness, while its mellow contentment roots out depression and stress.

9. Afghani


Is a heavy indica strain named after its geographic origin, where the earliest varieties of cannabis are believed to have grown. Breeders worldwide have come to treasure Afghani for its heavy resin production which is passed on genetically. With a sweet, earthy aroma, Afghani delivers a deep, sedating relaxation and euphoria. Patients most commonly turn to this potent indica to treat insomnia, pain, and stress disorders.

10. Big Bud

big bud

Developed in the USA before being brought to the Netherlands in the 1980s to survive the War on Drugs, Big Bud is a legend among growers for its high yields in the garden. Preserved to this day by Dutch breeder Sensi Seeds, this indica produces massive buds with very few leaves, unmatched by any other cannabis variety. With an earthy and spicy aroma, Big Bud delivers deeply relaxing full-body effects true to its indica lineage.

11. Chemdawg


Has developed quite the name for itself over the years. Between its mysterious origin, ambiguous genetics, and the plethora of successful crosses the strain has produced, Chemdawg has practically secured itself a permanent place in the cannabis hall of fame. The original source of powerhouse strains like Sour Diesel and OG Kush, Chemdawg is known for its distinct, diesel-like aroma. Pungent and sharp, you’ll be able to smell this hybrid from a mile away.

Cannabis newbies be warned: Chemdawg tends to be very potent. Depending on grow conditions, this strain tends to have THC levels of 15-20%. Consumers can expect to have a very cerebral experience, coupled with a strong heavy-bodied feeling.

12. Blueberry


A true A-List cannabis strain. Blueberry’s legendary status soared to new heights after claiming the High Times’ Cannabis Cup 2000 for Best Indica. The long history of the stain is traced back to the late 1970s when American breeder DJ Short was working with a variety of exotic landrace strains. However, throughout the decades of Blueberry’s cultivation the genetics have been passed around, due in large part to DJ Short working with multiple seed banks and breeders. The sweet flavors of fresh blueberries combine with relaxing effects to produce a long-lasting sense of euphoria. Many medical patients appreciate Blueberry for its ability to suppress pain and relieve stress, while connoisseurs and growers admire the strain for its colorful hues and high THC content.

All the strains are available in Barcelona’s cannabis clubs depend on the dispensary. If you are interested in a certain marijuana strain send us a message and we inform you in maximum 24h what club has it. Sleep well!

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