Cannabis is a depressant — which, contrary to what it looks like, does not mean that cannabis causes people to feel depressed. Rather, cannabis helps to relax and calm the body and mind, reducing physical and mental activity. As a result, it is rather common for cannabis users to turn to the drug as a sleep aid.
However, not all cannabis strains are well-suited for bedtime. Some strains are notoriously stimulating, giving the brain and body energy and focus rather than helping to alleviate tension and stress. If you want natural assistance drifting off to sleep, you need to seek out the following strains, which are known for their soporific effects.
Named after the mountain range of its origins — the same mountain range where cannabis might have originally been domesticated by humans — Hindu Kush is revered for its thick coating of trichomes, the small, glittering structures that contain highly concentrated cannabinoids. As a pure indica, this strain tends to focus its high on the body, relaxing the muscles so the body can find true comfort before bed.
Because Hindu Kush is such an old strain, almost every grower has their own variety, which means not all dispensaries have a Hindu Kush that is good for sleep. If you visit a Fort Collins dispensary, you should ask the budtenders about the THC-to-CBD ratio of their Hindu Kush.
Another legendary strain, Grandaddy Purple (GDP) is also a true indica with powerful sedative effects. GDP’s nugs are actually purple in hue, which is a hallmark of potent strains. Unlike other indicas, GDP has intense cerebral effects that improve its function as a sleep aid because users can relax both mind and body by partaking of this strain before bed.
Harlequin often appears on lists of strains appropriate for medical cannabis users because this strain has a generally pleasing THC-to-CBD ratio. While some other high-CBD strains lack sufficient THC to distract the mind and relax the body, Harlequin balances its THC and CBD, which prevents the head high from getting out of control and ensures a body high that brings on restful sleep.
Besides cannabinoids, you should pay attention to a strain’s terpene profile, as terpenes likely influence a strain’s effects. Grape Ape boasts one of the highest concentrations of myrcene, a terpene that smells peppery like hops and is known for its ability to encourage feelings of calmness and drowsiness. Fortunately, Grape Ape also smells (and tastes!) like candy grape, making it a delectable choice before bed.
Also sometimes called Gelato 47 or Mochi Gelato, Mochi is a balanced hybrid, and its effects are mild to moderate at most. With slight sedative effects, slight pain relief and slight stress reduction, Mochi could be the small boost your body needs to drift off to sleep. This is an excellent option for the occasional poor sleeper who doesn’t need serious intervention to catch some solid Zs.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Mochi is God’s Gift, an indica that packs a punch. This strain provides a heavy body high that will lock you to your couch — or your bed, if you can make it there in time. If you have a high cannabis tolerance and need something to help you sleep, God’s Gift is a good option — but you should still be careful with dosage to prevent the cannabinoids from interrupting your natural sleep rhythms.
With genetics from Grandaddy Purple and another legendary strain called Durban Poison, Cherry Pie has big boots to fill — and it does so effortlessly. This strain is a noted staple amongst medical marijuana users, especially those reliant on cannabis for the management of PTSD, bipolar disorder, clinical anxiety and other stress-oriented syndromes. If you struggle to sleep thanks to racing thoughts, Cherry Pie might be the right strain for you.
Midnight Express might sound like a strain that will keep you awake, but with genetics from Cannatonic, this strain will indeed lull you into a relaxed sleep. In addition to its sedative effects, Midnight Express also tends to give users a sense of happiness or contentment — not quite euphoria. Thus, if you struggle with depressive thoughts before bed, you might enjoy this little mood boost as you drift off.