Sleep is important. There are dozens of studies indicating that it leads to better health. It can also be deeply pleasurable — who doesn’t like to feel cozy? But at least 30% of adults can’t enjoy these benefits. For a variety of reasons, many of us spend each night working through every position we can comfortably contort our bodies into, with no shut-eye to show for it. Our eyes are red with exhaustion but the minute we lie down and close them our minds begin working through a list of stressors and fears.
As a result, we greet the following day with fatigue, cloudy thinking, and frustration. Which exacerbates the stressors and fears. And on and on.
Whether it’s difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep that plagues you, cannabis is well documented as a natural sleep-aid. Below, we’ve listed ten strains with a good track record for helping people get rest. Still, everyone is different — so hit the dispensary and work through them a gram at a time until you find a few that work. Then take note of their THC and CBD composition as well as their terpene profile. If you see a pattern, you’ll better know what to look for in the future.
When it comes to using weed as a sedative, Purple Kush is one of the most popular strains around. A 100 percent indica variety, it can have a THC composition as high as 27 percent. That means serious relaxation. Users enjoy it in part because they find there is no initial head high that they need to wait out before the body relaxation sets in. Nope. There is an immediate physical ease complemented by a dazed sense of complete wellbeing. It’s great at knocking anxiety, depression, and pain on their asses, too. Expect to fall asleep with a content mind and a smile on your face.
People are also big fans of this strain’s aroma which leans toward the sandalwood musk associated with Afghani strains but also has notes that are fruity and sweet like plump, juicy grapes. The flavor is also a bit fruity with hashy overtones that can get you coughing. However, on the exhale, there is a sugary grape taste that’s a lot like the children’s syrup Dimetapp, but… in a good way.
Do you like your weed to come with a side of urban legend? Then, this is the strain for you. There are tales about the CIA, FBI, and other agencies gathering the best cannabis strains from breeders across the globe in the late 1960s. They used these strains to begin crafting mega hybrids at a super-secret research facility at the University of Mississippi. A man named Neville Schoenmaker convinced someone to bring him a cutting, and G-13 was chosen because it was the most stable. He then got to growing and distributing this powerhouse to the masses. This strain is generally 70 percent indica and 30 percent sativa with 27 percent THC composition. That’s heavy stuff — perfect for making users lazy and lethargic before knocking them right out for the night.
G-13 isn’t a very sweet strain, so it takes a user with a more mature palate to really appreciate the woody pine flavor and the earthy undertone. It goes over well with people who like a fragrant mug of black tea without any sweetener or cream.
At midnight, a lot of people who can’t sleep find themselves begging God to intervene and help them grab a few hours of Zs before they have to face another day of being a functioning human being. Whether or not this strain is God’s response, we couldn’t say, but we can tell you that this 90 percent indica hybrid has a THC composition of up to 25 percent. Don’t worry; it will knock you out for the night. The high itself comes on strong and quickly replaces all the worry in a user’s mind with a heavenly peacefulness. The relaxation is total, so you might want to smoke in bed. We aren’t saying that using it on the couch before bed means you will wake up on the couch the next morning, but we aren’t not saying that.
A bit of a tasty treat, God’s Gift has a well-developed taste that includes lemon, berry, grape, citrus, and hash flavors. It is for sure a pleasant combination to appreciate before you sink into your pillows and let sleep overtake you. Thanks, God.
9 Pound Hammer
“Why nine pounds of hammer?” you ask. Well, that’s a good question and one that we have also pondered without resolution. However, we can tell you with certainty that nine pounds of sticky, weedy hammer is more than enough to beat the crap out of your sleep difficulties. It is an 80 percent indica hybrid with a THC composition that can be up to 23 percent, and it will beat you over the head with no-nonsense sedation. Smoke or vape a little and feel your shallow breaths deepening as your limbs grow heavy and your muscles go slack. Recreational users may complain about the couchlock that accompanies using too much, but people looking for relief from sleeplessness will be happy to find themselves immobile in bed for a few minutes before they transition smoothly into sleep. Plus, this strain can give you the munchies something fierce so it’s good to find yourself meeting Mr. Sandman before you have a chance to raid the fridge.
9 Pound Hammer is one of those strains whose smell isn’t reflected in the taste as much as you might expect. The aroma is citrus and grape with a bit of incense, but the flavor is woodier and more piney — with a hint of lime when you breathe out the smoke. It is sweet and earthy and tasty, but not as berry as you might expect.
Using this strain won’t put you front row for experiencing Aurora Borealis, but it can absolutely make you feel like you are in Norway scanning the stars while you snuggle up in a warm woolen blanket. This is strong stuff. The 95 percent indica strain has a crazy THC composition that can be as much as 33 percent, which is considerably higher than most strains. It won’t take more than a couple of hits before dopey numbness sets in and the dial gets turned way up on happiness and a sense of comfort. Be very careful about returning to the pipe or vaporizer because too much of this can kick in some paranoia and anxiety that will not be helpful in sleeping like a log or sleeping like a baby or sleeping like a baby log.
Give yourself a low dose and go slow. It really won’t take much or take long.
If you can read the term “Christmas tree-flavored candy” without recoiling in horror, you should enjoy the flavor of Northern Lights, which honestly has a sweet pine flavor. There are also floral notes, a bit of earthy goodness, and some lavender taste. It’s not at all a conventionally yummy profile, but it isn’t bad to use at all. It grows on you.
Though we have gone with the Gorilla Glue name because it is the original moniker associated with the strain, it’s worth noting most dispensaries have taken to calling this weed GG1 or Sister Glue. It turns out that the adhesive company Gorilla Glue wasn’t cool sharing their name with cannabis. We hardly think people were having wacky mix-ups where they bought bud instead of superglue, but whatever. An even 50/50 hybrid, this bud brings the THC hard with a 28 percent composition. Thanks to all of that THC goodness, the high is instant and it lingers, meaning if you typically suffer from wakefulness in the night, GG1 will put an end to it. It will also put the kibosh on chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. Warning: Upon enjoying some of this sedating wonder, you may immediately get dry mouth, so keep water on your bedside table for relief.
Gorilla Glue is a cross between Chem’s Sister and Chocolate Diesel, and it is so, so delicious. The Chocolate Diesel influence makes this weed smell and taste like cocoa and coffee. Be prepared for those flavors to be followed by a sour diesel taste that lingers. There are earthy pine notes as well.
There is a common belief that eating cheese in the night will give you nightmares. There isn’t much truth to it, though if you eat a ton of it, you might end up with a full stomach, which can cause more REM sleep, when dreams are most vivid. This cheese, however, is perfectly safe to have at night, and it will not give you bad dreams at all. It will only give you deep, restful sleep. Blue Cheese is an 80 percent indica strain with a THC composition that clocks in at 20 percent. Clearly, the potency isn’t as high as some of the strains on the list, but that makes it better for people who are new to cannabis and those who are sensitive to side effects like paranoia. You won’t get couchlock right away, though heavy use can certainly trigger it. It’s more likely that you will feel mellow and happy as you slip between the sheets and zonk out.
Do we think a cheesy tasting bud sounds delicious? We do not. Luckily, Blue Cheese owes its name more to its parentage than its flavor. A cross of Blueberry and Cheese, this strain has a tasty berry flavor on the exhale without any pervasive cheese funk.
Unlike the squares at Gorilla Glue, it looks like the makers of The Great Grape Ape Show are chill with sharing their name with a strain of weed. Although maybe that’s because the two have a common audience in lazy stoners, so the shared name benefits everyone. Insomniacs will appreciate the 100 percent indica strain, especially the THC composition that can be as high as 25 percent. Grape Ape delivers on a profound body high that starts slowly and develops over time to cause a heavy feeling in a user’s limbs. It is a full body stone coupled with a spaced-out mindset that makes falling asleep and staying asleep easy peasy. If chronic pain, muscle aches, stress, anxiety, or depression are contributing to poor sleep, this strain is perfect for replacing them all with a foggy relaxation.
The Grape Ape name has to do with the purple that can be seen on the bud rather than the flavor. However, it legit does have a fruity flavored smoke with grape and berry notes. A nice bonus is the sweet sensation that lingers after you exhale. Think of it like a grape-flavored hard candy.
The film L.A. Confidential was a winner at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. And the strain L.A. Confidential was similarly lauded, including the award High Times Strain of the Year in 2006. Where the two part ways is that the weed will make you fall asleep, and the movie will not. Ideally. As a pure indica strain with a THC composition that can be as high as 26 percent, the L.A. Confidential will numb the body and trigger waves of relaxation that roll gently across a user’s muscles. Most folks find themselves asleep after an hour or two, so this strain does need to be used with a head start. Don’t wait too long and find yourself smoking more and more to bring on immediate sleep. You will end up with a headache and a heaping helping of anxiety.
Like a camping trip, this strain’s flavor profile is earthy and woody with a lot of pine. There is a bit of a citrus tang that rounds things out well. Who doesn’t like things a little sweet and dirty?
Ace of Spades
When the creators of Ace of Spaces designed the strain, they crossed Black Cherry Soda with Jack the Ripper as a way of making weed that was a bit sweet and sour. It worked. It also created a 60 percent indica leaning hybrid with a THC composition as high as 20 percent. Because it is both an indica and a sativa, the high affects both body and mind, but it certainly leans toward the physical. Along with intense relaxation, the effects also include a euphoria that can cause giggle fits, so users should be prepared for intense happiness before sleep arrives. This joy is especially beneficial for people whose sleeplessness has led to anxiety about going to bed. It makes the time between smoking and snoring feel safe and pleasant.
Think of a strain that mimics someone reading the best bedtime story ever. Forget Audible, get high.
There is a genuinely sweet and sour flavor mashup that also includes citrus and spice. It’s even a bit peppery, which shows up as part of an herbal sweetness on the inhale. Some users might even find it a bit like Dr. Pepper, and that’s fun in a cannabis strain.