Quality marijuana can improve your life in many ways. One of the most popular uses of weed is as a sleep aid. When it comes to sleep, though, not all marijuana strains are created equal. It is generally true that indicas are more sedating than sativas, and they tend to relieve other problems that make it hard to get good sleep.
Indica vs sativa
The majority of marijuana strains can be divided into two groups: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. These two groups share visual similarities, but their ratios of therapeutic compounds are different. These differences lead to many people labeling sativas as better for daytime use and indicas as better for nighttime use.
The cannabinoids and terpenes (aromatic oils that influence marijuana’s scent and flavor) present in indicas tend to soothe pain, calm the nervous system, slow thoughts, increase appetite, and induce tiredness. There is a wide diversity of cannabinoids and terpenes, and they appear in different quantities across different strains.
Hybridization has also created several strains that are part sativa and part indica. Many indica-heavy hybrids are also helpful for sleep (such as Skywalker OG or Trainwreck). Hybrid strains should be chosen carefully since some have more sativa characteristics, which might make sleep more difficult.
How do you tell the difference between Indica and Sativa?
Identifying an indica as a live plant is generally easy. Indica plants tend to be shorter than sativas, with fatter darker leaves. Indicas also begin flowering earlier in the growth cycle than sativas. Indicas originated in northern India (hence the name indica), Tibet, Nepal, and Afghanistan where shorter periods of strong sun exposure required these plants begin flowering sooner.
Dried indica flowers are not always identifiable by sight. Purple coloration of the buds is more present in indica strains than sativas, but this is not a hard rule. Some strains have a signature aroma that is easy to identify with experience. It is best to ask your budtender where you buy marijuana if you are unfamiliar with a strain. If you buy marijuana from an online dispensary, the product description should include this information.
How to choose an Indica for sleep
Common reasons for sleep troubles include: anxiety, racing thoughts, pain, disruption of body’s chemical signals, upset stomach, and muscle tension and spasms. Indica and indica-dominant weed hybrid strains can vary greatly from one another. Some are better used for sleep than others.
Indica sleep effects can be broken down into three groups: relaxing, sedating, and sleepy. All three of these groups can contain effective sleep aids, depending on the user’s needs and body chemistry.
For some people, the lightest level — relaxing — will be enough to settle into sleep. Relaxing strains quiet a racing mind and sore muscles. People with sensitive systems and those whose sleep trouble comes from moderate mental sources are well matched with this group of strains.
Sedating indicas bring a more significant body high. In addition to calming the mind, they are good if muscle tension and moderate pain are impacting sleep. Sedating indicas can make the body feel loose, and they quiet any energetic feelings. “Couch lock”– the feeling of wanting to sit on the couch and not get up for any reason — sets in with sedating indicas.
For people with moderate sleep trouble, these strains can be the right medicine. Sedating indicas are a good choice for those who have stomach upset, muscle pain, or whose bodies have trouble calming into sleep.
These indica weed strains quickly bring on the desire for sleep. With some of these strains, some people are completely unable to remain awake even with great effort. For people with severe sleep troubles, muscle spasms, high pain levels — especially joint and nerve pain — these are the indicas to choose.
What are the best indicas for sleep?
- Pink Kush — This indica-dominant hybrid weed strain is highly potent. It offers a great body high that’s perfect to bring on rest for those suffering from pain, nausea, and raw nerves. Its high THC content means people with anxiety may only need to use a small amount.
- Afghani — This strain is a great all-purpose indica and retains a lot of the pure characteristics of the wild plant, having not been crossbred very much with other strains. As a sleep aid, it relaxes the mind and body, and it removes feelings of stress.
- Big Bud — Big Bud is notable for the size of its light green buds, and it’s a good choice for muscle relaxation.
- Ingrid — Ingrid is an indica-dominant hybrid known for its body high. It is good for fighting muscle tension and pain that may be interrupting sleep. With a moderate THC content, it is a good choice for those sensitive to THC.
- BC Kush — This pure indica strain is a great example of true Canada weed. Couch lock accompanies relief for pain and muscle tension that may be causing insomnia.
- Tahoe OG Kush — Tahoe OG Kush is a fast-acting hybrid strain known for a significant body high. It’s a favorite for pain patients who struggle to fall and stay asleep.
- Purple Urkle — Is an insomnia favorite, offering full-body pain relief, and a berry-like scent.
- Skywalker OG — With a flavor ranging from citrusy to piney, Skywalker OG is known for inducing couch lock. Its sleep effects can be a little delayed, but are powerful when they arrive.
- Northern Lights — This sweet and spicy strain is one of the most popular. It produces a profound body high and mental slowing, and is particularly helpful to those who have sleep trouble due to depression.
- Granddaddy Purple (GDP) — Granddaddy Purple is an institution. The child of Big Bud and Purple Urkle, GDP is an excellent sleep aid for a range of issues. Its berry and grape flavor brings on an emotionally relaxed and pain-free sleep, and it is popular to combat muscle spasms too.
- Romulan — This piney weed strain is the choice if sleep is troubled by nerve pain. It offers a strong body high while leaving the mind less foggy than other heavy indicas.
- Lavender — The Lavender strain is true to its namesake. It is an excellent choice for anxiety and pain sufferers, and it smells like fresh lavender.
Knowing your body’s reaction to marijuana is an important thing to learn over time. Everyone’s blood chemistry is different, and so everybody responds differently to these medicines. It’s good to try out a few options to find the best fit. Lucky for you weedsmart has over 10 different Indica strains for you to try! Our Indica Sample Pack is a great option as it includes many of our best sellers plus a few essentials to get you started.
7g Black Diamond
7g Mk Ultra
7g Pink Crack
7g Purple Candy
1 Rolling paper pack
1 Tip pack