Cannabis for Insomnia

Of all the different uses for cannabis, insomnia has been one of the most prevalent for people in the United States and around the world. Even those who just use CBD products often choose them for relaxation and help sleeping. Adding the THC component and the various effects of different strains designed to help with sleep only improves the experience. 

Cannabis for insomnia may not be the ideal solution for everyone, but most people report positive experiences (even when they might have been hesitant at first). In this guide, we’ll take a look at the importance of sleep and how cannabis can help, whether it’s recreationally or medically.

How sleep affects our health

Sleep affects almost every single part of the body. It affects stress hormones, growth hormones, appetite, our immune system, blood pressure and heart health, breathing, and other areas of physical health. Sleep (or the lack thereof) can also have an impact on mental health, causing increased anxiety, extreme fatigue and depression, mental fogginess, and other issues that can make it hard to get through the day. 

Without enough sleep, and especially when caused by a condition like insomnia, the body is more susceptible to things like infections, obesity, and heart disease. Essentially, it’s like only charging your phone battery halfway—eventually your phone is going to start to act differently and could even fail completely. The difference, of course, is that if your body “fails,” you can’t just get a new one. 

Insomnia is linked to a host of health conditions, as well as unhealthy habits and poor lifestyle choices, such as late-night snacking and overeating, not eating due to lack of sleep, excessive caffeine consumption, etc. All of this can have an impact on your health in the long term. 

Does cannabis work as a sleep aid?

Several studies have shown that cannabis can help improve sleep quality and aid in alleviating insomnia. Many patients experienced waking feeling more rested and saw improvements in their stress levels, fatigue, and daily functioning. The way that you use cannabis may also impact how it works to help you sleep. Formulations that contain high levels of THC are often the ideal choice to assist with sleep. 

People who are using cannabis for insomnia will choose indica strains that have effects like sleepiness, reduced stress and anxiety, euphoric feelings of relaxation, and so forth. The hardest-hitting indica strains that induce couch lock for the average person are generally good to help people with insomnia because they will experience that feeling to a lesser degree, allowing them to drift off to sleep easily and sleep well throughout the night. 

Cannabis as a sleep aid may not work for everyone, but it’s worth trying for those who want something natural with minimal side effects.


What is the difference of cannabis from other natural sleep aid?

Cannabis and other natural sleep aids all work based on the same premise: the active ingredients are designed to relax the body, promote healthy sleep, and encourage restful nights. Of course, how these different sleep aids work and how effective they are will vary from one person to the next. Cannabis is typically preferred by those who want something that offers instant results, or near-instant results. 

Some natural sleep aids contain herbs and ingredients that may not induce sleep or tired feelings in some people. Others might just be ineffective. Plus, most of them require 30-60 minutes of time before they begin to work. Cannabis products can be consumed for near-instant relief. If you’re vaporizing or smoking a joint, for example, you’ll start to feel the effects as soon as you exhale that first hit.

Medical Marijuana for insomnia

If you think that this could be a solution, you should find out how to get approved for medical marijuana for insomnia. The process usually involves being diagnosed with insomnia or another sleep disorder that includes insomnia, at which point you can then get a medical recommendation from a cannabis doctor that will allow you to apply for a medical marijuana card. 

Once you have the medical card, you can visit your local dispensary and talk to your budtender about the best strains and cannabis products to help with your sleep issues.

Best cannabis strains for sleep

Indica strains (and some indica-dominant hybrids) are your ideal choice for insomnia and sleep issues. There are plenty of strains that report having relaxing effects and the aforementioned “couch lock” that will induce some of the best sleep you’ve had in a long time, but the best of the best include:

  • Grandaddy Purple (GDP)
  • Northern Lights
  • Bubba Kush
  • GG4
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Wedding Cake
  • Purple Kush
  • Kosher Kush
  • Tahoe OG Kish
  • Skywalker OG
  • London Pound Cake (LPC)

These are all heady indicas that induce couch lock and sleep within a short period after consuming the cannabis, no matter what form you choose. Vaporization is the quickest, but RSO capsules or edibles may provide a longer-lasting effect. You might have to try a few different products to find what you like best.

When to take marijuana for sleep

You should take marijuana to help with sleep close to when you go to bed. The exact time will depend on the consumption method. For example, a weed gummy designed to help with sleep could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect. On the other hand, taking a few hits of a vape pen filled with the lovely Grandaddy Purp will have you asleep in a matter of minutes. 

Again, you might have to try different cannabis products at different times to find the bedtime routine that works for your insomnia.

How to use marijuana for insomnia

There are several ways to use marijuana for insomnia. You’ll want to start by sticking with the strains mentioned above, or any other strain that is a heady, couch-lock inducing indica. Stay away from sativa strains at all costs—these will only make sleep more elusive. 

You should create a routine around bedtime that includes the consumption of cannabis for your insomnia. Maybe you’ll dim the lights, turn on a relaxing show, and toke up so that you’re ready for bed. Perhaps you’ll just take a few hits of your vape pen and then call it a night. Make sure that you switch strains periodically so that your body doesn’t get “used to” the effects of one strain or another. 

If you use marijuana for insomnia and for other issues, you will want to separate your products to ensure that they don’t get mixed up. And if you find that you don’t like a certain type of consumption at bedtime, that’s fine, because you have plenty of products to choose from:

  • Flower (plant material)
  • Concentrates
  • Vape pens 
  • Edibles
  • RSO capsules
  • Tinctures and salves

Check if you qualify for medical marijuana for insomnia

If all this sounds like it could be the relief that you are looking for, you might want to check to see if you qualify for medical marijuana for insomnia. Even if you live somewhere that you can purchase it recreationally, getting a medical card gives you access to lower taxes and higher-potency products that are designed to offer support for insomnia and other conditions. 

Medical marijuana for insomnia could be a great solution for those who want something with few (or no) side effects that delivers a relaxing, improved sleep experience night after night. At Verts Neighborhood Dispensary, our team of expert budtenders will be able to help you find the best medical marijuana to finally kick your insomnia for good.

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