One of cannabis’ many useful medical qualities is its ability to induce sleep. When chamomile tea or a warm glass of milk just aren’t enough (and if you’d prefer to avoid pharmaceutical sleep aids), a little potent bud can be just the thing. Whether you’re suffering from chronic insomnia or just want to fast-track bedtime, here’s a roundup of some of the best strains for getting a good night’s sleep.
A pure landrace indica from Afghanistan, Afghani has a pungent skunky odor with notes of citrus. Its tightly packed buds are coated in trichomes — Afghani resin is especially prized in the production of traditional hashish. When inhaled, the trademark thick, harsh smoke will plunge users into a deep body high and a general pervasive relaxation. Some users report appetite stimulation as well. This strain’s well-preserved genetics contribute to heavily narcotic effects like couchlock and sleepiness, so plan on nighttime consumption either alone or with good friends. Some varieties of Afghani are specifically bred for high levels of CBD and are useful in the treatment of anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia, all with limited psychoactivity.
White OG is an indica-dominant hybrid crossed from The White and San Fernando Valley OG Kush. The indica of the SFV parent strain mellows out the intense cerebral power of The White, making for a relaxing, focused high.
White OG placed in the Cannabis Cup in 2010 and its whopping THC content has been measured between 25 and 30%.
The high from this strain comes up quickly. Although it has inherited a deep, focused head high from parent strain The White, these mental effects are balanced out by an equally heavy body high. Users may feel more spaced-out than thoughtful. Whether you want to stay couchlocked and daydreaming or just shuffle off to sleep, White OG will lend you a pervasive sense of relaxation.
Like grape cough syrup but without the antihistamines, Granddaddy Purple provides mellow grape flavor and easy, sleep-inducing pain relief. A cross between indica strains Big Bud and Purple Urkel, Granddaddy Purple’s distinctive color comes from a combination of genetics and exposure to colder temperatures during the flowering period. Its smooth berry and grape flavor is accented by some spicy pine in the background.
Effects come up gradually, and start as a meld of mental stimulation and physical relaxation.
As the high progresses, heavy limbs and eyelids take over, and thoughts become more hazy than cerebral. Overall, Granddaddy Purple is a tasty nighttime sleep aid that may also help in relieving stress and anxiety.
Northern Lights is a classic pure indica with global genetics — it is a cross between landraces indigenous to mountainous Afghanistan and tropical Thailand. In turn, this strain has parented successful crossbreeds like Sour Diesel and Jack Herer. Dense and sticky buds speak to its fine-tuned lineage. Northern Lights has a skunky, overly sweet scent with thick, lung-expanding smoke that tastes like spicy pine on the exhale. The high comes on quickly in the form of relaxation that can be felt deep in the muscles. Mental effects are perceived more as psychedelic distortion than cerebral mind-race. This is primarily a late-evening option for easing into bedtime while keeping your thoughts suspended above any daytime worries.
With two award-winning popular phenotypes, Gorilla Glue’s name speaks to its power — its sticky, almost adhesive buds will leave you glued to the nearest possible couch. The dense, frosty flowers have a piney taste and a heavy, skunky-chemical odor inherited from the strain’s diesel lineage. Users describe a harsh smoke that comes up strong, but tapers off more quickly than most. Body tension melts away along with mental strain, although the sativa in Gorilla Glue’s parentage keeps thoughts circulating. Social and uplifting, this is a great choice for Friday night with some friends after a long week. Be warned that Gorilla Glue is especially pungent and not a great option if discretion is a concern.
Death Star can blast you into oblivion as quickly as its namesake pulverized Alderaan. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you’ll be able to appreciate this strain’s ability to relieve insomnia. A cross between ubiquitous Sour Diesel and Sensi Star, it has very sticky buds with a high THC content, typically around 20%. An earthy diesel scent provides the pungent backdrop for an initially even balance between cerebral and physical effects. Increased consumption comes with heavy limbs and eyelids and decreased productivity, giving you the perfect excuse to kick back or just drift off to sleep.
Vanilla Kush is a strong sleepytime indica descended from Afghani and South Asian landrace strains. Buds are dense and sticky but the scent takes center stage, with some nutty vanilla and a little bit of skunk. Even though it’s a pure indica, the smoke is super smooth and has a sweet vanilla flavor. The high spreads down slowly from your head and shoulders into total body melt.
Prepare for a little haziness and confusion; Vanilla Kush is probably not the best choice for getting through your to-do list. Couchlock is common and sleep comes easily.
Although this is an excellent strain to help with nausea and insomnia, its smell and flavor also make it nice for some light aromatherapy. THC content can be around 20% and higher.
Blue God is a potent strain with a surprisingly fruity taste for an indica. Crossed from Cannabis Cup winners God Bud and Blueberry, it comes on strong and keeps you medicated for longer than average. The sticky, dense buds range in color from green to deep purple.
Deeply sweet blueberries are the strongest scent; some dank, hashy notes come through as the flowers are burned. The smoke, although harsh and acrid, has a sweet fruity taste, reminiscent of a blue raspberry slurpee.
The high edges closer and closer until your limbs and tongue feel pleasantly thick and heavy. There’s very little of the cerebral focus that comes from more sativa-heavy strains, with a happy, spacey mindset taking over. Don’t plan on getting much done with this tranquilizing knockout.