10 Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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Editorial / November 11, 2021

People struggle to get proper sleep for a variety of reasons, from stress and illness to changes in schedules and aging. Although many of us feel accustomed to getting less than the recommended 8 hours of shuteye, sleep deprivation can lead to a host of long-term and short-term health disorders. These complications include a lack of focus, poor productivity and memory retention, diminished hand-eye coordination, mood swings, increased appetite, slow metabolism, and a weak immune system.

 

A lack of sleep has also been linked to more serious health issues, such as high blood pressure and a greater risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. So prioritizing sleep, and finding solutions for your restless nights, is necessary to feel your best and live a healthy lifestyle.

 

Unfortunately, many sleep aids — over-the-counter and prescription — have unpleasant side effects (and in some instances, can make sleep problems even worse). That’s why many people turn to cannabis to improve their sleeping habits.

 

But be careful, not every strain will make you sleepy. Our post reviews the 10 best cannabis strains for sleep so you can find the right flower to encourage refreshing Zzz’s.

 

In this post, we’ll cover:

 

  • Malibu Pure KushBest for Mood
  • Canndescent CALMBest for Sound Sleep
  • GG #4Best for Pain Relief
  • Grease MonkeyBest Fast-Acting Strain
  • Garlic BreathBest for a Pungent Flavor
  • GMOBest to Relieve Restless Nights
  • Lava CakeBest for Head & Body High
  • Headband – Best for Creativity
  • Northern Lights – Best for Muscle Tension
  • Tahoe Alien – Best for Stress Relief

 

1. Best for a Mood Boost – Malibu Pure Kush – 70/30 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Bakers_Cannabis

Flavor/Aroma: Citrus, Berries, and Pine

Dominant Terpene: Myrcene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain

 

Malibu Pure Kush is a local strain first grown in Malibu, California. It’s known for its high THC content, between 18 and 29%, and is commonly used to treat mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Shop Baker’s Pre-Rolls in Malibu Pure Kush for a flavorful experience that will boost your mood and leave you fully relaxed.

 

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2. Best for Sounds Sleep – Canndescent CALM – Indica and Indica-Dominant Hybrids

Canndescent-CALM

Flavor/Aroma: Vary based on number series

Dominant Terpenes: Myrcene, Limonene, and Caryophyllene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain

 

To simplify the selection process, Canndescent forgoes the use of traditional strain names. Our effects-based system allows you to choose strains based on how you want to feel. Our 5 signature effects — CALM, CRUISE, CREATE, CONNECT, and CHARGE — are designed to give you exactly what you need for each moment of your life, including when you need to get some much-needed rest.

 

CALM is specifically designed to quiet racing thoughts, alleviate stress, and ease muscle tension. This potent flower promotes restful sleep, deep relaxation, and soothing relief so you can fall asleep quickly and rest soundly. If you frequently have trouble relaxing before bed, shop Canndescent CALM pre-rolls and whole flower jars. This flower can help you decompress from head to toe so you can drift off to sleep naturally and wake up refreshed.

 

Other Canndescent Effects

 

If you enjoy CALM, you may also want to try our other effects. Shop CHARGE for the perfect strain for daytime use which offers focus and motivation throughout the day. Or, try CONNECT for a sativa-hybrid that sparks meaningful conversations and can make intimacy more enjoyable.

 

Canndescent CREATE is a true hybrid strain that offers inspiration and can encourage out-of-the-box thinking which is great for tackling work-related tasks. While CRUISE is indica leaning like CALM, it will relax you without putting you to sleep, so it is ideal for low-key activities and stress relief.

 

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3. Best for Pain Relief – GG #4 – 60/40 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Flavor/Aroma: Chemical, Chocolate, and Pine

Dominant Terpene: Myrcene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain

 

GG #4 (Gorilla Glue #4) is a cross between Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel. Its name comes from the heavy-handed body high that often results in “couch-lock” or the sensation of being “glued” to the couch. Shop Baker’s GG #4 to promote cerebral euphoria and ease muscle tension — perfect for those nights you need a little extra help winding down.

 

4. Best Fast-Acting Strain – Grease Monkey – 70/30 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Goodbrands-hybrid

Flavor/Aroma: Nutty, Fruity, Skunky, and Sweet

Dominant Terpene: Caryophyllene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain with 1% CBG/CBD

 

Grease Monkey was created by crossing GG #4 and Cookies and Cream. This pungent flower offers a heavy-hitting cerebral high that brings a calm, euphoric mental state. goodbrands™ Grease Monkey has sedative effects that kick in quickly and makes users feel relaxed and sleepy almost instantly.

 

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5. Best for a Pungent Flavor – Garlic Breath – 70/30 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Flavor/Aroma: Herbal, Pine, Pungent, and Spicy

Dominant Terpene: Limonene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain

 

Garlic Breath is known for its savory flavor profile that is similar to fresh garlic. This indica leaning hybrid was first produced by crossing GMO and Mendo Breath. Shop Baker’s Garlic Breath Pre-Rolls for gradual calming effects that lead to deep sleep and mental euphoria.

 

6. Best for Restless Nights – GMO – 90/10 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

goodbrands indica

Flavor/Aroma: Coffee, Herbal, Spicy, and Sweet

Dominant Terpene: Limonene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain with 1% CBG/CBD

 

GMO (GMO Cookies or Garlic Cookies) is a cross between Girl Scout Cookies and Chemdawg, giving it its bold diesel, garlic-like aroma and flavor. Shop goodbrands™ GMO to help elevate mood, relax the body, and calm the nervous system — perfect for nights when you are having trouble falling asleep. In large doses, it has been known to cause couch-lock and deep sedation.

 

7. Best for Head & Body High – Lava Cake – 70/30 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

Bakers-lava-cake

Flavor/Aroma: Fruity, Grape, and Nutty

Dominant Terpene: Caryophyllene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain with 1% CBG/CBD

 

Lava Cake is a cross of Thin Mint GSC and Grape Pie — both contributing to its rich purple and green color, and the sweet, nutty flavor that’s reminiscent of fresh baked goods. Shop Baker’s Lava Cake to soothe the mind and body and unwind at the end of the day.

 

8. Best for Creativity – Headband (HB) – 60/40 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

 

Flavor/Aroma: Diesel, Lemon, and Sweet

Dominant Terpene: Myrcene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain

 

Headband is a cross between OG Kush and Sour Diesel. The name comes from the effect it elicits: Many people say Headband creates a slight pressure at the crown of the head, similar to wearing a headband. This pressure helps slow you down and offers euphoria, relaxation, and contentment. While it calms the mind and body, Headband is also a go-to cannabis strain to improve creativity.

 

9. Best for Stress Relief – Tahoe Alien – 60/40 Indica-Dominant Hybrid

 

Flavor/Aroma: Earthy, Lemon, and Pine

Dominant Terpene: Myrcene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain with 1% CBG/CBD

 

Tahoe Alien was first produced by Alien Genetics and is a cross between Tahoe OG Kush and Alien Kush. This potent flower has a heavy sedating effect and relieves stress, insomnia, and nausea.

 

10. Best for Muscle Tension – Northern Lights – Indica

 

Flavor/Aroma: Pine, Spicy, and Sweet

Dominant Terpene: Myrcene

Cannabinoid Profile: THC Dominant Strain with 1% CBG/CBD

 

Northern Lights (NL) is a famous indica strain created by crossing Afghani with Thai. NL is known for its intense sweet and spicy flavor, sleep-inducing effects, and powerful body high that eases muscle tension.

 

Improving Your Sleep Schedule

 

If you are not getting the rest you need, the best thing to do is establish a set sleep schedule — this means going to bed around the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Over time, your body will become accustomed to this schedule, and it will become easier for you to fall asleep on time — ensuring that you get a full 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

 

How Can Cannabis Help?

 

While your intention might be to fall asleep right when your head hits the pillow, this isn’t always the case. Work responsibilities can often keep us up late, and it can be difficult to “turn off” everyday worries that come up when we climb into bed at the end of a long day.

 

A 2020 study found that certain cannabis strains could help people fall asleep quickly and rest soundly throughout the night. This research suggests that cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, and CBN, bind to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system in a way that can help regulate the sleep cycle.

 

As a result, certain indica and indica-dominant hybrid strains have sedative effects on the mind and body, relieving stress, promoting muscle relaxation, and reducing pain and inflammation — making it easier to let go of tension and slip into a deep sleep.

 

However, not all cannabis strains are alike. Each strain’s terpene profile and cannabinoids can determine whether or not it will act as a sleep aid. Finding the right strain for you will take some trial and error, but our list of the best strains for sleep can help guide you along the way.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is CBD or THC best for sleep?

 

High-THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) strains are typically the best for sleep if you tolerate THC well. On the other hand, if you tend to experience anxiety or paranoia with higher concentrations of THC, you may want to try an indica with a lower percentage of THC and a small amount of CBD (Cannabidiol).

 

There are several products on the market that contain only CBD and claim to aid sleep; however, there is very little research on whether or not CBD can promote sleep on its own (without other cannabinoids). Additionally, some users find that CBD can have a stimulant effect, so we suggest starting with small doses of these products to determine how they impact your rest.

 

Does cannabis use stop REM sleep?

 

Studies show that long-term use of cannabis can shorten REM sleep. Since dreams typically occur during slow-wave sleep or the REM sleep cycle, frequent cannabis users are less likely to dream.

 

There is currently no research that suggests this side effect has any long or short-term consequences. Additionally, users with PTSD or those who frequently experience nightmares find relief with cannabis because it can quiet the mind during sleep. If you would like to try cannabis for PTSD, we suggest speaking with your doctor first.

 

What is the best way to consume cannabis for sleep?

 

Everyone has their preferred method of cannabis consumption, so when it comes time to wind down at the end of the day, we suggest sticking to the method you like best. Smoking flower or pre-rolls, or vaping oil are the most common. That said, edibles are also pretty common, and they’re known to have longer-lasting effects.

 

What are the best terpene profiles for sleep?

 

The terpenes best known for promoting sleep are myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene. If a strain is dominant in one of these three terpenes — or has a combination of the three — it’s likely to have relaxing effects. However, sativas may also contain these terpenes, so it’s best to look at the strain’s sub-species and cannabinoids, as well.

 

  • Myrcene is found in hops, mangos, and lemongrass.
  • Caryophyllene is found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon.
  • Limonene is found in fruit rings, rosemary, juniper, and peppermint

To learn more about how a strain’s terpene content can impact its overall effect, check out Cannabis Terpenes 101.

 

Can cannabis disrupt sleep?

 

While research is still new, some studies show that frequent cannabis users may notice sleep disturbances when they abruptly stop using cannabis. Therefore, if you plan to discontinue use, it may be best to do so gradually to avoid any sleep problems.

 

Ready to Start Getting Better Sleep?

 

Above all, it’s important to listen to your body. If you are looking to use cannabis as a sleep aid, try some of the strains we outline above and see what works best for you. Shop our full line of products, and, once you find your favorite, stick to a set sleep schedule — this will help regulate your sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep each night and wake up feeling refreshed every morning.

 

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