Which herb to choose to fight stress and insomnia?
Cannabis has always been used as an aid to aid sleep. Sleep disorders now affect many people all over the world, and are caused above all by the modern lifestyle. Insomnia is no longer just one thing. There are different types of insomnia , classified according to the triggering cause and the sleep phase that is attacked. Insomnia is no longer the only obstacle to enjoying sweet dreams worthy of a child: stress makes it very difficult to relax, but the biggest responsibility lies with the electronic devices which – increasingly – follow us even among the sheet.
There is also another category of people who are very interested in using cannabis as a sleep aid: we are talking about people suffering from serious illnesses who, due to very severe pain, cannot fall asleep easily.
In all these cases cannabis can be of great help.
What are the best strains for sleeping?
In general, indica -dominant strains are the best choice if you need help sleeping like a baby. Cannabis indica is famous for having a very relaxing body effect, perfect for aiding sleep.
According to some scientific studies, this sedative power of all indica varieties is due to their very high terpene content . Terpenes are aromatic biomolecules produced by the cannabis plant and responsible for the aromas and flavors of marijuana. According to these studies, terpenes are responsible for the sedative effects of indica strains. Furthermore, cannabis sativa contains many fewer terpenes than indica, which explains the difference between its effects and those of sativa.
There is also another type of herb that is perfect for sleeping: it is slightly "seasoned" cannabis, which can induce very relaxing effects compared to the same freshly dried herb, thanks to the higher concentrations of CBN . In fact, as the buds age, THC begins to break down into CBN, which is said to be five times more sedative than THC.
THC and CBN: a dream synergy!
Some research has shown that, over time, THC degrades, transforming into CBN, an active ingredient which has a sedative action five times higher than THC .
We all know THC : it is the active ingredient present in greatest concentration in cannabis and the main responsible for its psychoactive effects . As time passes, the plant becomes less and less powerful in terms of psychoactive effects and more and more effective, however, for promoting sleep.
However, this is not a quick process. The transformation from THC to CBN, triggered by oxidation, takes a very long time: to give an idea, a sachet of cannabis with a high THC content, stored in a dry and warm environment for a couple of years, only transforms 5% of its THC in CBN. However, CBN is already present in fresh cannabis, although to a reduced extent and always variable based on the variety; Indica cannabis generally contains a higher percentage, while sativa contains less.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds naturally produced by the cannabis plant and are responsible for their characteristic flavor. The amount and type of terpenes a cannabis plant produces depends on various factors such as climate, soil, fertilizers used and the age of the plant.
Only recently has it been discovered that terpenes play an important role in cannabis's ability to induce sleep and in fact, as well as in cannabis, they are contained in most of the so-called natural sleeping pills such as chamomile, valerian and passion flower.
Cannabis and natural sleeping pills
As we have seen, terpenes are the secret ingredient for good restful sleep. We'll tell you a secret: Cannabis is not the only plant that contains terpenes.
Terpenes are also contained in other plant species used as natural sleeping pills, such as chamomile, lavender or hops. What is even more interesting is that the terpenes contained in these plants form a particular and beneficial synergy with the CBN contained in Cannabis, generating even more effective effects.
What does science say?
If marijuana were able to truly fight many types of insomnia, we would be faced with a great revolution, which would greatly improve people's quality of life. Researchers at Palo Alto University in California analyzed thematic publications from 2014 to today , to summarize what has been discovered about cannabis and sleep disorders.
According to researchers, preliminary studies on cannabis and insomnia suggest that cannabidiol ( CBD ) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia, especially in REM sleep disorders and excessive daytime sleepiness, while nabilone (synthetic THC) can reduce nightmares associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and may improve sleep among chronic pain patients. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on the other hand, can reduce sleep latency, but risks compromising its quality in the long term.
What are the most suitable varieties to help you fall asleep?
We have chosen five varieties to highlight so you don't lose even a minute of precious sleep. Below are what, in our opinion, are the most suitable cannabis varieties for promoting sleep and combating insomnia and stress. Most of the varieties we show you are indica-dominant genetics, for the reasons already explained: higher concentration of terpenes and higher concentration of CBN.
- THC BUNKER BUSTER
This is the best cannabis strain for aiding sleep. It is a genetic that boasts relationships with the Afghan, Northern Lights and Skunk varieties in its DNA. The Bunker Buster will quickly take you into the arms of Morpheus. It is recommended to end an evening with friends or to enjoy some quiet before going to bed.
- GRANDADDY BLACK
Grandaddy Black is a genetic with almost 95% indica. Often used as a sleep aid or to treat various health problems, its sweet, earthy aromas are a true delight. THC concentrations can reach 20%; its 5% sativa helps keep the mind clear, allowing you not to fall completely victim to this crazy "stoned" effect.
- NORTHERN LIGHT
It is the powerful Indica effects that have made Northern Lights an absolute classic: the plant inherited much of its genetics from an Afghan strain, which gave it "couch-lock" effects, especially when consumed in large quantities. Smoking a joint of this herb before going to sleep can be quite effective, we promise!
- OG KUSH
OG Kush originates from Northern California and is particularly suitable for treating insomnia, thanks above all to the strong narcotic effects it causes. An intense body relaxation is immediately felt, which evolves into a comfortable physical and mental relaxation.
- BLUE CHEESE
Blue Cheese is a cross between the Blueberry and Cheese strains and is native to the United Kingdom. It is the queen of Indicas and causes a stoned effect that you will not forget: the muscles relax and stress decreases significantly in a short time. Blue Cheese is also perfect for treating chronic pain and is particularly suitable as a last joint of the evening.