How To Choose the Right Indica Strain for Your Sleep Needs? | CAC
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How To Choose the Right Indica Strain for Your Sleep Needs?

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Indica strains offer a heavy sedative effect and are best known for their ability to help people relax and induce sleep. When it comes to using weed to improve your sleep quality, choosing the right Indica weed strain is essential to ensuring you get the most out of your experience. But, with so many varieties available, it can be difficult to work out which strain is the best for helping you get a great night’s sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • Classic strains such as Afghan Kush, Granddaddy Purple, and Northern Lights are known for their potent sedative effects.
  • New-school strains like T9C9 Warlock and Cannatonic offer high levels of sleep-inducing terpenes and CBD to complement the THC.
  • Indica strains can be taken through various methods, including smoking, vaping, edibles, and sublingual tinctures.
  • Overconsumption, dependency, and long-term use can have negative side effects, so caution should be exercised when using Indica strains.
  • It is always best to consult with a specialist before incorporating medical cannabis into your routine. So, if you are struggling with sleep issues, consider giving Indica strains a try for a natural and restful solution.

Selecting the appropriate Indica strain can impact the quality of your sleep. It can be the difference between sleeping well or having a poor night’s rest. 

Some strains are more potent than others, while other varieties offer moderate levels of THC combined with high CBD potency. And then there is the terpene profile to consider.

The old thinking of Sativa/Indica characteristics is slowly but surely fading, with the most up-to-date research pointing to more subtle differences in effects across different varieties. In other words, knowing the exact strain may not be as important as understanding the terpene and cannabinoid profile of a particular variety.

Characteristics of Indica Strains

Indica strains are usually associated with a heavy sedative effect. There is research to show that this way of looking at cannabis may be slightly outdated, but the amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that this is still the case, at least to a certain respect.

Thanks to the analgesic effect offered up by THC, they can also provide relief from aches and pains, as well as muscle relaxation and anxiety reduction. This makes them an excellent choice for those dealing with chronic pain or other conditions that cause frequent bouts of discomfort or agitation at night.

Originating in the Hindu Kush region of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – Indica strains tend to be shorter and bushier than their Sativa counterparts and often have higher CBD levels. This makes them a smart choice for those looking for more calming effects without the energetic psychoactive high that can come with Sativa strains.

They also tend to hold higher concentrations of sleep-inducing terpenes than their Sativa kin (which may be the underlying cause for the sedative effects).

Factors to Consider When Choosing Indica Strains for Sleep

Let’s quickly dive into the factors mentioned above that can influence your sleep quality when using marijuana.

First up is the cannabinoid profile of a particular strain. Cannabinoids are the main active components of cannabis that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. THC and CBD are the two most well-known cannabinoids, but most strains produce a wide range of additional cannabinoids, such as CBN (cannabinol) and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin). 

Knowing the cannabinoid profile of a particular strain can give you an indication of its potential effects. The current research suggests that strains with low to mid-THC and high CBD concentrations may be best for inducing sleep.

The second factor to consider is the terpene profile of a particular strain. Terpenes are molecules responsible for giving cannabis its unique flavour and aroma, but they also play a significant role in determining the effects of a variety. The best terpenes for inducing sleep are

  • Myrcene
  • Beta-Caryophyllene
  • Linalool
  • Beta Pinene
  • Terpinolene

It’s also worth noting that the effects of a particular strain can vary from person to person, so finding which one works best for you may take a bit of experimentation. Always consult a specialist doctor before using medicinal cannabis, as it can have adverse effects and is still illegal in the UK without a prescription.

The Best Indica Strains for Sleep

The current science points towards strains that possess a mid-range THC percentage with a decent amount of CBD to be the best option for those looking to improve their sleep. The following strains are known for their sedative effects and make a great choice for those dealing with insomnia or anxiety:

Classic Strains for Sleep

There’s something special about classic strains like Afghani, Granddaddy Purple and Northern Lights. These varieties are known to seriously relax the mind and body, as well as help with pain relief.

  • Afghan Kush: This Indica is well known for its potency and relaxation-inducing qualities, making it one of the best choices on the market for those seeking sleep relief.
  • Granddaddy Purple: This strain is known for its sweet berry and grape aroma, as well as its strong sedative effects. It has a slightly higher THC level than Afghan Kush but also boasts CBD levels ranging from 2% to 3%.
  • Purple Kush: Another classic Indica strain, Purple Kush is renowned for its relaxing and sedative effects. It has a THC concentration of around 17%, making it slightly less potent than Granddaddy Purple.
  • Northern Lights: A true classic, Northern Lights is known for its sweet aroma and generally milder effects when compared to other Indicas. It’s a perfect evening strain due to its potent sedative properties, while its THC levels tend to range between 15 and 20%.

New-School Strains for Sleep

In this brave new world of recreational and medicinal cannabis legality, the list of new strains popping up is almost endless. We have searched to find the best sleep strains possible, containing elevated levels of sleep-inducing terpenes with high CBD concentrations to complement the THC.

Here are a few of the new kids on the block that have made a splash amongst those seeking sleep

  • T9C9 Warlock: This strain is perfect for those seeking a sedative experience, while also not wanting to blast off. With an evenly balanced cannabinoid ratio of 9% CBD and 9% THC, it delivers a strong calming effect with a sprinkling of psychoactivity. 
  • Cannatonic: With 0% THC, but a huge 12% CBD and high levels of myrcene, linalool, and beta-caryophyllene, Cannatonic is the perfect sleep aid. It provides deep relaxation by calming both the body and mind, without a high.
  • Master Kush: MK offers a mid-THC level of around 19%, making it an excellent choice for those looking to turn off their brain and drift away. This strain also contains high levels of myrcene, pinene, and beta-caryophyllene, and kicks in extremely quickly. Be careful, though, as it can hit you like a truck if you aren’t used to its potency.

How to Take Indica Strains for Sleep

Gone are the days when rolling a spliff or packing a bong were the only ways to enjoy the benefits offered by everyone’s favourite plant. Nowadays, a certified myriad of options are available to get the most out of your Indica strains for sleep.

Many people find smoking anything to be less than enjoyable, and may even find vaping to be too harsh for their throat. In this case, edibles are a good choice as they deliver a steady dose of cannabinoids while also being gentle on the respiratory system. Be careful with edibles, though, as they can take up to two hours before the effects become fully felt, and it is easy to eat more than needed. A starting dose of around 10 mg is recommended.

Sublingually administered tinctures or oils are another great option. They are taken under the tongue, where they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This method offers a faster onset of effects compared to edibles and can be easily adjusted depending on your desired dosage

Precautions and Side Effects of Indica Strains

Overconsumption is the last thing anyone should be doing when looking to use cannabis as a sleep aid. High doses of THC can lead to unpleasant side effects such as paranoia, dizziness, and heavy anxiety. It has also been shown to have an energizing effect when overconsumed, making sleep more difficult.

In addition to overconsumption, those with certain health conditions should exercise caution when using Indica strains for sleep. Dependency is not common, but it is still possible, so those prone to addiction should watch out. Furthermore, it has been shown that long-term use of Indica strains can decrease memory cognition.

Then there is the stigma associated with cannabis use, which some people feel uncomfortable dealing with.

One thing is for sure. If you are a resident of the UK and are looking to find a natural sleep aid, then Indica strains may be the way to go. But first, you really need to have a chat with your doctor and do some research before taking the plunge.


Are Indica strains better than Sativa for sleep?

While Sativa strains can also offer patients sedative effects, Indica strains are generally more effective in inducing sleep due to their higher CBD content and terpene profiles.

Is it safe to use Indica strains for sleep?


As with any medication, it is always important to consult a specialist doctor before using Indica strains for sleep. Overconsumption can lead to unpleasant side effects, and those with certain health conditions should use caution.

How do I choose the right Indica strain for sleep?

It’s always best to consult a knowledgeable specialist and to do your own research on the specific terpene and cannabinoid profiles of different strains. Look for high levels of sleep-inducing terpenes like myrcene and linalool, as well as a balanced ratio of CBD to THC. It’s also important to consider the potency of each strain and start with a low dosage before increasing if needed.

Can I use Indica strains in different forms for sleep, such as edibles or tinctures?

Yes, there are many options available for consuming Indica strains for sleep. Edibles and tinctures can offer a longer-lasting effect compared to smoking or vaping, but it’s important to be cautious with the dosage as they can take longer to kick in.


Indica strains can offer a safe and effective way to get a restful night’s sleep when used correctly and with caution. From MK to Cannatonic, there is an Indica strain out there for everyone. As with any medication, it is always best to speak to your doctor before you begin taking medical cannabis.

With the right Indica strain and method of consumption, a good night’s sleep can be yours!