The Science Behind CBD as a Sleep Aid
Before diving into the sleep-inducing benefits of CBD flower, let's examine its relationship with anxiety.
There's a growing consensus among medical professionals that sleep quality strongly correlates with mental health. It's not a coincidence that many side effects of anxiety — racing thoughts, restlessness, and muscle tension — also apply to insomnia.
Scientists have long believed that CBD can alleviate stress, and by association, can help you sleep better at night. There's even research suggesting a link between the two although more longterm studies are needed before absolute conclusions can be made. Studies from Japan and Brazil found that patients who took CBD oil to treat social anxiety experienced more sleep benefits than those who took placebos.
Another report from São Paulo, Brazil (2018), touts the benefits of CBD for its sedative effects. Researchers suggest that cannabinoid helps the brain enter REM sleep faster. They also believe the CBD and CBG content in hemp flowers may help treat other health issues, such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.
Other studies supporting this correlation include a 2017 review of scientific literature and a 2019 critical review of clinical trials on cannabinoids and sleep, as well as a 2019 study from the University of Colorado examining the use of CBD as a treatment for anxiety and sleep complaints at a psychiatric clinic and a 2020 study from the University of California San Diego examining the relationship between cannabis use and quality of sleep in middle-aged and older adults.
These studies serve as promising starting points for extended research on the use of cannabinoids to improve sleep. Many CBD users have gravitated to smoking CBD buds for the very reason that it induces relaxation much faster than other forms of consumption. The quick sedative effect allows them to stay calm and sleep through the night.
Why CBD Makes You Tired
We know that smoking a CBD strain can make people feel tired. The question is, "Why?" To find the answer, we need to understand how the endocannabinoid system works.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates myriad functions in the body. It controls everything from our mood to our appetite to our immune system. The ECS also produces endocannabinoids, which resemble the cannabinoid compounds we find in Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa strains.
When CBD and other compounds enter the body, they influence the ECS receptors that normally interact with endocannabinoids. Studies shows that this interaction can increase anandamide production, a compound known for causing drowsiness, fatigue and feelings of bliss. It can also quell your mood, appetite, and sleeping problems.
Indica vs. Sativa CBD Flower
Indica and sativa are the two most common strains of cannabis and CBD flowers. Indica is the best choice to help you sleep because it has relaxing and sedative side effects. Some indica strains include Bubba Kush, Special Sauce, Remedy and Frosted Kush.
Sativa strains on the other hand have an uplifting effect that tends to make you focused, energetic and more talkative. Sativa CBD buds are great for people who suffer from social anxiety since it helps them maintain focus without causing paranoia or overthinking. Some examples of sativa strains include Hawaiian Haze, Sour Space Candy, Lifter and Elektra.
Best CBD Strains for Sleep in 2021
Bubba Kush is big, bold, and beautiful. This CBD strain has prominent chocolate and coffee flavors and a sterling reputation for helping people go to and stay asleep. It's one of the best choices for anyone looking to relax or beat insomnia.
Cultivators classify Bubba Kush as an indica-dominant strain. The low-THC hybrid has 70% indica and 30% sativa. Bubba Kush produces many of the effects of indica-dominant strains, including happiness, sedation, and muscle relaxation.
Many people use Bubba Kush as a sleep aid. The fast-acting CBD flower takes over your body after just a few hits. You can feel yourself drifting away as your mind remains clear and worry-free.
Few CBD strains deliver as dynamic an experience as Bubba Kush. The hybrid has earned hordes of fans because it gives them the body melting euphoria they need to sleep soundly.
Special Sauce is one of the most dazzling strains on this list. The CBD-rich flower features verdant nuggets with purple-tinged hairs and glistening trichomes. Lean in, and you will smell a potpourri of cinnamon, citrus, herbs, and sweet cream.
Special Sauce has very high CBD levels compared to most hemp strains. The CBD percentage tips the scales at +20%, while maintaining within the legal limit of 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
Special Sauce CBD makes it easier than ever to mentally and physically relax. Take a couple of hits, and you'll feel stress disappear. The therapeutic entourage effect instills you with a sense of euphoria and bliss.
These relaxing effects go hand in hand with staying asleep. The high levels of CBD put your mind at ease when you lie down for the evening. A few tokes will go a long way, as the CBD flowers last longer than competing varieties.
Some of the other things that Special Sauce helps with include:
- Pain relief
Special Sauce appeals to people in search of a balanced hemp strain. You will experience complete relaxation and a subtle body high that lingers through your limbs. It's the ideal way to unwind before bed or after a long day.
The CBD-rich strain offers a powerful calming effect for anyone dealing with anxiety or insomnia. It provides full-body relaxation and an mind-melting calm.
A closer look at Magic Bullet will reveal the inspiration for its name. The CBD strain has compact, bullet-like nuggets that form a densely clustered flower. It has bountiful trichomes and aromatic notes of grape, ginger, spice, and earthiness.
Magic Bullet comes with around 18% CBD and 20% total cannabinoids. The low THC levels ensure that users don't experience head highs or excess energy before bed. The CBD flower goes well with tea, smoking, and vaping.
Magic Bullet's terpene profile includes high levels of caryophyllene and myrcene. Caryophyllene provides the touch of spice that you can find in black pepper while delivering therapeutic benefits. Myrcene is a common terpene that people use as a sedative and muscle relaxer.
The CBD terpenes for sleep take effect immediately. The terpenes shoot through your system like a bullet, delivering the calming effects and health benefits you need.
White CBG zigs where another CBD hemp flower might zag. The secret ingredient is cannabigerol, also known as CBG.
White CBG has around 15% CBG and a set of therapeutic benefits that you won't find in other hemp strains. The flower can reduce anxiety, alleviate inflammation, and of course, improve sleep.
Some studies even suggest that CBG can counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC strains so if you smoke cannabis but feel like the THC levels are too high, you can mix inn some CBG flower to balance out the effects. Read more about mixing CBD, CBG and THC flower here.
While the terpene profile varies by strain, White CBG has a lot of the terpene guaiol. The compound works as both an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, which is rare in a CBD or THC flower. Terpene guaiol comes with a distinct odor of pine, lemons and cream.
The best strains for insomnia have well balanced terpene profiles that work in concert with the total cannabinoid content. Remedy fits that description to a "T." It contains around 15% total cannabinoids and a rich terpene profile that is high in the relaxing terpenes myrcene and caryophyllene.
Remedy comes in medium-to-large sized buds that taper to a fine point. The buds feature bright green patches with flickering spots of yellow woven into the leaves. The densely packed flower gives off notes of lemon and pine.
Remedy comes from a hybrid (Cannatonic) and an indica strain (Afghan Skunk). The result is a CBD flower that can calm chronic pain and inflammation.
Some individuals compare Remedy to a massage. The lack of THC means you won't have to worry about racing thoughts or bursts of energy. Instead, you can take a few puffs of this strain and glide to sleep.
Choosing the Best CBD Flower for Sleep
The best CBD strain for your insomnia will depend on your needs and preferences. You'll want to consider the CBD percentage, total cannabinoids, and terpene profiles before committing to one. If you are making your first purchase, you are recommended to buy a sample menu to try a few different strains in one go. That way you'll find which strain you respond to the best.