Indica as a Sleep Aid – Myth or Reality?

is Indica a sleep aid?What is a strain?

A strain is defined in horticulture as the variations that can be found among a plant’s cultivated variety.  It is also used to call the offspring coming from modified plants.

The plant cannabis, or more commonly known as hemp or marijuana, has strains consisting of either hybrid of pure plants. There are a total of 779 known cannabis strains. These strains are broken down into three classifications: indica, sativa and hybrid.  It has another strain named ruderalis but it is not much talked about because it has quite a minimal effect on humans.

These classifications are used to make it easier for people who consume marijuana for its medicinal properties.  Each strain gives a different effect.

The strains from indica cannabis plants induce the feeling of relaxation, the sativa strains cause a cerebral effect on the user or the feeling of being “high on the clouds”, the hybrid strains are the combination of indica and sativa, and promises both euphoria and calmness.

Aside from the effects, the strains are classified according to the habits and patterns related to their growth.  Indica strains tend to be shorter as compared to sativa strains.


Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is cannabis oil, has a number of health benefits, is not psychoactive, hence, does not give a feeling of being “high”.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is psychoactive in nature and gives that euphoric state of being “high”

Cannabinol (CBN). CBN is the result of the oxidation of THC. This happens when THC is exposed to oxygen over time.CBN is known to have a lot of therapeutic properties.  It is said to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, and can be used to fight off insomnia because of its high sedative effect.

Indica and Insomnia

The term “indica” is said to have originated from the Hindu Kush, the mountain range stretching from the country of Afghanistan to Pakistan.

There are many types of Kush strains for indica.  A popular kush is Master Kush, which is constantly a headstrong smoke.  It has round, heavy buds with very dense green leaves.  Its taste is distinctive and easily identifiable.  Apart from its therapeutic effects to chronic pain, this strain is said to make the user sleepy after 2 to 3 hits.

Many patients who already tried indica for sleep claim that this a helpful variant.  There is no chemical finding and DNA testing that provides an explanation why indica is such, but there is a theory that this is because of its terpene content.  Terpene is an aromatic compound contributing to the strain’s special effects.

The terpenes in indica have more relaxing and sedating effects than its sativa counterparts.

How does it work?

Indica strains contain a higher level of the Cannabinoid CBD.  CBD causes from the very minimal up to no psychoactive effect while providing some relief from pain.  It is deduced that indica in itself does not cause the user to feel sleepy, but that the sleepiness comes from the high CBD content of the indica strain.  There is still a level of THC in the strain, so, when the strain is consumed as an edible or smoked, it will still give that “high” feeling albeit not as strong as the sativa strain.

There are hybrids mixing sativa and indica strains, intended to provide relaxation while soothing mild pain.  The somewhat ironic combination of the effect is due to the fact that the hybrid has less CBD and CBN content.

It is important to note that insomnia a very common sleep disorder.  In the United States, about 50 to 70 millions of adults are having a hard time getting a shut-eye.  It is also stated that at some point in their lives, a portion of the population, or 30% is bound to experience insomnia, and that chronic insomnia will affect 10% of adults.

Particular sorts of medical strains available on Pure Green Express  are believed to be helpful for insomniacs.  While sativa gives you the feeling of being recharged, invigorated and refreshed, Indica strains do the opposite and lulls you to sleep.  In comparison, CBN is said to be five times more effective than THC with sedation. Very often indica sleep aid has a quicker effect when it is smoked rather than consuming it as an edible.

Precautionary Measures When Using Indica as a Sleep Aid

Most of people using indica as a sleep aid carefully monitors the times of their intake.  Their effect is often unpredictable, sometimes catching the user unaware.  The initial effect comes within one to two hours but stays longer than that, affecting the body, for as much as 8 to 12 hours.  This causes grogginess and lethargy in the morning.

Although everyone responds differently to indica, it is recommended to take it one hour before your intended bedtime.

People with heart problems or with hypertension are advised to study the strains very well before they smoke, ingest or consume the strain as an edible.  There are instances where heart rates and heartbeats shoot up to levels that may be fatal to the user.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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