Cannabis Science

Does Sativa Make You Sleepy?

woman sleeping on couch

It’s no secret that sleep and cannabis go hand in hand. Some stoners can’t go to sleep without hitting their bong while others reach for their blunt when they have the occasional bout of insomnia. If you’re looking for a particular strain for sleep, chances are you’re trying to pick between Sativa and Indica. So, does Sativa make you sleepy? Here’s what we know. 

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Can Sativa Make You Sleepy?

While everybody reacts to weed differently, the general consensus is that Sativa will not make you sleepy. 

As a matter of fact, Sativa strains are more likely to do the opposite. There is a reason why Sativa strains are better for daytime usage. They typically give stoners a boost in energy. 

However, as we alluded to before, it’s not impossible for you to feel sleepy if you reach for a Sativa strain. There are a couple of reasons for that.

First of all, the term “Sativa” and “Indica” is not always a great indicator of the effects the weed will have on you. 

That’s because strains don’t always paint the full picture. 

Healthline says, “Individual plants produce varying effects, even among the same type of cannabis. It all depends on the plant’s chemical composition and the growing technique used.”

They also continue by saying, “Instead of looking at the type alone — sativa or indica — look at the description the grower and dispensary provide.”

Therefore, if you find weed marked Sativa that has you reaching for your pillow and blanket, it may be that individual plant’s chemical makeup. For example, maybe your Sativa strain was high in CBD and linalool.

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According to a 2022 study, CBD in higher doses has sedating effects. 

In addition to that, linalool, a terpene in weed, is known for its sedating effects.

Secondly, drowsiness is a side effect of THC.

Finally, a reason why Sativa may make you feel sleepy is that that’s just how your body reacts to it. Weed is not only considered a stimulant but also a depressant and a hallucinogen. There are people who don’t ever feel stimulated by weed, while others have never felt its hallucinogenic effects. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you!

Will Sativa Keep You Awake?

It’s pretty likely that Sativa and not Indica will keep you awake which is why it’s usually recommended for daytime use. 

According to Medithrive, “Sativa, as opposed to indica, is more strongly tied to triggering the release of dopamine, offering a euphoric-like kick that one might associate with feeling energized.”

Whether or not you can skip your morning cup of coffee really depends on how cannabis affects your body and what you have to do that day.

If you’re planning on operating machineries, such as a car, using a Sativa strain for energy may not be such a great idea. While it may feel totally doable to drive around high it’s actually dangerous. 

According to the New York Times, even though there is limited information on marijuana and driving performance, it’s not recommended to drive high. 

Dr. Collin Reiff, a psychiatrist at NYU Langone Health, told the New York Times that paranoia, which is sometimes experienced by stoners, could cause a panic attack while you’re behind the wheel. 

In addition to that, the New York Times article mentions that cannabis use can blur the lines between what is safe and what’s not. 

Finally, a 2007 study mentioned that stoned drivers were 1.83 times more likely to get into a fatal crash than people who were sober.

So, what does all of this mean? Well, while Sativa may be able to keep you awake, it’s best to pass on it if you’re going on a road trip and leave it for when you need the energy to clean your house. In addition, there is always a chance that the Sativa strain you received doesn’t keep you awake. 

Cannabis Strains for Insomnia

If you’re having difficulty sleeping and need a strain to deal with your insomnia, you have many options. 

However, before we get into the strains, remember that your insomnia may be a side effect of a larger issue and so weed may only be solving the symptom and not the problem. The good news is weed can be great making you sleepy. 

According to the 2022 study we mentioned previously, “Overall, cannabis may have a short-term benefit on improving sleep time, where evidence has shown reductions in sleep onset latency.”

To clarify, sleep latency is the time it takes for someone to fall asleep. 

Anyway, here are some cannabis strains you can opt for if you want to be sleepy, according to Healthline:

  • Grandaddy Purple
  • Hindu Kush
  • Grape Ape
  • Harlequin
  • Pink Kush
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • ACDC
  • Sherbert
  • Gelato
  • Wedding Cake 

Interestingly, most of these strains are pretty low in CBD but still promise to have you asleep. 

Takeaway

Does Sativa make you sleepy? It’s unlikely but not impossible. Most stoners reach for a Sativa strain if they want energy and not when they want to head to bed. As a matter of fact, this strain is best used in the daytime. At the same time, due to the inconsistencies in classification and people’s individual reactions to weed, Sativa could technically make you sleepy. However, if insomnia is your problem, we recommend reaching for Indica at your local dispensary instead. 

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About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].