Indica vs. Sativa: Which Is Better for Sleep? - Cannabotech CBD Questions & Answers

Indica vs. Sativa: Which Is Better for Sleep?

Learn about the difference between cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, which is better for sleep, and how this applies to CBD products.

Joel Taylor - writer and editor for Cannabotech
By Joel Taylor
Kelli Harris
Edited by Kelli Harris

Updated April 14, 2023.

Indica and sativa are two of three primary strains in the cannabis plant, with the third being a hybrid of the two. There are many differences between them, but the most commonly understood are:

  • Appearance Sativa commonly grows very tall and has long, thin leaves, while indica plants are much shorter and bushier with thicker leaves.
  • Effect Cannabis sativa generally causes an energizing and hyper "head high" due to the higher THC content, while indica causes a full-body sedative effect due to the higher CBD content. As such, indica plants are generally understood to be the best strain for sleep.

It also needs to be understood that this isn't an exact science as everyone reacts differently. Sativa can very well put some people to sleep just as indica might wake others up. A lot of it comes down to personal physiology.

Though these differences specifically apply to cannabis buds, how do they relate to CBD products?

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Do Indica and Sativa Relate to CBD Products?

In short, no. The difference in effect between indica and sativa strains is understood to be due to the different concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana, can vary from around 0.3% of the raw plant to around 25%, where higher concentrations typically denote sativa plants and lower ones denote indica plants.

The reason that this doesn't apply to refined CBD products is that legally, all CBD products in the UK must be extracted from cannabis Sativa L. plants that contain 0.3% THC or less. If CBD products could be identified as a strain, they would all be indica.

Can CBD Benefit Sleep?

Indica strains are chosen over sativa strains when individuals look for a calming and sedative effect that could aid with relaxation, stress, and sleep issues. Seeing as these effects come from the elevated CBD content, it stands to reason that CBD can benefit sleep, and there is supporting evidence to back up this claim.

For more info, read CBD and Functional Mushrooms for Sleep: Benefits, Side Effects, Usage, and More.