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Millions suffer from insomnia. Medical cannabis can help.
Tossing and turning in bed at 2 a.m., when you have to wake up at 6, is torture. Every minute brings dawn a little closer—and leaves you with less shut-eye. Extend this pain over several weeks, or months, and that’s how it feels to be an insomniac.
It’s estimated that some 35 million adults in the United States suffer from long-term insomnia. Another 20 million to 30 million experience a form of short-term sleeplessness. The afflicted use a variety of meds to fight off nights of unrest—Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata—but a dependence on these meds can have icky side effects, including headaches, dry mouth, diarrhea, uncontrollable shaking and drowsiness, not to mention kidney and liver problems.
Insomnia is real—and medical cannabis may be able to help.
Of the two main cannabis strains, indica is suggested for insomniacs. Whereas sativas are more useful for people looking to remain functional, indicas can work as a sedative. But not all indicas work for insomnia. For anybody in need of a good night’s rest, here’s some locally available indica strains to help you catch some Zs.
Midtown dispensary Delta Health & Wellness (2418 17th Street) recommends Purple Urkle for insomniacs. This heavy-for-its-size bud is known for its vibrant purple hues and tangerine hairs. The helpful budtenders at Delta also said that “purple” anything is most likely a strain of indica—still, be sure to ask first—and therefore a good go-to for people seeking sleep.
MediZen (2201 Northgate Boulevard, Suite H) said its best offering for insomniacs would be its Platinum Kush. “Kush” is another signifier for indica in weed vernacular, referring to the region in the Middle East where the plant was first harvested. Platinum Kush lacks the purple undertones of Purple Urkle but is another dense bud sporting a dry green look with a few orange threads.
Alternative Medical Center (1401 El Camino Boulevard, Suite 200) recommends its Afgoo strain, which boasts a musty pine scent and swamp-moss look. The powerful indica strain is said to create equal amounts of euphoria and couch potato-ness and is a sure thing for a good rest.
Taking a step away from the purples, kushes and goos, The Reserve (1958 Fulton Avenue) said The Queen is its best sleep aid. The indica bud is earthy in tone and has a frosty sheen of crystals covering it. This royal strain is lauded for containing 22.1 percent cannabidiol, which is the chemical compound said to grant the body buzz that zonks patients to sleep.
Horizon Non-Profit Collective (3600 Power Inn Road, Suite 1A) directs patients to its Grand Daddy Purple as an insomnia extinguisher. The army-green bud, strewn with burnt orange hairs, dispenses a gentle body buzz that eases a person to sleep, as opposed to knocking them out. It has a berry-grape flavor that will leave a sweet taste in your mouth while you prepare for dreams.
Green Harmony Collective (2853 Bradshaw Road) offers a kush hybrid that’s unique enough to garner its own reputation among the kush family: Bubba Kush. Derived from crossing the strong indica kush with the indica/sativa hybrid Bubble Gum, Bubba Kush gives a sweet taste followed by a downward-moving buzz that will transport you to a dreamscape in no time.
If you are up late in Sacramento but not out having fun, then the city’s local collectives and dispensaries can help. The rule of thumb of selecting indicas with the words “purple,” “kush” or “goo” in their name is a good start to a better night’s rest. But if all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask your budtender for help. After all, that’s what they’re there for.