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How to Shop for Relaxing or Sedating Cannabis Products

Instead of asking for the “best Indica strains for sleep,” shop for cannabis products with the following terpenes.

Yes, we know it’s common for people to recommend cannabis products based on their Indica/Sativa label. We also recognize that many people shop using these labels…but there’s a much better way to shop for cannabis products.

The more research we do on various cannabis compounds, the more we understand how these compounds interact with us and influence the overall cannabis experience. For example, research has shown that terms like “Indica” and “Sativa” aren’t good indicators of effects. So, if you’re asking for the “best Indica strains for sleep” or “best Indica strains for relaxing,” you’re not asking the right questions.

In order to purchase cannabis products that promote sedation or relaxation, you need to ask for products that contain specific terpenes and terpene profiles. Read on and learn more about why outdated labels make it harder to find the right cannabis products plus which terpenes you’ll find in relaxing and/or sedating products.

Reading Time - 6 MIN

Why You Should Stop Asking for the “Best Indica Strains for Sleep”

Indica and Sativa have long been used as umbrella terms to distinguish between cannabis products that sedate and those that are more stimulating. As more states have legalized cannabis, these terms have been used to help new cannabis shoppers learn which products they may prefer. The issue is that these terms don’t actually have anything to do with cannabis effects.

Technically, the most accurate use of these terms is when they’re used to describe plant biology and structure. Cannabis plants that are short with thick stems and darker leaves are generally considered Indica, while tall plants with narrow more vibrant leaves are usually categorized as Sativa. 

Are Indica strains relaxing and sedating? Some of them are…but not all. The same is true for Sativa plants. Sure, some of them are mentally stimulating, but it’s not accurate to say they all fit neatly into these categories. If you’ve ever experienced couch-lock after purchasing a Sativa-labeled product in the hopes that it would help you tackle your to-do list, you know exactly what we mean.

To avoid purchasing products that don’t fit your needs and/or expectations, the most effective way to shop is by looking for products that contain specific terpenes or terpene profiles. Terpenes are the natural hydrocarbons produced by most plants, including cannabis. These compounds are responsible for a plant’s unique flavor, aroma, and effects. 

 Northern Lights Terpene Profile | Abstrax Tech



Ask for Strains with THESE Dominant Terpenes

Every plant has a unique ratio of terpenes that dictates its aroma, flavor, and effects. Lavender, for example, includes many terpene isolates. It’s that unique ratio that’s important though. While you can find those exact terpenes in other plants, they won’t smell or feel like lavender unless they have the exact same ratio. 

So, before looking for specific strains, it’s important to know which terpenes will most effectively promote effects like relaxation and sedation.

Myrcene, for example, has a fruity, clove-like aroma, and research has shown it may improve the length of time that people can stay asleep. In one study, myrcene increased sleep duration roughly 2.6 times in mice.

Another terpene isolate that can contribute to relaxation and/or sedation is Terpinolene. Found in tea tree, lilac, cumin, nutmeg, and apples, studies have shown that this terpene may have powerful sedative effects. A study by the Journal of Natural Medicines found that when mice inhaled terpinolene, even mice with olfactory impairments, they experienced sedative effects. 

Linalool is another particularly relaxing terpene. If you’ve ever found the scent of lavender soothing, then it’s likely you already have experience with it! Found in plants like lavender, basil, and hops, research has shown that Linalool can reduce locomotor activity which can help the body relax.

Cannabis strains that are dominant in these terpenes are more likely to have sedating and/or relaxing effects. Just remember that the other terpenes will play an important role. Terpene profiles, like the ones below, include many terpenes that work together to more powerfully promote sedation.

Master Kush Terpene Profile | Abstrax Tech



Terpene Profiles to Promote Relaxation and Sedation

A Terpinolene-dominant profile like Northern Lights is often a popular choice. The sedative qualities of Terpinolene and Myrcene combine with the uplifting effects of isolates like Limonene for body relaxation and an uplifting mental state.

Master Kush, on the other hand, has a Myrcene-dominant terpene profile that benefits from other isolates like Pinene and beta-Caryophyllene. In one study, the latter was shown to reduce anxiety behaviors. That, combined with the other terpenes in this profile, may contribute to the relaxation properties of Master Kush.

With a decent amount of both Myrcene and Linalool, the Fire OG terpene profile promotes effects that are potent and long-lasting. The initial effects are often described as uplifting and euphoric, but the sedative effects will slowly take over and lead to relaxation and couch lock.

 Relaxed AI Terp Effects | Abstrax Tech



Shop for Cannabis Products with Terpene Science

When you know the science behind different effects, it’s so much easier to find products that fit your needs. We admit that this information isn’t always easy to come by since the cannabis industry still has a bit of catching up to do. That’s why we encourage brands to advertise the terpene content of their products, and we urge consumers to do their homework.

That’s also why we’ve developed our AI Terp Effects. With our state-of-the-art research and manufacturing capabilities, along with budboard's proprietary machine learning R&D software, we've created terpene blends specially formulated and optimized to deliver specific effects based on over one million data points.

This is just the beginning. We hope you’re excited to keep learning about cannabis and terpene science. Be sure to follow us for all the latest news and updates.

Read Next → Inaccurate Names and Labels Are Hurting The Cannabis Industry


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