Top 5 Terpenes for A Great Night’s Sleep
January 4th, 2023
Written by Zack Ruskin
We all know getting a good night’s rest is essential if one hopes to function properly the following day.
But the chirp of smartphones, jampacked schedules, and a new season of “White Lotus” to binge are just a few of the reasons you may be sorely in need of a few extra winks.
It’s becoming a widespread issue, too. Only last month, CNN reported on a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which found “nearly half” of all American adults are currently suffering from some degree of sleep deprivation. Thankfully, those who live in state-legal markets may be able to find relief in the form of cannabis products specifically geared to get you a better night’s rest.
What makes a given cannabis product especially helpful when it comes to battling insomnia? The answer is that any number of factors may be involved. From the
inclusion of minor cannabinoids with sleep-promoting properties (such as CBN) to the incorporation of non-cannabis elements like chamomile or lavender, the secret sauce of sleep products also involves which terpenes get top billing.
As a reminder, terpenes are the fundamental building blocks of the entire cannabis experience. Practically speaking, they can be found on all manner of flowers and herbs, where they serve as aromatic compounds that not only determine a given cannabis strain’s flavor and scent but, across the natural world, also often aid their host plants by repelling predators and attracting pollinators as well.
Another incredible element to terpenes is that we’ve begun to determine which terps can be most beneficial for certain needs. When it comes to sleep, Glass House Farms reaches for products featuring one of the five highlighted terpenes below. Scroll on to learn more about each one and what makes these terpenes as promising as the cool side of the pillow.
Bedtime and spicy things aren’t always a winning combination, but in the case of
caryophyllene, a worthy exception can be made. A terpene central to numerous herbs like black pepper, basil, and oregano, the beneficial properties associated with caryophyllene include pain relief and stress reduction. Packed into a potent strain like Glass House Farms’ Cherry AK or GG4. and you’ve got a tasty, effective recipe for some sound sleep. In the case of Cherry AK, notes of sweet pine and mint headline a caryophyllene-rich strain that works well as a daytime delight but can also double as a sleep-aid in a pinch.
Sometimes testing for terpinolene can feel like searching for Waldo. Jokingly known as an “uncommon” common terpene, terpinolene is a unique specimen within the terpene world is both often found only in trace amounts and less easy to characterize than some of its kin. For example, the link between pine needles and pinene (more below) is unmistakable. Terpinolene, meanwhile, offers a diverse bouquet of flavors and aromas. While serving a crucial role in shaping the taste and smell of numerous strains, its appeal as a sleep-aid comes from its notable sedative properties. For a hearty dose of terpinolene, try Glass House Farms’ Lilac Diesel, crafted from a lineage of Silver Lemon Haze x Forbidden Fruit crossed with New York Cherry Pie x Citral Glue.
If terpinolene can be a little shy at times, there’s no such issue for myrcene, which is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. Both sweet and spicy, myrcene is a flavor reminiscent of mangos or cardamom and is also a key ingredient for many beer brewers as well. Furthermore, myrcene has long been used in folk medicine circles as a treatment for insomnia. From Mexico to Germany, myrcene-rich teas and hops are concocted for their effectiveness as a natural sedative. Bring the calm home with you by trying some of Glass House Farms’ OG Kush or Tangelo Flow — both with lots of myrcene to get you dreaming happy and fast!
If you ever need to remember linalool, just think lavender! Popular in both cannabis and in the world of aromatherapy, linalool is the terpene responsible for the signature lavender scent you know and love. Beyond its soothing allure when used in a candle or in a diffuser, linalool can also make for a wonderful prelude to a great night’s sleep! Offering sedative properties as well as possible relief from anxiety, depression, and stress, linalool is a big favorite for customers as well. Within the Glass House Farms strains library, two options for getting your linalool on include the terpene bonanza now known as R*ntz and the always-fun-to-say-aloud Pavlova Meringue.
Saving the best for last? We’re not sure we can pick a favorite but it’s simply a fact that it’s (mostly) impossible to spell terpene without pinene. Beloved for its aroma, which connotes fresh pine needles, pinene is a common terpene that’s still undoubtedly very special. The reason? It’s reputed benefits as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, to name but a few! Another, as you may have guessed, is its value in the realm of sleep. For example, in 2016, a major study found that pine tree oil could enhance non-rapid eye movement sleep in mice. Pivoting back to the world of cannabis, Glass House Farms is here to set you on a course for pinene success. Top recommendations from our strain library include Blue Dolphin, Cereal Milk, and our CBD-rich Jelly Fish!
Zack is a freelance cannabis and culture reporter. He served as San Francisco Weekly's "Pacific Highs" columnist for six years, covering local equity programs, Bay Area cannabis news, and interviewing everyone from Willie Nelson to Rep. Barbara Lee. His other bylines include the San Francisco Chronicle, Leafly, California Leaf Magazine, The Nib, Vanity Fair, KQED, and Variety. Follow him on Twitter: @zackruskin.