There are three (3) strains that I use for insomnia caused by fibromyalgia pain: Vanilla Kush x Durban Poison, Grape Ape, and White Russian.
I need to be clear: Vanilla Kush x Durban Poison — at least in this specific instance — is actually two strains of flower that I mixed together at home. If there is an actual strain that is the cross breed of these two flowers, I do not know what it is called. However, if it doesn’t yet exist, I really hope that changes soon!
This strain combination is incredible for my fibro pain. Together, they create a strong sedated feeling in the body without the drunk-feeling often associated with muscle relaxers. I hate that feeling. I don’t drink because I don’t like the way it feels to be drunk; I don’t want to feel drunk when I’m trying to relax. Vanilla Kush, the Indica in this strain combination, is the cause for sedation.
Vanilla Kush x Durban Poison not only sedates me, it also relaxes all of the pain and tension in my body. That is because Durban Poison helps treat stress, depression, pain, and headaches. If you’re not familiar with all of the medical research about depression, it’s important for you to know that there is a lot of research that shows a connection between depression and inflammation in the body; primarily in the brain. Fibromyalgia also causes a lot of inflammation. Durban Poison not only relaxes the muscles, I believe it might actually help with inflammation. That is most likely because it contains the pinene terpene. Pinene is also associated with reducing inflammation; most often in the lungs.
You can do a quick Google search to see the associations of depression and inflammation. I got all of my terpene and strain information directly from Leafly.com.
Grape Ape, on the other hand, reminds me more of when I had to take codeine as a kid. I have asthma, so my chest colds (or any other cough-related illnesses) were wicked. My doctors gave me codeine to knock me out so that I could actually get some sleep and fight off the sickness. That’s the same reason I smoke Grape Ape.
I first started smoking Grape Ape, an Indica strain, to help with the insomnia associated with my ADHD. But once I got my ADHD under control, and I started dealing with chronic pain more often, I realized that Grape Ape could also help with my pain-induced insomnia. Sometimes, I don’t want to feel my body relax muscle-by-muscle. I just want to sleep. Usually, that’s because I have a busy or stressful day ahead of me and I just need to sleep. Unlike codeine, however, I would wake up from a Grape Ape sleep feeling well-rested. There were times I still felt groggy, but that was usually because of the short duration of my sleep rather than having a cannabis hangover.
Finally, White Russian. I started smoking this strain about two weeks before I started combining Vanilla Kush and Durban Poison. I like this strain because it really serves two purposes for me: putting me to sleep or, oddly, combating writer’s block. White Russian, a Hybrid strain, is great for my writer’s block because it’s almost always caused by imposter syndrome. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically an irrational fear (or anxiety) about being found out as a fraud despite sufficient evidence to prove otherwise. I wouldn’t be writing for RealFunctional.com if they weren’t sure of my writing. But that doesn’t mean I always feel like I didn’t somehow sneak into this opportunity; which is how I felt today.
So, before I started writing this article, I smoked a bowl of White Russian and got to work. I just started writing. Throughout the process, I’ve felt the muscles in my body begin to release tension. I’m not nitpicking at myself as I write and I’m allowing the writing process to guide me. At night, when my pain is caused by stress, I smoke White Russian before bed. It makes my mind a gentler place, and then I start to relax and drift into a peaceful sleep.