For some cannabis users having a weed, a hangover is a well-known fact while for some it’s a still a mystery waiting to be answered. A weed hangover is a common phenomenon not really perceived as serious stuff by most people especially non-users. The range of effects can be from typical brain fog to a headache.
In order for us to fully grasp what really is a weed hangover, we should explore the studies that have been conducted and the known symptoms some users have experienced. By doing so, we’ll be able to disregard common misconceptions that might get passed down from one consumer to the next.
Weed Hangover Studies
Admittedly, only very limited research has been done regarding this topic. This doesn’t seem as surprising since we all know that cannabis use is not yet authorized in some states and areas. Having said that, there is also limited information that will serve as a reference for weed hangovers.
A study that was published in 1985 is probably the most famous research that tackles weed hangovers. They used a very small sample size of 13 participants only. These participants were notably all men and were given either placebos or joints that contain cannabis with 2.9% THC. After this, they were given behavioral tasks like card sorting, free recall, and time production.
The participants were again testes after a full night’s sleep. The researchers noticed that those who took cannabis has had a residual effect thus they have stated “the findings suggest smoking marijuana can produce residual (hangover) effects the day after smoking. The precise nature and extent of these effects as well as their practical implications, remain to be determined.”
The results of this study proved to be significant, however, there is still room for improvement as there are certain factors that could have been changed. These factors can be the participant’s sample size and lack of diversity definitely plays a crucial part to improve the study.
While a study from 1998 with a similarly small sample size of 10 and all-male participants have reported that smoking a single joint made minimal residual effects. This study also proved to be significant but with the small participant size and also lack of diversity leaves a big room for improvement.
It should be noted that users that have experienced a weed hangover have reported having a high weed consumption rate. They have consumed weed in potent ways such as edibles.
Cannabis Products that cause Hangovers
As the research above has mentioned, a weed hangover is most commonly associated with overconsumption. However, we have to remember that cannabis is such a unique plant and it can affect each person in different ways and depending on the strain, tolerance, THC content, and body chemistry. Always keep in mind that what is considered mild for one person may give a severe effect on others. That’s why veteran cannabis users have always used “start low and go slow”.
Also as stated above, many who have experienced a hangover symptoms reports that they have consumed edibles or extracts. For traditional consumption methods such as smoking, the weed hangover is far less common.
This may be because edibles are easier to consume compared to smoking cannabis. Some users may find their symptoms as a result of waking up with a long-lasting high since the edibles take a slower rate to metabolize in the body.
Can Cannabis Cause Dehydration?
A lot of resources report that cannabis can directly cause dehydration and this dehydration can also directly lead to the symptoms of a weed hangover. But a lot of people have mistaken dehydration with dry mouth also called cottonmouth and these two are completely unrelated to each other. Dry mouth is extremely uncomfortable and it’s not a result of dehydration. An individual will have dry mouth if he lacks saliva.
This happens by the cannabinoid THC binds itself to the glands in the mouth responsible for producing the majority of the saliva. This binding process temporarily stops the production of saliva thus leading to a dry, uncomfortable sensation that most of us have experienced one time or another.
Although cannabis consumption will not directly lead to dehydration, it’s important to keep in mind that staying hydrated while smoking is an essential part of the whole smoking process. Dehydration can lead to a few issues and these include medical issues that even medical cannabis may not be able to treat without having the help of proper hydration.
Weed Hangover Symptoms
The reported symptoms of a weed hangover include dry eyes, brain fog, nausea, headache, and fatigue. Since we only have limited studies to serve as our references, we will need to take into account the cannabis user’s reports on what they have experienced a day after smoking weed.
The following are the common symptoms that have been reported by weed users when they have experience weed hangover. We have added additional tips so you know what to do when you’re having hangover symptoms.
Brain Fog and Fatigue
This is the experience you get upon waking up and you feel groggy, unfocused and in a daze thus you might be very familiar with brain fog. When you have this symptom, it can be very difficult to start your day. While having brain fog is incredibly unpleasant and may be hard to get out of.
Here are some of the things that you can do to spark your energy once again. These may not help in completely getting rid of your brain fog and fatigue symptoms but this will surely help you get through the day comfortably.
- Start to Get Moving. When you stare at a screen all day long, this will surely not help in making you feel better. Try starting your day with a brisk walk to jumpstart your energy.
- Take a Cool Shower. Make sure that you use cold water since this will surely wake up your senses. If you take a warm bath, you might end up sleeping while in a bathtub or you might opt to sleep the whole day through.
- Try Adjusting Your Eating Habits. Always ensure that you pack up on healthy food and stay hydrated throughout the day. This way you are assured that your body is nourished and you will not feel weak.
- You can use a stimulant. If you feel like you need an extra boost, you can use a stimulant like caffeine to help in kickstarting your brain.
One of the famous weed hangover symptoms is a headache and a lot of weed users have experienced this. They attribute this to dehydration but just like what we have mentioned earlier, there’s no concrete evidence to support this claim.
However, its also possible that a cannabis user may have forgotten to stay hydrated while consuming large amounts of cannabis. This may result in not consuming enough water in the evening before going to bed thus waking up the user may feel a headache creeping in.
Here are some ways to treat your headache after cannabis consumption.
- Temple massages
- Cold compresses
- You can use over-the-counter medication like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen just make sure to follow dosing instructions
Cannabis users have reported experiencing nausea while on a weed hangover. Although this may be less common than the other symptoms having nausea can be extremely unpleasant still. If you have experienced feeling nauseous upon waking up, you just need to take it easy as the feeling will eventually go away.
For those who have severe cases of nausea, it’s best to stay hydrated and eat gentle, mild foods. Another option is to take anti-nausea medication after a consultation with a physician.
One obvious effect of a weed hangover is having the signature red eyes. This is because THC causes dilation in ocular capillaries thus the flow of the blood going to the eyes increases. Most cannabis users will experience this for a short period of time, but if you happen to wake up with dry eyes, you can use rewetting drops to soothe the redness and eventually restore moisture.
Preventing Weed Hangover
The only sure way to avoid getting a weed hangover is by avoiding cannabis completely. However, there are still plenty of ways to ensure that your hangover is not as severe.
Avoid Smoking Weed Before your Big Day
If you’re a cannabis user who tends to get weed hangovers easily, you might want to avoid using cannabis the night before an important activity. These may include exams or stressful days at work.
Have Rest Days
If you can have rest days in between you cannabis consumption, do so. If you continuously use wee, this also increases your tolerance in weed thus might eventually trigger withdrawal symptoms in the morning.
Limit your Cannabis Consumption
More likely, you will experience a weed hangover if you have overconsumed. You need to have a note on the appropriate quantity that you should be smoking before you get high and make sure that you stick with that.
Consume low-THC Marijuana
You should be aware that THC is the active ingredient in cannabis and it’s worth a try to consume low-THC strains to see if they will be of help in preventing morning-after symptoms.
Be Cautious when trying new cannabis strains
As we have mentioned earlier, each strain has different effects on people. You might notice that you have different reactions to weed based on the dose, concentration, and method of delivery. When you’re trying a new cannabis strain, always start with a low dose.
Never mix cannabis with other substances
Your weed hangover might worsen if you smoke weed while drinking or using other drugs. Always make sure that you’re only focused on one substance as mixing them might give you negative chemical reactions.
Know the effects of combining weed and your medical prescription (if you have any)
If you’re taking other medical prescription, you might want to ask your healthcare provider how will it interact with weed so you can be aware of how it will make you feel in the future.
Observe Yourself Always
Once you notice that you have weed hangover signs, act immediately before they worsen. You can also take note of how you felt with every cannabis strain you have consumed to ensure that you will not experience severe effects again.