For some it’s a well-known fact, while for others, it remains a questionable mystery, but the weed hangover is a more common phenomenon then you may think. Similar to other types of hangovers, a weed hangover is when you experience a range of effects from brain fog to headache after the high from consuming marijuana has worn off.
To get a full understanding of the weed hangover, let’s explore the limited studies that have been conducted and symptoms cannabis consumers have experienced, and dispel some of the common misconceptions passed down from one person to the next.
Despite some debate over their validity, weed hangovers are likely real. While research on the subject is limited, anecdotal reports suggest that smoking marijuana can trigger next-day symptoms in some people.
Despite the similar names, weed hangovers aren’t quite the same as those brought on by alcohol. And for many, weed hangovers tend to be more tolerable than alcohol-related ones.
Common symptoms of a weed hangover include:
- brain fog
- dry eyes and mouth
- mild nausea
Read on for tips on how to deal with these effects and to learn more about the debate within the medical community over whether weed hangovers are indeed a thing.
How do I get rid of it?
A weed hangover will typically go away on its own. There isn’t much you can do for an immediate fix, but these tips can offer relief:
- Stay hydrated. The most important thing you can do before, during, and after weed use is drink enough water. This will help relieve symptoms such as headaches, dry mouth, and dry eyes.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast. Opt for a healthy, balanced breakfast the morning after weed use. Try a small serving of whole-grain carbohydrates along with a lean source of protein and healthy fat.
- Take a shower. A shower can help you to feel refreshed and hydrated the morning after smoking weed. The steam from a hot shower can open your airways.
- Make some ginger tea. Ginger can help with digestive symptoms, such as nausea. Add a bit of grated ginger to hot water with lemon and honey to soothe an upset stomach.
- Drink caffeine. A cup of coffee or caffeinated tea can help you feel more alert.
- Try CBD. Some anecdotal reports suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) can counteract some of the symptoms associated with a weed hangover. Just steer clear of any preparations containing THC.
- Take a pain reliever. For a persistent headache, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Cannabis hangover studies
There is little research when it comes to this topic, which is unsurprising given prohibition’s restrictions on cannabis studies. That said, a few studies do exist that can serve as a jumping off point to coincide with anecdotal reports of weed hangovers.
A cornerstone study was published in 1985. Researchers used a very small sample size of only 13 participants to conduct their experiment. The participants—notably, all men—were given either placebos or joints containing cannabis with 2.9% THC. They were then presented with a number of behavioral tasks after smoking, such as card sorting, free recall, and time production.
The subjects were tested again after a full night’s sleep. Researchers noticed a residual effect in only the cannabis consumers and stated, “the findings suggest that marijuana smoking 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.”
This study’s results were concluded to be significant (P value < 0.05). That said, there is room for critique due to the study’s small sample size and lack of diversity, leaving definite room for improvement.
Another study from 1998 with a similar sample size of 10 participants—again, all men—studied the residual effects of smoking a single joint and found that “residual effects of smoking a single marijuana cigarette are minimal.” While the results of this study were concluded to be significant, once again, it had a very small sample size, lacked diversity in the test subjects, and only looked at the effects of a single joint.
Most anecdotal accounts from consumers who have experienced a weed hangover report much higher consumption rates, particularly when consuming RSO and other potent products such as edibles. While there is some evidence to corroborate the anecdotal accounts of those who have experienced a cannabis-induced hangover, more research is needed to truly understanding the phenomenon.
Studies that say it cannot
One studyTrusted Source showed that participants who smoked marijuana in a controlled setting experienced effects for a few hours, with levels falling after 3.5 hours. The investigators did not notice any effects of marijuana the day after the person used it.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse explain that the noticeable effects of smoking marijuana last around 1–3 hours. These effects may last longer if the person ingests marijuana in the form of edibles.
It is unclear whether or not frequent users have a different experience than infrequent users.
Each of these studies had a different design and used different amounts of the drug. If the negative effects of marijuana use are dose-dependent, this might also partially explain the differing conclusions of each study.
Researchers from the New York Psychiatric Institute studied the dose-dependent effects of marijuana. They noticed a dose-dependent effect on increased heart rate and decreased marijuana cravings in people who smoked weed.
During this studyTrusted Source, the effects on attention, psychomotor function, and recall tasks were not dose-dependent. It is unclear whether or not this is the case when a person takes edible preparations.
Now that most of the United States and many countries around the world have legalized marijuana, researchers have the opportunity to conduct further studies into the potential of weed hangovers.
The effects of marijuana use may linger for hours. If a person smokes or vaporizes the drug, these effects may last between 1 and 3.5 hours.
Ingesting marijuana in the form of edibles causes longer-lasting effects than inhaling it. A person who takes edibles may experience effects for up to 8 hours. These effects may last even longer depending on the amount of marijuana the person used. So, if a person takes an edible at night, they may still feel the drug’s effects the next morning.
Some potential effects of marijuana include:
- dry mouth
- increased sense of happiness
- increased heart rate
- breathing problems
Potential ‘weed hangover’ effects
A study in the journal PainTrusted Source explored people’s perspectives on using marijuana for pain relief. Some reported weed hangovers that caused a foggy feeling in the morning. Some also felt a lack of alertness the day after using marijuana.
Some other potential effects of a weed hangover include:
- dry mouth
- dry eyes
- mild nausea
However, it is important to remember that some people use marijuana and alcohol at the same time. In these situations, it may be difficult to know which substance is responsible for the effects.