Can you get a weed ‘hangover?’
The legalization of weed in multiple states is prompting more and more people to become interested in its after effects, including whether or not it can lead to a “hangover.”
Researchers have studied the health effects of marijuana, but they currently know very little about “weed hangovers.”
In this article, learn more about potential weed hangovers, including some symptoms and possible cures.
Can using marijuana lead to a hangover?
Medical professionals do not yet know if weed causes a hangover, and only a few studies describe weed hangovers. Some suggest that using weed can lead to hangover effects, while others indicate the opposite.
The reported effects of weed use vary widely between studies, and researchers do not know if the participants in these studies used other substances alongside weed. It is also unclear whether or not age or sex can influence the “hangover” effects of using marijuana.
Studies that say it can
In 1985, researchers conducted a studyTrusted Source examining the after effects of smoking marijuana. The study only included 13 males, but it showed that a hangover effect from using weed might exist.
Other research teams continued to study whether or not weed hangovers might exist, as well as what people can expect the morning after using the drug.
One studyTrusted Source showed that smoking weed can lead to daytime fatigue the following day. Another studyTrusted Source suggested that smoking weed can have significant after effects, such as irritability and feeling miserable.
More recent researchTrusted Source analyzed the results of 19 different studies into marijuana use and its negative effects. The researchers found that marijuana had a “medium sized association” with certain negative effects.
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.
Does cannabis cause dehydration?
Many sources claim that cannabis causes dehydration and that this dehydration can lead directly to symptoms of a weed hangover. In fact, some even go so far as to make wildly exaggerated claims that cannabis is more dehydrating than alcohol. However, despite this side effect, there is simply no science to back up the claim.
Ultimately, what many people are mistaking for dehydration is actually dry mouth (aka cottonmouth), and the two are unrelated. Dry mouth, while terribly uncomfortable, is not a result of dehydration, but a lack of saliva.
So why does this happen? As studies show, the cannabinoid THC binds itself to glands in the mouth responsible for producing the majority of saliva, known as submandibular glands. This binding temporarily halts the production of saliva, leading to the dry, uncomfortable sensation most of us have known at one time or another.
However, despite the fact that cannabis may not directly lead to dehydration, it’s worth noting the importance of staying hydrated while smoking—as well as in general. Dehydration can lead to a slew of issues, including ones that medical cannabis may not be able to fully treat without the assistance of hydration.
Although there is no evidence to correlate cannabis directly with dehydration, many of the symptoms of a cannabis hangover may be improved by consuming more water, and generally speaking, it is a good practice to make sure you’re staying hydrated.
How to Conquer a Weed Hangover
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).
If you can, try to take it easy for the rest of the day. With a good night’s rest, you should wake up feeling like yourself again.