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We’ve all been there. Binge drinking with our college friends, sniffing something that shouldn’t be sniffed, putting alcohol or any sort of foreign drug into our body—these are all examples of behavior that can and will most likely lead to a massive hangover. Hangovers can last hours and sometimes even days depending on what substance you put into your body, but does this include cannabis too?
Cannabis is a type of flower, or “drug” as others may refer to, that many people use for both medicinal and recreational purposes. After smoking weed, users usually assume that once the high dissipates, they go back to a normal state of mind and being. Others have experiences dealing with cannabis hangovers with symptoms ranging from brain fog to nausea. With diverse cases of users experiencing both, one must ask themselves, can you get a weed hangover?
Before jumping to conclusions, it is important to grasp a full understanding of a weed-induced hangover.
Let’s start with the basics and first examine the studies that have been conducted based on users that have experienced these hangover symptoms versus those who have not, answering the question if whether or not you can get a weed hangover.
One would imagine that research on cannabis—let alone cannabis induced hangovers—would be very limited due to its taboo status. The minor amount of studies that have been done, though, resulted in the conclusion that smoking weed does in fact cause hangovers.
The first recorded and arguably most famous study occurred in 1985 by the National Institute of Health. Researchers performed a case study on thirteen male cannabis users. Half the participants were given a placebo and the other half were given a marijuana cigarette. After a heavy smoke session, all participants were asked to perform multiple tasks and then retreat home for some sleep.
It was recorded that those who smoked the marijuana cigarette woke up the next morning with a residual effect due to the THC. The side effects from the hangover included dry mouth, headaches, and slower movements resulting in the conclusion that, yes, cannabis hangovers do exist; however, they are very minor and non-threatening.
In a similar study from 1998, researchers gathered a sample size of ten males and studied the residual effects of smoking cannabis. They found that, “residual effects of smoking a single marijuana cigarette are minimal.” Weed hangovers are nothing to be afraid of, but they can become a nuisance. Depending on the intensity of the potent compound, you are either going to have a good night’s sleep, waking up feeling brand new, or you will be hit with the uneasy side effects of a weed hangover.
Based off of personal experience, I would vouch for the conclusion that weed-induced hangovers definitely exist. Most people who have had similar experiences report higher consumption rates (munchies), fatigue, headaches, and the like. With studies reaching specific conclusions and drawing from other anecdotal accounts, we begin to ask ourselves, what exactly are the symptoms of a weed hangover?
Smoking the night before a big interview or long day may not be the best idea. One of the side effects of smoking weed is developing a slower perception of time. Smoking weed long-term is proven to harm your short-term memory, which leaves you in a “fog.”
The feeling of brain fog is grogginess, being unable to focus, and basically in a daze. Sometimes it is very difficult to break out of it and will lead into the next day. If you are ever stuck in a state of brain fog, you can try multiple things to escape it. Drink water, take a cold shower or eat healthy foods. You need the vitamins and nutrients to replenish your body. Don't worry, it's not the end of the world!
Although dehydration is not directly linked to THC, we must acknowledge that dehydration often occurs after ingesting the cannabinoids in THC creating “cotton mouth.” The potent compounds of cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBN) stick onto our glands that produce saliva, therefore temporarily stopping the production of saliva. Next time you decide to get stoned, do your future self a favor and leave a glass of water by your bed.
We are made up of about 60%–70% water so we should make it a habit of replenishing ourselves. Staying hydrated is one of the most integral aspects to curing any hangover. Smoking weed can lead to dehydration, and dehydration affects your brain functions. They go hand-in-hand. Instead of ordering that cup of coffee, get a nice tall glass of water instead.
You probably could have guessed this one. If you smoke an absurd amount of weed before bed, chances are you will wake up with a headache. Headaches are due to dehydration and smoking weed usually results in users drinking less water and thus, dehydration. See the link?
There is a simple way to avoid this—drink a lot of water! That means between bong tokes, after you eat, and before you go to bed. Not only will it cure your cotton mouth, but it will help you feel like a normal person again.
Dry Eyes (Red Eyes)
It all goes back to not drinking enough water. That big smoke session that you just had will keep you dried out until you hydrate yourself. Weed-induced dehydration is the main contributor to these side-effects.
The smoke can enter your eyes, leaving them dry and irritated, and sometimes eye drops don’t cut it. Even if it’s a little bit of weed, you can still feel this effect. To avoid this side effect, always drink water.
This is one of the less common side effects, but it can still occur. Waking up nauseous is an unpleasant way to begin your day. If you do experience this side effect, take a cold shower and drink water to hydrate yourself and wake up your body. If worse comes to worse, opt for an anti-nausea medication and relax, because this too shall pass.
The next time someone asks, “can you get a weed hangover?” be sure to not only tell them yes but to also educate them. Help the cannabis community learn more about their health when it comes to smoking weed because a healthy stoner is a happy stoner.