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Marijuana Hangovers | Causes, Symptoms & Prevention Methods

Thursday June 08, 2023
woman sitting on the couch having a marijuana hangover

The word hangover refers to a set of symptoms one incurs from drinking an excess of alcohol. But there’s a new kid on the block these days, the marijuana hangover. While this writer is fortunate enough to have never experienced a weed hangover we know a lot of you have been wondering, “Does marijuana give you a hangover?” Well, the answer is yes…and no. Whether or not you’ll get hungover from weed is different for everyone.

For some people, they don’t have a pleasant experience the next day after they consume weed, with symptoms such as “fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, dry eyes and mouth, headaches, mild nausea”. 

Because the few studies that have been done on marijuana hangovers have been on small groups of under 15 people, the data is limited, but does show that some folks do report experiencing them.

What Causes Marijuana Hangovers? 

There is not a lot of scientific evidence on weed hangovers, but some anecdotal evidence is out there that shows they are a reality for some people. So, what causes a marijuana hangover? It is possible that those new to cannabis, or those trying a new method of consuming cannabis, could be more susceptible to marijuana hangovers.

For example, if someone who typically smokes cannabis tries edibles for the first time, or a heavier dose of edibles than usual – that could produce a marijuana hangover, or a feeling of tiredness upon waking up, almost feeling like one is still high. If someone has never tried dabbing, that could produce such an intense high that someone may feel like they’ve got a hangover when they wake up the next day. 

And as much as some of us would like to deny that anyone could have a bad time after smoking a joint or eating an edible, there are lots of people that experience negative side effects from consuming cannabis.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, “Some of the most common side effects are dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, light-headedness, drowsiness, and nausea.” That doesn’t necessarily sound fun to me. And if consuming cannabis made me feel like that 1. I wouldn’t do it and 2. I’d expect some kind of hangover the next day for sure.

So what causes the hangover is unclear, but what is clear is that adults have the right to make themselves sick with legal substances and no one is going to get mad at you if you do. You’ve got to be the grown up that asks yourself the same question you ask yourself when it comes to consuming alcohol…

Is it worth the potential marijuana hangover in the morning? If the answer is yes, by all means, move forward. Otherwise, maybe pause the drinking or pot consumption and think on it a bit more before diving in.

Marijuana Hangover Symptoms

A weed hangover can feel like all sorts of things from feeling sick to your stomach to just wanting to stay in bed all day. Some people even feel dizzy upon standing up and trying to move around. Here is a list of common symptoms you may be experiencing from a weed hangover: 

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Brain fog
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Headaches
  • Mild nausea

Getting a headache after weed consumption is commonly reported among those who experience weed hangover symptoms. Sadly, because any scientific evidence about marijuana hangovers is outdated at this point it is hard to say just how long these symptoms can last or how to know when your symptoms are less normal and more something you should see a doctor about.

Another commonly reported symptom is feeling nausea upon waking up. This can sometimes be attributed to mixing substances, as marijuana and drinking alcohol can easily go hand and hand and produce effects on your body you just weren’t aware could happen.

Studies have even shown that smoking cannabis after drinking can cause you to feel LESS drunk, thus potentially leading you to drink more than you would if you had not smoked cannabis.

How to Get Relief from a Marijuana Hangover

Knowing how to cure a weed hangover can mean the difference between getting up and going into work and calling in sick. Never fear, I know you need to get paid, so here are a few marijuana hangover remedies to use next time you find yourself in need of a weed hangover cure.

Get Some Sleep

individual sleeping on the couch from a hangover

Pretty self explanatory – get some rest. Your body wants to sleep, so let it. Maybe you need it more than you realized. Any healing your body needs to do gets done while you rest, so close those peepers and relax until you feel better.

Have Something Simple and Healthy to Eat

You won’t want to eat anything heavy, especially if one of the symptoms you have is feeling sick to your stomach. Opt for something healthy and light – some toast, an egg, some fruit, items low in sugar so you don’t also experience a sugar rush on top of everything else. 

Drink Plenty of Water

women drinking water

Staying hydrated is so important and 47% of the population of the United States isn’t drinking the amount of water they need to be. If you’re smoking weed and drinking sodas or alcohol you are dehydrating yourself even more than you are, especially if you’re part of that 47% of the population. Give your body a better chance of a timely recovery and drink plenty of H2O.

Avoid Alcohol

This goes without saying, but here we are. If you feel sick, do not drink alcohol. Your body needs to replenish its resources and alcohol will only further deplete them. If you find yourself reaching for some alcohol, slap that hand and go eat an apple instead.

Move Your Body

individuals running on a bridge

If you aren’t feeling dizzy and moving around doesn’t make you feel nauseous, get outside, breathe some fresh air, and soak up that sunshine – you could use some vitamin D. And if all that didn’t help hopefully you’ve distracted yourself enough at this point with outdoor adventures to have surpassed your symptoms altogether.

Take a Cold Shower

There is nothing quite like shocking your nervous system with an ice cold shower. Don’t do this if you’re feeling dizzy, but otherwise – join the cold plunge trend as best you can in your bathtub or shower and let some cold cold water wake you TF up.

Take a Pain Reliever

red ibuprofen package

You can always take a pain reliever. Some folks aren’t fans of taking medicine but if you are okay with an aspirin or ibuprofen, you should go for it, and knock those nasty symptoms out in under an hour.

How to Prevent Marijuana Hangovers

Preventing weed hangovers isn’t an exact science, but through tireless experimentation we have discovered a few ways to help. It wasn’t an easy job, but we did it to set you on the path to avoiding marijuana hangovers. Here are our tips and tricks:

1. Don’t Use Cannabis

This is a pretty easy one, tiger. If you get marijuana hangovers and you want to avoid them, don’t use marijuana. It doesn’t get more simple than that. In theory, this means when someone hands you a joint at the next get together you reply, “no thanks,” and go about your business. 

2. Smoke a Strain With Lesser THC Count

THC is what causes the psychoactive effects of cannabis, so maybe consuming less THC would provide a less intense after effect or hangover. If you consume alcohol that’s a lower proof or percentage of alcohol by volume, your chances of a hangover are lowered – maybe the same is true of cannabis. It’s worth a shot!

3. Start Low and Go Slow

If you’re prone to marijuana hangovers but still want to use marijuana, start with a very low dosage and slowly increase it over time until you find your limit. Maybe one joint is your limit, maybe it’s only half a joint – Start with a few puffs and build. You want to enjoy it, don’t you?

4. Don’t Mix With Other Substances

This can be another tricky one, especially for those that like a good party. But again, if consuming cannabis is something you want to be doing, but it currently makes you sick, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. If you’re used to having a few drinks when you consume cannabis, but you always get a weed hangover, try not having those few drinks next time and see if you still get the weed hangover or not.

When You Should Seek Medical Attention 

emergency room sign

If you’re feeling so bad from what you suspect is a weed hangover that you’re questioning whether or not you should get medical attention, you probably should go ahead and do so. We here at Colorado Cannabis Tours are not doctors and certainly aren’t qualified to give medical advice – but our words of wisdom are to take care of yourself the best way you know how.

If you feel TOO high, try Neil Young’s trick and chew on some black peppercorns, which he says helps to counteract THC. But if you’re waking up feeling so sick that you’re considering a trip to the emergency room, we are DEFINITELY not going to advise that you ride it out chewing on pepper. Be safe and make a choice that is right for you.

Recent Research

There really isn’t any recent research to reference. There was a study done in the 80’s and one in the 90’s, but as mentioned above each of those studies included less than 15 participants. While that fact doesn’t lessen what was learned, it should be further studied with many more data points.

Weed Hangover FAQs

Does smoking weed at elevation matter? 

Nope. And the FAA did a study on it, well with alcohol. Your body only processes so much cannabis at a time, regardless of the altitude. Getting winded may be easier at a higher elevation, but you won’t be getting any more high than if you were someone at lower altitude.  

What food is good for a weed hangover? 

Anything good for you is good for a weed hangover. Fruits and vegetables, toast, lots of water are all green light items to help cure a marijuana hangover.

Why do I still feel high after I have slept? 

Sounds like you had some good cannabis, and where I’m from that’s a reason to celebrate! But seriously, as a seasoned stoner, when I take edibles close too close to bedtime, I can find myself feeling very groggy the next morning too. 

How to get rid of weed brain fog? 

Let me know if you ever figure this out, or maybe it’s just my ADD. Some people enjoy this aspect of the plant, but if cannabis causes an unpleasant brain fog for you, maybe it isn’t your thing? 

What helps to reduce a weed hangover, how do you come down from being high?

Peppercorns. Be like Neil and chew on them peppercorns. 

How long do the effects of smoking weed last? 

There’s a graph for that!

infographic about the difference between inhaling vs ingesting cannabis
CCSA Canada

How long do the effects of eating marijuana last? 

Up to 12 hours!

Does weed make you tired the next day?

Just depends on you and your tolerance. Consuming edibles or a tincture can increase your chances of next day lethargy for some, but it’s a real dice roll.

Brittany Driver

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