Cannabis ‘Hangover’ Symptoms: Recognize and Handle
For cannabis newbies: a weed hangover happens. At some point in time, we all may hit rock bottom of overconsumption and get screwed. Find out how to recognize and handle the beast — and how to prevent it next time.
What Science Say
Science says not so much. Cannabis remains illegal federally, which makes harder to study real-world effects on human health. Few studies barely suggest what can cause ‘weed hangovers.’
The most known study on the topic was published back in 1985. A tiny sample of 13 participants (all men) received either placebos or joints containing cannabis with 2.9% THC. Then researchers asked them to execute some behavioral tasks (card sorting, free recall, time production). Participants repeated tests after a full night’s sleep. Scientists noticed a hangover effect only in the cannabis users, but the precise nature of it and practical implications remained unclear.
The study conducted in 1998 gathered a similar sample of 10 male participants who had been asked to smoke a single joint. Researchers found that ‘residual effects of smoking a single marijuana cigarette are minimal.’
Both studies lack the size of sample and diversity. They also look at the consequences of a single joint. That is why almost all we know about ‘weed hangovers’ comes from anecdotal evidence from higher and longer consumption of different products.
Which Products To Blame?
A weed hangover is most commonly linked to overconsumption. However, keep in mind that the plant can affect each person differently depending on the strain, tolerance, cannabinoid composition, and body chemistry. To predict hangover for every particular product is hard, and only the individual experience can help you to navigate safely. As always, ‘start low and go slow.’
Many of those who have experienced ‘weed hangover’ report having used edibles or extracts. It means that it is easier to overeat than ‘oversmoke.’ Edibles stay longer in the body and cause prolongated impact compared to smoking.
Cannabis & Dehydration
Many sources claim that cannabis causes dehydration, which in turn leads to the symptoms of a weed hangover. However, there is no science to back it up.
People often mistake dry mouth for dehydration. In fact, two are unrelated: dry mouth is a result of a lack of saliva. It happens because THC binds itself to the glands in the mouth responsible for producing the majority of saliva and temporarily halts the production of it, leading to dry sensation in the mouth.
However, staying hydrated while smoking is important. Studies suggest that a significant percentage of Americans are dehydrated, which may lead to many issues, including a decrease in effectiveness of medical cannabis.
Keep in mind that larger water consumption may improve symptoms of any kind of hangover. Stay hydrated!
Cannabis Hangover Symptoms
Symptoms may include brain fog, headache, fatigue, nausea, and dry eyes. Most of the treatment methods come from user reports. Some things remain exclusively individual so see for yourself.
Brain Fog / Fatigue
Feeling unfocused and tired in the morning? Brain fog is disturbing and may seem hard to snap out, but there is what you can do:
- Take a refreshing shower — it will wake you up;
- Get moving — get out and walk;
- Eat properly — make sure you eat healthily and stay hydrated;
- Try a stimulant — coffee would do.
Maybe you will not get that fresh, but these things should help you to get through the day.
A headache is super common. It is often attributed to dehydration, but there is no evidence strongly supporting that. However, you may want to drink water after a cannabis sesh — and right before bed. If you ended up with a headache, here’s what you can do to ease it:
- Cold compresses;
- Temple massage;
- Ibuprofen or aspirin.
And once again — drink water!
Some consumer experience nausea during a weed hangover. It is terribly unpleasant, so take it easy and drink some water. If you want to eat, opt out for some mild foods and anti-nausea medication after consulting your physician.
THC causes dilation in ocular capillaries, which is beneficial for treating glaucoma but leads to ‘red eyes’ as the follow of blood to eyes increases. If you still have dry eyes in the morning, use some drops to soothe the redness and restore moisture.
To fully understand the phenomenon of a ‘weed hangover,’ we need more research. Personally, you can only figure out a right dosage for you and stick with it. In the process, you will likely get a couple of hangovers, but at least now you know how to treat them!
(Sweedsy in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws. To learn more, click here.)