Does Weed Give You a Hangover?
Waking up with a hangover after a night of drinking is one of the worst feelings. This experience can have you clutching your stomach and vowing to never consume that much alcohol again. In this case, you may assume you’re safe to swap out your alcohol habit with cannabis to avoid hangovers. But will that work? Can you get a hangover from weed?
Many people have experienced symptoms they classify as a “weed hangover,” while others question if it even exists. The truth is that it’s possible to experience residual effects the morning after smoking marijuana. But is it as bad as an alcohol hangover? Let’s find out.
What Does the Science Say?
Let’s start by exploring the scientific research on the subject. The earliest study is from 1985, where researchers gave 13 participants either joints or placebos. Then, the subjects were tested with behavioral tasks such as free recall, time production, and card sorting. When the participants were tested after sleeping, the scientists noted those who smoked cannabis the night before had a more difficult time with the time production tasks.
Another study came out in 1998 involving 10 participants who were given a single joint. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that the hangover effects from smoking one marijuana cigarette were minimal.
Most recently, a 2005 study analyzed how weed hangovers affected workers. The outcomes showed hangover-like symptoms and cognitive effects in cannabis users at work. These effects can intensify with more frequent use.
From a scientific standpoint, a weed hangover is certainly possible, but it’s not as well understood as an alcohol hangover.
What Causes a Weed Hangover?
Most instances of weed hangovers are simply the effects of a lingering high. Cannabis use can impair some cognitive functions and short-term memory, which can feel like grogginess, brain fog, or fatigue.
Consuming edibles may make it more likely to experience weed hangover symptoms the next day. This is because edibles take longer to metabolize in the body, resulting in longer-lasting effects.
Overconsumption is a risk factor in causing hangover symptoms, but dosage looks different for each person. Cannabis effects differ widely due to tolerance, strain, body chemistry, and THC content. One person’s medicinal dose may be too much for a casual smoker. When in doubt, start with a low amount and take it slow.
Does Weed Dehydrate You?
One common misconception about cannabis is that it causes dehydration. This belief stems from the fact that marijuana causes dry mouth, also known as cottonmouth. However, dry mouth is simply a lack of saliva, not a result of dehydration.
So what causes dry mouth? This symptom occurs when THC binds with glands in the mouth, temporarily shutting down saliva production.
While there is no scientific data to show cannabis causes dehydration, it’s never a bad idea to stay hydrated while smoking. Drinking water can also help alleviate symptoms of a hangover.
Alcohol vs. Cannabis Hangovers: What’s the Difference?
There are some common symptoms between alcohol and weed hangovers, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Concentration and memory problems
However, an alcohol-induced hangover is quite different from the residual effects of cannabis. Body aches and raging headaches are more common with alcohol hangovers. Additionally, alcohol can cause dehydration, unlike weed. One unique symptom of cannabis hangovers is dry eyes.
How Can You Treat a Weed Hangover?
If you’re feeling lousy after a night of smoking or consuming too many edibles, you may be wondering how to cure a weed hangover. How you treat your hangover depends on the specific symptoms you’re experiencing.
Treating a Headache
The relationship between weed and headaches is complicated. Some studies suggest cannabis can relieve headaches, while others show it can exacerbate them. If you feel like cannabis consumption is giving you a headache, here are some remedies:
- Have someone massage your temples, or massage them yourself
- Place a cold compress on your head
- Take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen
Drinking water can also help with headaches.
Treating Brain Fog
Waking up in a daze can be disorienting and unpleasant. If you are feeling groggy and struggling to focus after a night of smoking, here are some things you can try to wake yourself up:
- Get active in the morning with a brisk walk
- Take a cold shower to awaken your senses
- Drink coffee or caffeinated tea
Sluggishness is hard to brush off, but these tips can help you get through the day.
Treating Dry Eyes
THC may cause dilation in your ocular capillaries, resulting in the all-too-familiar “red eyes” as blood flow to your eyes increases. If your eyes are still red and feeling dry the next morning, consider using eye drops to restore moisture.
Cannabis is known to prevent nausea and stimulate appetite, but a weed hangover can also be associated with nauseousness. If your stomach feels sick, take it easy. Take small sips of water to make sure you’re hydrated. If you can keep the water down, try some gentle and mild foods next. You may also want to consult your doctor to see if you should take any anti-nausea medicine.
Treating Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is uncomfortable and can have you slurring your words. Here are some common strategies for alleviating cottonmouth:
- Drink water
- Chew sugarless gum with xylitol
- Swig some mouthwash
- Suck on a sugar-free lozenge
While dry mouth may not necessarily equate to dehydration, it can be an annoying symptom.
Does Weed Help Hangovers from Alcohol?
What happens if you smoke weed while suffering from the consequences of an alcohol-induced hangover? Some people believe cannabis can be a useful tool to alleviate symptoms after a night of heavy drinking. If cannabis can help relieve pain and anxiety, then there may be some truth to this belief. You may want to stick to non-psychoactive CBD strains to keep your mind clear
While the science is limited on cannabis treating alcohol hangovers, there’s some evidence it could help you deal with unpleasant symptoms. However, it’s probably not accurate to think of cannabis as a cure-all remedy for a hangover.
Want to learn more about the uses of medical cannabis? Read more on the Kannabia Seeds blog.