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Weed Hangover: What Are the Symptoms and How Do You Cure It?

If you use cannabis for recreational purposes on a regular basis, you will no doubt have suffered a weed hangover at some point. While this is not life-threatening, it can be just as bad as the night after a boozy session with your friends.  

The symptoms can vary from person to person. There’s even a debate with some people suggesting that the weed hangover doesn’t even exist at all. Many beg to differ, especially those who have suffered. If you’ve had a cannabis session, sampled too many edibles or got your dosage wrong and you’re suffering from any of the following symptoms you might like to try a few of our remedies.  

The Symptoms of a Weed Hangover 

Brain fog is one of the biggest problems that seems to come with a weed hangover. It appears a mist has fallen down around your thoughts. You aren’t able to concentrate or focus on anything at all. Our advice? Don’t try to do any complex mathematical puzzles or understand the meaning of life – simply wait for things to pass.  

  • You may feel tired, that’s perfectly natural after over-indulging, and you might have a headache.  
  • In more severe cases, you may also feel nauseous.  
  • Your eyes could feel a little on the dry side and look red and painful. This is actually quite common but should pass in a little while.  

Weed Hangover: The Evidence 

You might be surprised to find out that researchers have largely given this area of cannabis culture a pretty wide berth. There have been a few studies done, however.  

The most widely cited across the internet is a 1985 study of 13 guys who smoked the night before and were tested in the morning. The researchers basically concluded that there was indeed such a thing as the weed hangover. There’s a fairly small sample size here, however, though it’s backed up by plenty of anecdotal evidence.  

The bad feeling could really come down to simply overdoing things – it’s the same way we suffer when we overindulge whether it’s with drink, food or cannabis. A 1998 study found that a single joint had no real adverse effect on a small sample of users in the research group. 

With so little research done in this area, we’re left to fall back on anecdotal accounts which usually associate a weed hangover with high THC strains and having too much in one go. That makes sense and one way to avoid this kind of problem is always to do things in moderation.   

Do Particular Products Cause a Weed Hangover? 

Sometimes swapping to a different strain can cause a weed hangover, at least according to the anecdotal evidence we’ve seen on the internet. Some products simply don’t agree with some people.  

For the most part, we have to link it to consuming too much in the first place – despite what other people try to say.  

On the other hand, cannabis can affect people in different ways so the idea that a different strain doesn’t agree with someone is not too implausible. That’s not quite the same as a weed hangover, though. Factors that can personally give you a bad experience are your own tolerance, your physiological makeup, what mood you are in and the dosage you take.  

The method of consumption can make a difference to whether you suffer from a weed hangover or not. You will be more likely to overindulge edibles by accident, for example, than if were smoking or vaping. THC doesn’t generally or isn’t thought to, cause a weed hangover. If you are smoking, however, those toxins such as benzene and carbon monoxide in the tobacco might well give you problems.  

Weed Hangover and Dehydration 

Dehydration is more often associated with a night of heavy drinking and with good cause. It’s also mentioned as a symptom of the weed hangover, though there’s really no scientific reason why this should be so. Sufferers might wake up feeling thirsty but that doesn’t always suggest dehydration.  

Dry mouth is actually a common side-effect of having THC. There’s evidence to support this as the cannabinoid is able to bind to the saliva glands which stops them moistening your mouth. A drink of water should fix this. 

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to staying hydrated while you are having a session with cannabis. As a nation, we don’t drink enough water at all and regular dehydration can have a harmful impact on your health. That’s not a cannabis-related issue but worth pointing out all the same! 

It’s even more important if you have an existing health condition. Staying hydrated can help assist pain relief even if you are taking cannabis to ease the condition you have. You may find that drinking water will also soothe some of the symptoms of your weed hangover such as that foggy feeling or a headache.  

What To Do About Weed Hangover Symptoms 

If you wake up in the morning and it feels like you have a major weed hangover, the trick is not to panic. You are not going to die and the symptoms will pass with time. Here’s what we suggest you do (besides turning over and going back to sleep): 

1. The Big Brain Fog 

It’s probably the prime symptom of a weed hangover and one which many are familiar with. The big brain fog. You feel like you’ve lost a few zillion brain cells and your IQ has dropped to the floor. However much you try to snap out of it, the feeling persists. The best thing you can do is wait but you might also like to try: 

  • Getting up and moving around. A quick walk in the fresh air or some jumping jacks might clear the fog. Pumping blood around your system will invigorate you. It may not last but might do some good. 
  • Drink and eat some healthy food to nourish your body.  
  • Jump into the shower and turn it down to a cool temperature. This might give you a bit of a shock but it will wake you up.  
  • Get the coffee out and give yourself a caffeine boost. It’s not guaranteed to work but may just clear your head. 

What you shouldn’t do is jump into your car and drive off as you may well be over the limit still when it comes to drugs in your system.  

2. Your Thumping Weed Hangover Headache 

This can be really annoying and painful at the same time. It is one of those symptoms that people blame on dehydration and there’s no harm in having a few glasses of water but it’s rarely going to work.  

If it’s more than just an annoying ache behind the eyes, try a little pharmaceutical therapy – aspirin or ibuprofen should knock the edge off. A cold compress over the forehead and eyes can be soothing and a head massage might also work. Mainly, you need to sit back and rest. Sleep if you can. 

3. Feeling Sick 

There can often be nausea with a weed hangover and it’s usually down to either eating bad things or drinking while you were taking cannabis the night before. It’s a less common symptom but one which can be pretty bad.  

You can try making yourself throw up to see if that helps or drink some water and eat some food. If it persists, pay a visit to the pharmacy to get something to settle your stomach. In theory, it should disappear in a few hours.  

4. Dry Eyes 

This can be a fairly common side-effect after taking cannabis, particularly stronger strains. It should pass fairly quickly and is nothing much to worry about. If it happens fairly regularly, you might like to keep a bottle of eye drop solution in the fridge to help cool things down and soothe the redness.  

The argument over whether the weed hangover actually exists or not is a bit of a moot point. If you wake up feeling a under the weather and it seems you’ve over-indulged, it can seem like you really do have a hangover and that’s all that matters.  

While there’s not a lot you can do, the tips above should give you something to take your mind off the hazy way the world looks or the pain at the back of your head. What you may like to ensure is that you don’t over-indulge so much the next to you get together with friends or have a cannabis party.   

Steven Meredith

Steven is a full-time freelance writer based in Wales. He joined the Seedsman team in 2018, contributing articles on a number of topics including global news, cultivation and strain profiles.

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