Categories: Cannabis

Weed Hangover – Everything You Need To Know

While it may be a questionable mystery for some, cannabis hangover is more common than one may think. A cannabis hangover is when the consumer experiences a range of effects from brain fog to headache, similar to other types of hangovers after the high has worn off.

Given the prohibition’s restrictions on cannabis studies, it is understandable that only a little research has been done on this. However, researchers conducted a cornerstone study published in 1985, on 13 participants, notably all men. The participants were either given placebos or joints that continued cannabis with 2.9% THC, after which they have to perform several behavioral tasks, which included card sorting, free recall, and time production.

After a full night’s sleep, the subjects were tested again, where the researchers noticed residual effect only in the cannabis consumers and concluded that the results suggest that residual (hangover) can be produced by cannabis smoking, the next day.

While the results of the study were significant (P-value < 0.05), there was room for critique and improvement, considering the small sample size, and lack of diversity.

Another study conducted in 1998 with a sample size of 10 participants – all men, on the residual effects of smoking a single joint, concluded that the residual effects are minimal. Again, while the results were significant, the lack of diversity and small sample size, were factors that needed to be improved.

According to most of the anecdotal accounts from consumers who have experienced cannabis hangover, higher consumption rates were reported, typically after the consumption of RSO and potent products such as edibles. However, more research is needed to truly understand the phenomenon.

Cannabis hangover is typically linked to overconsumption. However, cannabis can affect individuals differently, depending on the strain, tolerance, THC content, and body chemistry.

Anecdotally, the use of edibles or extracts were reported by consumers experiencing hangover symptoms, where the phenomenon seemed to be less common with traditional consumption methods. This explains that the lingering high can be caused by the slow rate of metabolism with products like edibles. A decrease in dosage for a more even high is recommended, to avoid unpleasant lingering effects.

While an alcohol hangover can be very different fro a cannabis hangover, they have similar symptoms such as

  • lightheadedness
  • nausea
  • body ache
  • dehydration
  • insomnia
  • memory and concentration problems

According to many sources, cannabis can cause dehydration which can lead to a weed hangover. People often mistake dehydration for dry mouth (aka cottonmouth), while the two are unrelated. A study shows that the THC binds itself to submandibular glands (which are majorly responsible for the production of saliva) in the mouth, which temporarily halts the production of saliva, leading to the dry and uncomfortable sensation.

However, while cannabis may not directly cause dehydration, it is important to recognize the importance of hydration while smoking and in general, as well as the fact that many of the symptoms of a cannabis hangover can be improved by the consumption of more water.

Brain fog, headache, fatigue, nausea, and dry eyes are the reported symptoms of a cannabis hangover. However, this is mostly based on consumers, as the aforementioned studies have not researched all these symptoms.

While there is no way to validate these claims with certainty, enough commonality exists in anecdotal reports regarding this, to warrant an honest conversation on the symptoms experienced by consumers.

Here are a few ways to treat with cannabis-induced brain fog and fatigue

  • Take a brisk walk
  • Take a cold shower to refresh yourself
  • Focus on eating healthier and proper hydration to provide the necessary nourishment to your body
  • A stimulant like caffeine can help as an extra boost, to give the foggy brain, the jumpstart that it needs.

Furthermore, eye drops and over-the-counter medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen can be used to treat dry eyes and nausea respectively.

Jane Clarke

Masters in Biotechnology, the author loves to write about health and fitness in her spare time.

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