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What is a Weed Hangover?

08/2/2021
Exhausted young Caucasian woman lying on comfortable sofa in living room sleeping

C’mon, a weed hangover? We’ve definitely heard of (and suffered from …) an alcohol hangover, but a weed hangover? Since partaking in weed is completely different than consuming alcohol with completely different effects, it’s easy to think that a weed hangover is nothing more than an urban legend. But contrary to what we might think, weed hangovers do exist! The actual hangover is nothing like an alcohol hangover, but the day after consuming – particularly smoking – very large amounts of marijuana can feel like a sluggish hangover.

What is a weed hangover?

In its simplest definition a marijuana hangover is the residual effects of over consumption – or high levels of consumption. But it’s a bit more than that. First, we do not have conclusive studies on weed hangover since marijuana is still on the Schedule 1 of federally prohibited drugs, making reliable clinical studies nearly impossible.

man with messy hair and tired look on his face to show a possible weed hangover

But really, most of us who partake regularly know exactly what we’re talking about: it’s the foggy feeling we get the day after taking large amounts of weed. It’s that slow, slightly-lethargic general feeling we have – especially if we had been smoking. What we also know is that weed hangovers are nothing like an alcohol hangover where just about everything hurts and headaches that won’t go away. No, weed hangovers are nothing like that.

Honestly, I’ve always thought a weed hangover was a silly joke that stoners shared between themselves!

The differences

The differences between a weed and an alcohol hangover are many. First, there is no nausea or headache. But more than that there is not the same effect that it has on our bodies. Drinking too much alcohol doesn’t only give us a cruddy ‘next day’, it also does a lot of damage to our bodies that are the main reasons for the horrible feeling that a true-blue hangover can bring.

man with hangover with medicines in messy room after party

Alcohol dehydrates the body rapidly which is the main reason for the headache. Some might mistake the dry mouth (i.e. cottonmouth) that happens when you partake in the herb, but this isn’t dehydration. Weed-induced cottonmouth is from a lack of saliva that many believe is from the glands on our mouths being receptors for the THC in weed. Most heavy users know this annoying sensation of an overly dry mouth, so be sure to drink lots of water when you’re partaking.

Female drinking from a glass of water

Wait, scratch that. So be sure to drink lots of water all the time – partaking or not partaking. OK, no more ‘mom talk’. Hehe 🙂

Remedies for a weed hangover

OK, so there’s no real damage done to our bodies and we’re still able to function (i.e. go to work … ugh). What can I do for that foggy, not-entirely-all-there feeling from having taken too much MJ the night before?

woman wearing sunglasses holding a large rasta style joint outside

No worries, the remedies are pretty easy …

  • drink lots of water (did we mention that before?!)
  • try drinking some caffeine (iced coffee anyone?)
  • get moving and do some exercises (even a brisk walk will help clear the cobwebs)
  • eat a lot of fruits, particularly those high in antioxidants (OJ, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, others)
  • try some herbal supplements – my favorites are natural guarana, ginseng or ginkgo

If you can take a little nap followed by a shower – the colder the better! The cold water will wake you up and clear your head. But still do not worry, you can still function with a weed hangover – much better than you can than an alcohol hangover!

So, is it a real thing?

In my opinion, a weed hangover is more of an urban legend or – as I thought – an insider joke for stoners. Yes, you might have some hangover-type symptoms the day after partaking in a lot of weed, but you will have hangover symptoms if you eat a lot of ice cream or drink a lot of coffee or overdo it on red meat. Over consumption of just about anything will lead to after effects – some of which are similar to what we really know as a hangover: a crappy, annoying, sometimes even painful alcohol hangover.

large digital sign in a restaurant that reads why bother

Until weed is taken off the Schedule 1 of illegal drugs, there likely won’t be any conclusive studies on the subject but does there really need to be? The symptoms are so slight and easily treated that it seems studies into other effects – especially the positive ones – would be a better use of research time/energy/money.

Our recommendation? Don’t overdo it. ‘Start slow, go slow’ is a good mantra to follow here.

Silhouettes of hands marijuana leaf at sunset

Happy partaking!

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