Weed hangover: how to avoid waking up high
Weed hangovers, fact or fiction? For many cannabis lovers, one of the great benefits of cannabis vs alcohol is that you usually wake up with a clear head. Alcohol can cause day-ruining hangovers. In the worst cases, an alcohol hangover causes incessant nausea, unrelenting headaches and crippling discomfort. But can overconsumption of cannabis really cause a weed hangover?
Those that have over-indulged in potent weed can report effects of a cannabis hangover the following day. This may be especially true of those that enjoy strong cannabis edibles. Those that enjoy consuming large amounts of cannabis oil, also known as RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) or hash oil may also experience a potentially foggy head, lethargy and some fatigue the following day. So are hangover effects of weed a real thing or merely a questionable over-exaggeration of the facts?
Key factors that could cause a weed hangover
THC is a powerful cannabinoid, but can it really cause a weed hangover? One of the side effects of cannabis prohibition has been a chronic underfunding of scientific medical studies on the medical effects of cannabis use. Even today researchers are only just scraping the surface understanding the various medical uses of THC. And that's just one of dozens of cannabinoids with suspected medical uses. But there have been a couple of, admittedly limited, interesting studies into the concept of a THC hangover.
This study from Chait, Fischman and Schuster (1985) examined the topic of weed hangovers with 13 male volunteers. To be statistically significant, studies should ideally monitor several thousand participants. Not just that, they should be a mix of male and females from different age groups and ethnicities. In the study, the subjects were given either a joint (made with weed containing just 2.9% THC) or a placebo. They were then given some memory tasks and similar brain teasing tests with a follow up test the following morning.
The research suggested residual weed hangover effects in the group that had smoked the 2.9% THC joint the night before. The summary from the research group was that “the findings suggest that marijuana smoking can produce residual (hangover) effects the day after smoking. The precise nature and extent of these effects, as well as their practical implications, remain to be determined.”
This study, however, has serious limitations. With just 13 male participants it is difficult to draw any definitive answers to the question ‘can you get a hangover from weed?’. It’s quite possible that this conclusion was caused by just a couple of individuals that had different scores in a memory test.
Weed hangover / cannabis hangover, fact or fiction?
A more recent study from 1998 by Fant, Heischman, Bunker and Pickworth was conducted. This research into weed hangovers concluded that “residual effects of smoking a single marijuana cigarette are minimal”. However, this study also had it’s limitations, with just 10 male participants. Again, the study only considered the effects of a single joint.
However, anecdotal evidence from cannabis users suggests that a weed hangover (if you can call it a hangover) tends not to be associated with the occasional joint or vape. Instead, morning-after weed effects tend to be more associated with those that consume cannabis oil (hash oil) or potent THC rich cannabis edibles. Few people report a weed headache from a weed hangover. Instead the most reported cannabis hangover effects tend to be residual brain fog from the previous evenings weed use. This may be accompanied by some lethargy and lack of get-up-and-go motivation.
But the type of people that love tucking into some cannabis oil capsules or cannabis edibles are unlikely to feel particularly distressed or uncomfortable with some lingering after-effects the following day. Many would probably enjoy the experience.
For heavy cannabis users that enjoy THC rich edibles or cannabis oil, the weed hangover may simply feel similar to the slightly dazed effects a few hours after a strong weed vape. In other words, nothing too significant to worry about. But what about other possible side effects of a weed hangover? Are there any other physical morning-after effects which are caused by over consumption of cannabis?
Does cannabis cause dehydration?
Alcohol can cause severe dehydration, this in turn can make the dreaded alcohol hangover a truly miserable and painful experience. But does weed dehydrate you? Some anti-pot prohibitionists claim that marijuana is even more dehydrating than alcohol. Robert White is an attorney and former USA war-on-drugs Director. He authored the book “Going to Pot: Why the rush to legalize marijuana is harming America” (Center Street, February 3, 2015).
Perhaps not surprisingly he concludes that cannabis can cause severe dehydration. However, his findings are not backed up elsewhere and lack any scientific scrutiny or evidence. Perhaps he confuses the occasional cotton-mouth effects of cannabis with classical dehydration. ‘Cotton-mouth’ is where cannabis use can cause the salivary gland secretions to be temporarily decreased once the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are stimulated.
However cotton mouth is a short term effect which doesn't affect everyone, and it certainly shouldn't be confused with severe dehydration. Anyone interested to know more about the science behind THC and decreased salivary secretions should check out this scientific paper from Prestifilippo et al.
However it is always a sensible idea and good practice for everyone to be aware of the need to stay hydrated. Those cannabis users that enjoy raiding the fridge just before bedtime may also want to consider the type of food they eat just before bed. A large, spicy and salty pizza just before sleep (without a drink) may cause you to wake up in the night feeling thirsty!
What are the hangover effects of weed?
Many cannabis connoisseurs would question whether there are any significant weed hangover effects. Often cannabis lovers prefer cannabis over alcohol simply because they feel it is safer with less unpleasant side effects. One of the main reasons people prefer cannabis to alcohol is that it rarely leaves people feeling ill the next day.
How long does a weed hangover last? If you do feel the after-effects from an edible hangover they simply fade away as the day progresses. There is no quick way to provide a weed hangover cure, or removal of the foggy-head feeling. Though some people feel that a drop of CBD oil is a good way to moderate any lingering THC effects.
|How to enjoy cannabis the most healthy ways, cannabis edibles and juicing|
Weed hangover vs alcohol hangover
An alcohol induced hangover is technically caused by the effects of alcohol toxicity on the body. Consume a large amount of alcohol and your body will struggle to cope with the various side effects it produces. The dehydrating effects of alcohol is the chief reason you can feel desperately ill after drinking too much. Alcohol is a powerful diuretic, causing you to urinate more than necessary, this results in dehydration. As a result you may be forced to lie in bed all day. In the worst cases of alcohol hangovers, even a drink of water can cause vomiting.
By contrast, over consumption of cannabis tends to produce little in the way of similar effects. Most cannabis consumers probably don't consider a weed hangover to be an issue. If you feel anything at all it is likely to be a foggy head and an awareness of the lingering effects of THC in the body. Even then, it’s only likely to be the heaviest of consumers that would notice. For most regular cannabis consumers, waking up high (or waking up feeling very slightly high) wouldn't be felt to be as miserable as waking up with a full-blown alcohol hangover. When it comes to weed and alcohol hangovers, the alcohol hangover is the one that has the greatest reputation for ruining the day!
Cannabis hangover symptoms and recommended cures
Many regular cannabis users may question whether cannabis actually does cause a morning-after weed hangover. Dutch Passion experience over several decades in the cannabis industry suggests that weed hangover symptoms, if they exist at all, are relatively minor and tend to be felt as a consequence of heavy cannabis oil use or consumption of strong edibles/cannabis concentrates.
One general recommendation for cannabis use is to start with low doses and only slowly increase the doses if you feel comfortable doing so. Monitor the effects and be alert for any signs of potential issues.
It’s also worth mentioning the law of diminishing returns on cannabis consumption when it comes to weed hangover prevention. The first cannabis vape/smoke of the evening will often seem to be the most powerful. Subsequent vapes can seem to have a relatively less potent effect. It may be worth remembering this if you find yourself frantically vaping/smoking more and more just before bedtime. One option is to save some of your weed for later in the week and moderate evening consumption if it becomes decreasingly effective. Your weed will last longer and you may not miss the last couple of smokes anyway.
Dutch Passion don't claim to be doctors and don't want to make medical recommendations. But the following anecdotal thoughts and customer feedback may be useful reading.
Waking up high with a headache
Waking up with a headache can happen to cannabis users and non cannabis users alike. Often dehydration is a cause of headaches, so ensure that you prepare well for bed. Eat and drink sensibly, avoid foods that may cause difficulty achieving restful sleep. Getting up, getting some fresh air and an outdoor walk can help you freshen up if you did over-indulge in cannabis the night before.
Some cannabis users find that mixing alcohol and cannabis can amplify the alcohol effects and cause issues the following morning. Avoiding alcohol can be a great help if you want to avoid waking up with a headache.
Weed-induced brain fog and fatigue
If you did enjoy a heavy night with cannabis concentrates, oils and edibles the morning after may feel a little bit lazier, groggier and less alert than normal. A refreshing shower can be a great way to liven things up, so can some fresh air and a brisk walk. A nutritious breakfast and a strong cup of morning coffee is another good way to spring back into action and face the day!
Nausea from a weed hangover
Is the nausea really caused by the weed? or could something else have caused it such as alcohol, dehydration or the wrong food choice the previous evening? Many medical cannabis users actually use cannabis as a way to diminish feelings of nausea. For example, some cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy use cannabis to reduce the symptoms of nausea. This paper from the British Journal of Pharmacology explains why cannabis is such an effective anti-dote to nausea. In medical terminology, the anti-nausea properties of cannabis are known as anti-emetic effects.
One traditional herbal remedy for nausea is ginger tea, which is thought to help settle the stomach. Some CDB users claim that CBD can help diminish the effects of THC if you feel the effects of a weed hangover.
Dry and red eyes from smoking weed
If you notice dry or red eyes after cannabis use then some eye drops can be a good option. Eye drops can even reduce the effects of red eye. Dry and red eyes can be signs of eye irritation, the active ingredients in eye drops such as Naphazoline Hydrochloride or Hamamelis Virginiana can reduce that.
If you spend a long time smoking joints with people in a crowded environment the effects of smoke can be a major cause of eye irritation to some people. Try to crack open a window to allow more fresh air into your smoking session. Or if you are concerned about the health effects of combustion, you may wish to consider buying a cannabis vaporiser. Vaping is combustion free, with no smoke. What’s more, vaping is more efficient since less of your precious THC disappears in a cloud of smoke. This means that your weed can last 2-3 times longer when vaping, compared to smoking.
|The Dutch Passion cannabis vaporiser collection, fully tested and recommended!|
|How to enjoy cannabis the most healthy way|
Can weed cure an alcohol hangover?
Can weed cure a hangover? According to many people, yes, cannabis is an effective way to treat the worst symptoms of a traditional alcohol-induced hangover. This is partly because cannabis is an effective anti-emetic (anti-nausea) compound. Of course, cannabis can't change the fact that your body may be chronically dehydrated from the alcohol and in desperate need of water as a result. But cannabis may be a good way to ease the nausea, headache, body aches and pains etc. But remember that the price you pay for using weed to cure your alcohol hangover is that you will feel high afterwards. That may present its own limitations to the things you can subsequently do with the rest of your day.
How to prevent a weed hangover
If you occasionally feel a little groggy first thing in the morning after a heavy cannabis session you may want to consider limiting the amount of weed you use. If you have already smoked, vaped or dabbed abundantly then you may notice that you don't get quite the same ‘bang for your buck’ as you continue to indulge. That’s because cannabis is a ‘soft drug’ that simply doesn't allow you to get higher and higher. Eventually you reach the point where continued cannabis consumption doesn't seem to get you any more stoned. At that point you may be better off saving your stash for another day and getting some sleep instead.
|Why more THC doesn't always get you higher|
Other options for preventing a weed hangover include trying some lower THC strains, perhaps those with a little CBD in them. Not everyone prefers the highest THC levels in weed. The Dutch Passion cannabis seed collection allows people to select the THC category of the strain they want to grow.
It’s worth remembering that the average THC levels in Dutch coffee shop weed is ‘only’ around 15-16%. That’s according to official Dutch Government research into the strength of weed being sold in coffeeshops. If that sounds surprising, you may want to check out the following article:
|What’s a high amount of THC for cannabis?|
We all have a different, and unique, endocannabinoid system which means that we all react differently to various cannabinoid levels and cannabinoid combinations. For some people a THC rich strain is the first choice every time. But plenty of people prefer strains with CBD in them and slightly lower THC levels.
|CBD rich cannabis strains|
One of the advantages of growing your own cannabis with feminised seeds or autoflower seeds is that you can select the best genetics which provide you with the most enjoyment and satisfaction. What’s more, growing your own cannabis from seed guarantees your cannabis to be pure and free from contaminants. Growing your own weed is also the cheapest way to enjoy it. Even if you have to buy a complete grow system with grow tent & light etc, the purchase cost is paid back after the first crop is harvested.
For many cannabis consumers, the concept of a miserable weed hangover isn't something that they can really relate to or claim direct experience of. For most that have compared (and contrasted) the over consumption effects of both cannabis and alcohol, it is alcohol hangovers they would rate as the most severe. For those that consume cannabis sensibly, a weed hangover is something that is rarely mentioned.