Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
How can you stay alert when using cannabis? Many cannabis strains provide a pleasurable mellow feeling, and some people even use marijuana to combat insomnia. But maybe you would prefer to experience more energizing effects and function in top form throughout your day.
Based on a blend of scientific and anecdotal evidence, here are our best tips for avoiding feeling sleepy when using cannabis.
Why Does Cannabis Make Me Feel Sleepy?
Cannabis is a psychoactive substance that exerts different effects based on various factors, including the consumption method and the individual. Therefore, the urge to fall asleep (known in the cannabis world as the “couch lock effect”) is just one possible result of using marijuana. Alternatively, you may feel capable of running a marathon and, with some cannabis strains, a combination of sedation and rejuvenation.
Sativa strains are known for their energetic effects, while indica strains have a reputation for relaxing. But anyone more than a cannabis novice knows this explanation is simplistic. The reasons for marijuana making one person feel high, and another feel low may be more body chemistry than sativa vs. indica.
Above all, the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis influence how you feel after a smoke or vape session. Although the cannabinoid CBD is frequently used to treat anxiety and may induce relaxation, THC exerts its own sedative effects during absorption into the bloodstream. With certain terpenes, like myrcene, that can have a hypnotic effect, high-THC cannabis may leave you ready for a nap.
How to Avoid Falling Asleep After Smoking Weed
Medical marijuana users often like to start their day with a cannabis smoking session. If you use marijuana in the morning, chances are you want to go on with your day rather than shutting the blinds and falling back into slumber.
Here are some strategies you can try to stay alert when using marijuana, no matter what time of day or night it is.
Choose a Cannabis Strain Low in THC
Choosing a strain low in THC offers several benefits, including staying awake. These are some low-THC strains recommended for beginners or anyone seeking a more energetic cannabis experience:
Not only will these cannabis strains help beginner users avoid the “couch lock effect,” but they are also good for novice cultivators due to their ease of growth.
Balance out CBD and THC
Another surefire way to stave off lethargy is to carefully balance your CBD and THC ratios. The ratio of 1:1 is a popular place to start, but you may choose a cannabis product heavier in CBD. To ensure that your ratios and dosages are precise, talk with a qualified physician and always make your purchases from a licensed dispensary.
In all instances, make sure that your cannabis doesn’t tip the scales toward THC, especially with potent edibles. High-THC marijuana edibles can have unpredictable effects on different people, with some feeling zoned out and others experiencing a high of uncomfortable proportions. Some users of predominantly THC edibles have even reported psychotic episodes due to how the body metabolizes the cannabinoid after ingestion.
Furthermore, not all scientific evidence is in agreement that CBD has the ability to temper THC. Some studies have shown that CBD may have a beneficial counteractive effect against THC, but more research is needed. Again, when in doubt, seek the counsel of a doctor specializing in medical marijuana.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Products
You may like to eliminate alcohol and tobacco from your life for numerous health reasons. But limiting or forgoing consumption of these substances can also facilitate a more pleasant cannabis experience. Alcohol, in particular, can magnify the fatigue that may emerge after using marijuana.
Plus, alcohol dehydrates the body and can contribute to any dry mouth sensation you have from consuming cannabis. In short, cannabis and alcohol don’t mix well.
What Should I Do if I’m Tired after Using Marijuana?
If all else fails and you still feel sleepy after using cannabis and are experiencing a “weed hangover,” here are a few things you can do to get bright-eyed:
- Get moving and try some full-body yoga stretches while breathing deeply. Simple inhaling brings new life into the system and can give you an instant boost.
- Better yet, get out into the fresh air and take a walk. Be sure to hydrate, as water will help get your blood pumping and eliminate any cotton-mouth feeling you might have.
- Whether eggs or tofu, grab a high-protein meal to shake off that lazy feeling. Avoid sweet and starchy foods, which will make you feel even sleepier and possibly lead to a sugar crash.
- If any aches and pains accompany your weed hangover, apply a CBD topical to relieve the symptoms. A cooling CBD gel may work especially well to ease discomfort and refresh you simultaneously.
As for what you should not do to recover from a weed hangover, steer clear of caffeine. Though it might feel like the most natural thing to brew a cup of coffee, there is evidence from animal studies that caffeine combined with THC may negatively impact memory. In addition, caffeine is a stimulant with psychoactive properties of its own, so it’s safest not to combine it with another psychoactive substance like marijuana.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re a medical or recreational user, you most likely turn to cannabis to feel good on every level. Learning which strains and doses work best for your body will help keep your cannabis experience enjoyable.
The experienced physicians at Leafwell are here to consult with you and personalize a cannabis regimen. Reach out, and we’ll help you navigate the process of applying for a medical cannabis card.