Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
A cannabis hangover occurs after you have consumed too much cannabis in too short a time. Much like alcohol hangovers, you may experience adverse effects like headache, nausea, dehydration, dry mouth, and dry eyes.
Food, sleep, and hydration are key when it comes to overcoming a weed hangover. And as for preventing one, starting with a low dose of cannabis and gradually increasing your intake over time is recommended.
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What Is a Cannabis Hangover?
Cannabis hangovers share some things in common with alcohol hangovers in terms of symptoms and duration. That is, you may feel hungover for the entire next day, experiencing symptoms like fatigue, migraine, and brain fog.
For example, if you use medical cannabis one evening to address a chronic health condition, and in the morning, you wake with a “foggy, non-alert feeling,” you may be experiencing a weed hangover.
Weed hangover symptoms also include different effects like:
- Brain fog
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Mild nausea
These residual hangover effects of cannabis are no cause for panic. Studies of marijuana smokers dating back to 1985 and 1990 were unable to establish and track a marijuana hangover as a verifiable ailment of too much weed use.
Causes and Symptoms
The cause of a marijuana hangover is simple: you have consumed more than your tolerance level of cannabis in a short amount of time.
The possible side effects of excessive cannabis use are numerous and will vary from person to person. Marijuana side effects may include:
- Memory lapses
- Acute anxiety
- Hallucinations (rare)
- Coordination problems
- Male impotence
You may experience one or more of the above residual effects or none at all.
Tips for Treating Weed Hangovers
When looking for a weed hangover remedy, simple solutions are best. Prioritize staying hydrated and eating nutritious foods. Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers can also help in a pinch.
Drink Some Water
The first thing to do upon awakening with a marijuana hangover is to reach for a tall glass of water. Continue drinking water until your body rehydrates and any dry or cottonmouth feel begins to dissipate.
Eat Healthy Foods
Feed your body’s natural cannabis hangover resistance systems by eating a sensible breakfast, like whole-grain bread with a lean protein like turkey or tofu and a healthy fat like an avocado.
Fruit smoothies are another option. They can provide a vitamin and sugar boost with the added benefit of hydration. Add some hemp seeds for extra omega-3 (which also assists in brain function).
Have Some Tea
Ginger tea will help soothe an upset stomach or jangly nerves attributed to a cannabis hangover. If your stomach can tolerate it, a caffeinated tea can restore alertness to real or imagined post-marijuana lag.
Consider OTC Pain Meds
If infusions of food and fluids fail to dissolve a marijuana hangover, take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like ibuprofen. This may be especially helpful if your weed hangover brings on a headache.
Sleep the Day Away
If all else fails, sleep is your friend. Take a nap and take the day as slowly as possible so you can replenish your energy stores to be able to take on the days ahead.
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How to Prevent a Cannabis Hangover
If cannabis is consumed in a structured fashion, medical and recreational marijuana users alike will be hampered less by marijuana hangovers.
Dosing is incredibly important. Taking high doses of THC or engaging in spontaneous heavy use of the cannabinoid, especially if you lack the tolerance for it, can increase the likelihood of a cannabis hangover. You should choose your cannabis products — whether they are cannabis edibles, topicals, tinctures, or flower — ahead of time and start with low, gradual doses.
Here are additional tips that may help you avoid some of weed’s not-so-pleasant lingering effects:
- Refrain from drinking alcohol or mixing other drugs with cannabis.
- Take days off from cannabis wherever possible.
- Avoid heavy cannabis consumption on nights before crucial activities.
- Limit the amount of cannabis products consumed.
- Switch to low THC or predominantly CBD medical cannabis products.
- Be careful and gradual when exploring a new marijuana product.
- Clear all medications with your medical provider for potential cannabis interactions.
The fundamental guidelines for avoiding, minimizing, and rebounding from the negative effects of a cannabis hangover are the same as in so many activities in life: common sense and responsible consumption in moderation.
Consume cannabis responsibly with a medical marijuana card. The experienced physicians at Leafwell are available in our virtual clinic to meet with you and help you apply online.