When you see the word “hangover,” your first thought is most likely the headache, nausea, brain fog, and general lousiness one feels after a night of heavy drinking. (We sincerely hope that doesn’t trigger any unpleasant memories, though it probably does.) But there’s such a thing as a marijuana hangover, and it’s probably more common than you think.
Unlike some other areas of cannabis research, there’s actually a decent amount of research on weed hangovers, and from it we draw at least a few conclusions (as well as some tips on how to get rid of a weed hangover).
Weed Hangovers: The Downside of the High
For many of us, using cannabis yields few unwanted side effects (besides the powerful urge to munch on potato chips and chocolate chip cookies). But for others of us, the day after even a moderate high can feel a little draggy.
If this describes your experience, you’re not imagining it: According to a study published way back in 1985, test subjects who were given marijuana suffered relatively minor but noticeable “marijuana hangover” effects the next day; these included impediments performing behavioral tasks such as sorting cards and recalling bits of information given to them before the test. Another study from 1998 largely corroborated the findings of the first.
That said, neither of those studies were perfect in their design. Both of them relied on small sample sizes—using no more than thirteen participants—and all of them were male. Obviously, not all cannabis users are male, and what’s more—as we’ve written before—cannabis affects the genders in slightly different ways.
Anecdotally at least, most reports of serious weed hangovers occur after the use of more potent cannabis products: Edibles, which cause an especially long-lasting high, and the concentrates and extracts that deliver a large amount of THC in a very short timespan.
Taming the Marijuana Hangover
Why should this be so? Right now that remains a mystery, though some sources suggest that the marijuana plant’s highly individualized range of effects—the way one strain or delivery method produces highly sedative or even dissociative effects with one user while leaving another relatively unaffected—is part of the explanation. Whatever the exact reason, simply consuming less marijuana (or less potent formulations) appears to help.
If you do stray a toke or two over the line, there’s no need to abandon hope! Some of the defensive measures you can take the next day include:
Engaging in exercise—anything from a brisk walk to a full-on workout—to get your blood pumping and wash the day-after grogginess away.
Try a cold—we mean really cold!—shower to give yourself a jump-start. (Fans of the Dutch “Iceman” Wim Hof know what we’re talking about!)
Stick to healthy food and stay well hydrated; this will tend to “flush out” your system and return you to homeostasis.
If you’re finding your marijuana hangover just won’t quit, consider stronger measures: A little caffeine, or an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen.
How to Get Rid of a Weed Hangover: Wrapping Up
We hope today’s post gives you some ideas on how to cure a weed hangover (and avoid suffering one in the first place!). If you have any other questions about weed hangovers (or any other topics in the world of marijuana), don’t hesitate to ask.
The friendly staff at our Des Moines dispensary is always happy to help, and can point you in the direction of some lower THC or CBD-rich products. Of course, you can always peruse our online menu from the comfort of home, too. We look forward to seeing you soon!