Have you ever felt even just a touch groggy or mentally out of it the morning after sparking up or noshing on some gummies? If so, that’s a marijuana hangover. While a hangover from getting stoned is not near as brutal as one from drinking too much alcohol, the reality is they can and do happen.
In fact, the reality that weed hangovers tend to be mild at worst is why some folk prefer getting high to getting drunk. Generally, the most common symptoms of a marijuana hangover are: fatigue, feeling a little dazed and confused, a foggy brain, itchy dry eyes, and some mild cottonmouth, which for the record is not the same as feeling completely dehydrated from a night of shots of tequila. Users also sometimes can experience mild nausea or a dull, lingering headache.
Why do some people get a marijuana hangover?
While there’s not a lot of research as to the science of why a weed hangover occurs, due in large part to there being so many limiting restrictions on marijuana studies, the main school of thought is that they occur when someone exceeds their usual tolerance level or uses a particularly potent strain. Another reason why they happen has to simply do with the fact that THC affects every person differently due to each of us having our own unique body chemistry.
Lastly, anecdotal wisdom is that a weed hangover is more likely to happen when using edibles or extracts, which shouldn’t turn you off of them as once again–being hungover from cannabis usage is rarely a debilitating issue unless, of course, you’re one gummy person who decided to eat 25 gummies in one sitting–then there’s a chance that waking up and going to work might be close to impossible in the morning as you’re likely to just be feeling too zonked out. On a more personal note: apart from experiencing some slight brain fog and mild fatigue the next day after eating a gummy or two, I’ve only ever had one “severe” weed hangover where, I am a little embarrassed to admit, I misread the THC content of a new pure cannabis CO2 extract oil product as 23%, as opposed to it being over 73%! The truth is, the “severity” of my weed hangover was that I just slept well into the afternoon, stayed in bed all day feeling incredibly tired, and was a little unsteady on my feet. Whereas, some of the hangovers I’ve had from alcohol have been so miserable that I couldn’t even keep water down.
How to prevent a marijuana hangover
Similar to alcohol, one of the key ways to prevent many of the symptoms of a marijuana hangover is to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated as you enjoy your high. Also, avoid exceeding your tolerance level. For example, try using low-potency THC or balanced THC: CBD products. If you’re a daily user, taking a couple of days or weeks off can often help with the issues of brain fog and lethargy. (As an aside, I know for myself that this one always helps.) And, remember, if you are mixing your weed and alcohol consumption, chances are the hangover you’re experiencing is more likely due to too much booze versus smoking or ingesting a bit of pot.
I have a marijuana hangover, what do I do?
The most important thing to remember is that the adage “time is a healer” rings true for a marijuana hangover too. The reality is, no matter the symptoms you might experience from maybe having a bit too much pot, they will pass and you’ll be feeling fine the day after your cannabis hangover. However, here are a few tips for how to combat a weed hangover. If you’re feeling dehydrated or experiencing cottonmouth: hydrate. And by “hydrate” I mean–drink water.
If you have some mild nausea or a lingering headache: take an OTC painkiller like ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Also, applying some THC-free topical CBD to areas of your body that are feeling affected can help, i.e., if you have a headache, try applying some to your temples or neck.
If you’re experiencing brain fog, fatigue, and/or lethargy: In this case there are several options that include eating a healthy breakfast that isn’t comprised of fast food or overly-processed foods; taking a shower, as it will help wake you up, refresh, and invigorate you; or do some yoga or go outside for a nice brisk walk so that you get some fresh air and get your body and mind moving. Also, if you’re not experiencing cottonmouth or other symptoms of dehydration, drink some caffeine like coffee or tea. However, if you are feeling dehydrated, remember that caffeine can just exacerbate that issue.
While weed hangovers are real and do happen from time to time, they are not something to be feared, nor should they scare you off of taking advantage of all of the numerous benefits that weed has to offer.
In fact, if you recall my admission above about when I accidentally ended up ingesting too much of the pure cannabis CO2 extract oil product with a 73%+ THC content, which was a pretty extreme and exceptional case, the severity of my marijuana hangover wasn’t one in which I felt miserable in any way. Although, if it had happened on a day when I needed to work, I’ll be honest and tell you that coffee and a shower would not have put a dent in just how tired and wobbly I felt.
My point being: even with a “really bad” weed hangover like the one I had, it really wasn’t anything terrible, and in the end, I just ended up getting some much-needed sleep and have decided to leave oils that are in the 70% THC range for those with much higher tolerance levels than me.
Written By Kim Thompson
Along with being an award-winning creative and literary writer, Kim works as a freelance copywriter, editor, and proofreader both domestically and internationally.
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