Marijuana hangovers have received a lot of press lately as smoking flower has become more mainstream. Some effects that come with this type of hangover are headache, lethargy, dry mouth, nausea, brain fog and congested sinuses. The effects of a cannabis hangover can vary based on the person, much like hangovers from alcohol can.
Cannabis hangovers can be more or less intense based on the delivery method as well as the quality of the product. Cannabinoids in marijuana can slow down the production of saliva and tears and lead to dry mouth and red eyes. Consuming sugar with cannabis, either while administering it or after smoking, can cause a more pronounced hangover, much like consuming overly sweet cocktails can worsen your hangover from alcohol.
Study Confirms Marijuana Consumption Can Lead to Hangovers
A 1985 study published in Drug & Alcohol Dependency tested if marijuana that was smoked in the evening caused any remaining effects in the morning. The study had 13 male participants who were semi-regular marijuana smokers. The administrators gave the subjects either a joint made up of cannabis with 2.9% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or a placebo.
After participants smoked, the researchers performed a variety of tests measuring heart rate, behavioural tasks and CO levels. Nine hours after smoking—after the participants had slept, the tests were performed again. The participants who smoked cannabis had different test results right after they smoked compared to the morning after.
There were also variances in the test results between those who smoked the placebo and those who smoked the active cannabis. The findings of the study suggest that marijuana does result in some kind of hangover for many people.
Dehydration Has a Lot to Do With a Cannabis Hangover
The main cause of most cannabis hangover symptoms seems to be dehydration. Almost all of the symptoms of marijuana hangovers, from headaches to congested sinuses, can be muted by drinking water all day and during the evening if that's when you smoke. It's also important to drink water in the morning right when you wake up. If you smoke, drink plenty of water and avoiding sugary drinks like soda—which can lead to a major sugar crash.
Dehydration can cause another symptom of a marijuana hangover: brain fog, which is when people have a harder time processing thoughts and ideas than they usually do. Drinking water also helps the body flush out the toxins that are causing your hangover symptoms.
Eat Well, Exercise & Get Enough Sleep to Kick a Marijuana Hangover
As tempting as it is to indulge in a greasy meal when you're feeling groggy and worn out, it will only perpetuate the hangover. Filling your body with healthy, nutritious food and lots of fruits and vegetables, which also have a high water content, can help you bounce back more quickly than a heart burn-inducing plate of food will.
Exercise will also help get your body back in gear by increasing blood flow and getting your body to sweat out impurities. Exercise—like a nature walk or easy bike ride—can also help decrease brain fog, making you feel more alert and awake.
One of the most crucial aspects to preventing a cannabis hangover is also getting enough sleep. It's important to get plenty of sleep to let your body process the cannabis and give your body adequate rest. If you're not getting enough sleep, you may be feeling symptoms related to lack of sleep rather than your cannabis use.
So, let’s break it down: You can alleviate the symptoms of a cannabis hangover by:
- drinking plenty of water
- eating healthy foods
- avoiding sugary drinks and treats
- choosing high-quality cannabis products
Do you have questions about cannabis? Go to HelloMD's Answers page where you can connect with a health practitioner or well-informed member of our community who will respond to your queries.