Marijuana may the best hangover cure when it comes to over-consuming booze, but is it possible to suffer a hangover from marijuana?
Ask just about any stoner and they’ll tell you that unlike alcohol one of the best things about smoking weed is that it doesn’t lead to a hangover. Or does it? Since weed is so mainstream it seems like we’re hearing more and more stories of people who can’t really hand the side effects of being high. Remember Maureen Dowd? She’s the reporter who ignored advice and overindulged on edibles to the point of freaking out. Or how about that now-famous Michigan cop who ate marijuana brownies he made from confiscated cannabis and then freaked-the-fuck out?
Sure these overindulgence aren’t exactly a marijuana hangover but while it may not be a well-scientifically-documented occurrence, there are a couple published studies on the pot hangover. The claim that many cannabis users have reported feeling a “weed hangover” after a period of over-consumption. “Many” seems like a stretch. Cannabis users can typically hand their herb. Complete cannabis rookies like Dowd—not so much.
Study participants who’ve suffered a weed hangover don’t describe the pot hangover as having the same level of severity as alcohol hangovers, but the do claim there are residual effects from marijuana that can produce unpleasant symptoms. One marijuana hangover study published in 1985 looked at the possibility of a weed hangover the day after participants got toned. Thirteen men smoked joints containing either 2.9 percent THC or a placebo containing note. Participants completed a series of behavioral tasks right after smoking then again after sleeping for nine hours. Significant changes were noticed only in the subjects who had smoked the cannabis containing 2.9 percent THC. Those who smoked the placebo did not show any signs of a pot hangover the day after. The study concluded that “marijuana smoking can produce residual (hangover) effects the day after smoking, but the precise nature and extent of these effects, as well as their practical implications, remain to be determined.”
Another weed hangover study published in 1998 concluded that “residual effects of smoking a single marijuana cigarette are minimal.” There were only 10 participants in this one and it only studied the effects after smoking one joint. Most users who have reported feeling residual, day-after, effects have consumed way more.
It’s not possible to predict exactly what amount of herb may cause someone to get a hangover from weed. That’s because every person’s body processes and metabolizes cannabinoids at different rates and not all strains are the same. Plus the same strain can produce different effects in different people. While one person may be able to consume large quantities of cannabis without ever getting a weed hangover, another person may feel residual effects from just a bowl or two.
Possible causes of weed hangover
- Amount of cannabis consumed
- Method of marijuana delivery
- Quality of the product consumed
Of course overindulgence increases chances your chances of getting a hangover from weed. Just asked Maureen Dowd. Like we mentioned before she ignored advice and ate way too much of a marijuana edible. She also ignored the fact that a weed hangover is more likely to develop when eating and digesting marijuana edibles than from smoking or vaporizing flowers. Why? First it’s obviously a bit more difficult to gauge the amount of weed being consumed when eating cannabis—especially when you make your own edibles. Plus the body processes marijuana more slowly through gastrointestinal absorption. Depending on the rate at which weed is metabolized it may remain in a person’s digestive system up to 12 hours. This could result in a person feeling significantly high for a long time.
When smoked weed is smoked the component that gets your high, delta-9 THC, bypasses processing by the liver and directly enters the bloodstream by absorption through the lungs. However when eaten THC is metabolized by the liver, changing it from delta-9 THC to 11-hydroxy-THC. Interestingly enough 11-hydroxy-THC is absorbed at a slower rate than plain THC. This causes the effects of eating weed to be more psychedelic. It’s also the reason why many medical marijuana patients prefer to ingest cannabis — the effects are often stronger and longer lasting.
When eating marijuana edibles, it is always a good idea to start with a low dose, and expect to wait 1 to 2 hours to feel full effects. If you feel like you’ve had too much the best thing to do is to eat something—something without weed in it.
Headaches after smoking weed are fairly common—even for the experienced stoner. Other than getting a headache after smoking weed there are several reported weed hangover symptoms including:
- Dry itchy eyes
- Grogginess or spaciness
- Limited functionality or feeling of being in slow motion
- Mild nausea
Weed hangover symptoms
Of course there are other weed hangover symptoms than what’s listed above. But what’s important is to keep in mind that everybody experienced marijuana differently. Just because you don’t get a weed hangover after a session doesn’t mean everyone in your crew won’t. If we’ve left out and weed hangover symptoms, let us know in the comments below, man. We’d like to create an exhaustive list.
Weed hangover cure
There really isn’t a single weed hangover cure. But there are a few things you can do to minimize the unwanted side effects of being high. The most important is to just drink some water, but you could also:
Like we said none of these are an actual weed hangover cure but they could help mitigated the negative side effects of being high. Plus your chances of avoided a hangover from weed increase by following more than one of these suggestions.
How to prevent a marijuana hangover
Like we said, different peeps react differently to weed. Some people may feel fucked up after smoking, some don’t—it’s difficult to predict. Anyhow here are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of a weed hangover:
- Avoid over-consumption
- Stay hydrated
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid sugary foods
- Eat fruits and vegetables
So it looks like the weed hangover is a real thing. Pro tip on avoiding one and enjoying your high? Put on some good music and just don’t overdo it, man.This will definitely decrease your chances of experiencing the negative side effects of being high.
Ever had a weed hangover? Tell us about it and what you did to reduce its effects in the comments below…