Weed Hangovers: Symptoms, Prevention, and Cures

 

weed hangover

One negative side of alcohol and other drugs is the hangover effect they produce the morning after consumption. What about cannabis? Can you get a weed hangover?

I personally never associated weed with hangovers. In fact, ‘lack of hangover’ was always something positive I attributed to weed. But, it does seem some people may experience hangover symptoms after smoking or otherwise ingesting THC. It got me curious. So, I did some research.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comment section at the end of the article.

Are Weed Hangovers Real?

I wanted to start by checking on any scholarly research papers. There is actually a surprising body of work on the topic. I thought with all this research I could easily find out if weed hangovers were legit.

Unfortunately, the various research papers don’t all agree with each another. I’ll quickly go over a few of the studies and their outcomes.

Studies Claiming Weed Hangovers Are Real

  • Chait et al. (1985) – The is the earliest, and perhaps the most famous and cited, article about the subject. The article established much of the precedence for the ‘weed hangover’. This articles states, “The findings suggest that marijuana smoking can produce residual (hangover) effects the day after smoking.” Remember the name Chait (author of this article). This name is going to come up again shortly. For now, let’s move on.
  • Heishman et al. (1990) – Five years later this study was published by the Nation Institute on Drug Abuse. They to found cannabis could produce a hangover effect. They state, “These preliminary results suggest that marijuana can adversely affect complex human performance up to 24 hours after smoking.”
  • Wadsworth et al. (2005) – This study aimed to look specifically at how weed hangovers affect someone at work. They tested some unique variables (cognitive performance, mood and human error), and also found that cannabis can create a hangover. This study states cannabis can create “a ‘hangover’-type effect which may increase with frequency of use.” So, this article suggests the hangover effect increases among habitual smokers.

With all these papers you would think it’s an easy call. Well, I’ve only given you half the story.

Studies Claiming Weed Hangovers Are NOT Real

  • Chait, L.D. (1990) – Remember I told you not to forget the name Chait? Here he is 5 years after publishing his now famous study, but this time he’s claiming cannabis does not give you a hangover. He performed the same basic study (with a few updates), and concluded, “No evidence of residual subjective intoxication was found, and most of the behavioral tasks and mood scales were unaffected the morning after.”
  • Fant et al. (1998) – This study was very similar to the Chait 1990 study, and both studies drew the same conclusion. The articles states, “The residual effects of smoking a single marijuana cigarette are minimal.”

How do you decide who’s right when the researchers are divided? Chait can’t even agree with himself. 

Screw the Studies?

Honestly, how reliable are these studies anyways? For instance, Chait’s first study involved only 13 participants. His second only had 12 subjects. Is this sample size really enough to get accurate results? Another limitation is the fact that the studies mostly used mild doses (or self-report – eww). Most of the studies are on shaky ground, but I’m not saying we should completely throw them out. 

I personally know people who claim to get a hangover feeling after smoking weed so I believe it’s real. Let’s talk about the symptoms.

Symptoms

From now on I’ll be using research studies, as well as, more anecdotal evidence from personal experiences and reports around the web. If you’ve experienced a symptom that isn’t listed please let me know in the comment section.

Physical Symptoms of Weed Hangovers

Physical symptoms weren’t covered much in the studies. One reason could be because the amount of cannabis administered by the researchers was too low to really cause many physical symptoms. Again, I personally never get a hangover feeling, but different people are going to have unique experiences.

Here is a list of some symptoms that have been reported:

  • Headache – This is perhaps the most experienced physical symptoms. The headache is typically very mild and goes away on its own.
  • Nausea – Nausea from cannabis is almost never as debilitating as nausea from an alcohol hangover. Again, this symptom typically doesn’t last longer than a few hours.
  • Lack of Energy / Fatigue – Some people experience a drained feeling and a lack of motivation. It’s kinda one of those things you gotta snap out of.
  • Irritated Eyes – Red and itchy eyes are a common symptom for people who are stoned, but it may also happen to people the morning after smoking. Start with eye drops. If all else fails blame it on allergies like the rest of us.
  • Congestion – This is typically your body’s reaction to the smoke. It will usually decrease with continued use.
  • Dehydration – This often comes in the form of dry mouth. Make sure to drink some water. I mean, it’s good advice for life in general – not just for getting stoned.

I’ll get to the causes and cures in a moment, but first I want to talk about the cognitive symptoms.

Cognitive Symptoms of Weed Hangovers

Cognitive symptoms primarily affect mental processes. These types of symptoms were the primary interest of the researchers. Below are some of the symptoms outlined in the research. I added links to studies that haven’t been previously mentioned in this article. 

  • Shortened Attention Span – Pope et al. (1995)
  • Difficulty with Psychomotor Tasks (motor skills that involve high levels of cognitive thinking) – Pope et al. (1995)
  • Short-Term Memory Loss – Block & Ghoneim (1993), Heishman et al. (1990), Pope et al. (1995)
  • Difficulty Performing Math – Block & Ghoneim (1993), Heishman et al. (1990)
  • Difficulty with Verbal Expression – Block & Ghoneim (1993)

All of these symptoms were considered mild and only experienced by a small percentage of participants.

That covers most of the cognitive symptoms. One symptom not mentioned in the studies would simply be the feeling of still being high in the morning. Kind of a foggy mind type of thing. This is commonly a feeling described by those who have weed hangovers.

What Causes a Weed Hangover?

The same smoke session may leave 4 people just fine, but 1 person ends up feeling a bit blah the next morning. The cause can vary greatly, and it could be more than one factor working against you. Here are some of the common causes:

  • First Timers – If you’re trying cannabis for the first time, or even trying a new method (e.g. first time taking dabs or edibles) you may experience some residual effects in the morning. These effects should die down if used more frequently. Make sure to take it easy.
  • Smoked / Ingested Too Much – This can happen to a beginner smoker or even veteran tokers. Consuming too much cannabis is probably the #1 reason why people report to get weed hangovers. Again, take it easy.
  • How You Consume – Depending on if you smoke, vape, or eat an edible may have different effects on you the morning after. Also, if you smoke then how you smoke matters as well. For example, joints, blunts, bongs, and hand pipes may all affect you differently. Switch up your method of consumption the next time
  • Cannabis Quality – The quality can certainly have massive effects on your high which I wouldn’t doubt could follow some people until the next morning. If possible, try switching up your source to see if a different batch of cannabis helps mitigate any hangover feeling. Here are a few common quality issues that may cause a weed hangover:
    • Curing – The is the process of drying the cannabis. It has to be done in a proper way over the necessary amount of time. Most often you’ll see under-cured buds when someone is trying to push the product out too soon.
    • Residual Nutrients – Most growers are using some sort of nutrients. The common practice is to flush these nutrients out using lots of water a few weeks before harvesting. If not flushed properly, then the chemicals from the nutrients could cause some side effects.
    • Pesticides,Fungicides, etc. – This is similar to the nutrients. If the grower is using pesticides and fungicides that are toxic then you could be smoking some chemicals in addition to your herb.

If you are experiencing weed hangovers then these items are the things you should be changing up to make them stop.

This is a decent list, but I’m sure there are more out there. If you know of any additional causes let me and everyone else know in the comment section.

How to Cure a Weed Hangover

There really is no magic. Most of the physical symptoms can be taken care of the same way you would normally take care of it. That is, treat a headache the same as you always would. Drink plenty of water, and take it easy if possible.

The good news is, it’s unlikely that your weed hangover is going to last very long. It’s mostly a matter of making yourself comfortable while you wait it out. I wish I had a better answer for a cure, but that’s all I’ve got. Let me know in the comments if you have any good cures or remedies for weed hangovers.

Final Thoughts

Everyone is different so everyone is going to experience different effects. In the end, I think there are some people who experience weed hangovers, but they tend to be mild. They also seem to affect a rather small portion of smokers.

Weed hangovers are seemingly nothing in comparison to the hangovers you get from alcohol and other drugs.

If you enjoyed this article then you may like some of my other articles. Try Can Weed Go Bad? + Storage Tips or maybe Can You Eat Raw Weed & Get High?

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to drop me a comment below. 

31 Comments

  • stoner girl says:

    I only ever get what I would call “weed hangovers” when I smoke some sativas but not all. I never get this problem with indicas though. I usually get headaches and I’m irritable once the high wears off

    • Mary Jane says:

      That’s a really interesting observation. Thanks for sharing!!

      • Mary Jane says:

        hey! we have the same name! anyways, i was feeling a weed high as well and was concerned. def dont like the feeling… shower really helps! also, thanks for all the great tips and information!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a good observation. I only have access to illegal weed and so provenance is doubtful. Symptoms include headache for a day and major irritability for 3 days. When in Denver i was recomended Coreleone Kush. Mostly indica hybrid. Worked like a dream. no symptoms. Legal weed with knowleadgeable vendors is the answer

  • vesta says:

    I would say that a good coffee and a shower is a must. Will fell better and awake.

  • Ligats says:

    I was searching for something like this, I’ve sometimes had the foggy mind after 3~4 days that I smoked a little bit. One reason could be that I only have shitty illegal weed

  • TesKun says:

    I’ve noticed that if I smoke more than one or 2 blunts a week, I’ll get a ‘weed hangover’ but I think it’s more the tobacco in the wrap, or the taste of the flavor. Also metal pieces will have the same effect (headache, wicked cotton mouth, nausea). Swapped over to joints and I got myself a glass piece and I haven’t had an issue since!

  • mide says:

    i have insomnia, indica helps….. no “hangovers”.
    but I get slight headaches and loss of appetite…. with sativa…

    • Mary Jane says:

      That’s interesting, because you’re not the first person who has mentioned this. Thanks for sharing! Your shared knowledge can help someone else figure out why they may be getting a hangover. Cheers!

  • Mary Contrary says:

    The short term memory loss is what bothered me and I no longer smoke when I have work the next day. On the other hand I hear weed is a good cure for headaches!

    Good luck all.

  • Mary Contrary says:

    And flushing is the most important step, then curing. Two places with no place for shortcuts.

    • Mary Jane says:

      So true! I hate when I get improperly dried or cured weed. They spend months growing a plant, then decide to cut corners just to get it out a week or two early – SMH.

  • Mason says:

    I kind of did some research on my own I found its most common in people with low immune system with that being said its not uncommon in those with a strong immune system I lift weights and smoke on a daily I use pot to relieve pain and I just love the feeling but the next day if I get pot hangovers my chest hurts I only smoke pot but my whole body aches and on top of that I get an insane migraine I also found out from friends helping me that its also how smoke joints and blunts are more common to give you pot hangovers than bowls I believe its the amount of smoke taken in as well as what else produces smoke

    If u take the the end piece off of a blunt the smaller end and look closer u realize it has more of a thickness to it I also found its wat turns ur lips black and I believe this effects if u get pot hangovers
    I have a lot of stoner friends and most of them agreed with me they get less of a hangover if they get one at all after taking this piece is taken off

    I hope this helps u at all -friendly neighborhood pot head (smokie)

    • Mary Jane says:

      Great information. Thanks! It could also be the tobacco in the blunt that is causing the headache. People who don’t smoke cigarettes may be sensitive to the nicotine in the blunt.

  • Hassan says:

    I have been having maigrane for 3days after smoking marijuana and a little alcohol please what could be the possible cure ?

  • Wangover says:

    Feeling a wangover the day after taking 10 too many hits, after already having a wangover from the day before. Using a vape with sativa. Feeling spacey, huge loss of mental capacity, loss of nerve feeling, just don’t really feel like I’m all here. It feels like my body’s doing its own thing and my brain isn’t really thinking at all. If this makes sense, my brain is controlling my body movements and my body is moving, but I’m missing the part where I feel like I’m fully in control (don’t really feel the muscle movements). It’s already been 22 hours, will update when back in control. lol

  • Kevin says:

    When I first started smoking, I would mostly smoke joints with friends and smoke way too much. For the next 1-2 days my head would be kinda foggy like I was still kind of high without the feeling good part. I recently started smoking again, but I’m actually vaping now. I first started off with a cartridge with a 70% thc sativa, and would still get high hangovers even though I was only taking 4-6 hits. I then started vaping an Indica with 30% thc and for the first time, I wouldn’t get hangovers. I also bought a herb vape and I would get nasty headaches even halfway through being high. When I first started getting headaches they could last 3-4 days. I soon learned if I vape my Indica cartridge it immediately took my headache away. I no longer use that dry herb vaporizer. I think it all depends on what you smoke, how much you smoke, and what you smoke from. I’m not a heavy user. I just like to get high and I’m good off a few hits and I’ll be done for the day. I do notice if I try to stay high for a while and keep vaping when I’m coming down from a high, I still get hangovers. I have tried another high end herb vaporizer as well, and have not gotten headaches from it, even when smoking the same type of herb from the same batch. Just change your variables until your high hangovers are no more, and stick with it!

  • Angel says:

    I read this page cause last night I smoked 6 blunts with 4 people in rotation and at least a gram in each. I’ve been tired/drained, a little dehydrated, and have a persistent but minor headache

  • tom colter says:

    I am an old fart, & I’ve smoked pot for 50 years .
    Pot today can be 10 or more times as strong as was back in the 1960s

    I get ‘hangovers’ now– sometimes including nausea
    (& –rarely ) throwing up too– & my body chemistry gets unbalanced)

    To alleviate this,
    I drink up to an ounce of ‘dill-pickle-juice’.

    It’s a big help as are chunky pasta-sauce items. These seem to correct my body PH level.
    I think ‘Pot’ use- changes my body balance toward the ‘base’ not the acidic.
    (check your own ph level–)
    Works for me, Happy Smokin’ !

  • Michael Herskovits says:

    I get a hangover every single time i smoke. My preferred method is my beloved bong. I’ll usually rip one bowl per session, sometimes 2. I try not to smoke on worknights though because i am useless the next day. I am completely fatigued and lethargic. I feel like i was up all night, like my sleep was not rejuvenating at all. Dragging my ass around at work, can’t think, I’m not sharp as i need to be, my memory is worthless, can’t multitask (my job is a fast paced environment). There is also no point in going to the gym as i do every day after work since i just walk around in a fog. I typically get to the gym approx 20 hours after blazing and still i suffer. Even on weekends i would have to worry if i have plans the next day before i smoke. It’s ridiculous. The only thing i find that helps me is waking up the next morning, I’ll drink 1 or 2 cups of water, and read in bed for a bit until i fall back asleep. After this approx 2 hour nap, i wake up feeling mostly normal. I’m not sure why the nap helps more than a good night’s sleep, no matter how many hours i get. Problem is, i don’t have time for this on work days, so i can’t smoke every night. Fml!!!
    Why me?? Oh God, why me? Why does mary jane do me like this? Lmfao! Seriously tho, so not cool Mary.

  • Rose says:

    I have terrible weed hangovers. I feel lethargic and numb the next few days. I get horrible panic attacks because I am naturally anxious and the dizziness that comes with the fog just scares me. I am thinking of quitting weed altogether.. It really sucks but I can’t keep living with the weed hangovers.

  • Wolfe Mother says:

    I’m worried I might be experiencing extreme hangovers and wonder what y’all have to say about it. Smoking at bedtime, followed by a near impossibility to wake up, come into my body, stay awake, get moving. I can go back to sleep an endless number of times and sleep an endless number of hours if someone doesn’t force me awake. Are they related? If I skip a few nights I don’t see much of a difference but I’m a life-time smoker so maybe it takes longer to exit my system…..? My goal is to wake up when I need/want to wake up. Right now I can’t seem to wake up and stay awake at all.

  • Nester says:

    I’ve got a hangover right now: I smoked two bowls last night, which was way too much. I think that the hangover, as with alcohol, is mostly because I’m dehydrated: weed makes me pee a lot, and I was too stoned to listen to my body’s signals telling me to rehydrate. All that said, I took some Tylenol, and it cut the headache and nausea in half. I’m drinking some tea, and I have some coffee brewing (in my experience, there isn’t anything that caffeine doesn’t help). I used to drink to the point of hospitalization, and alcohol withdrawal is 1000x worse than this.

  • Avtar says:

    I drink marijuana preparation (bhang) four days prior and my head was still feeling heavyness, my throat feel thristy for five- six hours after getting it

  • Moses says:

    I eat weed nd I have been having headache and chest pain for d pass four month now some times is hard for me too breath and I have gone for X-ray my hearth nd lungs is fine please what can I do I have been like this for d pass four month now I can’t even go out

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