Cannabis Hangovers
3 min

Cannabis Hangovers And How To Manage Smoking Too Much

3 min
Lifestyle News

The term hangover is associated with the horrendous feeling of guzzling to much booze the night before. However, some people also experience a bit of a lag the morning after smoking more weed than they can handle. We take a look at what this is and how to manage it.

Is it possible to get a hangover from smoking weed? Well, almost all of us who have smoked or do smoke will recognise a slight heaviness and drowsiness after a particularly heavy night of smoking. The type of sessions where you take one too many bong rips on your friend's sofa, and the next thing you remember is waking up in the exact same spot. Only, when we get up, we find we slowly step to the bathroom to be met with a pair of heavy and slightly red eyes staring back at you in the mirror.

Whether this should be described as a hangover or not, it certainly is residual effects from smoking large amounts of good quality weed. Perhaps the main turn off from naming this sensation a hangover is the comparison to the sensation brought about by excess alcohol consumption, which produces an entirely different set of problems, such as vomiting, shaking, dire headaches and sometimes dangerous levels of dehydration.

What Does A Cannabis Hangover Feel Like?

What does a cannabis hangover feel like?

Although the type of hangover from cannabis is entirely different and far less severe, some smokers may experience fatigue, lethargy, dry eyes and perhaps coughing or congestion. However, there is a difference between this state and actually waking up still high from perhaps only sleeping for a short period of time, or consuming a strong edible that may last past 6 hours.

The aftermath effects of smoking far too much cannabis are often described as having a feeling that the space your brain once occupied is filled with cotton. A strange description indeed, but one that perhaps explains the feeling of spaciness and not quite being entirely grounded.

How Do You Get A Cannabis Hangover?

This sensation is the result of ingesting large amounts of cannabis. The molecule responsible for the psychoactive effect obtained from weed is the phytocannabinoid THC. This molecule is fat-soluble and can be stored in fat within the body, meaning some THC is released later into your system after you have smoked. Therefore THC may linger within your body for some time before being fully metabolised and cleared.

How do you get a cannabis hangover?Edibles are a more likely suspect for inducing a cannabis hangover, not only do they take longer to set in, but the high itself also lasts far longer. This is primarily due to the fact that when orally ingested, THC is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, an active metabolite that is highly effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier and therefore results in more of an intense feeling psychoactive high. On the other hand, inhaled THC takes more of a direct route to the brain.

Additionally, edibles are more likely culprits at causing a cannabis hangover due to the fact that they take some time to move through the digestive tract, meaning that THC may be metabolised for up to a day.

How To Prevent A Cannabis Hangover

It is often said that a prevention is better than a cure, meaning that restraint can be taken to avoid over indulgence that may cause a cannabis hangover. Of course, at times people may wish to push the limit and experience a strong high; there is nothing wrong with this if it is their personal choice. However, if circumstances such as work or appointments the next day are present, restraint can be taken to avoid that sluggish feeling in the morning.

Perhaps the simplest approach is monitoring your intake. Previous experimentation and experience will allow awareness to what your limit is. Of course, blunts packed with high THC strains and edibles filled with high-grade cannabis will require far less as far as quantity is concerned. Knowing how much you can handle along with what strain you are ingesting is important if you don’t want to feel too wiped out the next day.

Another factor is the time and which you decide to get high. If you are awake at 2 AM with you friends and suddenly decide to start ripping bongs and chowing on edibles, chances are you are going to feel it much more in the morning as opposed to starting at 8 PM with some light spliffs instead.

Drinking decent amounts of water will help to dilute your blood and also helps to eliminate via urination.

How To Get Rid Of A Cannabis Hangover

How to get rid of a cannabis hangover?

If you have already overindulged and are feeling a tad lethargic the next morning, there may be certain measures to take to minimise the impact.

Hitting the gym or going for a run or bike ride will help to energise you, will boost blood flow around the body, and contribute to feeling awake and alert.

A dose of a CBD extract might also help to counteract the effects of THC within the body.

Drinking a good amount of water through the day will help with energy levels and will help to eradicate any dry mouth that resulted from smoking so much.


  Luke Sumpter  

Written by: Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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