Though there hasn’t been much scientific inquiry into the validity of whether there is such a thing as marijuana hangover, there are plenty of anecdotal reports of people suffering next-day symptoms after smoking. Quite unlike alcohol hangover, those report a hangover after smoking marijuana report less severe symptoms than those who report a hangover after a night of drinking. Similar to an alcohol hangover, a “weed” hangover will go away on its own in time. The worst-case scenario will be that the person suffering from the hangover gets a good night’s sleep before they start feeling better.
What Does a Cannabis Hangover Feel Like?
With little scientific or medical documentation on the subject, the “symptoms” of a hangover from using cannabis are reported differently depending on who is surveyed. Some might say there is no such thing as a “weed” hangover. Others might say it’s as bad as or worse than an alcohol hangover.
In the end, it likely comes down to the same factors that cause alcohol hangover. Namely, the decisions you make the night before and the morning after using any substance can influence the types and severity of symptoms a hangover. In 1985, one of the few scientific studies on THC hangover was conducted.
Though poorly structured and flawed in its methodology and sample size, the study did indicate a slight statistically significant increase in hangover symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, nausea, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating in the group that consumed cannabis over the group that smoke a placebo cigarette.
How to Avoid Marijuana Hangover
Assuming for the sake of argument that such a thing as cannabis hangover does exist, how might someone prevent it? The most obvious answer would be to abstain, but there’s not much fun in that. One useful suggestion would be to only use pesticide-free, lab-tested marijuana. The reports of a weed-induced hangover in those who use medical marijuana are few and far between.
That said, the THC in marijuana does, in fact, have effects in the body other than inducing general silliness or paranoia. THC slows down saliva production and tear production, which leads to dry mouth and dry eyes. While that doesn’t necessarily cause dehydration, dehydration can aggravate those symptoms and could well be the cause of hangover symptoms such as headaches and constipation.
Whether cannabis hangover is fact or fallacy, it’s important to take everything in moderation. Marijuana in and of itself is probably the furthest thing from a dangerous substance, but even beneficial substances such as prescription drugs and even vitamins can be harmful in excess amounts.
Alcohol used medically for its anxiety-reducing effects and by scientists for its solvent properties has been proven much more destructive than marijuana. In moderation, however, any natural substance should help more than it hurts for it to be worth investigating for recreation or medicine. The key is, again, moderation. Of those who reported hangover symptoms after using marijuana also admitted to heavy use.