The Cannabis Hangover – What it is and how to avoid it

Unfortunately, hangovers don’t stop with alcohol. Although this is not nearly as bad! 

Ever felt droopy when you wake up after consuming more cannabis than you normally would ? More noticeable for some than others, and some don’t even recognize it at all. So all while it’s not something that happens regularly, you’re still going to want a few pointers for when it does happen.

What is a cannabis hangover?

A Cannabis hangover commonly occurs when overindulging in recreational cannabis use, whether it be smoking, vaping or even chowing down on some edibles. 

Slight psychoactive effects caused by high amounts of THC will still linger in your body, making you feel lethargic and drowsy. 

There are a few things you can look out for in a cannabis hangover – then tackle them with some remedies! 

Symptoms of a cannabis hangover


Cannabis hangovers are generally mild at worst and are not very common. Simply put – you’d have to consume a lot more than your usual dosage to experience a Cannabis hangover that’s noticeable or even worth remedying. 

All the following side effects are worth treating:

  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Fogginess
  • Headache

How to know if it’s a weed hangover?

Besides the obvious fact that you’ve consumed too much cannabis recently – you’ll also easily be able to identify a cannabis hangover from a few notable side effects. More on that below.

Weed hangovers are easiest to undergo when experimenting with edibles, as these can contain very high amounts of THC and are easily consumable, and in most cases delicious! Edibles widely range in THC strengths and start anywhere from 10-15 mg per serving. 

In the case of a ‘weed hangover” – you’ll feel mild effects of THC still lurking in your system, with some of the side effects also still being present. (dry mouth, eyes etc.)

Weed hangovers can last anywhere from a few hours to an entire day, in some cases even 2 days. The main noticeable effects are the general lethargy and fogginess that comes as an after effect of consuming cannabis. You’ll feel these effects mildly, however they become more noticeable to yourself as time progresses and the feeling doesn’t pass completely. Many people describe it as a light “haze” just laying over their day. 

It’s important not to confuse the following scenarios with weed hangovers: 

  1. Mixing weed with alcohol or other drugs
  • In the case of mixing marijuana with alcohol or other drugs, together they can form powerful effects that can last upwards of 24 hours. The effects of cannabis by itself usually wears off after some sleep. 
  1. Marijuana withdrawal
  • Withdrawal side effects can happen from just 12 hours of not smoking (or earlier in some cases) and is not to be confused with a marijuana hangover. A hangover will feel like a subtler version of a weed-induced high the next day, whereas withdrawal is much more serious and can include a few very unwanted side effects such as mood changes, appetite and sleep loss, nausea etc. 
  1. Lingering effects of weed
  • Now, before you can blame yourself for having a weed hangover, you might want to consider that you’re still just intoxicated. Cannabis highs last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, but can last longer if you’re a new user. 

Is there any scientific research on weed hangovers?


There isn’t much science on weed hangovers, and  information that is indeed available on the subject is either outdated or has major limitations. 

An old study dating back to 1985 provided 13 males with either a marijuana cigarette or a placebo cigarette, testing their indication on time intervals the following day. Those who smoked the marijuana cigarette the previous day judged time intervals to be 10–30 seconds longer than they actually were. 

The authors of the study concluded that, although very mild, day-after effects of cannabis probably do exist. The study suffers from extreme limitations in terms of it being male only subjects as well as only 13 individuals being tested. 

Another study from 1990 tested 12 males over 2 weekends; one weekend in which cannabis cigarettes were consumed by all men, and the following weekend providing them with placebo marijuana cigarettes. The authors conducted a series of subjective and behavioural tests, however, concluded that weed didn’t seem to have much of an effect the next morning.

But, in case you do fall into that scenario, here’s what you can do to ease it out a bit: 

How to get rid of a cannabis hangover

Weed hangovers typically go away with time, and there isn’t much you can do for immediate relief. Here are some known remedies:

  • Stay hydrated – A lifesaver to remember before, during, and after cannabis consumption. It generally helps with dry mouth, eyes, and headaches. 
  • Eat a nutritional breakfast – To help your body recover, opt for a healthy breakfast. This should include some whole-grain carbohydrates with a lean source of protein as well as fats. 
  • Take a shower – You’ll feel refreshed and hydrated after a morning shower. The hot steam will also help open up your airways. 
  • Enjoy some ginger tea – Ginger is a natural stimulant to your digestive system. It can help with digestive problems such as nausea. You can add a smidge of grated ginger to warm water with lemon and honey to soothe an upset stomach. 
  • Drink caffeine – To aid in alertness, a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea will surely do the trick.
  • Try CBD – Anecdotal reports suggest that CBD can help counteract some symptoms associated with a weed hangover. Just be sure to stay away from THC. 
  • Take a pain reliever – If your headache seems persistent, you can take any over-the-counter available painkillers. 

How to avoid cannabis hangovers?


It’s not something to be super alert about – unless you have important tasks to handle the next day that quire maximum alertness and focus. 

You can avoid all or most of the side effects that follow the next day by:

  • Staying hydrated during your sessions and after
  • Consuming responsibly, don’t overindulge.
  • Leaving enough time before you need to tend to responsibilities
  • Exercising in the AM the following day

While there isn’t much research on that subject, reports recommend that smoking or taking cannabis-infused products can trigger symptoms that are felt the next day. For most seasoned users, smoking a couple of joints, hitting several bowls, or slamming back a few edibles results in these side effects the following day: brain fog, tiredness, dry eyes, nausea, and cotton mouth.

For more great devices and products, visit Vaperite and Vapeshop, South Africa’s leading vape shop and cannabis paraphernalia outlet chain.


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