Weed Hangovers Are Real: Here’s How to Manage Them

So you got more baked than a croissant last night and woke up this morning feeling like melted butter? You might have a weed hangover 🥴

By Piotr Kuzniewicz Last Updated: August 29, 2023
Last Updated: August 29, 2023

Have you ever woken up after a dense smoking session and felt unmotivated to even lift a finger?

That’s a telltale sign of a weed hangover. 

Despite the widespread use of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes, the subject of weed hangovers has been ignored.

In this article, we shed light on what a weed hangover is, what it feels like, why you feel like this, and what you can do to combat and prevent them.

Long story short:

  1. Weed hangovers and alcohol hangovers aren’t the same — Alcohol hangovers result from ethanol poisoning, while weed hangovers stem from overstimulating CB1 receptors in the brain.
  2. It can cause a wide range of physiological symptoms — Mild headaches, loss of motivation, decreased appetite, low mood, and irritability.
  3. Weed hangovers are easy to treat — Give yourself some me-time and eat a hearty meal, rest, walk in nature, meditate, and drink a lot of water.
  4. High-potency weed is more likely to give you a hangover — Use low-THC weed or take smaller doses. THC is the culprit that causes weed hangovers.

Let’s give the subject a broader look.

What Is a Weed Hangover?

A weed hangover is an umbrella term for a range of symptoms that show up after a heavy session of cannabis use. 

These symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • General feelings of sadness
  • Loss of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating

Unlike alcohol hangovers, a weed hangover doesn’t result from poisoning. It occurs when you overstimulate CB1 receptors in your brain.

The excess stimulation disrupts the body’s natural processes, including memory, mood, focus, motivation, and communication between neurotransmitters — leading to fatigue and brain fog [1].

How Long Does a Weed Hangover Last?

This depends on how overboard you go. The hangover may last for up to 6 hours if you use a little too much.

But heavier weed hangovers can linger for the whole day, losing intensity over time.

You can speed up your recovery by following a few dead-simple steps, which we’ll cover later in the article.

What Causes a Weed Hangover?

The exact cause of a weed hangover isn’t well understood yet, but experts believe it derives from THC’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is the master regulatory network that works to maintain homeostasis in the body, managing essential processes like sleep, mood, body temperature, pain control, fertility, appetite, immune function, etc. [2].

When THC enters your system, it stimulates CB1 receptors in the brain. When you get too high, these receptors are overstimulated — hence the hangover [3].

Factors that increase the risk of feeling hungover after blazing:

  • Dose — the higher the dose, the higher you get – and the worse you may feel in the morning.
  • Potency — high-THC strains are more likely to overstimulate your CB1 receptors
  • Consumption method — edibles hit you harder because THC transforms into a more potent metabolite [4].
  • Dehydration — when you’re high and dehydrated, you may experience brain fog the next day.
  • Poor sleep — sleep deprivation is another serious contributor to a weed hangover. Together, they may cause stronger cognitive impairment.

Treating A Weed Hangover (Best Methods)

Since you’re not poisoned, you just need to tune in your system to get back on track and function as if nothing has ever happened.

Here are a few dead-simple steps to curb your weed hangover.

Rest in a Comfortable Place

Don’t get this wrong; it’s not about rotting in bed for the whole day. In fact, the best you can do when you have a weed hangover is to go for a walk.

It’s all the better if you have a park or pine forest nearby. Spending time in nature leaves you with your own thoughts, gives you a nice dopamine reset, and helps you practice mindfulness by carefully observing your surroundings.

Hydrate Yourself

Dehydration can make your weed hangover even worse. Without enough water, the communication between your neurotransmitters is disrupted, leading to impaired cognition [5].

Water helps you bring that balance back and reverse the negative impact of the hangover. You should drink it even if you don’t feel like doing so. You’ll thank us later.

Eat a Hearty Meal

When you go too heavy on weed, you may experience a phenomenon called “greening out” [6].

When you green out, your glucose levels drop significantly, and you become faint. If you don’t want to sleep it over, the best way to combat a greenout is to eat a hearty meal.

Let your munchies do the work for you. Once full, you should feel more functional.

Do Some Stretching or Light Exercise

Once you overcome your initial lack of motivation, gentle exercise or stretching can restore the body’s balance and reduce discomfort.

Not to mention that exercise stimulates the release of your body’s endocannabinoids, making you feel uplifted and better overall.

Take CBD Oil

Using CBD to counteract the side effects of THC is a popular remedy among those suffering from a weed hangover.

CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp. It has remarkable anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving properties; it’s also a potent antioxidant and neuroprotectant [7,8].

Although CBD won’t cure your hangover, it can prevent and alleviate some of the pesky symptoms. When buying CBD oil, make sure to order only from brands that provide batch-specific certificates of analysis (CoAs).

Other Remedies for Weed Hangover

CBD is just one of the many natural remedies you can use to fight weed hangover. 

Make sure to include the following ingredients in your routine:

  • Organic tea — drinking a cup of organic chamomile tea can help reduce the side effects and promote relaxation [9].
  • Essential oils — pine tree oils or lavender oils can improve your cognition while reducing anxiety during a weed hangover [10].
  • OTC pain medications — while not recommended, they can be a good short-term intervention if you need a quick fix for the discomfort.

How to Prevent Weed Hangover

Hopefully, weed hangovers are a rare phenomenon compared to alcohol hangovers. Better yet, you can easily prevent them if you keep your weed intake in moderation and don’t cross your tolerance during sessions.

Here’s a little cheat sheet.

Use Low-THC Cannabis

Strains with a higher CBD-to-THC ratio are less likely to cause a weed hangover because they don’t overstimulate CB1 receptors. They’re not as euphoric as high-THC varieties, but they make for a safer pick if you’re just getting started with cannabis.

Avoid Large Doses or Heavy Use

We’ve all got too high at some point in our lives — and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

But there’s also no point in using large doses of weed frequently. Even if your tolerance increases to the point you no longer get too high, your CB1 receptors still become overstimulated.

That’s why some heavy cannabis users experience short-term memory problems and other signs of cognitive decline, such as slow reaction time and impaired coordination.

Drink Water Before & After Smoking/Vaping

Once again, hydration is paramount if you want to avoid weed hangovers — and it’s the first thing you should take care of if you have one.

Drinking a lot of water will restore the balance between your neurotransmitters and help you get rid of brain fog and fatigue.

Take Breaks Between Sessions

Pace yourself, as they say, in the fitness industry. Smoking weed isn’t a form of competition; you need to adjust the dose, consumption method, and form of weed to your sensitivity, tolerance, and individual preferences.

If you take two puffs and feel that nice vibe in your head, don’t try to upgrade it with another two until you feel 100% sure they won’t get you too stoned. Otherwise, you’ll put yourself on a good path to a weed hangover.

Final Thoughts: Weed Hangovers

Weed hangovers are real — but they’re nowhere near as bad as a hangover from drinking alcohol.

Your body isn’t poisoned; it’s rather tired from the excessive stimulation of CB1 receptors in the brain.

Fortunately, weed hangovers are short-lived, and you can easily manage them with simple, at-home remedies.

Nevertheless, it’s better to prevent a weed hangover than to cure one. Always use cannabis responsibly, using doses that are in line with your tolerance and sensitivity to THC.


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  2. Kaur, R., Ambwani, S. R., & Singh, S. (2016). Endocannabinoid System: A Multi-Facet Therapeutic Target. Current clinical pharmacology, 11(2), 110–117. https://doi.org/10.2174/1574884711666160418105339
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  6. Illicit Drugs and Young People. (2018). How do You Look After Someone Who Is Greening Out on Cannabis? Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia.
  7. Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9010021
  8. Fernández-Ruiz, J., Sagredo, O., Pazos, M. R., García, C., Pertwee, R., Mechoulam, R., & Martínez-Orgado, J. (2013). Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid? British journal of clinical pharmacology, 75(2), 323–333. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04341.x
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