Consume enough alcohol to get drunk and it’s a safe bet you’re going to feel the effects of a hangover in the morning. The alcohol hangover is a well-established phenomenon with legitimate biological and medical explanations. But what about the alleged weed hangover? Is it a real thing?
Anecdotal evidence suggests it is real. Weed users often complain of residual side effects in the hours immediately following coming off a marijuana high. Interestingly though, not every marijuana user experiences these effects. If the weed hangover is a real thing, it doesn’t affect all users.
Genuine Research Is Limited
What we really need to determine the legitimacy of the weed hangover is genuine research. Thanks to the federal government’s strict stand against marijuana and THC, such research has been limited. However, there were two small scale studies done several decades ago.
The first study concluded that residual hangover affects following marijuana consumption can impair users considerably. The second study concluded that, while a weed hangover may be real, its adverse effects on normal functioning are limited. Simply put, both studies concluded that the weed hangover is legit. They only disagreed in how profound the effects of the hangover are.
Both studies suffer from a small sample size and the lack of diversity among participants. That being the case, their conclusions cannot be construed as solid science. A lot more research, with larger sample sizes and greater diversity, need to be conducted to answer the question once and for all.
Weed Hangover and Consumption Volume
It has been suggested that the weed hangover is more likely in people who consume large amounts of THC. People who casually smoke a joint here and there are less likely to experience it. If that is the case, future research should demonstrate consistency among both recreational and medical users.
Understanding that recreational users might consume excessive amounts of THC is not hard. But even medical users can consume quite a bit, according to the medical experts at Utah Marijuana. Depending on a medical marijuana patient’s condition and symptoms, THC consumption can be significant enough to warrant taking regular breaks in order to avoid dependence.
Common sense suggests that consuming enough THC to warrant dependence avoidance strategies should be enough to induce weed hangover. And yet, not every medical marijuana user experiences the phenomenon. That is one of the most puzzling things about weed hangover.
Possible Hangover Explanations
One possible explanation for weed hangover relates to delivery method. Anecdotally speaking, people who experience the hangover are more likely to do so after consuming edibles. It is possible that THC from edibles lingers in the system longer than THC consumed by smoking or vaping. And if that’s the case, weed hangover may be nothing more than THC’s effects taking longer to wear off.
Another possible explanation suggests that cannabis can lead to dehydration. If that’s the case, symptoms being attributed to weed hangover may really be symptoms of dehydration. The problem with this explanation is that there is no science to even suggest it could be true. The theory is based on speculation that the dry mouth associated with marijuana consumption equals dehydration. That’s not the case.
When all is said and done, the only legitimate conclusion we can make about weed hangover is that some marijuana users report experiencing it. Anecdotal evidence is strong enough to suggest that weed hangover is real, but it’s not scientific proof. We will not know for sure until more comprehensive studies are conducted. In the meantime, you can always try to reduce your consumption if you experience weed hangover and find it too uncomfortable.