The morning after heavily smoking cannabis, a hangover may occur. A marijuana hangover is characterized by feelings of grogginess, haziness and lethargy. It can affect your memory and cause other distressing symptoms.
Everyone reacts differently to cannabis. Although some marijuana users experience a hangover the morning after heavy use, others do not. Some say marijuana hangovers are a myth, but research has shown that next-day effects can occur.
Hangovers are often associated with alcohol use. But marijuana can also produce uncomfortable symptoms the day after heavy use. Many marijuana users say that not sleeping well the night of heavy smoking increases their risk for a hangover.
In 1985, one of the first studies to examine the effects of marijuana the day after use was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The report found that people can experience signs of a weed hangover the following day.
Symptoms of a marijuana hangover include:
A weed hangover can lead to poor performance at work, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. In the report, marijuana users who engaged in heavy cannabis smoking over a weekend showed lower alertness and slower psychomotor speed during the workweek.
The morning after marijuana use, people can experience dry mouth. This condition occurs when salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. Dry mouth can result in dehydration.
Dehydration, a symptom of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, can lead to headaches. Many people who smoke the drug report experiencing weed headaches that persist for hours, and some marijuana users experience these headaches the next morning.
Memory problems among chronic cannabis users can last at least seven days after last use, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The more marijuana you use, the more severe your hangover symptoms can be the following day.
Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. This chemical is responsible for the plant’s euphoric effects. THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and disrupts physical and mental functioning.
When THC enters the brain, the high can last two to three hours. If someone smokes a large amount of cannabis, the drug’s residual effects can last longer. And these effects can last even longer if marijuana edibles are used.
Inexperienced marijuana users have an elevated risk for experiencing a cannabis hangover. Their tolerance is low, and they might not know how much of the substance they can handle. This can lead to overindulgence and lingering effects the next morning.
Because the brain isn’t fully mature until a person reaches their 20s, cannabis typically stays in the teen brain longer than in the adult brain. In a 2015 interview with NPR, neuroscientist Francis E. Jensen explained that weed blocks the brain’s ability to form new memories, so the cognitive effects of heavy marijuana use are more pronounced in teens than in adults.
If an adolescent smoked the drug over the weekend, memory impairment may linger for several days. Adult marijuana users generally do not exhibit such a lengthy response to the drug.
A cannabis hangover cannot be cured, but the symptoms will eventually subside. Staying hydrated can alleviate symptoms such as headaches, dry mouth, and sleepiness caused by cannabis use. And some marijuana users have said that eating a nutrient-rich breakfast, drinking caffeinated beverages and taking a shower reduced their hangover symptoms.
If you consistently experience a marijuana hangover, it could indicate a deeper problem. Chronic cannabis hangovers may be a sign of marijuana dependence or marijuana addiction. Addiction is a severe substance use disorder that causes people to compulsively seek and use a drug despite knowing the health, legal and social consequences.
The most effective way to overcome cannabis addiction is to seek treatment. Rehab for marijuana addiction can help people learn about the underlying causes of their substance use disorder. Treatment specialists use evidence-based treatment approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to teach clients how to change their behaviors.
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