Some people may experience adverse physical symptoms the day after smoking cannabis. The exact cause of this ‘hangover’ is not clear.

Researchers have studied the health effects of cannabis, but they currently know very little about cannabis hangovers.

Medical professionals do not know if using cannabis causes adverse effects the day after using it, and only limited studies reference the occurrence. However, moderating intake, adequate sleep, and prioritizing low-strength cannabis products may help to reduce the risk of adverse effects.

In this article, learn more about potential cannabis hangovers, including treating and preventing them.

Learn more about the risks and benefits of cannabis here.

cannabis leaves casting shadow on peaceful human faceShare on Pinterest
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Cannabis is a dry mixture of flowers from the Cannabis sativa plant. It contains numerous compounds that can cause different physiological effects. The term for these compounds is cannabinoids.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active compound that typically causes people to feel ‘high.’ However, it is not clear how or why these compounds cause people to feel adverse symptoms the following day.

In a 2019 review, researchers assessed the results of 19 different studies into cannabis use and its effects. They found a “medium-sized association” with certain adverse effects, including physical pain, dependence, impaired control, and memory loss.

One study showed that smoking cannabis could lead to daytime fatigue the following day. An older study from 2011 suggested that smoking cannabis can have significant after effects, such as irritability and feeling miserable.

However, larger clinical studies have not been able to replicate these findings.

Learn more about how cannabis affects the body here.

People who often feel fatigued the morning after using cannabis may need to sleep longer to feel better. Although caffeine may help promote alertness, the body may still need extra sleep.

The day after smoking cannabis, people may feel their mouth is drier than usual. To resolve the feeling of a dry mouth, a person should hydrate adequately, especially if they combined cannabis with alcohol.

Anyone experiencing nausea should try to eat small portions of food frequently throughout the next day.

The following remedies may also help with the after effects of smoking cannabis:

  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients can help a person’s overall health.
  • Use a pain reliever: Taking pain-relieving medications can help with headaches and other physical pains.
  • Avoid caffeine: Although caffeine can help with sleepiness, it can also worsen dehydration.

It is important to note that these remedies are purely anecdotal, and scientific research has not confirmed their efficacy.

Learn more about mixing cannabis and caffeine here.

Like alcohol-induced hangovers, the best way to prevent a cannabis hangover is to use the drug in moderation. No other prevention methods have any scientific validity yet.

Recommendations for lower-risk cannabis use include:

  • avoiding daily, or near-daily use
  • choosing low-potency THC or balanced THC-to-CBD products
  • abstaining from using synthetic cannabinoids
  • giving preference to nonsmoking use methods
  • avoiding deep inhalation practices

Learn more about the differences between THC and CBD here.

The effects of cannabis may linger for hours. The intensity and duration of a high will depend on the method used and the strength of the dose a person takes.

The THC in cannabis quickly enters a person’s bloodstream when smoking or vaping. This high will typically last 1-4 hours. However, the duration of symptoms will vary depending on the strength of the dose.

Consuming cannabis in the form of edibles can cause longer-lasting effects than inhaling it. According to a 2016 report, studies show that a person may not feel effects until 30-60 minutes after eating. Studies also found that peak blood THC levels occur 3 hours after consuming cannabis edibles, and people may experience symptoms for up to 6 hours.

Learn about the effects of cannabis edibles here.

Potential effects

A 2017 study explored people’s perspectives on using medicinal cannabis for pain relief. Some people reported cannabis hangovers featuring a foggy feeling in the morning. Some also felt a lack of alertness the day after using cannabis.

Some other potential effects of a cannabis hangover include:

However, it is important to remember that some people use cannabis and alcohol together. A peerson may not know which substance is responsible for the effects in these situations.

Learn more about using cannabis and alcohol together here.

Other effects

Other symptoms a person may experience when using cannabis include:

Effects such as increased heart rate, confusion, dizziness, and disorientation will typically disappear with time. If they do not, a person should speak with a doctor as soon as possible.

Learn how long a high lasts here.

People who drink a lot of alcohol may experience a hangover. Some symptoms of an alcohol hangover include:

  • lightheadedness
  • memory problems
  • visual-spatial difficulties
  • nausea
  • concentration difficulties
  • dehydration
  • sleep disturbances

Scientists do not know the exact cause of alcohol hangovers. Whether a person experiences a hangover will depend on numerous factors, including:

  • time between drinks
  • hydration level
  • amount of alcohol
  • alcohol tolerance
  • food intake before drinking

According to a 2017 review, people who consume alcohol and cannabis together tend to consume more of both more frequently. The use of these substances together can also increase their physical impairment effects.

Drinking alcohol before inhaling cannabis products may also increase peak THC levels in a person’s blood, compared to a placebo. A higher blood THC blood concentration may increase the effects of the substance. However, study into this area is not conclusive, and older research has reported results to the contrary.

Scientists do not know whether hangover effects derive from drinking alcohol, consuming cannabis products, or both.

Learn how to cure an alcohol hangover here.

Below are some answers to some FAQs

How long do cannabis hangovers last?

There is no set time for how long a person will experience symptoms. Some people may not experience a cannabis hangover at all. What form of cannabis a person uses, the strength of the dose, and individual tolerance can all influence how they will feel the day after.

Learn more about cannabis withdrawal here.

Why do I still feel high the day after smoking?

Varying amounts of THC can remain in a person’s blood system for 1-30 days after use. High levels of THC in the blood the morning after using cannabis may cause a person to still feel high.

Learn more about how long cannabis stays in the body here.

Can smoking cannabis cause dehydration?

Long-term cannabis users may develop cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which may cause a person to experience severe nausea and vomiting. This, in turn, can lead to dehydration. However, there is no clear evidence that smoking cannabis itself causes dehydration.

Learn more about dehydration headaches here.

Medical professionals still do not know if cannabis can cause a hangover. Each person may have a different experience of and tolerance to cannabis, so the results of scientific studies may differ.

Building up more evidence to describe the cannabis hangover will allow doctors to help people experiencing effects the day after using it.