Every smoker has their own opinion on alcohol. Some believe it is a hard drug, that science shows how dangerous it is and it should be made illegal, with cannabis taking its place. Others love to enjoy a nice cold pint of beer, while smoking a joint or firing up a bowl. Regardless of your opinion on booze, alcohol and cannabis do share a trait. Although they might be massively different experiences, they both cause a unique kind of hangover.

Hangovers from alcohol are purely unpleasant experiences, sparking intense headaches, confusion, immense dehydration and the desire to spend an entire day in bed hiding from sunlight and other people in order to battle it through to the other side. It can be convincingly argued, that cannabis hangovers are a completely different story. They definitely do not produce such horrendous effects on the body and mind, but you certainly can feel some effects the morning after a heavy bong session with your buddies.

Every smoker who has pushed it a bit too hard the night before will be well aware of waking up in a state of mild confusion, taking some time before being able to fully recall the events of the previous night, or why they woke up on their friend's couch surrounded by empty food packets and rolling papers. So, yes, cannabis hangovers are a real thing. There are even a very limited number of scientific studies on the subject. But what can cause them? And what are the symptoms usually experienced?

Let’s start with what sparks them off, and what you can actively do to avoid them if, say, you have to attend work or an important occasion early the next morning after a smoke out.

sleep recover hangover cannabis


One reason, that will be obvious to many people, that lies at the cause of many cannabis hangovers, is simply overdoing it and smoking way too much. There is a considerable difference felt the morning after from having smoked a few light joints of reasonably strong weed the night before, to having blitzed bong after bong of your friends masterfully grown, THC-rich crop. However, many smokers will be well aware of their limits, or might just simply fall asleep and physically be incapable of inhaling any more smoke. An easier way to completely overdo it might be by stuffing your face full of edible pot brownies or cannabis ice cream. Sometimes it is hard to judge just how much you have consumed before you are hit by a wave of borderline psychedelic sensations. Edibles are definitely an easier way to overdo things than smoking.

The quality of the cannabis you are smoking is another theoretical reason, that you might not be feeling too good the morning after. Was the material you are smoking dried, cured and stored correctly to stop it going bad and harbouring mould? Maybe someone used chemicals during growing and you heaved a lung full of residue? The obvious way of overcoming this obstacle is to know your sources, or grow your own if your conditions allow it.


Mild confusion upon waking may be a sign you have a cannabis hangover, such as taking a few seconds to know where you.

Being spaced out and not quite fully engaging with your environment is another symptom. Nobody is fully alert and engaged upon waking up, but there definitely is a noticeable difference to how long it takes to become fully functional and motivated after waking up with a cannabis hangover. The usual route from here is to drag your feet into the kitchen, navigating your movements through the narrow gap between your eyelids, and brewing up some strong coffee.

The morning after smoking or eating way too much weed might also be accompanied by a headache. This might be due to dehydration, the same reason you had such a dry mouth the night before whilst toking for hours straight.

Another sign is the beaming eyes you witness after taking a look into the mirror the morning after, after paying a visit to the bathroom. These lingering red eyes are mainly a result from a change in blood pressure from consuming hefty amounts of THC.

cannabis hangover hidratation bong smoking weed


To avoid a high chance of experiencing a weed hangover, it is best to carry out certain measures, that can prevent them from occurring. Staying hydrated is a key step to take to prevent feeling slightly rough with a headache the next day. Keep a glass of water or juice nearby when smoking to keep your body hydrated and to eliminate the chance of you not drinking fluids, because the fridge seems like a journey away whilst high. Another great option would be to add vitamins and minerals into your drink of choice. This will help to ease any negative sensations the next day, plus electrolytes such as sodium and potassium will keep you adequately hydrated.

Another way to minimise a cannabis hangover is to play it safe. If you are already super high, chances are that smoking another blunt, bowl or joint isn’t going to push you any further into a pleasant direction. Instead it might make you feel worse the morning after. Why not enjoy some activities or games instead, or take an early night?

Adequate sleep is also a way to feel just fine the day after. Sleep deprivation by itself is enough to make a day hard to get through.


Cannabis hangovers certainly aren’t something, that affects everybody, but this doesn’t mean, that they do not exist. People definitely react to weed in their own unique ways. A rather aged 1985 study[1] published in the journal Drug And Alcohol Dependence investigated the hangover effects the morning after smoking marijuana. The authors of the paper documenting the study stated: “The findings suggest, that marijuana smoke can produce residual (hangover) effects the day after smoking. The precise nature and extent of these effects, as well as their practical implications, remain to be determined.”

Another study,[2] published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behaviour investigated the acute and residual effects of marijuana in humans. The study found, that small amounts of cannabis only cause minimal residual effects the following day.

External Resources:
  1. Acute and Residual Effects of Marijuana in Humans - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Acute and Residual Effects of Marijuana in Humans - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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