By Max Sargent

Cannabis edibles are potent and long lasting, offering a significantly different experience compared to inhaled cannabis.

While they offer a stronger experience, they also tend to offer stronger after-effects too, meaning that you should consider how you’ll feel the following day before consuming these psychoactive treats.

In this article, we’ll investigate the effects of a cannabis edibles hangover, and look at how to recover from edibles.


Does Cannabis Cause a Hangover?

Though disputed by some, it is widely agreed that cannabis use can cause its own sort of hangover. As with alcohol, the more THC someone consumes, the stronger the effects are likely to be.

Unlike alcohol, however, the effects of a cannabis hangover can be quite subtle. In fact, for those who use cannabis regularly, it may become difficult to spot a weed hangover, as it can begin to feel quite normal.

Fairly little research has been conducted into weed hangovers, and as a result, nobody is exactly sure what’s going on when people feel lethargic and groggy the day after smoking. With alcohol, it’s clear that dehydration and sleep disruption are two major factors in causing a hangover. Regarding cannabis, it’s less clear.

When cannabis is smoked, the high peaks somewhere between hours 1 and 3, and then begins to wear off. So, in the vast majority of cases, you are no longer “high” when you awake the next day. But that doesn’t mean you won’t still feel some side effects.

Do Edibles Cause a Hangover?

But what about edibles specifically? Do weed edibles cause a hangover?

The short answer is: yes!

Cannabis edibles are likely to cause significantly stronger after-effects compared to smoked or vaped cannabis. The reason for this is that, when ingested, THC converts into 11-hydroxy-THC, which lasts much longer and is stronger, as it’s harder for the body to metabolise.

So not only will the hangover likely be stronger, but you could very well wake up still high. This is a key difference between ingested THC and inhaled THC. The chances of waking up actually high are slim when you inhale THC, but they are fairly strong if you eat it, especially if you eat it fairly close to going to bed.

How to recover from cannabis edibles

What Are the Symptoms of a Cannabis Hangover?

There are many potential symptoms of an edibles hangover:

  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty getting out of bed
  • Lethargy
  • Apathy
  • Brain fog
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Still feeling high

You may feel all of these, or, more likely, you’ll feel those at the top of the list. This is the thing about a cannabis hangover; you don’t necessarily feel bad, you just feel very tired and lazy. Some days, this can actually be quite relaxing, if you have nothing to do.

Other times, however, it can make going about a normal day fairly difficult, which, over time, can be disruptive to your life.

How Long Does an Edibles High Last?

The “meat” of an edibles high usually lasts between 4–8 hours, depending on the dose and your constitution. However, the after-effects of edibles can last well into the next day, with some highs reaching close to 24 hours in length. So yes, you can wake up high after eating edibles.

Some prospective users wonder; can an edibles high last two days? The high itself almost definitely won’t last this long, but the hangover can exceed this timeframe.

As a safe estimate, though, you can assume that you’ll probably experience the obvious effects for up to 10 hours.

How to Recover From an Edibles Hangover

If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms after taking edibles, then you may be looking for a way to mitigate them somewhat, so you can come back to life a little easier the next day.

The following list will help you to do that.

However, there’s no magic solution to chase all of the effects of THC from your system. Like with alcohol, you have to accept that if you’re going to use a substance, you’re also going to have to deal with its side effects.

So, how long does it take to recover from edibles? Honestly, it’s hard to say. Certainly, you’ll feel something the day after. And at higher doses, you could still feel quite lethargic on the second or even the third day. However, in the vast majority of cases, you’ll feel normal by the third day.

How to recover from cannabis edibles step 1

Drink Water

This applies to a cannabis hangover, tiredness, stress, anxiety, and many other instances when you may wish you felt better. Drinking water and hydrating your body almost always makes you feel better.

Regarding edibles, the best way to avoid a really bad hangover is to make an effort to stay hydrated throughout the high. This way, you don’t need to recover from dehydration. Failing this, drink at least 500ml of water first thing in the morning when you wake up. If you don’t usually hydrate in the morning, you’ll be shocked to discover how much of a difference it makes!

Hydrating is particularly useful when it comes to cannabis because there’s a high chance you’ll indulge in a lot of food and drink, much of which might contain sugar. Processing food, particularly sugary food, uses a lot of water, and thus tends to dehydrate you.

Drinking water is probably the number one way to feel refreshed in the morning.

Caffeine

Once you’ve drunk your share of water, it’s likely you’ll move onto something that contains caffeine.

As you probably know, caffeine can be a very helpful way to wake up in the morning. In fact, it’s the world’s favorite morning boost. Especially following an evening on cannabis edibles, a cup of tea or coffee can be really helpful in stimulating the mind and body, and chasing away that grogginess.

One thing to note, though; caffeine can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and panic. So if your cannabis hangover includes either of these symptoms, it’s probably best to steer clear of caffeine. It might wake you up, but it won’t make you feel any better.

Time Your Consumption

As the high from edibles can last a very long time, timing your consumption will help to mitigate the after-effects. For example, if you take them late at night, and then soon go to sleep, you’re probably going to wake up high. And even if you’re not high, you’ll feel groggy.

If, on the other hand, you take them early in the day and your body metabolises them throughout the hours that follow, you may well find that you feel better the next day.

Get Enough Sleep

Following on from that point, try to get enough sleep.

If you stay up until 3 a.m. and then have to get up early, you’re going to be tired, which will compound the symptoms of a cannabis hangover. Many people have poor sleeping schedules anyway, and when you throw cannabis into the mix, these can become even worse.

Don’t mistake genuine tiredness for a hangover!

Start Your Morning Slowly

Your brain is going to work slower the day after eating edibles. So, if you can, pamper it. Begin your morning slowly. Read a book with a cup of tea, take a long shower, go for a walk, listen to music. If you allow your brain to take the time it needs to come back to the world, you’ll find you feel a lot better compared to if you hit the ground running and try to force it back into life.

Sometimes the best way to feel better about a hangover, be it from weed or alcohol, is to give into it a little.

How to recover from cannabis edibles step 2

Exercise

Exercising can make you feel much more alive. It delivers oxygen into the blood and brain, causes the release of serotonin and anandamide (both of which make you feel better), and speeds up the metabolisation of any lingering cannabinoids left in your body.

Exercise needn’t mean going for a long run. It can do, if you feel up to it, but it could just as easily mean doing half an hour of yoga. When it comes to exercise, don’t do something you dislike, as you won’t enjoy it and probably won’t do it again. Find an activity that you find both mentally and physically satisfying, and you’ll soon find that you feel much better.

Fresh Air

If you can’t bring yourself to exercise, at least try to get outside. Just wander around or even sit on a bench or outside a café. Fresh air and a change of scenery will stimulate the mind and make the skin feel a little less tight. And, if the sun is shining, this will truly help to clear the mind and make you feel more able to survive the day.

Take a Cold Shower

It might be bracing, but a cold shower (or a cold water swim) will definitely wake you up and make your head feel clearer.

The initial hit of coldness is enough to make a significant difference, but if you can bear being in there for a bit longer, then you’ll find that you come out feeling alive and invigorated.

Don’t Take Them!

If you really want to avoid the after-effects of cannabis edibles, then the only certain way to do so is to not take them. If, for some reason, you really can’t deal with them, then just avoid them.

Everything on the list above can make you feel better, and if you’re lucky, it might make you feel totally normal again. However, you can’t count on these tips to fully remove the effects, especially if you’re generally tired or you took a high dose.

How to Come Down From Edibles

Though not quite the same, you may find that the effects of THC-infused treats are too much for you, and wonder how to sober up from edibles. While you can’t simply end the effects of an edibles high, you can make them a little more bearable.

Here are some tips:

  • Take a breath and relax—you’ll be okay
  • Drink water, juice, or herbal tea
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Take a walk
  • Shower or have a bath
  • Eat a healthy snack
  • Tell someone that you’re feeling uncomfortable
  • Watch a calming film or listen to music
  • Draw or paint a picture
  • Sleep it off

An Edibles Hangover: A Manageable Affair!

If you eat edibles, the chances of waking up the next day feeling fresh and spritely are pretty slim. Nevertheless, there are many steps you can take to try to feel much better than you otherwise would.

If you’re going to take edibles, make sure the day after your experience is also free from stress, more or less. This way, there is no need to force yourself to recover; you can take the day as it comes while treating your body and mind with care.

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