brain fog from weed

How to Conquer a Weed Hangover

Despite some debate over their validity, weed hangovers are likely real. While research on the subject is limited, anecdotal reports suggest that smoking marijuana can trigger next-day symptoms in some people.

Despite the similar names, weed hangovers aren’t quite the same as those brought on by alcohol. And for many, weed hangovers tend to be more tolerable than alcohol-related ones.

Common symptoms of a weed hangover include:

  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • brain fog
  • dry eyes and mouth
  • headaches
  • mild nausea

Read on for tips on how to deal with these effects and to learn more about the debate within the medical community over whether weed hangovers are indeed a thing.

A weed hangover will typically go away on its own. There isn’t much you can do for an immediate fix, but these tips can offer relief:

  • Stay hydrated. The most important thing you can do before, during, and after weed use is drink enough water. This will help relieve symptoms such as headaches, dry mouth, and dry eyes.
  • Eat a nutritious breakfast. Opt for a healthy, balanced breakfast the morning after weed use. Try a small serving of whole-grain carbohydrates along with a lean source of protein and healthy fat.
  • Take a shower. A shower can help you to feel refreshed and hydrated the morning after smoking weed. The steam from a hot shower can open your airways.
  • Make some ginger tea.Ginger can help with digestive symptoms, such as nausea. Add a bit of grated ginger to hot water with lemon and honey to soothe an upset stomach.
  • Drink caffeine. A cup of coffee or caffeinated tea can help you feel more alert.
  • Try CBD. Some anecdotal reports suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) can counteract some of the symptoms associated with a weed hangover. Just steer clear of any preparations containing THC.
  • Take a pain reliever. For a persistent headache, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

If you can, try to take it easy for the rest of the day. With a good night’s rest, you should wake up feeling like yourself again.

If you’re feeling a little off after using weed, it may not necessarily be a hangover that you’re experiencing.

Here’s some other potential culprits:

  • Drinking alcohol or using other drugs while using weed. If you tend to consume other substances while smoking marijuana, they might affect how you feel the next morning.
  • Marijuana withdrawal. If you smoke weed on a regular basis, it’s possible to experience withdrawal symptoms when you aren’t smoking. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include changes in mood, insomnia, and difficulty focusing.
  • Lingering effects of weed. How long a weed high lasts depends on factors such as dose, concentration, and delivery method, in addition to your own tolerance and metabolism. Most of the time, a marijuana high lasts between one and four hours.

If at least five hours have passed since you last used weed, and you haven’t had any alcohol or used other substances, you’re likely just experiencing the after effects of weed.

There isn’t much evidence surrounding weed hangovers. Existing studies are often outdated or have major limitations.

Older studies

One well-known study on weed hangovers dates back to 1985. In the study, 13 males participated in a series of sessions that involved smoking either a weed cigarette or a placebo cigarette and then completing a series of tests.

The tests included sorting cards and judging time intervals. When the tests were repeated the following morning, the group that smoked weed cigarettes judged time intervals to be 10 or 30 seconds longer than they actually were.

The authors concluded that, although the day-after effects of smoking weed may be subtle, they probably exist. However, this study’s small sample size and all-male participants are significant limitations.

A 1990 study had similar limitations. It involved 12 male marijuana users who smoked marijuana over one weekend and a placebo over another, then completed a series of subjective and behavioral tests. But these authors concluded that weed didn’t seem to have much of an effect the following morning.

Recent research

More recently, a 2017 study explored perspectives toward medical cannabis among people with chronic pain. One of the self-reported undesirable effects of marijuana was a hangover described as a foggy, non-alert feeling in the morning.

However, the authors of the study did not indicate how many participants reported this effect.

A 2015 review on the use of medical marijuana recommends that healthcare professionals teach patients about the hangover effect. It also recommends describing it as lasting at least one day after the last time marijuana was used.

more research is needed

There are, of course, numerous anecdotal reports of marijuana hangovers, suggesting they are possible. More research needs to be done to understand causes, symptoms, and risk factors associated with weed hangovers as well as recommended self-care.

In addition, most of the studies described above focused on the morning-after effects of smoking a small amount of marijuana. Research exploring the effects of overconsumption is also needed.

The only way to guarantee you won’t have a weed hangover is to avoid weed. Still, there are plenty of things you can due to minimize the negative effects of weed.

  • Avoid smoking weed the night before an important activity. If you tend to experience weed hangovers, try to avoid using marijuana the night before something important, such as an exam or stressful day at work.
  • Take days off. If possible, avoid using weed on a daily basis. Continuous weed use can build up your tolerance, which might eventually trigger withdrawal symptoms in the morning.
  • Limit your use. You might be more likely to experience a weed hangover if you overconsume. Decide on an appropriate quantity before you get high, and stick with that.
  • Try low-THC marijuana. THC is the active ingredient in weed. No one’s totally sure how THC affects weed hangover symptoms, but it’s worth trying low-THC strains to see if they help prevent morning-after symptoms.
  • Use caution when trying a new product. You might find you react differently to weed depending on the dose, concentration, and method of delivery. When trying something for the first time, start with a low dose.
  • Don’t mix it with other substances. The morning-after effects of weed might be more intense if you tend to smoke weed while also drinking or using other drugs.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about the effects of weed and medication. Remember that any over-the-counter or prescription medication you take can interact with weed. This could affect how you feel in the morning.

Contrary to popular belief, weed can be addictive. The more often you use it, the more likely you are to become dependent on it.

If you regularly experience weed hangovers, they could be a sign that you’re overdoing it. If you’re having a hard time curbing your use, it may be time to reach out to your doctor for help.

Other potential signs of weed misuse include:

  • using it on a daily or near-daily basis
  • experiencing cravings for it
  • spending a lot of time thinking about it or obtaining it
  • using more over time
  • using more than you intended
  • continuing to use it despite negative consequences
  • keeping a constant supply
  • spending a lot of money on it, even when you can’t afford it
  • avoiding situations or places where you can’t use it
  • driving or operating machinery while high
  • trying and failing to stop using it
  • experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop

"Weed hangover" is a casual term used to refer to the lingering effects of weed. We'll offer some tips for relief, take a look at the research behind this phenomenon, and give you some guidance on how to prevent them in the future.

10 Ways to Combat and Avoid Cannabis Brain Fog

It doesn’t take cannabis to leave you with brain fog. I start every day in a fog lasting pretty much until I’ve had a long shower.

Thoughts about work, wardrobe, and chores run through my head waiting for some neurological signal to calm down and sort themselves out. My favorite solution is a rich Colombian coffee on the deck.

What is brain fog?

Brain fog can be something more serious than that morning sluggishness. It may signal more serious conditions — or a “hangover.” Symptoms include:

  • A sense you are unable to store and recall memory,
  • Inability to process and understand language,
  • Delay in recognizing shapes and difficulty moving through spaces, and/or
  • Difficulty with calculations and problem-solving.

These signs may signal Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, hormonal changes, and more. Dr. Emily Huang, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, says, “There are numerous causes of brain fog, including sleep deprivation, poor nutritional habits, mental health issues, stress, depression, endocrine changes, lack of exercise and dehydration” (US News, 2019)

What has this to do with cannabis?

Some cannabis users, first-timers and chronic users, experience brain fog after intake or the next morning. It doesn’t mean they are suffering from some serious medical condition, but it could be something to get your attention.

For one thing, these symptoms are warnings not to drive or enter any risky situation. For another, these people with these medical conditions have been known to benefit from cannabis, so there is a synergy here worth exploring.

10 Ways to manage cannabis brain fog:

  1. Choose CBD! Strains with a higher percentage of CBD defeat the psychoactive effects of THC. Finding high CBD ratios or even balanced ratios can be difficult in a market where customers seek higher potency.
  2. Time the intake! When you use can have a direct effect on brain fog. If you are prone to fogginess and understand its frequency or its connection to specific strains, you can plan your dose, timing, and strain. For example, you want to avoid those foggy strains when you have work requiring focus. Likewise, some strains might relieve fogginess in the morning — or make it worse.
  3. Know what’s good for you! You should work harder at learning more about what you use. The cannabis chemistry varies sharply from strain to strain. The terpenes producing floral aromas tend to be calming supporting focus and creativity. Lemony and citrus tastes and scents may energize your spirit and mindset. But in all cases, high potency can aggravate confusion.
  4. Put it on paper! There are many good reasons to keep a journal. It is a healthy emotional and psychological exercise to put your thought processes and memories into writing. But you should also record your cannabis experience, taking notes on the strain, timing, and results.
  5. Keep things wet! Low hydration will contribute to a cannabis brain fog hangover just as it does with alcohol consumption. Experience recommends drinking water before, after, and while using cannabis. Water consumption will replace water lost and flush the system to prevent or reduce the typical dry mouth and the red-eye morning after.
  6. 6. Watch the delivery! Inhaling cannabis contributes to some of the drying properties of smoking tobacco. But edibles tend to stay in the system longer stretching out the foggy hangover. The sugars in edibles can also exacerbate the results like sugary alcohol cocktails will.
  7. Make it healthy! People can live normal physical lives and still enjoy their weed with moderate discipline. It should be part of a larger strategy including a regular nutritious diet and exercise.
  8. Take a break! Chronic and heavy use will surely produce morning fog, but it is likely to take longer to fix or remedy. If you feel brain fog is altering your life and work, it may be a sign you need a break. If you have built a tolerance for the strain and its effects, it may be time to take a break. It just may mean it’s time to give it a rest.
  9. Give it a rest! Brain fog needs some rest, a good night’s sleep without interruption or additional intake. Then, try waking to a detoxifying therapy with fruit and veggie smoothies, full body massage, invigorating swim, and dog walk.
  10. Supplement your future! It’s a fact that things we enjoy deplete our systems. As a lipid, cannabis is water and fat-soluble, so you’ll want to replenish some losses with supplements like Vitamins B-12 and D and Omega-3, elements that repair systems and aid mental health.

What you can learn in a fog!

The chemical properties in cannabis have a powerful influence on the brain and body chemistry. The influence varies widely among individuals. It has a research-confirmed and strong anecdotal record of interacting positively with symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, spasticity, and more. There is also evidence it rejuvenates cell growth and reduces the buildup of plaque among brain cells. All these conditions cause, contribute to or signal the onset of brain fog.

At the same time, cannabis’ chemistry can contribute to brain fog in individuals without these conditions. But you can combat and avoid the negative effects by spending more time on your strain selection, tracking your usage and its results better, and taking a break for exercise and good nutrition.

Recreational and Medical Marijuana News, Articles and Information: 10 Ways to Combat and Avoid Cannabis Brain Fog