Hangovers from alcohol and other substances are well known. However, just like with alcohol, after using cannabis, also known as weed, some people experience hangover-like symptoms. These include brain fog and headaches. But how does this happen?
Research on weed hangovers is limited due to prohibitions on studying the substance. This means that few studies exist examining the phenomenon, and that broad conclusions about its occurence and how it works are not available.
Nevertheless, one study conducted in 1985 found that after a full night’s sleep following cannabis consumption, participants tended to produce ‘residual’, or hangover, effects. Although the study’s findings were considered statistically significant, the researchers did not uncover the precise nature of the hangover effects, nor their practical implications. Moreover, as the study had a small sample size of just 13 participants, its results can not be seen as conclusive.
Another study looking into the phenomenon was conducted in 1998 with 10 participants. Again studying the residual effects of smoking a single joint, this time around, the researchers found minimal residual effects on the participants. Although their results were deemed statistically significant, due to their small sample size, conclusions can not be drawn from the study either.
Besides these studies, anecdotal reports on cannabis hangovers have shown that higher consumption rates of cannabis may be more linked to hangover experiences. This was especially true for those consuming edibles or extracts. Meanwhile, these consumers also report that hangovers are less common with more traditional methods of intake like smoking.
To conclude, although weed hangovers do seem to exist both from anecdotal reports and one study, exactly how and why they happen remains unknown. While anecdotal evidence suggests that an individual’s tolerance and mode of consumption may influence the incidence of a hangover, how exactly they may ignite a reaction remains to be found.