The Morning After: What to Expect When You Wake Up After Smoking Weed

There are plenty of past and ongoing studies about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, and there are certainly going to be more in the future.

One of the topics that researchers often discuss is how using weed can be helpful for people who have trouble sleeping. However, there are very few papers discussing the hangover that one might experience upon waking up.

What Is a Weed Hangover?

A weed hangover is similar to but also different from an alcohol hangover. Those who have experienced a weed hangover report that it’s more tolerable, with symptoms that include things like headaches, mild nausea, lethargy, and sometimes brain fog. A common phenomenon in a weed hangover is the dryness of the eyes and mouth, which also happens often while using marijuana.

As mentioned, however, the term “wee hangover” isn’t official or scientific. Although there are some studies that touch upon the topic briefly, most of the current evidence is anecdotal in nature. That said, it’s possible to experience a weed hangover whether you’re using marijuana medically or recreationally.

How to Get Rid of a Weed Hangover?

Any dispensary or weed delivery service worth their salt will always tell you to be a responsible cannabis user. However, there may be times when you don’t expect how hard the effects of a certain strain can hit; this is possible if you’re trying out something new. You may also overestimate your capabilities, especially if you’re a beginner.

To help you handle the effects of a weed hangover, here are some things you can do:

  • Take a pain reliever. If you’re experiencing a persistent headache, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Drink plenty of water. When the cannabinoid receptors in the body get activated, one of the results is the decreased production of saliva and tears. Thus, one of the most common side effects of using cannabis is the dryness of the mouth and/or eyes.  This is also why one of the most common reminders for weed users is to hydrate properly before and during the act. Unfortunately, you can’t drink fluids while you’re asleep so you’ll likely wake up with gritty eyes and a cottonmouth. To counteract this, drink water before going to sleep and then rehydrate as soon as you wake up.
  • Have a warm or hot shower. To feel refreshed after waking up with a weed hangover, try having a warm or hot shower. The steam can help moisten your throat and airways, which can help get rid of the dry feeling in your mouth.
  • Drink some coffee or tea. A hot drink like coffee or tea is also helpful in making you feel more awake. If you have an upset stomach and/or nausea along with your weed hangover, tea might be better. In particular, ginger and honey can feel extra soothing.

Last but certainly not least, try to get some more rest. As mentioned, a weed hangover is usually more tolerable; it may even go away on its own after a few hours if you take it easy.

The Positive Effects of Using Weed Before Going to Sleep

Of course, using weed before going to sleep doesn’t always end in a hangover. In fact, in most situations, cannabis is an effective sleep aid! Here are some results you can expect:

A Well-Rested Sleep

There are two different types of sleep: NREM and REM. REM or rapid eye movement sleep is the stage where you’re dreaming. Meanwhile, NREM or non-REM sleep is where you’re sleeping deeply. This is also called slow-wave sleep, in which your body is at complete rest and is able to recover. The longer you spend in NREM or slow-wave sleep, the more refreshed you’ll feel when you wake up.

Usually, NREM sleep lasts for up to 90 minutes. Taking cannabis before sleep can extend this period, so you feel more rested.

A Dreamless Sleep

As a direct result of the above, using weed before sleeping decreases the time you spend in REM sleep. This is the stage of sleep where you experience dreams or, in some cases, nightmares. This is particularly helpful for those who can’t sleep because of these bad dreams, such as those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

That said, the long-term effects of using cannabis as a sleep aid aren’t very clear. More study is needed about the topic, particularly because REM sleep also helps the mind create new memories and process emotions.

Finally, marijuana has shown promise in stabilizing a person’s breathing. Thus, it can potentially help those with sleep apnea to get better quality of sleep.

Effects of Long-Term Use

One of the key things to remember about the use of weed as a sleep aid is that you may develop a dependence on it. That is, if you stop using marijuana as a treatment for sleep problems, it may take you longer to fall asleep. Thus, don’t just abruptly stop using weed. Consult your doctor first if you want to change your medications.

Remember that weed has different effects on different people. If someone experiences a weed hangover, don’t expect that you will, too, and vice versa. That said, it’s important to know what to expect and what you can do when you wake up after using weed. Keep these things in mind and always stay informed!


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