Cannabis Science

Does Weed Help Hangovers?


As you get up out of bed, you hold a hand to your forehead, it’s throbbing. You feel as if you’ve hit your head. Hangovers are pretty common and people swear by so many different cures. You may have heard that painkillers, drinking broth, and staying hydrated are cures to hangovers. Truthfully, these are also somewhat effective but does weed help hangovers? This is what science has to say. 

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What Does a Hangover Feel Like?

If you’ve experienced a hangover, you know the answer to this question is not great.

According to Mayo Clinic, the following symptoms are associated with hangovers:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches 
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Stomach pain
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound

What Causes a Hangover?

First of all, a hangover is a series of unpleasant symptoms that come after consuming too much alcohol. However, science still doesn’t fully understand what really causes the hangover. 

Dehydration and Hangovers

It’s understood that there are a number of factors that play into how hangovers work. Smithsonian Magazine says one of them is dehydration. The role of dehydration is twofold. Smithsonian Magazine says, “…drinking alcohol causes dehydration, both because it acts as a diuretic, increasing urine production, and because people who are drinking heavily for multiple hours probably aren’t drinking much water during that time period.”

What’s interesting is that hormones typically associated with dehydration did not seem to correlate with the severity of the hangover. According to a study called The Pathology of Alcohol Hangover, “markers of dehydration (e.g., vasopressin) were not significantly related to hangover severity.”

What Other Factors Can Be Blamed For Hangovers?

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the most probable cause is the build-up of acetaldehyde. The article says, “As the body processes alcohol, acetaldehyde is the very first byproduct, and it’s estimated to be between 10 and 30 times as toxic as alcohol itself”. The Smithsonian Magazine also mentioned that in a controlled study, acetaldehyde causes symptoms commonly associated with hangovers such as nausea and sweating. 

Another reason why hangovers may cause you to feel awful is the effect of alcohol on your immune system. Cytokines cause hangover symptoms in high amounts. The article says, “but it seems that excessive alcohol consumption can also provoke cytokine release, leading to symptoms like muscle aches, fatigue, headache or nausea, as well as cognitive effects like memory loss or irritation.”

What Makes a Hangover Worse?

According to the Pathology of Alcohol Hangover, the following factors can impact the severity of a hangover:

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  • Sleep deprivation
  • Smoking
  • Congeners
  • Health status
  • Genetics
  • Individual differences

Does Weed Help Hangovers? 

While there isn’t a lot of research on this, weed may be able to alleviate hangover symptoms according to Kent Hutchison, a professor of psychology and neuroscience who was quoted in Vice. Weed could help alleviate anxiety, nausea, and pain caused by hangovers. 

Elaine M. Burns, a naturopathic medical doctor recommends that you combine weed with other methods. She tells Vice, “It’s about rehydrating with water and electrolytes.” The article also recommends magnesium supplements and Emergen-C packets. 

How to Use Weed To Help Hangovers

There are a couple of things you can do if you plan to use weed to help your hangovers.

1. Combine THC and CBD

According to Vice, a combination of THC and CBD can be effective. The article says, “There’s some evidence it works best as a headache treatment when you get the combination of THC and CBD, rather than using them separately.”

2. Have An Edible

Chicago Tribune recommends that using an edible with 10mg can help to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. The article says, “Use something non-aggressive like tincture (glycerin), a hard candy, or a beverage. Anything baked or food-like may just be overwhelming taste-wise.”

3. Try Using Weed Rubs

According to Chicago Tribune, “Rubbing a CBD/THC balm into your tense shoulders and neck will instantly release a bit of that unintentional clenching.”

4. Smoke Weed

You can roll up a classic blunt to help your hangover symptoms. Any symptom that edibles and rubs can alleviate so can smoking weed. According to Elite Daily, “Smoking marijuana can help combat nausea.”

You can experiment with different strains of weed to see which one works best for you. If you’re still drunk, it may not be a great idea to use weed. It’s also important to remember that weed affects everyone differently and so weed may or may not help your hangover. 


So, does weed help with a hangover? There isn’t really much scientific evidence surrounding the use of weed to help hangovers. There is evidence that individual symptoms of hangovers can be alleviated by weed. Even though weed affects everyone differently it may or may not help your hangover symptoms. In most cases weed can be combined with other hangover relieving methods for best results.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].