Does cannabis help a hangover?
Foggy + Groggy
Dear Foggy + Groggy,
Our thoughts are with you at this grim time.
Hangovers take over the world. You wake up, but your eyes are still stuck together and you struggle to identify the source of the heaviness in your head. Cue the hangover anxiety. The harder you try to get up and start your day, the more immobile and reluctant your body becomes. You’re dehydrated, achy, bloated and nauseous.
Luckily, cannabis can alleviate many symptoms of a hangover. There are active compounds found in flower called cannabinoids, and they possess specific properties that treat the unpleasant day-after symptoms of drinking with a vengeance. For example, THC – maybe the most famous of all cannabinoids – is a natural antiemetic, which means that it stops your body from vomiting and/or feeling queasy.
If you wake up and feel your stomach churning, fear not; inhaling cannabis through a vaporizer is a quick way to reap the benefits of THC (and will be a more pleasant experience in your state than a super smoky hit from a joint or bong). After a night of heavy drinking, your own natural cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) are depleted in your body, including the compounds that make you feel good both mentally and physically. A quick surge of THC can help you find relief from nausea, anxiety and sadness.
However, to get your body and mind feeling their best, you can’t stop at THC. You see, THC is the most famous player, but it’s definitely not the MVP of cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the behind-the-scenes maestro of your bodily functions. It helps to prevent the possible paranoia and anxiety caused by THC, and reduces the heavy feeling of a heady THC-induced high.
But this is not its most celebrated function. To treat a hangover, CBD is essential as it reduces inflammation, increases energy levels and protects your brain; it can release your headache, anxiety, and tension from your body. Yeah, I know! It is the antithesis of alcohol.
Booze aggravates the body and mind because it’s a toxin, the accumulation of which triggers a stress response that induces inflammation. As your liver tries to metabolize alcohol, the toxins accumulate and prevent the liver from doing its job; CBD can help stave off these symptoms by decreasing your stress response and helping your liver along with the metabolizing process. The result is a much-needed deep relaxation of your muscles and mind.
Cannabis can also help you prevent a hangover. Alcohol disrupts your normal sleep cycle – barely any deep sleep, and if you dream, consider yourself lucky. Many alcohol consumers wake early after a big night because of the post-heavy drinking release of adrenaline. A cannabis edible infused with an indica-dominant strain high in THC will help you stay soundly asleep.
So, my Foggy friend, either an ounce of prevention or a sped-up recovery can be powered by flower. That’s a relief, isn’t it?