The Edible Hangover Guide
With the growing popularity of all forms of cannabis, and how differently they affect each individual, it is pretty important to know how to recover from edibles and how long to recover from edibles. Cannabis edibles are wildly different from smoking flower, vapes, dabs, bongs, and any other manner of flower consumption for a variety of reasons, so knowing how to recover from edibles is important in the opinion of Releaf Medical.
Like any other new hobby, learning the ins and outs of cannabis edibles can be uncomfortable. There are different options like gummies, chocolates, caramels, lozenges, etc. and they may (and usually do) taste really good, which may give a false sense of security about what is ingested. A lot of punch can be packed into a little seemingly harmless candy and given edible treats’ THC content is actually molecularly different from smokables, their effects can catch the most veteran cannabis user by surprise. If you haven’t experienced this, trust us, they will and can take out even the most seasoned cannabis user.
What Is An Edibles Hangover
Storytime about an edible hangover, we do the research so you can learn from our mistakes. Back in 2013, I went to Colorado to visit a friend. Lucky for me, recreational marijuana had just been legalized and we took full advantage of trying all the new goodies available. A series of strange coincidences occurred, and I found myself taking a bus to California with my friend to pick up a Jeep he was going to purchase. “Why don’t we just eat some cannabis edibles to help the time pass? We can’t smoke on the bus, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun,” are words that I’ll never forget.
As we were both new to the world of cannabis edibles, we really had no idea what the “100mg per chocolate” meant. They were about the size of a medium Tootsie Roll; how powerful could they be? We each popped a full one, down the hatch, and headed to California. Thirty minutes into the bus ride we were bummed, we assumed the shop sold us some bunk edibles, so we took another one each. That was 200 mg each. Fast forward to somewhere between 4 and 13 hours, during a pit stop I found myself staggering into a 7-11 feeling heavy, as in I could barely walk due to the weight and trying to fumble through my wallet to buy five Gatorades and bags of chips. Then I went to sleep.
The next thing I was waking up in the bus depot in Los Angeles. Yeah, sure, I made the 18-hour bus ride and arrived safe. But my journey was far from over. I awoke with my head pounding, my mouth was impossibly dry, and it hurt to swallow. This was my first hangover from edibles.
This edibles hangover was the absolute worst! I was paranoid and existing in an inconceivable brain fog. My bones hurt. It took two full days to feel awake and anything resembling normal. As a regular cannabis user, I was confounded to be so affected by edibles, and the edible hangover was unlike anything I ever felt from smoking. I couldn’t even help my friend count the cash to pay for the Jeep, as he was having some issues with that task as well. The drive home was a deservedly sober one.
What Causes A Hangover From Edibles
Cannabis has the same chemical structure whether it is smoked or eaten. No matter how the cannabis plant is used, the cannabinoids and other chemical substances in it, like THC and CBD, are the same.
But the way these chemicals get into the body and are processed is different when you smoke flower instead of eating it. When cannabis flower is burned, the heat activates and vaporizes the compounds, making them easy to inhale and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. This makes the effects start happening faster.
On the other hand, chemicals in edibles need to be broken down and used by the body in the digestive system. Edibles are made by mixing cannabis extract or mixture with other ingredients to make a product that can be eaten. Once the chemicals are eaten, they are absorbed by the stomach and processed by the liver before getting into the bloodstream. This process takes longer, so the effects come on later than when you smoke. The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. So before consuming another cannabis edible please keep that timeframe in mind.
Even though the molecules that make up cannabis don’t change, the way it’s used can change the general experience and effects. The pharmacokinetics of cannabis change depending on how they are taken. This changes when, how strong, and how long the effects last.
Though that difference is what causes the different effects, there’s actually no science behind what exactly causes the dreaded edible hangover. The factors that jump out as possible causes are dosage, potency, tolerance, and individual sensitivity and ability to metabolize THC.
If you weren’t well hydrated when you ate the edible, that can cause common edible hangover symptoms like headache and fatigue. Even the cannabis edible itself, which may have other THC constituents like terpenes and other lesser-known and studied cannabinoids, can contribute to a pretty wild ride, and a possible edibles hangover.
If you happen to look at a small chocolate and you see 100 mg of THC, it can be very hard to comprehend that such a small chocolate can have such a large dose. 100mg might seem like a small amount, or that number might just be meaningless to you, so you eat it up without zero inhibitions or worries. If you also waited 30 minutes and didn’t feel the effects, you may have had a beer or a couple shots to get loose and just chill.
Luckily for Florida residents, cannabis edibles are capped at a serving size of 10 mg and containers of edibles are sold in 100 mg. Releaf Medical would like to remind you, you can always take more, but you can’t take less. So, start low and go slow so you don’t have to learn how to recover from edibles.
How Long To Recover From Edibles
There is no ultimate guide on how to recover from edibles and there is no definite timeframe on how long to recover from edibles. The typical edible hangover can last from a few hours to a couple of days. Everyone is different in how their body will process the cannabis edible they consumed.
There is no magic bullet for an edibles hangover, but there are ways to lessen the pain. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you ingest weed to keep yourself well hydrated. Staying hydrated can help you feel energized and also prevent headaches, dry mouth, and dry eyes.
Coffee and energy drinks should be avoided in favor of a breakfast that includes complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats in appropriate and hearty proportions. Top that off with a glass of orange juice for its vitamin C and because it’s just delicious and refreshing on a morning just like that.
You could try some CBD to counteract the psychoactive effects of the THC. While that may not help you with a hangover, if you consume CBD during your edible experience it may reduce the intensity and duration of the hangover symptoms.
A hot shower or bath can open your airways, allowing you to breathe easier and reducing feelings of exhaustion and drowsiness. The greatest treatment is to get some rest so your body can heal itself. Alternatively, if you can’t get any shuteye, the exact opposite may be what you need, as working out will get your blood pumping, make you sweat, and give you a burst of energy.
You may want to avoid cannabis edibles the night before crucial events like job interviews so that you can perform at your best the next day. It’s also wise to not combine marijuana use with drinking or other drug use.
The number one thing you can do about an edible hangover is wait it out. Unfortunately, time may be dilating for you and your perception of hours feels like days or weeks, but it’s important to remember that it’s temporary, like everything else.
What Have We Learned About A Hangover From Edibles
In conclusion, there is no instant relief for a cannabis edibles hangover, although the effects will fade with time. Common signs and symptoms include headaches, dry eyes and mouth, weariness, and dehydration. There may not be a quick fix, but there are ways to lessen the severity of a hangover. Reduce the severity of a cannabis hangover with some rest, CBD, exercise, hydration, and healthy eating. If you have a severe headache, you can take an over-the-counter pain killer, but you shouldn’t combine marijuana with anything else. The biggest takeaway should be that your aim with edibles not be the same as smoking flower. Try to find the smallest amount that you can feel, and get used to that, then slowly work your way up to a comfortable edible high that also avoids a hangover. Bon apetit!
If you have tips or tricks on how to recover from edibles or information on how long to recover from edibles Releaf Medical would love to hear it. So send us a message and let us know about your experience!