Updated on November 16, 2023
6 min read

How to Come Down From a High

Key Takeaways

6 Ways to Come Down From a Cannabis High

Several things might help with coming down from a cannabis high. For example:

1. Don’t Panic

Although the sensations might be unpleasant, there’s a very low risk of serious medical concerns. You can’t overdose on cannabis, so you aren't in danger even though it feels uncomfortable. 

Additionally, cannabis tends to relieve anxiety, so as it wears off, anxiety returns. And for many, it feels more intense than it did initially.

2. Drink Water

Restoring hydration is as crucial to a cannabis hangover as an alcohol hangover. It’s also important to avoid caffeine and caffeinated sodas. These increase your heart rate and blood pressure, which exacerbates the other symptoms you’re experiencing.

3. Use Black Pepper or Peppercorns to Ease Anxiety

Black pepper and peppercorns contain an aromatic compound called terpenes. Scientists have discovered that the terpenes in black pepper can tame the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).3

4. Try Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is a chemical in marijuana that doesn’t contain THC. Because of this, CBD doesn’t trigger the hallucinatory effects of cannabis.

Many people use CBD to ease general anxiety and the anxiety triggered by marijuana. One study from 2013 found that combining CBD and THC lessened the adverse effects of anxiety and paranoia.4

5. Distract yourself

Keeping yourself busy can help take your mind off the side effects of a weed hangover. Although you’re unlikely to feel motivated to engage in strenuous activity, it’s best to do things that occupy your mind. 

Consider playing a game, watching TV, or going on a walk. Avoid activities that require fine motor ability or hand-eye coordination until you’re no longer experiencing symptoms. 

6. Sleep

One of the best ways to avoid negative feelings when coming down from a marijuana high is to sleep through it. Your body will still metabolize and flush the drug from your system, but you’ll be unaware. 


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Other Ways to Combat a ‘Weed Hangover’

In addition to the tips listed above, the following can help ease the groggy, unfocused daze you experience with a weed hangover. For example:

  • Take a cold shower: Cold water wakes up your senses and helps you feel more alert
  • Eat healthy foods: Nourishing and refreshing your body with healthy food ensures it’s capable of performing optimally
  • Use cold compresses: These can ease your headache and boost alertness
  • Try an over-the-counter pain medication: Relieves headaches and other aches and pains
  • Get a massage: This helps with pain and can boost alertness because it enhances circulation
  • Use moisturizing eye drops: These can help soothe the dryness and redness in your eyes

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Can You Prevent a Weed Hangover?

The best way to avoid having a weed hangover is to avoid taking weed in the first place. However, there are still plenty of things you can do to mitigate the side effects of weed.

These include:

  • Avoid smoking weed at night
  • Avoid using weed daily
  • Limit your marijuana intake
  • Use low-THC marijuana
  • Don’t mix it with other substances

If you’re using weed medicinally, talk to your healthcare provider about the effects of weed and medication. Remember that some over-the-counter or prescription medications can interact with weed, affecting how you feel in the morning.

These include:

  • Sedatives like Ambien and Benadryl
  • Anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium
  • Antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro
  • Pain medications like codeine, Percocet, and Vicodin
  • Anticonvulsants (seizure medications) like Tegretol
  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners) like Coumadin

What is a ‘Weed Hangover?’

Weed hangovers are similar to other hangovers. It occurs after the effects of marijuana wear off and includes a variety of symptoms. Two of the most common include headache and brain fog. 

Side Effects of a Weed Hangover 

Side effects of a weed hangover include:

  • Headache
  • Brain fog
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dry eyes

Symptoms can range significantly from person to person. Some people experience several of these symptoms after marijuana use, while others have no symptoms.

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Research About Weed Comedowns & Hangovers 

There isn’t much research regarding a ‘weed comedown’, hangovers, or withdrawal symptoms. This is partly because marijuana use has been illegal until recently (in most places). 

Older Studies

A study in 1985 included 13 male participants given cannabis joints or placebos. After smoking, they were given various tasks that involved recalling, time production, and sorting. 

The subjects were tested again after a full night’s sleep, and it revealed that participants had some residual effects of cannabis the day after smoking.1 Another study included a dozen participants and determined that the residual effects from one marijuana joint were “minimal.”2

Researchers found no evidence of residual subjective intoxication. Most of the behavioral tasks and mood scales were unaffected after smoking.2

Recent Studies

A more recent study in 2017 reported that one of the undesirable effects of marijuana was a hangover. Participants described the feeling as foggy, and it left them unalert.9

In 2015, the medical use of marijuana came with a recommendation that healthcare professionals teach their patients about the hangover effects. It also described the feeling to last at least one day after using the drug.10

How to Get Sober From Other Substances

Giving up any addictive substance is a challenge. However, there are several things you can do if you want to get sober from drugs that are more intense than weed. For example:

Treatment Options for Substance Use Disorders (SUD)

Many treatment options are available for people recovering from a substance use disorder (SUD). For example:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation: Removes you from triggers and environments with temptation so you can focus on recovery
  • Outpatient treatment: Including flexible outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive programs that offer greater flexibility
  • 12-step programs: A support group designed to help guide you through the recovery process and maintain sobriety
  • Alternative support groups: Peer support groups that use scientific programs and modern research to support recovery
  • One-on-one and family counseling: Provides guidance that helps people identify their triggers and learn to manage them better


Weed hangovers cause you to feel the residual effects of weed after using it. They’re typically similar to other hangovers.

There aren’t a lot of studies on weed hangovers and comedown effects. However, we do know that it’s a common side effect of marijuana use.

Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the side effects of a weed hangover. There are also various ways to prevent it from happening in the first place.

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Updated on November 16, 2023
10 sources cited
Updated on November 16, 2023
  1. Chait et al. “‘Hangover’ Effects the Morning after Marijuana Smoking.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 1985.

  2. Chait, L. D. “Subjective and Behavioral Effects of Marijuana the Morning after Smoking.” Psychopharmacology, 1990.

  3. The Spicy Science behind Why Pepper Makes You Feel Less High.” MEL Magazine, 2019.

  4. Englund et al. “Cannabidiol Inhibits THC-Elicited Paranoid Symptoms and Hippocampal-Dependent Memory Impairment.” Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), 2013.

  5. CDC. “Health Effects.” Marijuana and Public Health, 2019.

  6. Know the Risks of Marijuana | SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.” Samhsa.gov, 2019.

  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Is Marijuana Addictive?” Drugabuse.gov, 2018.

  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Marijuana.” Drugabuse.gov, Dec. 2019.

  9. Piper et al. “Chronic pain patients' perspectives of medical cannabis.” Pain, 2017.

  10. Hadland et al. Medical marijuana: review of the science and implications for developmental-behavioral pediatric practice.” J Dev Behav Pediatr, 2015.

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