Sleep 101

Sleep 101: Prevent Weed Hangovers + Feel Great the Next Day, Part 4

Episode 137

Show Notes

Wake Up Fresh with Weed

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to avoid waking up with a weed hangover, this episode is for you. While we’re still trying to figure out what exactly weed hangovers are, we’re happy to report that we have a few tricks up our sleeve to ensure brain fog-free mornings after consuming cannabis before bed. As we conclude our Sleep Series, this final episode will leave you with the tools to help you maintain a healthy and side-effect-free sleep-cycle. We hope you have enjoyed this series as much as we have!

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Ellen Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.

Stacy Zeal (00:05):

I didn’t realize how good you can feel when you wake up in the morning. I didn’t realize that having energy in the morning was actually a thing. I just always attributed to say, “I’m a night owl. I’m not a morning person.” But really I just wasn’t getting enough sleep to even be a morning person anyway. Even just that piece of it alone is something that I view cannabis as particularly amazing for my wellness and particularly definitely a part of my life forever for as long as I can.

Ellen Scanlon (00:37):

Welcome to How To Do the Pot, a podcast demystifying cannabis for women. I’m Ellen Scanlon. You just heard from Stacy Zeal, a digital strategist and the host of the High on Self-Care podcast.

Ellen Scanlon (00:52):

Over the past few weeks, hopefully you’ve listened to our Sleep 101 Series and this is the final episode. So stretch your arms out wide and splash some cool water on your face because today we are talking all about how cannabis affects the morning after, weed hangovers and how to avoid them. A quick recap on the Sleep 101 Series, we covered how cannabis is helping so many women with sleep. A really important question is whether you are looking for help falling asleep or staying asleep and there are episodes on both. We also talk through the difference between cannabis induced sleep and prescription sleep aids.

Ellen Scanlon (01:39):

So while both may disrupt REM sleep, cannabis typically has lighter effects on the sleep cycle than prescription sleep aids and it can generally be used for longer periods of time than traditional sleep medications. Because cannabis doesn’t provide the same restless amnesia sleep that a lot of prescription medications do, it can be a really beneficial way to make sure that you experience real rest. And while we are so excited for more high quality medical studies, cannabis is showing a lot of promise in being more effective than these other medications.

Ellen Scanlon (02:20):

Today I want to address any fears about feeling dependent on sleep medicine. And we talk to women whose lives have been really improved by the sleep that cannabis helps them find. Dependency on anything is a scary idea, but for most people, a consistent use of cannabis for sleep is generally considered safe and showing positive effects in maintaining a solid sleep cycle. Stacy Zeal, who you just heard from, consumes cannabis to help with her insomnia and to improve her sleep on a regular basis. But I asked her, does she feel dependent on it?

Stacy Zeal (02:59):

I look at it as something that I just need to help me sleep. So I don’t necessarily think that I’m dependent on it in a sense that there have been times when I will say, “I’m going to try not to smoke weed before I go to sleep.” And then I just end up laying there. I just end up laying there just kind of like you know you need weed to sleep. It’s okay. And so I think that’s one of the things I’ve had to accept about myself. I think where that kind of comes from, at least in my perspective, there’s a little bit of guilt, or a little bit of shame, a little bit of feeling like I shouldn’t need this to help me sleep, and I definitely experienced that before.

Stacy Zeal (03:36):

And those were the times when I would just be like, “Oh, well let me try not smoking.” Because I’ll be like, “Oh, I’ve slept really great the last couple weeks. Let me try today and not smoke and see if I can actually sleep. Maybe this has actually fixed my problem.” But then I ended up just laying there. I ended up just laying there like I would before and it just kind of takes me back to those days when I just couldn’t sleep. And so I look at it more so like it’s something I need as an essential tool in my toolkit. So I don’t necessarily think that it’s something that I am dependent on, but I think it’s something that’s necessary to help me get to great sleep and is something that’s necessary to help me wake up feeling refreshed.

Stacy Zeal (04:16):

And so I had to learn to release that guilt. I had to just learn to just say, “You know what? This is just a part of me.” We need to eat healthy. We need to eat green food. We need to drink water every day. There are just things that we need to do to keep our body working optimally. And for me, I need to be able to consume something that will help me sleep. And I choose to do that with something that is more natural, that is not harming my body, that’s actually helping my body to repair itself, and helping it to get the sleep that it needs. So once you accept it that you need weed or that whether you need it or want it or however you look at it, once you accept that, that guilt starts to walk away. That shame starts to just release because you realize, “This is helping me. Why would I deny myself something that’s going to help me show up my best?”

Ellen Scanlon (05:07):

While some people are able to consume cannabis occasionally for sleep, maybe while you’re up against a tough deadline at work, or are coping with anxiety or loss, yet others who suffer from chronic sleep disorders may need more regular help. I hope these sleep episodes have encouraged you to be more kind to yourself whatever your sleep issues. And I have to say, I agree with Stacy. It’s time to release guilt or shame and accept and embrace the cannabis tool that’s helping you.

Ellen Scanlon (05:41):

Sleep is such an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and cannabis can be a really great resource to help facilitate a more balanced regimen. And whether you’re consuming cannabis every night or every once in a while, everyone wants to know how they’re going to feel the next morning. And figuring this out might take some time and it’s pretty common to start with a dose that’s a little too strong. Stacy shares a story about a little CBD gummy that had a big effect.

Stacy Zeal (06:15):

So the gummies are CBD. And so I took the whole gummy, the whole 25 milligram gummy. And I do remember waking up and just feeling like, “Oh my gosh. I feel like I am still asleep.” I felt groggy. And it’s not even like I didn’t feel medicated because I remember what that feels like waking up from sleeping pills and feeling medicated. So if someone is out there that has had that experience before, so it doesn’t feel like that. It doesn’t feel like a I’ve had melatonin or I’ve had a sleeping pill and I’ve waken up and just feeling out of it. So it doesn’t feel like that, but it definitely feels like your body still kind of is asleep, but your mind’s kind of like, “Okay, I want to get up but I still kind of don’t feel like getting up. I just want to lay here.”

Stacy Zeal (07:00):

So the way that I kind of alleviated that is I take half of it now. And even if I find myself going to sleep a little later in the day than I want to, then I would even just take a quarter of it. And that way I won’t oversleep because I’ve had that happen the first few times. I was just like, “Maybe I just need to get used to it.” So I tried the whole gummy twice.” But then I was like, “Okay, this is just too much.” So now that I take half, that’s the perfect dosage for me.

Ellen Scanlon (07:23):

Finding the correct dose for you is really the key to consuming cannabis for sleep. Once Stacy fine-tuned her dose, her morning after symptoms disappeared. Just remember that taking too much, even too much CBD which is non-intoxicating, can have lingering effects into the morning. This is especially true if you sleep for less than eight hours, which is about the maximum time that the effects of an edible usually last. If you’re smoking cannabis, the effects last for between one to three hours and you may not feel anything by the time you wake up. That’s actually why in Episode 135, Stay Asleep All Night With Weed, we talked about mixing flour with a CBD edible or an oil tincture so that you can sleep all night long because otherwise the effects of flour generally wear off relatively quickly.

Ellen Scanlon (08:16):

There’s probably still one question on a lot of your minds and that is, can you get a weed hangover? And the answer is yes but we don’t really know what it is.

Ellen Scanlon (08:37):

We love podcasts and we know that finding your favorites, isn’t always easy. So we have started the How To Do the Pot podcast club. Periodically we’ll share our favorite podcasts and interview the host of some really great shows, some about weed, some not. If you’d like to put a podcast on our radar, please reach out to or you can DM us at dothepot. We like to think of How To Do the Pot as a storytelling podcast centered around cannabis and today’s podcast club pick, HiberNation, is a storytelling podcast centered around sleep.

Ellen Scanlon (09:15):

Host Mallika Rao talks to nearly a dozen people about sleep but from a different angle than you might expect. Think of the magic of slumber parties, what our dreams mean, why we sleep with our partners and whether or not we should rely on sleep apps. You will learn a lot about sleep and what makes it so special is how Mallika brings these people and their stories to life. We have a lot of listeners who use cannabis to improve sleep, and you’ll get lots of helpful sleep tips from HiberNation. The show is from Headspace, my favorite meditation app, and I also love Radio Headspace, their podcast. It’s where I first heard Mallika sharing her personal story about sleep. I love everything Headspace does and HiberNation is a holistic, engaging look at sleep with a focus on the human side. Check it out wherever you listen to podcasts.

Ellen Scanlon (10:15):

I wish there was more concrete evidence here, but maybe not surprisingly there’s not a ton of research on hangovers from cannabis. Here’s what we do know. A weed hangover is most likely a residual high from a heavy dose of cannabis. It’s a sort of lingering after effect. It is more common to feel this after you’ve consumed an edible than after you’ve smoked flour. Unlike alcohol which dehydrates your body, cannabis has a much milder hangover, if you even have one at all. The weed hangover that some people experience is typically a dry mouth, some fogginess, maybe light nausea, a headache, or a combination of these symptoms. And while some people may feel this way in the morning, others don’t experience anything after consuming. It seems to depend on what your body is used to and what the right amount of cannabis is for you. Usually, if you experience a weed hangover, hydrating gets rid of these lingering feelings and will get you back to normal.

Ellen Scanlon (11:20):

If you still feel too high, put a CBD oil tincture under your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds. CBD helps to bring more balance to your body and in about 15 minutes, you’ll feel a lot more like yourself. If you have an experience like Stacy and feel foggy from too much CBD, drink plenty of water and have a good breakfast. The nutrients and the hydration will help. A weed hangover is not like a night after too many cocktails. You’re not going to feel a traditional hangover. And the best way to avoid a weed hangover altogether is to start small on your dose.

Ellen Scanlon (11:58):

If you don’t drink regularly, you might not want to start your night with three martinis. The same goes for weed and really for any supplements that you might be incorporating into your nightly routine. Melatonin, for example, can be very strong and can linger well into the next morning. So while you narrow down what works for you, start slow, start small and start with one thing at a time, and then you can increase your dose from there. Ariana Newton, an operations executive at Weed Tube, a censorship-free cannabis platform, talked with me about what it’s like for her the morning after a big dose of weed, like kind of partying.

Ariana Newton (12:39):

It definitely depends. I mean, I won’t lie. There’s been certain things I’ve consumed and I still feel high the next morning when I wake up. But that was also, too, when I was trying to consume more just to feel the effects of like, “Oh, well, what happens if I do eat 200 milligrams or friends make edibles and they end up way more strong than anticipated?” And then the next morning, you do have a little bit of a fog. It really just depends. It’s key components of all aspects of your life, so diet, exercise, sleep, all of that kind of plays a role into how I feel the next day. But definitely there’s been times where it does seem a little foggy, but I would say it kind of depends because I’m not always the best with my body. I don’t always eat the healthiest. I don’t always take care of myself and exercise.

Ariana Newton (13:32):

So it’s something I like to mention because I know we talk a lot about how the plant can help with anxiety and depression and sleep and do all these things too, but all in good dosages, I guess. It’s easy to overuse it and just not focus on all the other aspects that you have to work on as well, which is something that it took me forever to learn. You have to have all of these things in check to be at your optimal. And when something’s not in check, you’re not going to be at your optimal. So I find that if I am using edibles to help do that, if I’m taking care of the other aspects of my life too, it affects me less. But if I am being lazy for a lack of a better verb to put there, I’ll be a little foggy. I don’t know how else to describe it besides foggy. It’s not like I feel hungover or anything. I just don’t really feel on my A game. And the normal things that I would do that would be super enticing are just maybe not quite as enticing.

Ellen Scanlon (14:34):

Ariana’s experience sounds like what I hear from a lot of women. If you’re having a big fun night with weed and you want to get really high, the effects might linger into the next morning. And if you’re consuming with the main goal of helping you sleep, just start slowly and with a low dose so you know what you’re getting into, especially if you have an important day to wake up to.

Ellen Scanlon (14:58):

I remember a night in college when I smoked a joint with some friends and got extremely, unexpectedly, super high. I had a Spanish test the next morning and I wasn’t even sure I could speak English. I was very foggy. So my advice is as you figure out what works best for your sleep, try to choose nights when the morning after isn’t very stressful, just in case.

Ellen Scanlon (15:29):

While cannabis can be the answer to a lot of questions about sleep, it’s not a one size fits all. Throughout this Sleep 101 Series, we’ve talked about all the different forms, strains, and times to consume cannabis and how that can all affect the sleep cycle differently. Because good sleep is such an integral and interconnected aspect of your health, once you do find what works for you, the results can be amazing and have a positive impact on other areas of your life, too. Stacy spoke more about the role cannabis plays in her longer term well-being.

Stacy Zeal (16:09):

I think about cannabis as being an integral part of my well-being. Getting consistent sleep has literally been a game changer. And I think that one of the things about sleep that is amazing is how restorative it is, how repairing it is, and I didn’t realize how good you can feel when you wake up in the morning. I didn’t realize that having energy in the morning was actually a thing. I just always attributed to say, “Oh, I’m a night owl. I’m not a morning person.” But really I just wasn’t getting enough sleep to even be a morning person anyway. And so even just that piece of it alone is something that I view cannabis as particularly amazing for my wellness and particularly definitely a part of my life forever for as long as I can.

Stacy Zeal (16:58):

But then going beyond that, it’s also something that I integrate into my meditation. I think that when I meditate after I’ve consumed some cannabis, it really just helps me to center. It helps me to stay in the present moment. It helps me to really drop into my physical body and get out of my head and really connect and just feel and just be. And so that is also, I think, something that is just really essential to your well-being. It’s not just the physical of being able to sleep, but it’s also being able to be present, being able to be mindful, being able to kind of just release some stress or anxiety

Ellen Scanlon (17:35):

Once you know the right dose, form factor and timing for you, you can feel confident that you won’t experience brain fog or grogginess the next morning. But it may take some note taking and even some troubleshooting. So start your research on a Friday or a Saturday night so you have some time the next day to pay attention to how you feel when you don’t have a lot to deal with. And have fun with it. Everything you try gets you one step closer to the sleep of your dreams.

Ellen Scanlon (18:06):

I hope this series has helped you find restful sleep. I also hope that it helps you find more peace in other areas of your life as well. And before we go, here is today’s High Five on the morning after. Number one, while the jury’s still out on exactly what weed hangovers are, feeling grogginess or some brain fog can be common after consuming large doses of cannabis. The best way to avoid this is by starting with a smaller dose and the best way to overcome it is to drink plenty of water and have some food.

Ellen Scanlon (18:41):

Number two, it is okay if cannabis is a tool that you use nightly to fall asleep. Maintaining a healthy sleep cycle is really important and there’s no shame in cannabis being a tool that you rely on. Number three, cannabis is not a one size fits all solution. The different forms, strains and times when you consume it can affect each of us differently. Please start slow and be open to experimenting until you figure out what works best for you.

Ellen Scanlon (19:14):

Number four, diet and exercise can still affect sleep even if you’re consuming cannabis as a sleep aid. Before increasing your dose, take a look at any lifestyle choices that might be affecting your sleep cycle. Number five, getting consistently good sleep can change your life and maybe even turn you into a morning person. Finding a cannabis regimen that works for you might take a few months so don’t give up. So many women are finding relief with cannabis and it is really worth the effort. And we’re here to help so please reach out if you have more questions.

Ellen Scanlon (19:55):

This has been the final episode of our Sleep 101 Series for everything you need to know about cannabis and sleep. Stream the complete Sleep 101 Series wherever you listen to podcasts. And please reach out with any questions to or DM us at dothepot. Thanks to our writer, Melia Grasska, and our producers, Madi Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon and stay tuned for more of How To Do the Pot.



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