Can Cannabis Help With a Hangover?

Exploring the Science Behind Weed as Hangover Cure

Who doesn’t hate hangovers? Your head pounds, you look like a mess, and it feels like no amount of water will ever be enough to quench your thirst.


But, if urban legends are to be believed, marijuana may just be the cure to even your worst hangover. Some might even say that a bit of weed can go a long way in calming the brutal effects of a hangover, like the headaches, nausea, or fatigue.

But does science back up this claim? Or is it another myth waiting to be busted?

Vice spoke with scientists and doctors to try to get to the bottom of this theory.

“There’s actually not a lot of study on this,” said Kent Hutchinson, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado. He adds that hangovers themselves haven’t been studied in great detail either.

But, there’s a silver lining. While the question of linking cannabis and curing hangovers hasn’t reached a consensus, scientists are working on it. Hutchinson has studied cannabis professionally, having contributed to a comprehensive study on the drug’s effect as part of a National Academy of Sciences committee.


How Hangovers Work

An important question to ask is, what really is a hangover? Let’s break it down:

When you drink a lot of alcohol, you pee more, and your body loses water, making you dehydrated. That can lead to headaches, and obviously, thirst. Drinking can also lower your blood sugar in a process called hypoglycemia. This can make you dizzy and tired.

Your body’s electrolyte levels are also thrown off balance when you drink. This leads to weakness and headaches. Drinking can also lead to gastrointestinal problems, which are linked to nausea and vomiting.

READ MORE: How Hangovers Work

All of these factors combine to give you that dreaded hangover feeling the next morning. But how can weed help?

Hutchinson tells Vice that some of pot’s benefits can make it easier to cope with a hangover, at least according to anecdotal evidence. The combination of THC and CBD is rumoured to be a helpful headache treatment. Some evidence also shows that weed can help limit the effects of nausea.

It’s also important to consider what kind of marijuana you’re taking. Scientists say that CBD helps more with pain relief – and indica strains have more CBD.

But these ideas suggest that pot helps you cope with your hangover rather than cure it. Hopefully, they’ll invent an instant cure to hangovers someday – or a strain of weed that’s strong enough to zap away the headache.

Alternative Hangover Cures


What do you do if a hangover is so harsh that even cannabis doesn’t do the trick? Naturopathic medical doctor Elaine M. Burns gave Vice a few pointers.

To avoid hangovers, she recommends drinking water between drinks, and encourages drinkers to avoid overdoing it. While she acknowledges that weed can help lower the effects of hangover symptoms, she also encourages an intake of water and electrolytes. Most people know that electrolytes are found in sport drinks like Gatorade, but you can also do your body a favour by taking magnesium supplements and drinks with vitamin C and potassium.

Science hasn’t come far enough to tell us if THC really stands for The Hangover Cure. So, until it does, we’ll have to do our best to find ways to make Sunday mornings as pain-free as possible.