Can Marijuana Cause a Hangover?

Can Marijuana Cause a Hangover?

Alcohol is famously known for both its during and aftereffects, but it is certainly not the only substance that continues affecting users after intoxication ends. For instance, marijuana is often seen as a relatively harmless drug, but it has serious immediate, day-after and long-term effects.

The Day After Using Marijuana

While marijuana may not leave users feeling physically ill like alcohol does, it has cognitive effects that last longer than the duration of the high. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) shares the results of a study that found “approximately half [of the participants] reported that occasionally they awoke tired and felt that their minds were foggy” the day after smoking marijuana. Additionally, Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence reports that users often experience “some residual intoxication and confusion the next day” after a high (2002). The effects of marijuana abuse are not as short-term as many would believe, and they can continually impact quality of life and cognition the day after the drug is used.

Marijuana and Memory

Marijuana’s effects can span greater periods of time than expected. Intoxication has immediate effects on memory, as the day after may include “fogginess” or “confusion.” Furthermore, NCADD shares that “marijuana’s adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.” This fact means that users may experience a hangover that lasts for a week or more, which will affect their mental functioning and awareness. NCADD goes on to explain that marijuana users have “ poorer cognitive abilities than non-users, including memory capability, math and verbal skills.” Individuals participating in school, work or other activities the day or even the week after using marijuana may find that their performance is limited.

Marijuana and Daily Life

The cognitive effects and aftereffects of using marijuana do more than dull a few hours or days. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shares that “users generally report lower life satisfaction, poorer mental and physical health, more relationship problems, and less academic and career success compared to non-marijuana-using peers” (DrugFacts: Marijuana, 2004). People who are high on marijuana or who experience hangovers may fail tests, struggle to study or they may be overlooked for promotions due to errors or poor performance. These predictions do not forever limit a user’s future, because one’s future is only limited if drug use continues. Recovery opens up unlimited opportunities for growth, health and happiness.

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