Why Does Weed Make You Tired (and How to Avoid It)

why does weed make you tired
By Anthony Pellegrino Updated April 30th

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

If you feel tired after consuming cannabis, you aren’t alone. Many people experience drowsiness as a side effect of smoking weed.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why cannabis can make you tired and how you can avoid feeling sluggish, both in the moment and the day after smoking weed.

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Why Does Weed Make You Tired?

There are many reasons why weed can make you feel drowsy. One of the primary culprits is THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that has been reported by thousands of consumers to increase feelings of relaxation or sleepiness. Additionally, THC can degrade into CBN, a cannabinoid known for its sedative effects, if not stored properly.

Terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in cannabis, can also play a role in producing the tired or drowsy effects often associated with smoking weed. Some terpenes, such as linalool and myrcene, are known for their relaxation-inducing and stress-relieving properties. These terpenes, in particular, are often found in cannabis strains known for their sleepiness.

And regardless of how much THC is present in a given strain, the combination of different terpenes and cannabinoids, known as the entourage effect, can contribute to feelings of drowsiness after using marijuana.

Not only can cannabis produce feelings of fatigue in the moment, but there are indirect ways it can lead to sleepiness in consumers. Some individuals may experience a come down effect hours after smoking. This is especially true after using a strain that produces an energetic or euphoric high (not unlike the afternoon doldrums many workers experience after their morning coffee wears off). Additionally, many people experience the munchies after smoking weed, causing them to subsequently eat large amounts of food, which can lead to feelings of sleepiness as the body processes the additional nutrients.

Finally, some marijuana edibles contain functional ingredients like melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep, that can contribute to feelings of drowsiness after use.

Weed Strains that Make You Feel Tired or Sleepy

Weed Strains that Make You Feel Tired

Here are ten popular strains of marijuana that have been reported by consumers as producing drowsy effects:

  1. Wedding Cake (aka Triangle Mints #23): This indica strain is known for its relaxing and euphoric effects. It is often used to treat stress, anxiety, and loss of appetite.
  2. GG4 (aka Gorilla Glue, Original Glue, Gorilla Glue #4, Glue): This potent strain is  known for its strong sedative effects. It is often used to treat chronic pain, insomnia, and nausea.
  3. Ice Cream Cake: This indica is known for its relaxing, euphoric, and happy effects. It is often used to treat stress, anxiety, and chronic pain.
  4. Dosidos (aka Dosi, Do-Si-Dos): An indica dominant hybrid, Dosidos is known for its relaxing body high and sedative effects. It is commonly used for relaxation and stress relief.
  5. Zkittlez (aka Skittles, Skittlz, Island Zkittlez): This indica is known for its relaxing, yet focused and social effects. It is often used to induce relaxation and greater focus.
  6. Granddaddy Purple (aka Grand Daddy Purp, Granddaddy Purple Kush, Granddaddy Purps, GDP): GDP is known for its relaxing, creative, and sedative effects. It is often used to treat chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea.
  7. Northern Lights (aka NL): Norther Lights is known for its relaxing, sedative, and happy effects. It is often used by patients treating traumatic stress, insomnia, arthritis, and anxiety.
  8. Kush Mints (aka Kush Mintz): This hybrid strain is known for its relaxing, euphoric, and hunger-inducing effects. It is often used to treat depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, and insomnia.
  9. Strawberry Banana (aka Strawnana): The hybrid Strawberry Banana is known for its relaxing, sleepy, and euphoric effects. It is often used to treat nausea, anxiety, and chronic pain.
  10. Tahoe OG (aka Tahoe OG Kush): This strain is known for its relaxing, sedative effects. It is often used to treat chronic pain, nausea, depression, and anxiety.

It’s important to remember that the common effects of these strains can vary for different users and may not always result in a tired or drowsy feeling. Different strains may be better suited for different consumers and applications.

How to Avoid Feeling Tired After Using Weed

tired from weed

There are many reasons that marijuana use can leave you feeling tired or drowsy. But can it be avoided?

If you’re tired of feeling tired after consuming weed, there are steps you can take to avoid this side effect.

One option is microdosing, which involves consuming small amounts of marijuana throughout the day to achieve the desired effects without the risk of feeling overly sedated. This technique can be particularly useful for those who are sensitive to the effects of cannabis.¹

Another potential option is to stick with sativas. Sativas are a type of cannabis strain that is known for its high THC and low CBD concentrations and are often associated with stimulating and highly cerebral effects.² By contrast, indicas are known for their relaxing and sedative effects (the so-called “body high”).³ 

It can also be helpful to check the chemical profile and terpene content of a strain before consuming it. Certain terpenes, such as linalool and myrcene, are known for their relaxation-inducing properties.⁴ By avoiding strains that are high in these terpenes, you can help reduce feelings of drowsiness.

Finally, It’s worth noting that a high tolerance to marijuana can lead to the consumption of larger amounts. This, in turn, can increase the risk of feeling tired or drowsy because of the high amounts of THC consumed. Lowering your tolerance by taking breaks or reducing your intake may help diminish the risk of feeling tired.

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Cannabis Products that Provide an Energy Boost

While certain cannabis products can produce a tired or drowsy effect, others can have the opposite effect and provide a boost of energy.

Some popular strains known for their energizing effects include Runtz (aka Runtz OG), Blue Dream, and Sour Diesel (aka Sour D, Sour Deez).

Besides traditional strains of marijuana, there are also a variety of cannabis-infused coffee and energy drinks that can provide a boost of energy.

For example, CANN’s Thunder Lime Energy Pop is a cannabis-infused drink intended to provide a burst of energy and focus. Likewise, 1906 New Highs coffee beans are infused with THC and may provide a caffeine boost at the same time.

Remember that the effects of these products can vary for different users and may not always result in an energizing effect. It’s important to use caution and follow the recommended dosage as consuming too much THC can lead to negative side effects.

Sources:

¹ Sarne, Yosef. “Beneficial and Deleterious Effects of Cannabinoids in the Brain: The Case of Ultra-Low Dose THC.” The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, vol. 45, no. 6, 13 Mar. 2019, pp. 551–562, 10.1080/00952990.2019.1578366. Accessed 1 Mar. 2022.

² Heath, R. G., et al. “Cannabis Sativa: Effects on Brain Function and Ultrastructure in Rhesus Monkeys.” Biological Psychiatry, vol. 15, no. 5, 1 Oct. 1980, pp. 657–690, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6251929/. Accessed 14 Jan. 2023.

³ Piomelli, Daniele, and Ethan B. Russo. “The Cannabis Sativa versus Cannabis Indica Debate: An Interview with Ethan Russo, MD.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, vol. 1, no. 1, Dec. 2016, pp. 44–46, 10.1089/can.2015.29003.ebr.

⁴ Ferber, Sari Goldstein, et al. “The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders.” Current Neuropharmacology, vol. 18, no. 2, 23 Jan. 2020, pp. 87–96, 10.2174/1570159x17666190903103923.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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