How To Prevent A Hookah Headache - HC
February 27, 2019
How To Prevent Hookah Headache
You're halfway through your hookah session, smoking a delicious bowl of shisha tobacco, and suddenly you realize you're not feeling too well. You have a headache, dizziness, or even nausea, you're annoyingly sensitive to light and sound, and now your hookah session is ruined. Does this scenario sound familiar?
This is what's called a hookah hangover or hookah headache, and it happens to even the best of us from time to time. Hookah hangovers are not fun, but they are easily prevented. All it takes is some proper preparation to ensure a happy, headache-free hookah experience.
Stay Hydrated / Eat A Meal
Just like a hookah your body needs water to function properly! Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your session to be able to properly enjoy those sweet sweet clouds!
Also, it may be a good idea to eat a snack or small meal before starting your session. Eating before you smoke gives your body the proper nutrition to be able to handle the nicotine you are getting from the shisha. If you smoke on an empty stomach your body may not be able to properly absorb the nicotine which can turn that pleasant buzz in to a nasty headache or nausea.
Know Your Tolerance
Everyone has a unique body chemistry and different levels of nicotine tolerance, and these two factors play a big part in how your body reacts to smoking hookah. If you are new to smoking hookah then we recommend starting off with a low nicotine variety of shisha tobacco such as Social Smoke, Al-Fakher, or Starbuzz first.
Taking it slow is key! Sit back and relax while you enjoy your hookah session. For centuries people have enjoyed hookah at a nice, leisurely pace so don't try to inhale the entire bowl in two minutes. This is a sure fire way to give yourself the dreaded hookah hangover.
If your body is overly sensitive to shisha and even low nicotine tobaccos are a bit too much then you may also consider trying a nicotine free herbal shisha such as Hydro Herbal.
Proper Bowl Preparation and Heat Management
Be sure to load your hookah bowl properly by sprinkling in your shisha tobacco evenly around the dish and up to the rim of the bowl but not over the rim. Check out our blog on How To Load A Hookah Bowl for more in depth information on loading your bowl, but in general a light fluffy pack right up to the rim of the bowl is a guaranteed winner for almost all shisha tobaccos out there.
Make sure that your hookah foil is sealed drum tight over your bowl, this is key to making sure that no air leaks happen from gaps in the foil. Lay your foil sheet over the bowl and firmly hold one hand down over half of the bowl while you pull down on the other side of the foil with your other hand, then repeat the process on the other side of the bowl so that the foil is pulled taught across then entire rim of the bowl. Use both hands to press the excess foil to the sides of the bowl to secure it and then use a paper clip, tooth pick, or handy-dandy Foil Poker to punch holes through the foil all around the bowl to allow for air to flow in when you inhale on your hose.
Now for one of the most important parts in preventing that unwanted hookah headache, proper heat management! Make sure that your charcoals are completely lit before placing them on your bowl.
If you are using a Quick Lighting Hookah Charcoal those will have a chemical accellerant coating on them to allow them to be lit quickly, so you will want to make sure that the coal is completely lit and that those accellerants have entirely cooked off before adding the coal on to your bowl to make sure you aren't inhaling any of those fumes. When lighting these coals watch for the sparks to spread across the entirety of the coal on both sides and gently blow air on the coal to make sure there are no unlit sections. Once the sparks have stopped and ash has started to form on the coal then it's time to add that coal to your bowl!
If you are using a Natural Hookah Charcoal these will take a bit more time to heat up to the proper temperature because they will not have any chemical accellerants, so you'll want to make sure to give them enough time to heat up to the right temperature. Typically you will want to heat these coals for about 5 minutes and then flip them over using your hookah tongs and give them another 3 - 4 minutes of heating time. Once you notice a white / grey ash forming around all sides of the coal then they' re ready to go on to your bowl!
Make sure to flip or rotate your coals during the session to keep them stoked and if your session starts getting to hot or harsh then you can use your tongs to remove a coal and set that in your hookah tray to cool down the bowl.
Easing A Hookah Hangover
If you find yourself in the clutches of a hookah hangover, the most important thing to do is stop smoking for a little bit. Take a break and drink some water to re-hydrate and eat a snack like fresh fruit to give your body a nutrient boost to help process the nicotine.
Hookah headaches are never a fun experience so make sure that you prepare your body, and your bowl, properly to have a relaxing, delicious, and hangover free session every time.