Did You Get the Shakes After Smoking Weed?
There are so many positives linked to cannabis consumption, but the main reason most people start their day with a morning Wake and Bake is the mental boost and physical energy jolt they get shortly after the first bong rip.
Too much THC, though, and you may end up getting the shakes after smoking weed.
The “weed shakes” are involuntary muscle spasms and tremors that sometimes occur after the consumption of large quantities of cannabis. These can come with shakiness, nervous energy, and heart palpitations and, while the weed shakes may cause anxiety and paranoia to set in, getting the shakes after smoking weed is not considered to be dangerous or anything to worry about.
Basically, weed shakes are a hyper-stimulation of the nervous system caused by the introduction of too much THC into the system. There is no need to stress or be alarmed about this, as the effects of getting the shakes after smoking weed will fade in a short amount of time.
While there are no peer-reviewed, scientific studies that have been conducted on weed shakes, there is a myriad of anecdotal reports from cannabis users describing the effects of weed shakes, and all of them stated these shakes after smoking weed after completely harmless.
They’re just very unpleasant.
There are several ways to keep the weed shakes at bay, such as reaching for some CBD capsules that will counter the adverse effects of the THC. It’s important to first pinpoint the reason behind you getting the shakes after smoking weed.
The Causes of Weed Shakes
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the weed shakes you get from consuming too much cannabis.
Cannabis lowers your body’s temperature via an effect called “THC-induced hypothermia.” While any dose of THC has the tendency to lower spontaneous locomotion in addition to the temperatures of brain and muscle tissue, true hypothermia and hypoactivity with distinctly diminished locomotor and temperature responses to stimuli were exclusively seen only following the largest possible dose of THC.
Do not worry, though, as this hypothermia is not dangerous for humans. It may give you a slight chill and goosebumps, but it won’t harm you.
The reason behind this drop in temperature is that, strangely enough, cannabis has an effect similar to that of mustard and hot peppers when it comes to temperature. The moment your tongue (or skin anywhere) comes into contact with the mustard or peppers, it detects heat. This sets off a series of chemical reactions that signal for your body to cool down immediately.
It basically says, “Hey! We’re on fire! Cool down, NOW!”
This reaction is mediated by a cellular receptor known as TRPA-1. This receptor has numerous physiological functions but is vital for regulating pain, inflammation, and temperature. When you consume something that is spicy or too hot, this receiver activates, resulting in a pain-fighting, body-cooling response.
Cannabis is most commonly consumed by smoking or dabbing. The compounds in the flower or wax activate the TRPA-1 receptor in the same way as peppers.
While researchers know the TRPA-1 receptor plays a pivotal role in the feeling of being cold when smoking weed, other research suggests it’s not the only receptor. THC and other cannabinoids connect to the cellular sites called cannabinoid receptors, particularly CB1 and CB2.
Research has shown that these cannabinoid receptors can also have a powerful impact on temperature regulation.
These are not major drops in temperature, however, and are nothing a blanket, hot shower, or sitting in the sun can’t fix. Your body may simply be shivering because you’re smoking in a cold environment. The THC-induced hypothermia and its accompanying shivers are short-lived and have no cause for concern.
Stimulants, such as nicotine and caffeine, get the nervous system riled up and amplify the amount of dopamine running through the bloodstream.
If you tend to consume stimulants and get jittery after, then it’s very probably that the stimulant is contributing to you getting the shakes after smoking weed.
When you mix weed and tobacco, such as in a blunt, the central nervous system (CNS) receives an extra punch – because both weed and tobacco affect this primary system since the CNS is full of cannabinoid nicotine receptors.
Similarly, coffee, black tea, and other caffeinated beverages may further stimulate the CNS and cause involuntary shakes or jitters. Weed by itself can already be a stimulant, so mixing it with additional stimulants can lead to overstimulation.
If you tend to smoke a blunt while enjoying your morning coffee, you may very well get the shakes after smoking weed.
Low Blood Sugar
Another reason you get the shakes after smoking weed could be related to having low blood sugar. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in maintaining homeostasis within the body, a big part of which is glucose balance. The cannabinoid receptors within your muscles are involved in glucose balance. If there is low blood sugar, shakes and tremors can happen.
While many stoners tend to get the munchies and eat more often than non-stoners, weed users have been found to be more sensitive to insulin effects and to be unable to create as much insulin as those who did not consume cannabis rich in THC.
As much as we hate to admit it, it has been well documented that too much THC-abundant cannabis can sometimes cause anxiety and paranoia brought on by the overstimulation of the amygdala, increasing your levels of fear and anxiety.
Consuming high levels of THC can be fun, but is not without possible adverse effects. A 2017 study of 42 healthy adults showed the consumption of 7.5mg of THC reduced negative feelings associated with doing something they found stressful. However, a higher dose of 12.5mg had the opposite effect and exacerbated those negative feelings.
The anxiety after smoking weed has been found to correlate with weed shakes that can be felt throughout different areas of the body, such as the hands, feet, thighs, head, and back. Experiencing the shakes after smoking weed or eating too many edibles (or deciding to go all-in on a 1000mg “blackout” brownie) is probably a solid indication you’ve consumed too much.
It’s nothing to worry about, just remember to pace yourself next time you sesh or chow down on some edibles.
Overabundance of THC
The most common attributing factor as to why you get the shakes after smoking weed is the simple consumption of too much THC.
Cannabis products with high concentrations of THC can make newer stoners (or, in some instances, even experienced stoners) get the weed shakes and feel jittery. Furthermore, if you consume too much THC in one go dose (such as taking a gram dab or taking a massive rip from a 6-foot bong), you may experience a bombardment of psychoactive effects, usually accompanied by anxiety and paranoia.
Excessive consumption is fun but can lead to an overabundance of THC in your system. This is especially true with edibles.
After you eat your edibles, the THC gets metabolized within the liver and becomes the potent 11-Hydroxy-THC that can stay within the system longer than inhaled weed. There is no definitive research stating whether or not THC metabolites contribute to the weed shakes, but anecdotal evidence points to it playing a role.
Additionally, different cannabis strains or cultivars can cause you to get the shakes after smoking weed, depending on their cannabinoid and terpene makeup.
For example, many cannabis consumers have found sativa strains to be more likely to cause an energetic mental high that is quickly followed by physical weed shakes. Indica strains, on the other hand, tend to produce a calm body high. However, there is currently findings that such classifications are actually arbitrary and do not have any inherent meaning. Different varieties of cannabis produce different experiences, not because they are indica or sativa, but rather because of the unique terpene and cannabinoid profile present in each individual strain.
How Long Do the Weed Shakes Last After Smoking?
While it is unpleasant to get the shakes after smoking weed, these tremors fortunately do not last long. The duration of the weed shakes does depend on the amount of cannabis consumed, however, as well as the method by which it was consumed.
If you smoked flower, vaped, or dabbed, then anecdotal evidence suggests the weed shakes should subside in around 20-30 minutes.
If you ate edibles, then the high will last much longer and the weed shakes may continue for up to 60-70 minutes.
How to Stop the Weed Shakes You Get After Smoking Weed
Stand up and Move Around
If you get the shakes after smoking weed, remain calm. Stand up and move around. Distract yourself from the weed shakes by doing a simple task – one that you enjoy, not a chore like mopping the floors. Unless, of course, that’s something you enjoy – then go for it!
If you get overwhelmed by the weed shakes and are unable to distract yourself, try a calming yet physical method of such as meditative yoga.
Moving around and recentering your energy ground mental self your back in sync with your body and will stretch out your tensed muscles.
Change Your Environment
The setting in which you consume is vital for a positive, fulfilling cannabis sesh. If your current environment just isn’t doing it for you or, worse, is contributing to your anxiety and stress, then change it.
Take your dab set up to a different room, turn on some music to smoke weed to (try this summer stoner playlist), and dim the lights. If you’re seshing with friends, perhaps try changing the conversation or putting on music videos to go with the music in order to ease your anxiety and prevent or stop the weed shakes.
Lay Off the Stimulants
Avoid mixing stimulants (e.g., caffeine, nicotine) with your weed. Staving off stimulants will keep your nervous system calm and keep you from getting the shakes after smoking weed.
Switch to a Different Strain or Cannabis Product
The amount of THC in a particular cultivar or cannabis product could be the culprit behind your anxiety and, subsequently, the weed shakes you get from smoking weed.
If this is the case, switching to a different strain or cannabis product with less THC and more CBD, plus sedating terpenes such as linalool, myrcene, and pinene may work better with your nervous system.
There are hundreds of cannabis products and strains available here at World of Weed, many of them with a terpene and cannabinoid profile that is better suited toward staving off the weed shakes and promoting relaxation, rather than inducing the shakes you get after smoking weed.
Ask your budtender for some cannabis product recommendations if you’re unsure of where to start looking.
As previously mentioned, CBD can help counteract the effects of THC and prevent the weed shakes from happening or lasting. Choosing to puff on a strain with higher levels of CBD and a more balanced CBD: THC ratio will be less likely to cause you to get the shakes after smoking, leading to a more enjoyable experience.
If you are experiencing weed shakes, take some high-dose CBD capsules made with MCT oil for fast-acting effects.
Enjoy Energizing Cannabis Without the Weed Shakes
While it won’t eliminate the current weed shakes, a great way to not get the shakes after smoking weed in the future is by drinking an energizing cannabis-infused beverage, such as those by Sinners & Saints or Wild Side.
The Wild Shots Lemon Berry Energy Shot 1:1, for example, provides a tasty surge of energy in combination with a balanced ratio of CBD and THC. These little shots are a quick, easy, convenient, and discreet way to get a precisely measured dose of cannabis while still gaining a perky Wake part of your Wake and Bake, with 40mg of caffeine, 5mg of CBD, and 5mg of THC per serving. (100mg THC total)
The Sinners & Saints Pink Lemonade Canna Shots, as another example, is a beverage that contains 100mg of THC in a 2oz drink, perfect for on-the-go and lazy, poolside Sundays. These drinks have ZERO sugar, calories, or caffeine.
These cannabis beverages will deliver energizing boosts for the mind and body, providing sustainable motivation without the weed shakes.
Get the Shakes After Smoking Weed? Don’t Stress. Weed Shakes Happen.
If you’re a major stoner, you’re probably fairly aware of what your limits are when it comes to consuming cannabis. But, there are times when you’re going hard at the sesh, and that THC just sneaks up on you. When that happens, you can find yourself with the weed shakes, desperately wanting to be less high.
Good news – there are ways to not get the shakes after smoking weed, and there are ways to calm the weed shakes once you get them. Because, as great as getting stoned enough to the reach Pluto absolutely is, the shakes after smoking weed are just plain not fun.
So, these are some ways to stop the shakes after smoking weed and prevent the weed shakes from happening in the future.
A word of note: If you experience genuinely alarming symptoms, have pre-existing or underlying health conditions, or suspect the weed shakes may actually be a sign of something more serious going on, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR or a medical professional/healthcare provider.
Beyond that, these tips and a bit of patience (or a whole lot of CBD) should have you feeling right and keep the weed shakes at bay.
For more information on all things Tacoma recreational cannabis, be sure to keep up with the World of Weed blog!
Disclaimer: Marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of Marijuana. Marijuana, in any form, should not be used by individuals that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Marijuana is intended for use only by adults 21 and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. This product may be unlawful outside of Washington State.