| |

What Are Weed Shakes & How Do You Stop Them?

You’re trying to relax into a nice high…but the weed is just making your anxiety worse.

Uncontrollable shaking takes over your whole body. Now you’re wondering when this high will ever end?

Yup. I know the feeling. Just know it won’t last long and there are often ways you can reduce the likelihood of it occurring again.

Keep reading to find out what to expect and how you can get rid of the weed shakes when you smoke up.

smoking weed and shaking

What Are The Weed Shakes?

Weed shakes are involuntary muscle spasms or tremors that usually happen after someone consumes a lot of cannabis or other THC-rich products. 

They may seem odd, but they usually just mean your body is feeling the side effects of THC.

There are a few different things that can lead to the weed shakes, and we will break them down below. The good news is that they are usually nothing to worry about and will pass as your body breaks down the THC in your system.

Why Do I Shake When I’m High?

One of the most well-known reasons for the shakes is a drop in body temperature. But these types of shakes may also stem from anxiety or paranoia. Or, you could be overstimulated. 

If you can identify the reason for your trembles you can take action to calm them without waiting for your high to wear off.

Weed Chills

When you get too cold your body starts to take action to warm itself back up. Shaking is one of the ways it does this. 

It is an automatic response. The slight drop in body temperature causes tightening and relaxing of muscles. This creates body heat and warms you back up. 

Cannabis can lower body temperature. So if you smoke a lot at once you may experience THC-induced hypothermia. This is most likely to happen if you are already in a place that is cold. 

This may sound alarming, but it usually only consists of a small drop in body temperature. 

Animal studies have shown that THC does cause a drop in body temperature in higher doses, but that it was still generally within normal ranges. 

The study showed that THC did not induce true hypothermia except at the highest dose (8mg/kg), despite lowering body temperature in a dose-dependent manner. 

Covering up with a blanket or taking a hot shower should be plenty to stop your shivers and warm you up. 

Still, it will be great to learn more about this phenomenon and why it happens. Scientists are currently looking for the reason behind these temperature effects and think nitric oxide may play a large role. It is a molecule that helps to regulate body temperature. 

A study that blocked nitric oxide synthesis found that the level of cannabis-induced hypothermia more than doubled. 

Building off of these findings researchers may soon be able to determine the mechanisms that drive some of these marijuana effects. Studies in humans are still lacking so we can’t fully extrapolate the animal data yet.

shaking after joint

Feeling Anxious

Just like when we get too cold, our bodies can start to shake when we have a lot of anxiety or paranoia. 

Generally, evidence suggests that marijuana produces positive effects. Most commonly causing relaxation and decreased anxiety. 

But, marijuana with higher doses of THC can cause anxiety and paranoia. So if you consume too much THC then those jittery, shaky feelings may come on. 

Nonetheless, other evidence suggests that if you already have issues with anxiety or paranoia then you could be more prone to experiencing these things when smoking weed. 

The kind of weed you consume can also impact this. The differences in effects depend on the exact chemical makeup and concentration of phytocannabinoids and terpenes in your cannabis. 

Strains that are high in THC can cause more negative side effects than marijuana with a more balanced profile. 

For example, a 2017 study found that when healthy adults consumed 7.5mg of THC it reduced negative feelings. But when they consumed 12.5mg of THC it had the opposite effect, increasing negative feelings. 

More balanced strains contain less THC and more of the other phytocannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis. CBD has been shown to help counteract the effects of THC. And so have other terpenes like limonene, pinene, and linalool. 

Learning to consume cannabis in a way that helps rather than enhances anxiety is a game changer for overall well-being. When I first tried cannabis it made me feel completely stressed out and out of control. But once I was introduced to strains with less THC I saw new possibilities. 

Now I know that more balanced strains give me a functional high without unwanted side effects like anxiety, shakes, or sedation. With a little experimentation, you can find a strain that works well for you, too. 

marijuana flower shakes


Combining weed with other compounds can cause a variety of different effects that may not be experienced when using cannabis on its own. 

For example, if you drink some coffee before having some cannabis you will be feeling the effects of THC and caffeine combined in your body. 

Or, if you roll a joint with some tobacco then you will most definitely experience a different set of effects than if you just consumed cannabis. This is due to the multiple psychoactive compounds at work.

Stimulants like coffee can cause tremors on their own. So technically you could get the shakes just from having one too many cups of Joe. 

If you have a spliff and a cup of coffee you may experience an increased heart rate and anxiety. But it’s probably not just the cannabis shakes you’re feeling. Your nervous system may be experiencing over-stimulation and need to balance back out. 

If you are dealing with this you may want to avoid using other stimulants with your cannabis. That way your nervous system can stay balanced. 

Similarly, drinking alcohol (a CNS depressant) can actually increase levels of THC and may make you more prone to negative side effects.

Too Much THC

What if you haven’t taken any other stimulants, are in a warm environment, and haven’t consumed that much marijuana, but you still have the weed shakes? Perhaps you have simply had too much THC. 

The effects of cannabis are different for every person. They depend on things like tolerance, biology, the amount consumed, and more. 

If you have too much THC then you may experience what feels like alarming symptoms, or even green out

But these feelings are typically harmless and should pass. Go to a different room or take a walk. You can also take a shower, listen to some soothing music, or sleep it off.

thc bud

Uncontrollable Shaking After Eating Edibles

When you eat an edible the high is different from what you get when smoking or trying other consumption methods. The effects take longer to kick in but they are also much longer lasting. 

You can find yourself feeling like you’ve had too much quite easily. 

Titrating is difficult in edibles. An incremental increase of just 1mg of THC in an edible has an exponential impact when compared to 1mg of THC smoked or vaped. 

This is a dangerous situation as new cannabis users sometimes eat more before the effects of their edibles really kick in. 

THC also turns into another compound called 11-Hydroxy-THC when broken down by the liver.

This is a much more potent form of THC. This can explain why some people end up feeling like they’ve had too much THC after taking edibles. It’s why edibles last 4+ hours, too. 

To mitigate these effects, try lowering the dose and consuming edibles with balanced amounts of CBD and THC. This will help it not feel as intense.

How To Stop Cannabis Shakes

Thankfully, the cannabis shakes last only a short amount of time. Anecdotal reports suggest that they will usually last only about 20 minutes. 

However, if you consumed edibles the behavioral and temperature effects may last up to an hour or more, depending on dosing and biological variables. 

If you are experiencing any more concerning side effects or have underlying health conditions you may want to check with your doctor to discuss the best solution for you. A cannabis coach can also help you figure out a better regimen for yourself.

They may recommend a change like mixing in some high-CBD products. Or they might suggest you switch strains, methods of ingestion, or dosage amounts. 

If you don’t already have your medical marijuana card it may be worth your while to get it. It’s a simple task and getting your card comes with many benefits.

One of which is the chance to talk with a licensed medical marijuana doctor. They can guide you toward your optimal treatment plan. Cannabis coaches can help instruct you on how to best take and use products as well to optimize your plan.

With a medical card,you will get access to medical-grade products that are clearly labeled with how much THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are in them. 

Everyone reacts to marijuana differently, so you may need to go through some trial and error before you land on a routine that creates the most enjoyable experience for you.

cbd edible after shakes

Try Some CBD

THC is the main cannabinoid responsible for causing psychoactive effects. Too much THC can cause anxious, paranoid feelings. 

Research shows that CBD can help regulate THC and minimize these feelings. 

THC creates effects when it binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body. CBD does not directly bind to these receptors, but it influences them by increasing our natural endocannabinoids.

It can help block THC from binding to them which keeps it from engaging as strongly as it otherwise would. 

Studies have shown that this helps to reduce the negative side effects associated with consuming too much THC. 

Don’t Combine Weed and Stimulants or Depressants

A great way to avoid the weed shakes and other symptoms associated with them is to keep from mixing marijuana with other central nervous system stimulants or depressants. 

Coffee, nicotine, or alcohol will all impact your nervous system. They may combine to produce a number of negative effects. 

If you have been experiencing the weed shakes it’s best to have your coffee in the morning and wait until lunchtime before consuming cannabis. 

Try Balanced Strains

Understanding how different strains, or chemotypes, of cannabis have different effects is a big part of finding the right cannabis routine. 

Smoking a strain with large concentrations of THC can lead to weed shakes and unnecessary anxiety. You can try a different strain with less THC.

Or you can try one that has more CBD to balance it out. Strains that may be the best to try have a broader set of cannabinoids in higher ratios. 

balanced weed

These types of strains have more balance in their chemical makeup. Having a variety of terpenes like linalool and pinene can make you feel calmer. 

These terpenes are commonly found in other types of plants and foods like lavender, rose, and basil. 

Studies show that they have therapeutic properties on their own. Using a balanced cannabis stain may create the best entourage effect. 

Using a cannabis strain, edible, distillate, or concentrate that just has a high THC content is a rocky road to paranoia and anxiety. 

Wrapping Up

No one enjoys having the weed shakes, but they don’t have to give you anxiety. Remember, they don’t last that long and there are things that you can do to calm them faster. 

Take some deep breaths, cover up with a blanket, or try some CBD. Consider trying some different cannabis cultivars with a more balanced cannabinoid profile. You’ll be back to relaxing experiences in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal to twitch when you’re high?

Yes, twitches or the weed shakes are normal after getting high. It most commonly occurs as a result of consuming too much THC or having anxiety.

They normally only last about 20 minutes. Although they may be scary, they are generally considered harmless. 

Why do you twitch when you’re high?

There is not enough research on cannabis and twitching or shaking when you’re high to determine why you twitch when you get high. But researchers think it may be due to anxiety rather than caused by cannabis itself.