What Are ‘Weed Shakes’ and What Causes Them?

What Are ‘Weed Shakes’ and What Causes Them?

When you consume a significant amount of cannabis, you may start shivering and shaking as if you have a cold. In common parlance, one may refer to these as “weed shakes” or simply “the shakes.” Anxiety can cause uncontrollable shaking or trembling, similar to what you might experience in freezing temperatures. When consumed in larger doses, cannabis that is high in THC can produce anxious or paranoid feelings, which in some people can produce a jittery or shaky feeling in the body.

But there’s no need to be concerned about it because cannabis shakes are probably nothing to worry about. Continue reading to find out more information about the “weed shakes” and what you should do if they take place.

What Exactly Is a Weed Shake?

The term “weed shakes” refers to involuntary muscle spasms and tremors that can appear after an individual consumes a significant amount of cannabis. The shakes that can accompany alcohol withdrawal or other serious health concerns can be terrifying, but the shakes that come from cannabis use are significantly less dangerous. The simple fact that you are experiencing tremors is an indication that an excessive amount of THC has caused your nervous system to become somewhat overloaded with anxiety.

Cannabis has a high safety profile, and although there is no published research on weed shakes, a large body of anecdotal evidence suggests that they are not uncommon and are typically risk-free.


The onset of weed-related muscle spasms may be caused by a complex interaction of many different factors.

Cold environment

Cannabis has an effect known as “THC-induced hypothermia,” which causes the body temperature to decrease. This effect makes you feel colder in environments that are already cold. These chills, on the other hand, only signify a moderate decrease in baseline body temperature, which is easily remedied by wrapping oneself in a blanket or taking a steamy shower. The fact that you’re shivering may be because you’re cold.


Stimulants, such as nicotine and the caffeine found in soft drinks and coffee, excite the nervous system and cause an increase in the level of dopamine that is found in the blood.

If you frequently consume stimulants and find that doing so causes you to shake, the stimulant is likely the cause of your tremors.


Consuming an excessive amount of THC-rich cannabis can overstimulate the amygdala, which in turn can increase your level of fear and anxiety. Numerous studies have documented the anxiety and paranoia that can sometimes result from this. Some people are more prone to these reactions than others, and the fact that you are shaking could very well be due to nervousness on your part. If this occurs, all you need to do is take steps that will assist you in maintaining your composure; the tremors will eventually stop.

A toxic level of THC

The primary cause of weed shakes is frequently found to be an excessive amount of cannabis consumption. There are a lot of different ways to bring yourself back down to earth after experiencing a high that is too potent for your tolerance level.

How Long Does It Keep Going?

The tremors and shakes that are commonly associated with cannabis don’t typically last for very long, though the length of time that one experiences them can vary depending on how much cannabis was consumed and how it was ingested. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the shakes should stop occurring approximately twenty minutes after smoking a flower or using a vaporizer to consume cannabis. The highs from edibles, on the other hand, can last significantly longer, and the shaking can continue for up to an hour.

Consult your primary care provider if you are experiencing more concerning symptoms or if you have any underlying health conditions so that you can gain a better understanding of how cannabis affects your body. It may be possible to alleviate the overwhelming effects of too much THC by making some minor adjustments to your dose, cultivar type (also referred to as “strain”), or by taking a small amount of CBD.

Treatments for Weed Shakes (Remedies)

Get up and walk around a little bit.

Get up and move around or give yourself a simple task to keep your mind off of it. If you are feeling overrun by weed shakes, changing the speed at which you are moving might be all that is needed to shake them off. Take some slow, deep breaths, or try some other method, such as yoga or meditation, to calm yourself down.

Moving around and redirecting your energy will help you feel more grounded in your body and will stretch out any muscles that are tight from tension.

Adjust Your Environment

Because the atmosphere is such an important part of the cannabis experience, you should make some adjustments if you believe that your current setting is adding to the anxiety that you feel as a result of using weed.

Change your environment by going to a different room, turning on some music that is calming and soothing, or dimming the lights. Even if you are in the company of other people, removing yourself from the social setting may help to settle your nerves and put an end to the shaking.

Avoid Stimulants

If you want to keep your nervous system calm and avoid tremors, you should avoid combining cannabis with stimulants like caffeine or tobacco. Avoiding stimulants will help keep your nervous system calm.

There are hundreds of different cannabis cultivars available for purchase, and many of them have a terpene and cannabinoid profile that is more conducive to relaxation and less likely to cause twitching. If you aren’t sure where to begin, ask the budtender at your establishment for some suggestions.


As was just mentioned, CBD can help moderate the effects of THC’s high and prevent shakes brought on by anxiety. If you choose a strain that has a higher concentration of CBD and a more balanced ratio of CBD to THC, you will reduce the likelihood of experiencing anxiety-induced muscle tremors and have a more pleasant overall experience.

The Crux of the Matter

Although experiencing weed shakes can be a frightful experience, they are a harmless side effect of cannabis for which there are a variety of treatments and precautions available. If you are aware of how your body reacts to cannabis and how your body reacts to cannabis, you can easily avoid undergoing weed shakes while still gaining access to the medicine you require.

Questions That Are Typically Asked

What does it mean when you smoke weed and start shaking after you’ve done it?

When someone consumes large amounts of cannabis, they may experience involuntary muscle spasms and tremors known as “weed shakes.” The duration of the phenomenon, known as weed shakes, can vary depending on the quantity of cannabis consumed and the method by which it was smoked or vaped. Thankfully, weed shakes don’t last very long.

Is it risky if you shake after using marijuana?

Cannabis has a high safety profile, and although there is no published research on weed shakes, a large body of anecdotal evidence suggests that they are generally safe to use. The shakes typically pass relatively quickly, in contrast to some of the other symptoms of having consumed too much cannabis, including nausea and an increased heart rate.

The trembling is more commonly linked to anxiety than it is to cannabis itself. However, medicinal marijuana may help reduce spasms and muscle spasms associated with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

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