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Why Do I Shake When I’m High

By Last updated on August 23, 2023No Comments

You’ve created a comfy smoking haven for yourself on the couch for a solo weekend session. You finish a joint, and suddenly your shoulder starts twitching. Then, your legs tremble, and your back feels like a wave of electricity is coursing through it.

That sensation is enough to give you the creeps. However, it’s not much to worry about. The feeling is called ”weed shakes” or ”cannabis shakes” and is a common occurrence.

Why do you shake, though? Is it concerning? Let’s learn more.

What Are Weed Shakes?

The shaking sensation in your body is due to the involuntary movement of your muscles. Think of it as just how you sometimes involuntarily twitch at night.

Random bodily shaking is an aftereffect of alcohol withdrawal and can be a symptom of some health issues. But weed shakes are different, as they occur upon consuming or smoking cannabis.

The decent safety profile of cannabis means you don’t have to worry about a hazardous health event: weed shakes are harmless, temporary, and generally just a little bit uncomfortable. There’s not enough research on them, but anecdotal evidence proves them to be harmless.

In some cases, they may accompany other symptoms of overconsumption of weed, such as nausea and sweating. You may also notice an increase in your heart rate. The good news is that these symptoms go away quickly.

Who Do I Shake When High: Causes of Cannabis Shakes

Who Do I Shake When High: Causes of Cannabis Shakes

While other signs mentioned earlier are due to weed overconsumption, cannabis shakes could occur due to other reasons too. We discuss a few of them below.

Overstimulated Body

Do you only get weed shakes when you mix a pinch of tobacco in your joint? If that’s the case, you might be shaking due to nicotine.

When you inhale tobacco smoke, either through a cigar, pipe, or joint, your blood absorbs nicotine quickly and produces a brain-altering effect in just a few seconds. Since it increases the dopamine levels in your body, it’s understandable why you’d want to add tobacco to your weed.

But tobacco might also be the culprit behind your cannabis shakes. On top of that, if you’re also joining your smoking sessions with coffee runs, your shakes could get worse.

Cold Surroundings

If you’ve cranked the AC up, it could be the reason you’re shaking when you get high. THC-induced hypothermia is a condition in which you start feeling cold upon consuming a strain rich in THC. Some research shows that THC may stop your body from producing heat, resulting in an internal temperature drop of up to 2%.

However, it’s a short-term effect that goes away after a while. As your basal body temperature drops, you might shudder and shiver a bit, and that’s about it.

High THC Concentration

A mild overdose of THC could also be the reason behind cannabis shakes. Don’t get scared about the idea of ”overdose” though. It simply means using a strain with a high THC concentration.

Here are some strains with high THC content:

  • Lemon Meringue
  • Laughing Buddha
  • Thai
  • Hawaiian
  • Silver Haze

The few minutes of trembling might make you reconsider everything you could have done differently in life to avoid getting to this moment. But there’s no need to worry about it. The discomfort should pass soon enough.


Cannabis can cause paranoia, mania, panic disorder, and anxiety in some cases. Some people may feel a stronger effect than others. If you’re nervous about the smoking experience or have had a bad trip in the past, your anxiety may be even higher. All these reasons could contribute to shaking.

How Long Do Cannabis Shakes Last

We’ve already assured you that weed shakes subside after some time. But after how long? That differs from person to person and across methods of consumption.

Most users report the shakes going away in 20 minutes. If you take edibles, they will keep you high for a longer time, and the shaking can also go on for an hour or so.

Usually, this shouldn’t be a concern. However, if you have a health condition or have had bad experiences with weed in the past, talk to your healthcare provider for more detailed advice. Your doctor can also help you determine the best ways to consume cannabis with minimal side effects.

How to Stop Weed Shakes

If you’re not a huge fan of sitting around and waiting for the shakes to pass, you can do a few things to stop or avoid these tremors in the first place.

Move Around

It’s not uncommon for users to be overwhelmed by the shaking sensation. You can overcome this by moving around and doing some breathing exercises. Take deep breaths and walk around your house for a while. If possible, meditate.

Change Your Environment

First off, ditch the cold room. Go to a different environment, such as out in the yard or another room.

Turn on calm music and dim the lights to soothe your body. If you’re outside at a social gathering, step away from the crowd and noise. It will help your body cool down and relax.

Remove Stimulants

You might like the added effect of tobacco in your joints, but if it’s making you shiver like crazy, it needs to go. The same goes for energy drinks or anything that can make the shakes worse.

Try Different Strains

Avoid THC-rich strains if they’re the reason you get the shakes when high. Start with low-concentration stains first and let your body build its tolerance.

Switch to strains rich in CBD and terpenes. Opt for relaxing strains that give you a smooth and calm high. Indica strains are more relaxing than their Sativa counterparts, which are often associated with paranoia and anxiety.


If you’ve never had them before, weed shakes can freak you out at first. But they’re generally harmless and do not last for a long time.

Even with that assurance, shaking when you get high is not a comfortable or enjoyable situation. You can keep the cannabis shakes at bay by switching to CBD-rich strains, avoiding stimulants, changing your environment, and moving your body.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.