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Why Do I Twitch When I’m High

By Last updated on August 15, 2023No Comments

Have you ever found yourself twitching when you’re high? It may seem alarming, but you’re not alone. Better known as “cannabis shakes,” these twitches can occur due to a variety of reasons and are generally not a cause for concern. 

For example, cannabis use can make you feel colder, leading to muscle spasms and tremors. It may also be due to an individual THC sensitivity, changes in your blood pressure, or dehydration. In all cases, you can expect these twitches to subside within 30 minutes. 

Luckily, you can implement a few ways to reduce such reactions while using cannabis. Keep reading to learn why you may twitch when you’re high and how to prevent it.

What Are Cannabis Shakes?

The term “cannabis shakes” refers to involuntary trembling you may experience when you’re high. They can manifest as slight tremors, muscle twitches, or more noticeable shaking. They typically begin shortly after consumption, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to hours. 

Different consumption methods can also influence the duration of the cannabis shakes. For example, edibles may cause fewer twitches due to the high CBD content. Meanwhile, smoking is much likelier to induce such reactions due to the high THC content. 

For most people, these tremors subside as other side effects of cannabis also wear off. If you have a lower tolerance to weed, you can expect the muscle spasms to last longer. The potency of your chosen strain can also influence the duration of these effects.

Still, there’s nothing to worry about, as many reports suggest these twitches are completely harmless. This study on the Safety and Toxicology of Cannabinoids states that CBD is “well-tolerated and safe in humans, even in high doses.”

Why Do I Twitch When I’m High?

Why Do I Twitch When I’m High

Here are a few common reasons behind cannabis shakes.

  • THC Sensitivity: The main component of cannabis contributing to your high is THC. You may be shaking or twitching because your chosen strain or consumption method has a high THC content. THC sensitivities vary from person to person, so the results may be unexpected.

According to this study by University of Chicago, teenagers may experience THC effects longer than others. Women also react differently to high doses of THC due to the female hormone estradiol. 

  • Anxiety or Paranoia: Everyone experiences the effects of cannabis differently. Some individuals get anxious or paranoid as their high kicks in. The strain may be too strong, or your tolerance is low, which can cause anxiety and paranoia when using cannabis. 

If you’re susceptible to paranoia, high-THC strains may not be an ideal option, as they can intensify such feelings. Experts suggest that your endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a vital role in cannabis-related paranoia. THC binds to the amygdala receptor in your ECS, altering your response to anxiety. 

  • Blood Pressure Changes: Cannabis can cause unexpected changes in your blood pressure. While the association between cannabis use and blood pressure may be minimal, it’s observed that cannabis users have lower blood pressure than non-users. Your response to these changes may manifest as twitches and tremors. 
  • Strain-Specific Effects: Each strain of cannabis has different levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. These chemicals can affect how your body reacts to cannabis. Some strains might have a higher chance of causing muscle twitching than others. 

For example, Blue Dream has a 30% THC content, making you more vulnerable to muscle spasms. On the other hand, Afghan Kush has a 6% CBD content, which can counter the effects of the 16% THC. 

  • Dehydration: It’s crucial to stay hydrated before, during, and after using cannabis. Otherwise, you may develop a condition called “cottonmouth,” hindering saliva production. Muscle spasms are one of the main symptoms of this condition. 
  • Drug Interactions: Your twitches may also be due to using cannabis alongside other medications or substances. Drug interactions can alter or enhance the usual effects of cannabis, leading to muscle tremors. For example, cannabis can increase the effects of tacrolimus by three times.

How Do I Stop Twitching When I’m High?

Here are a few insightful tips that can help reduce muscle tremors when using cannabis.

  • Lower Your Dosage: One way to avoid cannabis shakes is by lowering your dosage. Give your body time to adapt by starting with a smaller dose and adding to it as needed. Finding the right balance may require trial and error as everyone reacts differently to THC.
  • Choose Less Potent Strains: Strains with a high THC content are more likely to cause muscle tremors than less potent options. We recommend opting for strains with a higher CBD content, as it can counteract the effects of THC. If you’re using cannabis for medicinal purposes, consult your doctor for strain recommendations.
  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration under the influence of cannabis can worsen your muscle spasms and twitches. Make sure to drink ample water before, during, and after using cannabis. 
  • Change Consumption Methods: Cannabis can be consumed in many different forms, each of which creates different effects. For example, edibles have a high CBD content, allowing you to enjoy its benefits without feelings of anxiety or paranoia. Smoking has the highest THC content in all modes of use, making muscle spasms much likelier. 
  • Consider CBD Supplements: CBD products are available in the form of oils, capsules, and topicals. Since CBD has been studied for its potential to ease muscle spasms, it may be worth exploring as an alternative method of use.


As a first-time or inexperienced cannabis user, it can be alarming to experience twitching and muscle spasms when you’re high. It may occur due to THC-induced muscle tension, dehydration, drug interactions, or individual sensitivity. A few ways to reduce these tremors include starting with lower doses, staying hydrated, and opting for CBD supplements. 

If the twitching persists, it’s best to seek guidance from a healthcare professional. Your physician may provide recommendations based on your medical history and symptoms. Remember, each person reacts differently to cannabis, so it’s vital to listen to your body’s signals. 


Iftikhar Alam

With more than a decade of experience in writing for the cannabis industry, Alam is a well-established voice educating cannabis enthusiasts and inspiring and advocating responsible cannabis consumption. His expertise spans a range of topics, including cultivation techniques, medicinal benefits, legal developments, and lifestyle cannabis trends. LinkedIn profile