What Are The Cannabis Shakes and What Causes Them

Medically reviewed by Michael Matthews, M.D.
15 March 2023
Ever smoked one and turned into a living vibrator? Those are the famous cannabis shakes, find out what causes them.
15 March 2023
25 min read
What Are The Cannabis Shakes and What Causes Them

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  • 1. Too much stimulation causes marijuana shakes
  • 2. You need to relax to stop the twitching while high
  • 3. It's not marijuana shakes, the weather is just cold!
  • 4. The thc was loud
  • 5. How long do cannabis shakes last?
  • 6. How can you relieve the cannabis shakes?
  • 6. a. Stop thinking about the shakes from weed too much
  • 6. b. Adjust your body temperature to stop weed shaking
  • 6. c. Say no to stimulants to avoid shakes from weed
  • 6. d. Try other strains to stop marijuana shakes
  • 6. e. Use cbd to chill the marijuana shakes
  • 7. Are weed shakes the same as shake weed?
  • 7. a. Other uncomfortable side effects related to cannabis consumption
  • 8. In conclusion

Have you ever noticed yourself shaking madly after you smoked big amounts of marijuana? We've all been there. What you were experiencing is what's known as cannabis shakes. 


Cannabis shakes are extremely common.

Cannabis shakes are extremely common.

It starts on your legs, then your torso, and before you know it your whole body is shaking and you can't stop it. Cannabis shakes are involuntary muscle twitches and tremors, but they aren't something you should worry about, they are extremely common. Cannabis shakes are commonly caused by smoking too much, over-stimulation, anxiety, or strains too high in THC. Let's get into the causes and how to relieve the cannabis shakes. 


Sebastian Good will tell you possible causes of marijuana tremors and how to ease them.

1. Too Much Stimulation Causes Marijuana Shakes

Depending on the country of residence, in many places it's very common to roll the famous spliffs, which if you're not aware of the slang, it is a joint rolled with tobacco. Perhaps this is exactly the reason for your marijuana tremor. Nicotine is a stimulant, exciting the nervous system and boosting your dopamine levels. Some people like to add tobacco to their joints precisely for this extra boost, however, it can cause the famous weed shakes and anxiety in higher doses.


Stimulants could be the cause for your cannabis shakes.

Stimulants could be the cause for your cannabis shakes.

Chances are that if you're smoking such a mix, the responsible for the body shaking after weed is the tobacco and not the marijuana. At the same time, if you had been drinking a lot of caffeine lately, like coffee, tea, or soda, these big amounts of caffeine could be contributing to your shivers. 

2. You Need to Relax To Stop The Twitching While High

Ever been extremely anxious or nervous about something, tried to calm down with some weed, and only minutes later you found yourself shaking uncontrollably? Perhaps it was before a special date, or before making a big announcement, and now you're visibly shaking after weed and can't stop it.  We've all once made the mistake to mix nervousness with weed and realized what a huge mistake we'd just made. Smoking or eating cannabis, especially when it's high in THC, can tend to cause acute anxiety and paranoia and some people can be more sensitive to this than others. 


To calm the cannabis shakes just relax!

To calm the cannabis shakes just relax!

If you're one of those, or if you're just having a bad break, the root of your weed shakes could be pointed to that joint you've just smoked. The main advice we can give you is when you see your body getting out of control in nerves try to breathe in deeply and find calm, perhaps playing some soothing music and getting distracted. Before you realize the shivers will be gone.

3. It's Not Marijuana Shakes, The Weather Is Just Cold!

Well, another reason why you might be shaking after weed is quite simple, it takes no Sherlock Holmes to realize that maybe the weather is just slightly colder than usual, and when you combine this with some weed it can turn into a shivering day. 


If you're cold of course expect the cannabis shakes.

If you're cold of course expect the cannabis shakes.

It is a common effect to get lower body temperature from cannabis. This is an effect also known as THC-induced hypothermia, but don't worry, it isn't as serious as it sounds. THC-induced hypothermia is just the fancy name for that basal body temperature drop. 

4. The THC Was Loud

Are you shaking after edibles as a side effect of getting way too high? Most of the time, the answer is yes. The most common reason why you're getting the cannabis shakes is due to a slight THC 'overdose'. No, this doesn't mean you're od-ing, don't get freaked out by the word, even less if you're young and healthy. 

We all like to play with fire every now and then, but it is almost impossible to die from smoking too much marijuana so just take a deep breath and move along with the shivers. 

5. How Long do Cannabis Shakes Last?

The cannabis shakes don't usually last too long, although of course, this depends on some aspects, such as the amounts of weed you've consumed and how you've consumed it. 


Method of consumption Cannabis shakes lasting time
Smoking or vaping 15 to 20 minutes for the weed shakes to fade.
Orally, edibles 2 to 3 hours or more.


If you smoke your marijuana, with a joint, a bong, or a vaporizer then after 15 or 20 minutes you should be feeling fine again. If you took some edibles and accidentally overdid it, bad news is it could take slightly longer for the shaking after edibles to fade. 

6. How Can You Relieve the Cannabis Shakes?

Now that you know the cannabis shakes are extremely common and not life-threatening at all, we hope we helped with your peace of mind. However, the shakes from weed can make you feel alarmed or uncomfortable so you might want to know some ways to fight them. The key factor about calming the cannabis shakes is time, waiting for them to calm down. But if waiting is not your ideal option, to your luck it isn't the only one.

These are some quick cannabis shakes relievers: 

  • Attend your body temperature;
  • Start moving around;
  • Get yourself distracted;
  • Breathe deeply;
  • Refrain from stimulants;
  • Consider switching strains or trying some CBD.

Let's see how to get rid of the cannabis shakes in each case.

Stop thinking about the shakes from weed too much

When it comes to marijuana effects, what some people need to understand is that it's all in the head. If you think you're sad, you'll trigger that emotion, think you're paranoid, and paranoid you'll be.


Get distracted and watch the cannabis shakes fade away.

Get distracted and watch the cannabis shakes fade away.

Therefore, it's essential you're kind of in a zen state of mind when you take marijuana and that you don't become your own enemy playing your head a hard time. So, when you feel that you're about to panic, switch fast from weed shaking to shushing it off. What we mean is, go and distract yourself.

Get distracted!

Being stoned and getting distracted is easy so just try moving around a little, taking a look at your surroundings to see if something catches your attention. Or try some mindfulness and other anxiety-relieving practices by focusing on your breathing, taking deep breaths. 

Moving and breathing will help you regain your center and take the focus from your anxiety. Besides, walking and moving around will give you some extra body warmth for your tense, shaky muscles. 

Adjust your body temperature to stop weed shaking

Independent on the cause of your weed shakes, it won't help to sit there panicking or focusing on how uncomfortable you're feeling. You should rather try to take control of the things you can actually control. 


Cozy up and get rid of those cannabis shakes!

Cozy up and get rid of those cannabis shakes!

The surroundings play a major part in the emotional state we're set to, even more when psychoactive substances are involved. No wonder why techno parties are so full of stimulants like psychedelic lights everywhere. So, when you smoke a joint, if the place where you've done it can be described as warm, comfortable, and safe there should be nothing to worry about. If it turns out that you were already feeling unsteady even before smoking then imagine afterward. Head somewhere you don't need to keep one eye open.

If you find yourself with the cannabis shakes in a social situation, it's okay! Sometimes a big social gathering can be slightly overwhelming and there is no crime in taking a break alone to regain your chill. 

Sometimes it's just the lighting or the music causing your uneasiness. These two are major influential aspects of atmosphere construction, so bad illumination or ugly music could be the reason why you're feeling on the edge. 


Too much stimulation could be overwhelming.

Too much stimulation could be overwhelming.

Lastly, all your cannabis shakes could be attributed to is cold! If you're shivering and the weather is in fact quite chilly then get warm! Get some cozy blankets or a big coat and you'll feel the shivering calm down as soon as your body temperature goes back to normal. 

Say no to stimulants to avoid shakes from weed

As we said, tobacco works as a stimulant, and so does coffee or other caffeine drinks. So if you notice yourself on a caffeine high perhaps it's time to say no to stimulants for some time. If you want to stop the cannabis shakes every time you smoke maybe it's time to start rolling only green joints and start ordering decaf. 


Roll pure joints and avoid cannabis shakes.

Roll pure joints and avoid cannabis shakes.

If using plain weed feels too plain for you, cough-snob, you can still spice it up with something else, there are many herbs that make great tobacco alternatives. Just skip anything that's charged with stimulant properties or you might end up back at the start with the weed shakes remastered, sounds like an indie band's name.

Try other strains to stop marijuana shakes

Some of the causes for the cannabis shakes, such as over-stimulation, anxiety, or too much THC as strongly tied to the strain you're consuming. There are vast amounts of different marijuana strains, each of them with its own personality, a.k.a. compounds balance. 


Try different strains and avoid cannabis shakes.

Try different strains and avoid cannabis shakes.

Generally speaking, Sativa-dominant strains are the most stimulating ones, and more likely to induce anxiety than Indica-dominant ones. While lots of people enjoy the boost perceived after smoking a pure Sativa, others aren't such a good match for these strains. For those who are more prone to anxiety or paranoia, we strongly suggest Indica-dominant strains. 

If you feel like you're slightly in the middle, then of course why shouldn't you try a balanced hybrid? Just inform yourself, ask other users or cannabis connoisseurs for recommendations. 

Use CBD to chill the marijuana shakes

It wouldn't be surprising that the reason why you're having the cannabis shakes is simply that your strain is too high on THC content. When this is the case, looking for strains higher on CBD could be the solution. 

CBD or cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, and research has found that it helps to ease some of THC's side effects. Science has also found that CBD has anxiolytic properties, which might help to target your anxiety. Depending on what uses you're giving to your cannabis, medical or recreational, you could choose a strain with a 1:1 THC and CBD ratio, or one that's slightly higher on CBD. 

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If you want to use marijuana strictly for medical purposes and avoid the 'high' effect then definitely go for CBD only strains. Anyway, these would be cannabis shakes prevention methods, for the next time you smoke. Since CBD is also good for targeting seizures, it could still help alleviate the marijuana twitching. Take some CBD, best if you do sublingually with oil or any concentrate, and see your body calm down slowly. 

7. Are Weed Shakes the Same as Shake Weed?

In short, no. As mentioned, weed shakes are muscle spasms that can occur when you consume large amounts of weed. Despite shakes being associated with withdrawal symptoms or other health issues, cannabis shakes are less dangerous as weed shakes only mean that you’ve consumed large amounts of THC and your nervous system is overwhelmed with anxiety. On the other hand, shake weed has nothing to do with weed shakes or milkshakes.

Shake weed or simply “shake” basically refers to weed leftovers. The term is used to describe the mix of stem, trimmings, and cannabis leaves that fall from the buds and collect in the bottom of the ziploc bag or curing jars. This happens because dried cannabis flowers will shed plant material when handled or shaken, so this leftover cannabis plant material is what people call shake weed. Shake is normally the last thing you smoke, especially when you run out of weed.

Can I Smoke my Shake Weed?

Of course, shake weed does not pose any threat or harm to your health so you can smoke it without a problem at all, just make sure the shake weed is not moldy as you should never smoke moldy shake or cannabis flowers. Just keep in mind that shake may be harsher than the flowers as trimmings tend to be drier. It’s recommended to remove the seeds and stems if possible as it will improve the taste, but not necessary. You can smoke your shake in any way you would smoke your weed, such as pipes, bongs, vaporizers, joints, or blunts.

Will Smoking Shake Get Me High?

In short, yes. But you cannot compare the effect of shake weed vs flowers because cannabis flowers will contain much more trichomes (which contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that provide the effect we know). It’s hard to know the potency of shake weed but in general, it will contain more cannabinol (CBN) due to aging and exposure to light as CBN occurs when THC degrades. This means that yes, you will get high but the effect may be more Indica-like as CBN tends to have a more medicinal effect.

Can I Buy Shake Weed?

Yes! Shake weed is a leftover from cannabis flowers so most dispensaries sell leftover shake for those who want to make edibles, concentrates or extracts without having to pay hundreds of dollars for cannabis flower.

Other Uncomfortable Side Effects Related to Cannabis Consumption

Ok, so there we go. Everything that you need to know about the "Weed Shakes". While they can be uncomfortable (and even a little alarming), there is really nothing to get too worked up about. A simple warm blanket, a change of mindset or environment, and a boost in the CBD content of the weed you're consuming are usually enough to say goodbye to the symptoms.

But how about other cannabis side effects that are less than desirable?

Look, we love weed as much as all of you out there. But that doesn't mean we aren't totally aware that the herb can cause a range of uncomfortable feelings and sensations. Most are totally normal, and nothing to worry about. Remember, it is impossible to 'OD' (overdose) on weed, but that doesn't mean everyone's body and mind will agree with super heavy doses. This is especially true when it comes to edibles. Many inexperienced users start their marijuana journey thinking that edibles are the route to go down, especially if they are not accustomed to smoking in general. And while edibles can be a great way to dip your toes into the wonderful world of ganja, their effects are different from when weed is smoked.

How so? Well, edibles take a lot longer to kick in (sometimes up to 2 hours), and the effects tend to last for a much longer period of time as well. This means that the user may not be able to accurately gauge how much they should consume, which can easily lead to people with lower levels of usage accidentally consuming more than they should. It also has to do with chemistry. Not all weed is the same, and not everyone reacts to different strains in the same way. So if someone's tolerance for THC (the psychoactive chemical in cannabis) is low, and they eat an edible with a high concentration of it, they may experience some pretty intense feelings that can last an alarmingly long time (when compared to smoking weed).

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What is THC?

The THC is processed by the liver, which breaks it down into a more intense form than when smoked, which can cause a range of uncomfortable side effects. And on top of that, edibles can be surprisingly potent. There are gummies in the market that contain a ridiculous amount of THC, which can be confusing for first-time users. Some of these single gummies contained upwards of 100 mg of THC (that's enough to put even the most experienced stoner on his/her ass for hours upon hours).

What is a good dosage in edibles for inexperienced users?

A good rule of thumb is to start off with edibles that contain no more than 10mg of THC per serving and work your way up slowly. Do not, we repeat DO NOT think that because an hour has passed and you still can't feel anything, you should eat another dose. This is a dangerous path to go down friends. Anyway, back to the question at hand. What are some of the other common less-than-desirable effects of THC over-consumption?


  • Dizziness and lightheadedness - This is one of the more common side effects, caused mainly by inhaling too much smoke or vapor in a given session. It can also relate to your blood sugar levels and is only precipitated by worrying about the feelings. The best course of action is to lie down, elevate your legs, and eat some fruit with a glass of water. The lightheadedness will pass, don't worry.
  • Paranoia - Cannabis can sometimes cause feelings of paranoia, especially if your consumption involves higher THC levels with no CBD to round things out. These thoughts can spiral quickly, and can sometimes even lead to full-blown panic attacks. If you have never experienced a panic attack, it can be a very scary and overwhelming experience. The best course of action here is to focus on your breathing and concentrate your thoughts on the fact that this is a common experience that will pass. Try the 7/4 breathing technique, where you inhale for 7 seconds and then exhale for 4 seconds.
  • Increased heart rate/ uneven heartbeat - This is one of the most uncomfortable negative effects related to cannabis consumption, and one of the more serious issues. If you start to feel your heart beating at a rapid pace, the best course of action is to stop what you are doing and again take some deep breaths (use the 7/4 breathing technique). If your heart rate is uneven for an extended period, it is recommended to contact health services. While it is impossible to overdose on weed, it can trigger underlying heart conditions in some very specific cases. Either way, the last thing you want to do is get all worked up. Just relax, and breath, and in the vast majority of situations, your heart rate will decrease in no time at all.
  • Memory loss - Finally, one of the more annoying effects of cannabis over-consumption is memory loss. This doesn't mean that you'll become a long-term space cadet, but smoking or consuming large amounts of weed can and will affect your memory - especially if the heavy usage is ongoing. Your best bet is to try and limit your consumption and make sure that you are supplementing it with healthy activities like reading, working out, or even just going for a walk. Mental stimulation is key to avoiding memory loss issues.

8. In Conclusion

Cannabis shakes are, without a doubt, a pretty uncomfortable and annoying issue that can affect any weed smoker, but in all seriousness, they are pretty rare. If, on the unlucky offchance, you do find yourself getting a little shaky then just take a few deep breaths, maybe go for a little walk, or rug up in a blanket if you are feeling lightly cold. 

There is really nothing to be overly concerned about, and you’ll most likely only make them a little worse if you do start to stress out. Remember, no matter how you like to consume your ganga, even if you think you have the tolerance of Snoop Dogg or ASAP Rocky, you can still overdo it if you go super hard on the edibles or concentrates. Always smoke safe guys (and gals), and just enjoy the ride!




This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.



  1. "Behavioral and temperature effects of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in human-relevant doses in rats" Michael S. Smirnov and Eugene A. Kiyatkin, 2008.
  2. "Marijuana DrugFacts"
  3. "Cannabidiol Counteracts the Psychotropic Side-Effects of Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in the Ventral Hippocampus through Bidirectional Control of ERK1–2 Phosphorylation" Roger Hudson, Justine Renard, Christopher Norris, Walter J. Rushlow, and Steven R. Laviolette. October 2019.