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Are Weed Shakes Dangerous?

Written By: Erika Dalton, LCSW
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Rahul Gupta, MD
Last Updated: June 10, 2024

Do you use marijuana and wonder about a side effect you have experienced? Sometimes when a person smokes pot or consumes edibles, they end up getting what’s called “weed shakes”. They shiver uncontrollably and may not know what’s happening. While they can be frightening, are weed shakes dangerous?

Buckhead Behavioral Health explores what causes this phenomenon and what it means when a person has weed shakes. We also offer effective outpatient programming to help people overcome an addiction to using marijuana.

If you or a loved one are struggling with marijuana use disorder, call us now at 470-460-6789 or verify your insurance. Our team of addiction specialists can help you or a loved one find the strength needed to heal.

What are Weed Shakes?

When someone consumes a large amount of cannabis, it can cause them to experience weed shakes, also known as “the shakes.”

Weed shakes make a person shake or tremble similar to the way someone does when they are really cold. Consuming too much THC causes the body to experience involuntary muscle tremors the person cannot control. This is because taking in too much THC overstimulates receptors in the body. Someone with weed shakes may also experience feelings of anxiety or paranoia and an increase in their heart rate.

How severe the weed shakes are for each person depends on the amount of cannabis they consume, how potent it is, and their tolerance for the drug. As well, how they ingested it, such as by smoking, vaping, or eating edibles, can make a difference.

How Long Do Weed Shakes Usually Last?

Part of the fear surrounding weed shakes has to do with not knowing how long they will last. These factors include how much cannabis they consume, its potency, and their particular tolerance level.

For example, if a person smokes or vapes, the shakes may only last 20-30 minutes. If they consume edibles, they can last an hour or longer. As the cannabis effect wears off and the levels of THC in the bloodstream decrease, the shakes begin to dissipate. 

man with shaking hand from too much weed

Are Weed Shakes Dangerous?

Weed shakes can be uncomfortable and even scary, but they are generally not dangerous.

They constitute a sign that the person has consumed a higher level of THC than they can comfortably tolerate but generally do not result in a serious medical problem. Having said that, someone with pre-existing medical conditions should be aware that weed shakes can affect them.

For example, someone with low blood sugar or high blood pressure may have worsened symptoms by using a high level of THC. Someone prone to anxiety may also find that using cannabis increases these symptoms.

While the general answer to, Are weed shakes dangerous?” is probably not, it’s important to be aware that they can be a sign of a larger problem. If the person also experiences symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or passing out, they should seek immediate medical help. Additionally, they should inform medical personnel of their marijuana usage so a full diagnosis can be made.

Recommended: What is THC-O? Effects and Risk of Using THC-O, Can You Overdose on Delta-8?

Signs of Addiction to Marijuana

Marijuana is now legally sold for recreational usage in about half of the states. Legality can make it seem like there’s no real risk of developing an addiction.

However, marijuana is a drug like any other because it holds the potential to create an over-reliance in an individual. When someone finds they cannot get through the day without getting high or feels a need to use marijuana several times a week, they should consider if they have crossed the line into addiction. 

Another sign that marijuana use has become a problem for someone is if it affects their ability to do well at work or in school. Marijuana addiction can also cause a person to have difficulties in personal relationships and lose interest in hobbies and achieving personal goals.

In addition, often a person gets high to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, or other mental health-related conditions. When this happens, it benefits them to seek treatment for both a substance use disorder and their mental health disorder. 

anxious person with marijuana addiction

Recommended: Can You Get Addicted to Delta-8 THC?, Do Edibles Make You Age Faster? Long-Term Effects of Cannabis

How is Marijuana Addiction Treated?

When someone develops a marijuana addiction, the first place they go for treatment is a detox program. This helps them get through the initial stages of not getting high with the assistance of medical and psychological support.

After detox, many people do well transitioning into outpatient programs. This type of treatment provides therapy sessions that help them overcome the temptation to relapse and can address any co-occurring mental health disorders. Outpatient care takes place during the day or evening and allows the individual to still live at home and take care of personal responsibilities.

Begin Treatment for Addiction to Marijuana in Atlanta

Have you developed a reliance on abusing marijuana and are worried about the effects it has on your life? If you find yourself wondering, “Are weed shakes dangerous?”, it may be time to get serious about finding help for marijuana addiction.

Buckhead Behavioral Health understands that what may start as a way to relax or a social habit can become a real addiction. We offer comprehensive outpatient care that helps people develop healthy coping skills that eliminate the need for getting high. Our staff of compassionate clinicians helps you put marijuana usage and its ill effects in your past.

Are you ready to stop relying on marijuana usage to deal with life? Contact us today to get started on living a drug-free life.

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