Why Do I Twitch When I'm High?

Why Do I Twitch When I'm High

Jan 24, 2024

Cannabis consumption causes many effects. You feel them throughout your body. One notable reaction is twitching. It involves involuntary muscle movements. These twitches can be startling, especially if you are not expecting them. 

Anxiety, which is sometimes a side effect of cannabis use, can also be a contributing factor to twitching. When you feel anxious, your body's 'fight or flight' response can become more sensitive. This causes an increase in sensations like twitching.

Understanding Twitches and the Body's Response to Cannabis

Twitching, or muscle spasms, can occur from various factors, including cannabis use. This section explores the interaction between cannabis constituents, such as THC and CBD, and your body's nervous system, which may lead to muscle twitches and spasms.

Physiology of Twitching

Muscle twitches, also known as fasciculations, are involuntary contractions of your muscle fibers. The central nervous system regulates your muscles, and neurotransmitters like dopamine play a crucial role in this process. 

An imbalance or disruption in this system can cause spasms. Using stimulants, like caffeine, and substances that affect brain chemicals, such as alcohol and cannabis, can also cause muscle twitches.

Effects of THC and CBD on the Nervous System

THC is the main mind-altering part of cannabis. It acts on the cannabinoid receptors in your brain. This interaction can lead to many physical responses. These include changes in body temperature.

The calming effect of THC may cause your muscles to twitch. In contrast, CBD is known for not causing a high. It may help reduce swelling. It may also promote relaxation. It does this without causing much twitching.

  • THC: May cause muscle relaxation → Potential for twitching
  • CBD: Typically aids in relaxation → Less likely to cause twitching

Factors Contributing to Muscle Spasms

While cannabis can lead to muscle twitching, other external factors may also increase its likelihood. A cold environment may lead to shivering, which can be confused with twitching.

Additionally, muscle twitches can be influenced by your ingestion of micronutrients and the use of certain medications. It is important to consider that persistent or severe muscle twitches might require further evaluation using imaging techniques such as CT scan or MRI to rule out other causes.

  • Cold Environment: Induces shivering, mimics twitching
  • Medications: Some can prompt or exacerbate twitching
  • Micronutrients: Deficiencies or imbalances may cause cramps/spasms
  • Imaging Tests: Recommended if twitching is persistent/severe (e.g., CT scan, MRI)

Addressing Twitches and High-Related Discomfort

When experiencing twitching as a reaction to being high, it is important to understand the potential causes and ways to manage these discomforts. 

Practical Tips for Managing Twitching

If twitching occurs after cannabis use, it may be a sign of overstimulation or a reaction to substances like nicotine. To manage these involuntary muscle movements:

  • Distract yourself with activities like reading or listening to music.
  • Perform breathing exercises to calm your body and mind.
  • Stay hydrated; drink water to help ease muscle contractions.
  • Limit intake of caffeine and energy drinks, as these can exacerbate symptoms.

When to Consult a Doctor

You should consult a healthcare professional if:

  • Twitching persists or significantly impacts your daily life.
  • You experience severe reactions like panic, paranoia, or overdose symptoms (fever, vomiting).
  • You suspect an underlying health condition such as high blood pressure, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or if you have a recurring eye twitch or headaches.

Lifestyle Adjustments to Reduce Symptoms

Exercise regularly to improve overall muscle function and reduce stress. Adequate sleep is crucial; lack of sleep can worsen twitching. 

Evaluate your diet and reduce high-salt foods that can lead to dehydration and twitching. Lastly, mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help manage the effects of an overstimulated mind.

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