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Cannabis Affects Internal Temperature Regulation
Can Cannabis Make You Feel Cold? Or Can Weed Make You Feel Hot?
The answer to both questions is yes. Weed can make you feel cold BUT, weed can ALSO make you feel hot.
Marijuana affects thermoregulation, or the body’s ability to control its internal temperature.
Keep reading, I’ll explain more.
Can Smoking Weed Make You Feel Cold?
Yes, a drop in body temperature while high is actually common. Cannabis affects body temperature. It’s common for weed to make you feel cold.
I get cold when I’m high, how about you? Sometimes, I even shiver.
This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as weed chills or high chills, but technically it’s called THC-induced hypothermia.
Don’t freak out at the word “hypothermia”, this is not referencing the medical emergency hypothermia. We’re talking about a mild, minor decrease in body temperature. Just enough to cause shivering.
THC causes the body to stop producing heat. This can contribute to cold hands or cold feet after smoking marijuana.
Weed Can Make You Feel Hot Too
Cannabis can also cause the OPPOSITE reaction.
Cannabis doesn’t exclusively lower body temperature. Small doses of cannabinoids, CBD especially, can increase body temperature in an effect called cannabinoid-induced hyperthermia.
Small amounts of weed can make you feel hot.
High-CBD strains are more likely to increase body temperature.
Effects Are Dose Dependent
Research is still limited because of the bogus federal classification of cannabis, however, studies indicate that thermoregulation effects of cannabinoids are dose-dependent.
The amount of cannabis consumed determines the effects of body temperature.
If you consume a large dose of cannabinoids–like the amount of THC needed to feel high–then weed will lower your body temperature causing THC-induced hypothermia.
If, however, you microdose, using only small amounts of marijuana, the cannabis can actually increase your body-temperature causing cannabinoid-induced hyperthermia instead.
Why Does Weed Make You Cold?
Here’s a funny story. A few years ago, my exboyfriend, our children, and I took a trip to Niagra Falls. On the way, we stopped at Duff’s Wings to try their famed Buffalo wings.
My daughter used a toothpick to taste a drop of Duff’s “Death Sauce” hot sauce. She cringed at the unbearable heat.
My ex-boyfriend laughed at her cautious consumption. Then in a show of manly strength, he plunged a french fry deep into Death Sauce and plopped it in his mouth.
The kids and I stared at him jaw-dropped. “It’s not that bad,” he tried to pretend, but within seconds, sweat dripped from his face and neck. A short bit later, he was bleary-eyed and vomiting in the bathroom.
The death sauce didn’t kill him, but for the rest of the drive to Niagara Falls, he was uncomfortably warm because eating chili peppers can make you feel hot. He was suffering from capsaicin-induced hyperthermia.
What Chili Peppers & THC Have In Common
Just like eating chili peppers can affect your body temp, cannabinoids can affect your body temperature too.
Chili peppers increase body temperature because they contain capsaicin, the component that gives chili peppers their heat. Capsaicin activates TRPA1.
The Science of TRP Channels
Inside the human body are transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. These are basically pathways for specific molecules.
When the specified molecule enters these pathways–for example, capsaicin via hot sauce–the individual experiences physiologic effects.
TRP channels play a role in sensory perceptions like taste, temperature, pain, etc.
A 2011 study notes, “TRPV1 channel activation produces hypothermia whereas TRPA1 and TRPM8 channel activation causes hyperthermia.”
A 2014 study identifies TRPA1 as a channel for THC. And TRPV1 a channel for CBD.
Cannabis Also Causes A Blood Pressure Drop
It might be more than the TRP channels. Cannabis also causes a decrease in blood pressure or hypotension.
One of the most common signs of hypotension, or low blood pressure, is feeling cold.
All of Cannabis Effects Are Strain-Dependent
Remember, all of cannabis’s side-effects are strain-dependent. Different strains can make you feel differently. The effects of a strain can also vary from person-to-person.
Strains contain varying concentrations of cannabinoids. A high-CBD strain can cause extremely different physiological effects than another strain.
All side-effects of cannabis, including thermoregulation and blood pressure control, can differ depending on the strain consumed.
Weed chills or high chills are likely a combination of multiple physiologic effects after consuming cannabis. The body temperature decreases and the body slows or ceases to produce heat, while the blood pressure also drops. These factors combined with an increased awareness of sensory perception can make someone feel cold after smoking marijuana.
Cannabis can and does affect your internal body temperature. Cannabis can make you feel cold, or it can make you feel hot.
Don’t like feeling cold? Decrease your THC consumption. Maybe choose a strain higher in CBD or try adding hemp-based CBD oil. Otherwise, just grab a sweater before you light up, or if you’re in a hurry to heat up, try some hot sauce.
Don’t have air conditioning? You can always try getting high.