While it is not physically possible to fatally overdose from cannabis, a THC overdose can produce a variety of uncomfortable side effects like muscle tension, coordination issues, or impaired balance.
Impaired movement is one of the most common side effects of cannabis. In this article, we will answer the question “can weed make you lose coordination?”, explore why cannabis affects movement, and discuss how to use the Jointly app to reduce your chance of experiencing this side effect.
Cannabis produces its effects through cannabinoids, which are compounds produced by the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids produced by weed can interact with endocannabinoid receptors in your brain and body. These receptors are distributed throughout areas of the brain that control time perception, sensory perception, movement, coordination, memory, thinking, and concentration.
When cannabinoids bind to receptors in your brain, they can alter various physical and mental functions. THC can interact with the cerebellum and basal ganglia, which are “brain areas that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time.” That is why you can lose coordination from weed.
Additionally, dopamine plays an important role in modulating movement. Dopamine-related changes are the basis of movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. THC binding to CB1 receptors can stimulate the release of dopamine, which can affect movement.
Recent neuroimaging studies have explored the way cannabis affects movement to assess to what degree THC impairs driving ability. In these studies, researchers image the brains of participants as they engage in specific activities.
One study found that cannabis users exhibited greater functional connectivity between brain areas when doing a test designed to mimic stopping a car, which indicates that it took greater effort for them to stop. Another study explored how THC affected fine motor skills. The researchers found that both high and low doses of THC impacted fine motor skills, but that higher doses of THC had a greater impact.
Research indicates that cannabis can impair movement and coordination, so it is important to avoid operating heavy machinery or driving while under the influence of cannabis.
Given that cannabis affects movement and coordination, does it also affect your balance? According to a 1998 study conducted on ten cannabis users, smoking one cannabis cigarette with 3.95% THC significantly affected "body sway," which is related to balance. Remarkably, cannabis strains commonly used today are much more potent, with THC levels often reaching 30%.
So marijuana does affect your balance and coordination to some extent, although this effect will be mitigated with tolerance to cannabis.
Here are some general suggestions on how to mitigate side effects from cannabis, and then we will explore some specific suggestions about how to fix impaired movement.
Try a new product
Different cannabis products will contain different chemical compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes, which may exert distinct effects. Use Jointly’s Product Finder to discover new top-rated products.
Try a new ingestion method
Additionally, the way you ingest a product will change how it affects you. Smoking a joint of cannabis flower may produce slightly different effects from vaporizing it, although both ingestion methods involve heating cannabis and inhaling the active compounds. Each ingestion method has its own advantages and may produce different effects or side effects. To learn how different weed ingestion methods produce different effects, read our article The Best Way to Take Cannabis for Wellness Purposes.
Add in a companion food
Did you know that weed companion foods can enhance your cannabis experience in different ways? Mangoes, dark chocolate, green tea, and thyme are all weed companion foods. Chemical compounds in these foods may alter your cannabis experience, and potentially mitigate adverse side effects like drowsiness. To learn about these foods and how to add them into your cannabis wellness routine, check out our article Do These Foods Get You Higher?
Find your minimum effective dose
Most adverse side effects from cannabis are caused by ingesting too high of a dose of THC. While you cannot die from ingesting too much cannabis, a THC overdose is a real risk. The single most effective way to mitigate side effects is to microdose and titrate up your dose until you find the minimum effective dose of cannabis to get the effect you want.
Turn the dials on 15 factors
According to cannabis experts, there are at least 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience and play a major role in whether a cannabis product is giving you the feeling you want, or producing adverse side effects like loss of coordination or impaired movement. You might find that the amount of sleep you got last night has the greatest impact on whether cannabis gives you this side effect or not. Or maybe you will discover that a yoga session before using cannabis eliminates any loss of coordination, even when all other factors are kept the same. The Jointly app lets you to track the 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. As you optimize how you consume cannabis, your favorite cannabis products will perform better for you.
What can you do to avoid losing coordination or experiencing impaired movement from weed?
Ingesting cannabis with CBD could mitigate adverse effects by buffering some of the psychoactive effects of THC.
Additionally, you could try making sure you are well-hydrated, get adequate sleep the night before, eat a healthy and balanced diet that day, and exercise before you ingest cannabis.
If you are still experiencing adverse side effects, try microdosing. For some people, just 1mg might be the perfect dose. Don’t be afraid to break up a single serving into multiple servings: cannabis can affect different people differently.
Jointly is the cannabis discovery app that makes it easy to find and shop the best cannabis and CBD products for your goals. Your matches are calculated from the real product ratings and experiences from hundreds of thousands of people using the Jointly app.
With Jointly, you can shop your top-rated products, and save lists of your favorites to share and bring to your local dispensary to help guide your shopping experience.
The Jointly app also helps you improve your cannabis experiences by uncovering what’s working and what’s not with reflections and personalized insights. In fact, the quality of your diet, how much you slept, who you’re with, and the time of day are just some of the factors that can impact your cannabis experience.
So if you're ready to find your best products and enjoy your perfect cannabis experience, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or shop your matches on the Jointly website. Discovery awaits.