Can Weed Make You Lose Coordination & Affect Your Movement?

August 4, 2023
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  • THC, a psychoactive compound in marijuana, can impair movement and coordination by interacting with brain areas that control movement and by stimulating the release of dopamine.
  • Research has shown that marijuana can affect balance and impair fine motor skills, and higher doses of THC tend to have a greater impact.
  • Strategies for mitigating impaired movement from marijuana use include trying a new product or ingestion method, adding in companion foods, finding the minimum effective dose, and optimizing various factors that can impact the cannabis experience. It is also important to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed.

Can weed make you lose coordination?

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.

Why does weed make you lose coordination? Does arijuana affect your balance?

Cannabis produces its effects through cannabinoids, which are compounds produced by the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids produced by weed can interact with the endocannabinoid receptors naturally found 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 bound to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia - “brain areas that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time” - could result in loss of coordination. Additionally, the neurotransmitter 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 and 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 affects 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.

How to mitigate impaired movement from 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 that align with your goals.

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 than vaporizing it, despite both ingestion methods involving  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.

How to not lose coordination from weed

What can you do to avoid losing coordination or experiencing impaired movement from weed?

Have you ever noticed the brightly colored auxiliary labels that pharmacists stick on your prescription bottle? One of the most common is ‘do not drive or operate heavy machinery. That’s sensible advice, especially if you are inexperienced with cannabis or the activity you plan to do while using cannabis.  

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 new to cannabis or the activity, 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.

Find top-rated products for your goals 

Jointly is a cannabis discovery app that makes it easy to find and match with the best cannabis and CBD products for your goals. Your matches are calculated from the real product ratings and experiences of hundreds of thousands of people using the Jointly app.

If you're ready to discover new products and reach your goals, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or explore your matches on the Jointly website.   

Are you curious about Jointly?

Whether you want to improve sleep, relieve daily stress, or just relax and refresh, Jointly can help you reach your goals with cannabis.  

With Jointly, match with top-rated products, and build lists of your favorites to save, share, and bring to your local dispensary to help guide your shopping experience.  

Jointly also helps you track your cannabis experiences through reflections that help you understand what’s working, and what’s not. 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 experiences.  

So if you're ready to enjoy your perfect cannabis experience, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or explore your matches on the Jointly website. Discovery awaits.

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