Do You Get Palpitations When You Use Cannabis? Here’s Why.
Have you ever felt your heart race after lighting up?
It’s happened to most of us, but it’s no cause for concern. You’re vulnerable to experiencing mild palpitations if you smoke strains that have a high THC content, because THC can increase heart rate. This cannabinoid is actually a vasodilator, which means that it makes the blood vessels expand. In turn this will lower blood pressure and cause the heart rate to increase to make up for low pressure.
What To Do If Your Heart Rate Increases:
- Check THC Levels: If you find that this happens to you way too often, all you need to do is switch to check the THC levels of the pot you’ve been smoking. Opting for strains that contain lower amounts of THC may be effective in reducing palpitations or eliminating them completely; try smoking strains with 10% THC or less. Microdosing is another way you can prevent increasing your heart rate while still enjoying a good buzz as well as the medicinal properties of the plant.
- Check Your Strain: Sativa strains are also known to cause an increase in heart rate compared to its hybrid and indica sisters. Sativa strains are more energizing and uplifting which can cause some users to experience anxiety or panic, which will then lead to palpitations and paranoia. If you’ve been smoking sativa strains often, try switching to indica or indica-dominant hybrids and see how it goes.
- Get Some Rest: Being sleep-deprived can trigger palpitations when you consume stimulants like coffee, sativa strains, or strains with a high THC content. Lack of sleep will also increase your risk for heart disease, and getting enough shut-eye will significantly improve your heart health and blood pressure. If you get enough sleep, you’ll also be less prone to panic attacks.
- Avoid Smoking Too Much: Users who are one-hit wonders are less likely to experience palpitations than those who love finishing an entire joint or blunt. There’s no need to quit smoking pot entirely but cutting down the amount of weed you consume in one sitting can also address this problem. Remember that your high won’t develop until around 15 minutes, so the best thing you can do is sit and wait it out before you decided to reach for another puff.
- Don’t Panic: If your heart begins to race, don’t overthink it! This will only worsen the situation and can ruin your entire experience. If you feel that this is happening because you’re too stoned, there are many things you can do to fix the problem.
- Drink Water: Slowly sip some water which helps increase blood pressure and may lower your heart rate. Mindfully, consciously sipping water is also an effective way to manage any anxiety that may have occurred due to the onset of your palpitations.
The most important thing you should remember is that this is normal. Palpitations are also more common among novice smokers; once you start getting used to marijuana eventually you’ll also increase your tolerance to its heart-rate accelerating effects.
As long as you don’t have existing cardiovascular problems, palpitations will not have a permanent effect on your health nor is it a cause for concern. Humans have been consuming cannabis in all forms for millennia now and no one has died from it; our ancestors may even have smoked much more potent stuff and also worked through the same anxiety that we experience today.
Getting to know your body and how it interacts with different kinds of cannabinoids and methods of ingestion is a journey so if you’re experiencing palpitations just experiment with these helpful tips.
Let us know what’s worked for you! Share your experience with us in the comments below.