Can Cannabis Lower Your Body Temperature?
Published on 12/11/21
The most stereotyped side effects of smoking weed are red eyes and the munchies, and other side effects that are just as common include dry mouth and increased heart rate. Have you ever noticed, however, that sometimes you get cold when high? Have you ever wondered if cannabis lowers body temperature or if its something unique to you? Dont worry, youre not alone. Lets dive into what happens to your body when you smoke and why you sometimes you get the chills.
What Happens to Your Body When You Smoke Weed?
Cannabis is made up of over 400 naturally occurring chemical compounds, and over 100 of those are known as cannabinoids. All of these compounds have specific effects on the body, most of which science has yet to fully understand. They all work together to create what we call the entourage effect, the final result of all aspects of the cannabis plant working to create the most beneficial effects. Cannabis can get you high, but it can also provide a wide variety of medicinal benefits, depending on the type of weed and how much of a specific cannabinoid you smoke. But how does this happen? What causes your body to react so extraordinarily to cannabis (and why do you get cold when youre high)? While we arent entirely sure just how all of these elements work together (modern science is discovering more every day), we do understand what parts of the body cannabinoids react with and how that affects the body.
The human endocannabinoid system is a vast network found throughout the body that regulates many of our bodys physiological functions and responses, such as energy levels, mood, appetite, pain perception, and even sex drive. These endocannabinoid receptors are found on our vital organs, skin, fat tissue, and blood vessels, just to name a few places. They are everywhere, and the cannabinoids within cannabis bind to these receptors creating changes to our bodys physiological state.
There are two primary receptors in our endocannabinoid system: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB2 receptors are integral for regulating pain, nausea, depression, and more, while CB2 receptors regulate appetite, immune system, inflammation, and pain management. When we smoke marijuana, the cannabinoids enter our bloodstream and disperse throughout the body, binding to these receptors due to molecular similarities. The two most prominent cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC binds most easily to CB1 receptors and CBD binds most easily to CB2 receptors, each altering different reactions within our body. When these cannabinoids bind to our bodys endocannabinoid receptors, altering the various regulations our endocannabinoid system is responsible for, we begin to experience things like increased heart rate, dry mouth, cognitive alteration, and yes, even potentially a cooler body temperature.
How Does Cannabis Lower Body Temperature?
Smoking cannabis can make you feel noticeably colder, and this effect has been studied (although primarily in rodents and not in humans). Early on, scientists wondered, does CBD lower body temperature in the absence of THC, and found that it does not. The trick lies in THC, which is why the phenomenon of a cooler body temperature after smoking cannabis is called THC Induced Hypothermia. While the name sounds harmful, when we think of hypothermia we think of severe cold and the potential of injury and death, but THC-induced hypothermia has not been found to be dangerous at all. In fact, THC induced hypothermia is one of the many medicinally beneficial effects of consuming cannabis. Temperature regulation is closely tied to our bodys pain management and helps against inflammation and mediating pain.
Can You Negate THC-Induced Hypothermia?
A logical follow-up question is, does smoking weed increase body temperature? The answer can be yes, and it ties back to CBD. THC and CBD are very different, as we addressed above. They bind to different endocannabinoid receptors. THC has psychoactive effects while CBD does not and can even negate the intensity of a THC-induced high. CBD and THC even have different medicinal benefits. Therefore, its not surprising that the phenomenon of cannabis raising the body temperature is most likely to occur when consuming high-CBD strains, and is called cannabinoid-included hyperthermia. Again, this reaction is not dangerous and may have potential medical uses.
If youre not a fan of getting cold when you smoke, the best thing you can do is smoke cannabis with higher levels of CBD. Cannabis with more CBD may balance out the cooling effects of THC, with THC-induced hypothermia being canceled out by cannabinoid-induced hyperthermia. Otherwise, the best thing you can do to combat getting cold after smoking is to wrap yourself up in a blanket and drink some hot tea or coffee.
Does cannabis make you feel cold? Let us know what effects are most common when you comments below!