What Is a Nicotine Buzz？
by Alan Johnson on Dec 26, 2022
What Is a Nicotine Buzz?
A nicotine buzz is hard to pin down. While many new vapers have felt it, many experienced vapers will say that it's an old wives' tale, that they've never experienced it. But, of course, this is part of the problem of the nicotine buzz. It's often only felt by newer vapers (although advanced vapers can definitely feel it, too, under the right circumstances).
But why do you get a buzz from nicotine? What's happening, and how long does it last? Learning more about this phenomenon can help you better control it.
Nicotine Buzz: What Is It?
A nicotine buzz feels different for different people, and the intensity will vary as well. For most, you'll know you're feeling a buzz if you get a head rush, much like when you stand up too fast. You might feel slightly dizzy or light-headed, and some even feel like they may pass out (although this is highly unlikely).
Because of how the body processes nicotine, you'll also get a dopamine hit. Dopamine will make you feel happy, peaceful, and yet motivated at the same time. This leads to what is often described as a euphoric feeling during a nicotine buzz.
Some people also describe it as a tingly or almost numb feeling spreading through your body. A light feeling often accompanies this, like you're floating through the air around you. Some people feel shaky and jittery, leading to the nicotine buzz, also called a high. Calling it a high can be somewhat misleading, as nicotine isn't actually altering your consciousness but is just reacting with your body chemistry to create this effect.
Why Does Nicotine Give You a Buzz?
The first thing that's important to know about the process nicotine takes to affect you is about neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry messages through your body, communicating between neurons and cells once they are triggered. Neurotransmitters are essential for your body to continue functioning, and a different thing triggers each. So once the neurotransmitter is triggered, the corresponding function occurs.
It doesn't take much time to get to your brain when you inhale nicotine. Once it makes the trip, it triggers neurotransmitters in your central nervous system (which controls every aspect of your body and how you experience the world, including all 5 senses) called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These receptors control the level of dopamine and serotonin in your body. Dopamine gives you intense feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation, while serotonin affects learning, memory, and happiness and regulates important bodily systems like sleep and temperature.
This rush of chemicals flooding your body is responsible for the light head dizzy headrush you get. You’ll also be affected by the nicotine itself as it’s transported through your bloodstream to your brain.
How Long Does a Nicotine Buzz Last?
A person's tolerance to nicotine is going to affect how strong a nicotine buzz will affect them, as well as how long the buzz lasts. Because inhalation is such a fast way of absorbing chemicals, nicotine can kick in within 10 seconds, which is why vapers so often feel such an immediate effect.
The buzz itself will last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, with those with higher tolerances feeling it fade away faster than those who are newer to vaping.
This is why experienced users often don't feel as though they're experiencing a nicotine buzz because they've built a tolerance that requires a higher hit of nicotine to surmount.
Why Does Nicotine Stop Giving You a Buzz?
Two important factors will stop you from getting a nicotine buzz; tolerance and saturation of the neuroreceptors. The more often you use nicotine, the more your body is able to get used to it, building up a tolerance. Think of a sponge. If you soak a sponge in water and then never wring it out, it cannot possibly absorb more water before being squeezed. Your receptors work the same way, the only difference being that you can't wring them out. The only solution is time.
The neuroreceptors that are triggered by nicotine are not unlimited. Every time you vape, you're applying nicotine to these receptors. If you vape regularly, these receptors get full, and you won't feel the nicotine buzz again, no matter how much more nicotine you apply. In fact, once these receptors are full, all you'll feel with more nicotine is sick. Once these receptors are full of nicotine that triggers dopamine, they need time to no longer be saturated.
How to Get the Nic Buzz Back?
The best way to get the nicotine buzz back is to abstain from nicotine for a while. This gives your receptors time to empty all trees of nicotine, meaning that when you do go back to nicotine, the receptors are fresh and absorb the nicotine as though it’s never felt it before.
For so-called "social smokers" who only vape occasionally, vaping infrequently will keep the nicotine buzz around longer because your neuroreceptors aren't over-saturated.
For those who have become nicotine dependent, it's very unlikely you'll feel the buzz unless you inhale such high quantities you make yourself sick. In this case, you're not feeling a buzz but a reaction that can make you very ill. This should be avoided.
More Questions (FAQs) about Nic Buzz
What Are the Side Effects of Nic Buzz?
Besides the main effects of a nicotine buzz, your body will experience some side effects from inhaling nicotine and its interaction with your brain. However, these are usually mild side effects that are barely noticed or that are easily managed at home.
Side effects of nic buzz can include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased alertness
- Rapid breathing
- Breathing problems
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Elevated mood
- Decreased appetite
Although many enjoy the effects of a nicotine buzz, others don’t enjoy the experience or the side effects that come along with it. While most of these effects are manageable, be sure to seek medical attention if you lose consciousness or stop breathing, as those are severe reactions that should be monitored.
How to Get over a Nicotine Buzz?
In order to calm a nicotine buzz, you need to get rid of the nicotine in your body while giving your body a lot of nutrients to strengthen itself with.
The first step is to stop vaping nicotine as soon as you sense that you need to get rid of the buzz. Introducing more nicotine will defeat the purpose. Next, eat something fortifying. Some people swear by healthy greens, saying a salad or a green smoothie will help, while there are those who say you should go with greasy burgers and fries. Most people agree, though, that it's only important to get food into your system so that your body can process the nicotine out faster. Drinking lots of water is also another way of clearing your body out. But, again, sweet, clear liquids (apple juice, sweet teas, water) will be your best option.
Will Chasing the Buzz Get You Addicted to Nicotine?
Nicotine is classified as an addictive substance. This means that after a certain amount is absorbed, your body will begin to crave and require it to continue functioning without discomfort. So, technically speaking, you don't actually need the nicotine, but your body will think and act as you do.
As you absorb more nicotine into your neuroreceptors, you will feel the nicotine buzz less. In order to get more buzz while their receptors are saturated, some people will chase the buzz by vaping more often or in higher amounts. Unfortunately, by pumping more nicotine into your system during this process, you increase your chances of becoming addicted to nicotine.
Trying to get a nicotine buzz doesn't immediately mean you'll become addicted to nicotine. However, vaping responsibly and understanding your limit can help you ensure you don't become dependent on nicotine.
Another important factor is to remember that it will be easier to feel the nicotine buzz if you aren't dependent on nicotine. So by spacing out the times you use nicotine, ensuring you don't oversaturate your receptors, you can continue to enjoy the buzz with a lower risk of dependence.
Does Synthetic Nicotine Give You a Nicotine Buzz?
Synthetic nicotine can give you a buzz, depending on your tolerance and your body's ability to process nicotine. Some people don't experience any kind of buzz with synthetic nicotine, while others don't notice any difference from normal nicotine at all. It will require testing and trying different variations to find the kind that works best for you.
Does a Nicotine Buzz Help You Sleep?
Nicotine is a stimulant. This means that absorbing it into your system will make you much more alert, awake, and focused. However, it is not going to help you sleep. In fact, nicotine has been consistently shown to disrupt sleep and make a long, interrupted, restful sleep harder.
However, many people find that they feel somewhat deflated after the nicotine buzz has left. Once the "high" is gone, they feel low. This crash is often what some people describe as feeling tired from a nicotine buzz.
All About the Buzz
Nicotine buzz is a common thing that happens to a lot of people. It’s not dangerous, but chasing it can make you more susceptible to nicotine dependence. A nicotine buzz comes from introducing nicotine to the neuroreceptors in your brain. If these neuroreceptors are already saturated with nicotine, you won’t experience as much of a buzz. Vaping nicotine socially, on an infrequent basis, will make it easier for you to experience the buzz.