The relationship between cannabis and cottonmouth has been the butt of many jokes for a long time. Funny stories of people who had cases of dry mouth when high on weed abound in many stand-up comedy shows across the world. Dry mouth is one of the side effects that many people experience when using cannabis. It is the reason why people get a sore throat from smoking weed. It is probably the reason why marijuana makes your eyes red. Cotton mouth is irritating and uncomfortable, but people have taken the time to try and figure out how to get rid of it.
What is Cotton Mouth?
Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth from getting infected by maintaining a balance in the bacteria and fungi in the mouth. It also plays a vital role in ensuring that your mouth is adequately lubricated, and by so doing, it ensures your comfort.
Dryness of mouth has been known as a common outcome in cannabis users over the years. When cannabis was only used as a recreational drug, taken in through smoking, many people thought the resulting dry mouth was due to the thick smoke that resulted from burning weed.
However, even after vaping, dry mouth continued to be a feature. Oils, gummies, capsules, didn’t eliminate the problem either, and one big question remained unanswered, “why does weed give cottonmouth?”
Why Does Weed Give You Cottonmouth?
Much research on everything to do with marijuana dry mouth still needs to be done to establish reasons for cottonmouth, how to prevent cottonmouth, and how to fix cottonmouth. Indeed lots of research is ongoing on all aspects of cannabis.
The key to understanding cottonmouth lies not only in understanding marijuana, but it is also in understanding our bodies’ response to it.
The endocannabinoid system, which determines the body’s response to cannabinoids, was only discovered in the 1990s, and there is still a lot to be understood about it. Having mentioned this, it is noteworthy that some research has been conducted, and it provided some useful insights into the problem of cottonmouth as follows.
The endocannabinoid system is a part of the nervous system that connects with cannabinoids in the body. It consists of endocannabinoids, which are naturally occurring cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabinoid receptors are the place where endocannabinoids (naturally occurring) and cannabinoids (plant-based, which we take in by smoking or as concentrates and edibles) connect to fulfill their purpose. The last part of the ECS is the metabolic enzymes that destroy endocannabinoids once they are through with their work.
ECS plays an essential role in the management of problems such as pain and inflammation. It does this by sending signals to pre-synapse neurons and by so doing, inhibiting the affected neurons’ capacity to send signals in the opposite direction to the brain.
The salivary glands located under your jaw bone are known as submandibular salivary glands, and they are responsible for the production of 70% of all your saliva. These salivary glands have cannabinoid receptors when you introduce cannabis in any of its forms, i.e. as CBD and as THC dry mouth results.
This dryness of mouth is because cannabinoids connect to endocannabinoid receptors in the salivary glands and inhibit the transmission of signals to the nervous system. As a result of this interruption, the brain doesn’t get the message to instruct the submandibular salivary glands to release saliva.
Cottonmouth is usually not a big problem when you are taking in small amounts of cannabis. The symptoms increase in intensity as you increase your intake of marijuana. The following are some of the symptoms.
- Bad breath
- Getting thirsty frequently
- Hoarseness of voice
- Sore throat
- Red, raw tongue
- Tingling sensation in the mouth
- Cracked lips
- Sores in the mouth and split skin in the far edges of the mouth
Like most people, you would probably like to figure out how not to get cotton mouth when smoking weed. Unfortunately, there is no known way of doing that. The next best thing is to know what helps with cottonmouth.
- Sipping water frequently especially with a straw keeps you hydrated
- Chewing gum, beef jerky or dried fruit stimulates the release of saliva
- Lick lollipop or suck on some hard candy. These stimulate saliva production – sour flavors are usually better for increased saliva production.
- Cough medicines, which are also known as demulcents, help reduce dryness of the mouth by covering the mucus membrane with a dewy film.
- Herbal teas help reduce the dry feeling on the throat.
Things to Avoid When Dealing with Cotton Mouth
The following only work to exacerbate the problem, you should avoid them: –
- Black and green teas
- Coffee and anything with caffeine
- Salty food
- Tobacco and alcohol
Besides the remedies mentioned above, you need to visit a dentist for the management of oral health regularly. At the moment, cottonmouth remains something you have to deal with as a marijuana user. Please note CBD dry mouth is as much a feature as THC dry mouth. You don’t only get dry mouth when high, but every time you use a cannabinoid.