Cannabis And Cottonmouth: What It Is And How To Deal With It

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Cannabis And Cottonmouth: What It Is And How To Deal With It

If you have ever sat through a smoking sesh, you know cannabis has the uncanny ability to dry your mouth out. We take a look why it happens, and what you can do about it.

It's an overlooked consequence of cannabis when you first start blazing up, but once you include it in your daily routine, cottonmouth becomes a real problem. Before you can understand how to solve it, we’ll first try to explain to you why it happens.


All the pros and cons of weed can be linked to the endocannabinoid system. This is the system responsible for absorbing the THC, CBD and all the chemical compound goodness responsible for getting you high. As one of the system’s main function is to regulate appetite and saliva production, these are also found inside the human mouth and salivary glands.

From a comfortable bodily high to a paranoid head rush, the endocannabinoid system does it all.

It's not an intended purpose of weed to ensure that you have difficulty swallowing when you’re too high. There are certain glands which produce up to 70% of your saliva to which weed’s compounds bind very easily. When these receptors are bounded with cannabinoids, the glands are prevented from receiving messages. Much like when you’re too high to “think fast” when your bro throws the lighter at you, the communication is blocked both in the brain and the receptor. Not that your body doesn’t want to make you salivate. It just doesn’t know it. Only recently has research on this come to contradict past belief that it was a secondary effect of the hot smoke passing through your throat.

When testing on lab-rats with separate cannabinoids, research shows that results were very similar with THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. This proves that cottonmouth isn't linked to any specific type of cannabis nor how it's consumed. Cottonmouth is a problem that even medical cannabis patients will face with CBD pills. So, to all the prescription stoners out there, you too should read on.

Cotton mouth is lack of saliva, not dehydration. Meaning that while water may help alleviate your throat while blazing, thirst is not what you should be aiming to tackle. Haven’t we all chugged that litre bottle of water just to be thirsty 15 minutes later?

There are a few pharmaceutical solutions out there that you can look for but we’ll always recommend a natural solution. We never advise taking any medication if you can try something else. Always go natural.


There are tons of options for every stoner out there. From household items to practical options you can take anywhere, here is what we suggest doing.

For all of us who like to keep your cannabis routine to the comfort of your home, counteracting the discomforting dryness is easy. Having a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon next to you will do wonders. Just remember not to include sugar, it's not supposed to taste deliciously, it's supposed to be kind of a medicine. Stay away from all sugary drinks and juices.

Much like the bitterness in lemons, having a sour lollipop or any hard candy that takes time to consume, will aid salivation. This will trick your body into thinking you’re chewing food and make it produce more saliva which actually aids in digestion. Isn’t that a nifty trick?

If sour is not your flavour of choice, there is also a sweet and chewy solution for the rest of you: chewing gum. Always go for the sugar-free option if you can. Sugar will dehydrate you further preventing even more saliva production. The healthiest chewing option would still be something like dried fruit or beef jerky. The first one is better than the latter, but when resorting to fruit, avoid berries and pomegranates. These have a lot of tannin in them, a pungent dehydration property found naturally in many foodstuffs and popular drinks. This molecule can also be found in all types of alcohol, especially wine and beer. And even in most teas. So, if you’re going for the Queen’s recommendation, go for honey as a sweetener and avoid black tea. Choose camomile, peppermint or any kind of throat relieving one instead.

Much like black tea, caffeine and consequently, coffee, is another thing you should stay away from while puffing. Caffeine motivates the production of urine, causing your kidneys to hold onto water instead of reabsorbing it back into your system. You might have a clearer pee, but you won’t be as hydrated. Don’t bother mixing milk with your coffee, it won’t stop the effects of the caffeine, although milk by itself might be a good option. It coats your throat and mouth with a layer of fat, but it might also help the appearance of mucus which you don’t want. We recommend brushing your teeth after a cold glass of chocolate milk to prevent this.


Now that you have this information, how can we practically apply it to your daily cannabis routine? Now-a-days, there are a lot of people who choose to vape or spark a joint before their morning run. It helps with endurance and muscle pain but it’s not productive for your activity if the air running through your throat hurts like sandpaper. Haven’t we all gone to the gym high out of our minds just to realise that only 15 minutes had passed and the water bottle was empty? It’s a seriously discomforting feeling.

For all of you “high runners”, you should probably search for low cannabinoid strains. Whether CBD or THC-dominant, all cannabinoids will affect you, so make sure you compromise. If you have a very strong strain, ideally, you should take a couple hits before closing the door and leave the rest for after the shower when you return. Also, don’t grab your usual Red Bull or Gatorade before the jog. Most energy drinks are full of caffeine which will make your cottonmouth feeling even worst. Go for a home-made sugarless ice tea or lemon water instead. Don’t take a drink that tastes too good either. I would be lying if I told you I never had to come back home early with an empty bottle and a full bladder.

In the future, we might also see more cannabis in the dentist. Both while you’re being operated and after the procedure when your mouth is numb from the anaesthetics, decreasing the amount of drool you produce will help everyone involved. A little weed would surely take your 12-year-old self’s fear away from the dentist experience.

Who knows, we might have a cannabis pill one day to stop you from drooling in your pillow at night.

Go out and enjoy your herb with a little more information about it. An informed decision on your habits is always better. Make sure you understand yourself and you’re sure to enjoy your routine better.