When discussing the effects of marijuana, it is common to hear about the "munchies" or sudden attacks of hunger experienced by users. However, another effect commonly experienced when smoking marijuana is extreme thirst, often referred to as "cottonmouth". I'm sure you've wondered more than once why smoking marijuana makes you thirsty, here's why!

In this blog we will explore the reasons behind this thirsty feeling and how you can manage it.

Causes of dry mouth

The endocannabinoid system and saliva production: Cannabis contains chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which interact with the endocannabinoid system in our body. One of these cannabinoids is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. When THC is consumed, it can affect the salivary glands, decreasing saliva production and causing dry mouth.

Interference with CB1 receptors: Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are found throughout the body, including the salivary glands. When THC binds to these receptors, it can alter the normal function of the salivary glands, decreasing saliva production and causing the sensation of dry mouth. This lack of saliva can lead to an uncomfortable feeling of thirst.

Irritation of mucous membranes: Smoking marijuana involves inhaling smoke, which can irritate the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. This irritation can cause the salivary glands to reduce their production of saliva as a protective response by the body. The resulting dryness may trigger a feeling of thirst.

Smoking habits: In addition to the chemical and physiological effects, marijuana smoking habits can also contribute to dry mouth. When smoking marijuana, the hot, dry smoke can dry out the mouth. In addition, the action of repeatedly inhaling and exhaling can dehydrate the body in general, which can intensify the sensation of thirst.

How to control thirst when smoking marijuana? 

  • Stay hydrated: drinking water regularly while smoking marijuana can help relieve thirst and prevent dehydration.
  • Avoid dehydrating beverages: some beverages such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks can worsen dry mouth. It is better to opt for water or sugar-free hydrating drinks.
  • Sugarless gum or candy: chewing sugarless gum or sucking on candy can stimulate saliva production and relieve dryness.
  • Mouthwashes: using moisturizing mouthwashes or mouth rinses designed for dry mouth may provide temporary relief.

In a nutshell

Thirst when smoking marijuana is a commonly experienced effect due to the interaction of THC with the endocannabinoid system and salivary glands. Decreased saliva production, irritation of mucous membranes, and consumption habits contribute to this dry mouth sensation. It is important to stay hydrated and take measures to alleviate thirst while consuming marijuana.

However, it is critical to remember that excessive thirst can be a symptom of dehydration. Therefore, it is essential to balance water consumption with marijuana use and be aware of the effects on the body. In addition, it is important to be aware of local laws and regulations regarding marijuana use.

Remember that everyone may react differently, so some may experience more thirst than others. Ultimately, knowledge and awareness of the effects of marijuana, including thirst, can help you enjoy this wonderful plant responsibly.

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