What is Cotton Mouth?


If you are an avid weed smoker, then you’ve probably experienced the all too familiar case of cotton mouth. This is one of the most common side effects that most cannabis users experience. In case you have encountered this phenomenon from smoking marijuana, you might be wondering what exactly causes cotton mouth and what you can do to get rid of it.

So, What is Cotton Mouth? 

Saliva is a body fluid that has numerous benefits, including aiding digestion and maintaining a balance in the fungi and bacteria in the mouth. Furthermore, saliva keeps the mouth lubricated.  

When one smokes cannabis frequently, they are likely to experience dry mouth. In the past when cannabis was only used recreationally, most people believed that dry mouth was the result of the thick smoke inhaled when smoking weed. However, this side effect has also been observed when cannabis is consumed in other ways such as vaping and chewing gum. 

How Exactly Does Cannabis Cause Cotton Mouth?

A lot of research still needs to be done to determine the cause of cotton mouth, and how to get rid of it. The key to unlocking this phenomenon, however, requires us to not only know the chemistry of cannabis but also how our bodies respond to it. 

In order to understand how marijuana causes dry mouth, it is vital to take a close look at the endocannabinoid system - which determines the way our bodies respond to cannabinoids (the active component in marijuana. While not much is understood about this system thus far, research has revealed some valuable insights which can help us better comprehend how cotton mouth occurs.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is essentially a biological system that comprises endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout the nervous system. ECS plays a crucial role in managing pain and inflammation in the body. The salivary glands, which are responsible for the production of saliva, are located under your jawbone and also have cannabinoid receptors. When you consume cannabis in any of its forms, the cannabinoids interrupt the transmission of signals to the nervous system which inhibits the production of saliva. This results in dry mouth.

What are the Symptoms of Cotton Mouth?

Some of the most common symptoms of cotton mouth include:

  • Frequent thirst

  • Hoarse voice

  • Bad breath

  • Cracked lips

  • Soreness in the mouth

Remedies of Cotton Mouth

There are a number of things you can do to remedy the effects of cotton mouth. These include:

  • Chewing gum to stimulate the production of saliva

  • Drinking water regularly to keep your mouth hydrated

  • Licking lollipops or hard candy to stimulate the production of saliva

  • Taking herbal teas to remedy sore throat.

A Final Word

While cotton mouth can be very uncomfortable and irritating, this is a side effect that you just have to contend with as a regular cannabis smoker. However, by using the simple remedies we have highlighted above, you can reduce negative discomfort and make your cannabis use a more enjoyable experience.