Most people who have tried cannabis will tell you, one of the worst (and only) side effects is that terribly dry cotton mouth you get…
Sure there are other side effects from cannabis, such as drowsiness and the need to consume copious amounts of chocolate. But what can be done to combat that cotton mouth that so many folks suffer from?
Firstly, let’s take a look at what causes this dry cotton mouth issue, in order to understand the way it works. You might be surprised to learn that it’s not actually the smoke that dries you out, it’s all down to the active compounds within the cannabis, and their relationship to the endocannabinoid system, that regulates various bodily functions, like inducing the ‘munchies.’
The science behind cotton mouth is that there are many cannabis receptors located in the submandibular glands (the glands located near the mouth, which produce about 70% of our saliva.) THC, on of the most famous active compounds in cannabis, is thought to prevent the parasympathetic nervous system from telling those glands to produce saliva. Hence cotton mouth.
So now we know why it happens what can we do to counteract it? Well, there’s no quick or surefire fix here, although there are steps you can take to at least minimize cotton mouth.
For a start, it is known that certain specific cannabis strains are worse at causing cotton mouth than others, and that’s most likely down to the percentage of THC per strain. The main thing is to stay hydrated. Chug down a tall glass of iced-water or your favorite beverage, and keep another one handy while you smoke or vape.
There are also various foods you can eat before you take cannabis that are known to naturally increase our salivary production. Things like herbal tea and lozenges will sooth a dry throat and promote saliva production. Sour foods are also a good option here, as a few drops of lemon juice in water or some sour candy can help keep you lubricated.
That said, there are also a number of foods you should avoid like the plague if you are planning on taking cannabis. They include things like booze and coffee, which are known to reduce saliva production. Dry bread and crackers also doesn’t help matters.
In conclusion, the best advice is to use your common sense, stay lubricated, eat the right foods and drink the right drinks, and just maybe that piece of chocolate will slip down without making you choke.