Is Cotton Vagina Real Thing?

Stephen Andrews
16 Mar 2022

A dry mouth with an accompanying feeling that you can drink a gallon of water is one of the most familiar side effects of weed. Pot smokers are well acquainted with what cottonmouth means. In recent years, there have also been talks that pot-smoking can as well cause "cotton vagina," a sensation that dries the vajayjay. While some users have made claims that getting high makes them dry as dust down low, others report no changes in moisture. Most medical practitioners are straightforward, saying that cotton vagina cannot exist since wetness in the vag and the saliva in the mouth has nothing to do with one another.

Cotton vagina began to attract media attention relatively recently, after a 2015 Vice interview with psychiatrist and author Julie Holland saying that vaginal dryness may be a marijuana side effect just like dry mouth. "It's the same thing. It's the drying of the mucus membranes," she said. 

Of course, you have to own a vagina and smoke pot to bring a personal conclusion on whether the cotton vagina is something that indeed happens.

Dr. Holland adds in the interview: "Not all pot is going to give you dry mouth, but if you have had a strain that is giving you dry mouth, it will also make you more dry [down there]." However, scientific research has been virtually inexistent on this topic, and there's little to back up such claims. 

A small survey that involved 127 women who claimed to have smoked marijuana before sex, says that "the majority reported no change in [vaginal] lubrication." Which doesn't necessarily removes cannabis from having any role in affecting the vagina. 

Since Holland's interview, other medical practitioners have also voiced their view on the cotton vagina topic. And they are not buying it. Tami Rowen, an obstetrician and gynecologist, told the DailyDot, "the reason that people have cottonmouth is because there is a cannabinoid receptor in the salivary gland in the mouth. So it decreases the amount of saliva produced in the mouth." So basically, the discussion here concerns two entirely different mechanisms of what and where can cause dryness. 

Proper research on the cotton vagina phenomenon may help settle conflicting views among medical practitioners, however. For now, there is some minor evidence that points out in favor of those who dismiss cotton vagina being a genuine effect.

Research has found that cannabinoid receptors in the submandibular gland, which is one of the major saliva glands in the lower jaw, has been found to decrease saliva volume production while also increasing its viscosity upon THC activation. It's a piece of evidence that discredits any relation between cottonmouth and cotton vagina. Whether cannabis can dry out the vagina via a different route in the body, that's still an unknown. 

Stephen Andrews