Why Cannabis Causes Cottonmouth and What Can You Do About It

Soft Secrets
23 Apr 2021

Each time you ingest THC and CBD, it triggers a process in the mouth that interrupts the salivary flow.

So you did indulge in smoking marijuana before Sunday lunch with your parents! Local politics and your relationship status are hard to swallow without weed; we totally get it! Of course, your family thinks you work too hard, and that is why you are so forgetful, and your eyes are red from exhaustion, but you can’t lie to yourself and your cottonmouth! 

Most marijuana enthusiasts do cope with the occasional cottonmouth. Naturally, cannabis firstly "attacks" the mouth when you smoke or ingest, and then it spreads throughout the body interacting with other body receptors. Upon entering the mouth, cannabis activates cannabinoid receptors which in turn inhibit the salivary secretion in the submandibular glands. Basically, each time you ingest THC and CBD, it triggers a process in the mouth that interrupts the salivary flow. The end result of this process is cottonmouth. 

Terpens it appears have a special role to reinforce this entire process which leads to sometimes extremely annoying dry mouth sensation. Regardless if you like this feeling or not, see it as a good sign because it means the weed is good, the weed is working. It's also something that reminds you of how important saliva is, like seriously. Saliva does not serve only for spitting as a gesture of dissatisfaction at a sports match or a bitter quarrel between old school mobsters. Actually, it has an important function in the mouth: it moistens the mouth for comfort, lubricates as you chew and swallow, and neutralizes harmful acids. It also kills germs, prevents bad breath, defends against tooth decay and gum disease, protects enamel, and speeds up wound healing.

There is no need to stop consuming cannabis to save your saliva, however. To avoid the unpleasant sensation of cottonmouth, there are few other things you can actually do, and those are very simple things.

Water, water and water!

You've heard it all before. Water is essential not only for hydrating the mouth after smoking but in general for your wellbeing. Have a bottle of water before and after your high session. If you want even better refreshment: add some lemon to your bottle. Despite you get an extra vitamin, remember that lemon is also good for when you are too high. If you feel like you're flying too high, chew some lemon to get down on earth.

Candy or Lollipop

Water is a MUST, but if you are somewhere where you can’t drink like a camel and then visit the toilet regularly, the quick aid is candy Mint or caramel. Sugar-free or regular sweet candy will do. Sucking on the candy or a lollipop has the same effect as chewing; it will increase saliva production to help you get rid of dry mouth. On the bright side, candy can also postpone the food cravings after smoking, and it’s so easy to put anywhere in your pocket or bag!

Nose Breathing

Breath in and out through your nose! It’s not only meditative, but it will keep your mouth moist. Avoid breathing with an open mouth after smoking because it will only make your mouth drier.


It can really help you keep the air quality in your room, especially in the winter season. Waking up in the middle of the night with a sore throat because you smoked pot is not fun at all. Humidifiers can reduce the level of dryness in your mouth by keeping the air moist even more if you fog in the same room where you sleep. Of course, if you only have one humidifier that you use for your grow room, look for another solution.


You can profit double from this: fresh breath and no more dry mouth. There are even some products on the market specifically designed to prevent and treat dryness. And your partner will be grateful too!

Cough Medicine

If candies or lollipops aren’t helpful, try and use demulcent cough drops to treat your cottonmouth. They are available in every pharmacy or drugstore. What they do is coat the mucous membranes with a moist film, which can prevent or help get rid of the dry spell in your mouth.

Herbal Tea

Adopt some fine habits from Britons, such as introducing tea time in your day in day out. Herbal teas will not only help you get rid of dry mouth but also from sore and irritated throat from smoking. A bit of honey and lemon or milk, and it's the real deal for your wellbeing.

Things to Avoid When Cottonmouth Persists

Cottonmouth can be unpleasant, but with regular hydration and good nutrition, you should really be able to mitigate this minor issue that's defining your character as a stoner. When cottonmouth repeats, there are few extra things you can do. One, avoid anything caffeine-based, including black teas and green teas, as this type of beverage will dry your mouth even more. Second, choose healthy snacks for munchies after smoking, such as hummus and carrot. Avoid everything overly salty and crispy as it may add fuel to your cottonmouth (yes, we hint at stuff like chips). Third, alcohol and tobacco are blacklisted too. Well, every once in a while you'll anyway have the beer and pizza, right. Like they say in France, Il faut vivre n’est pas?

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