One of the most well known side effects of consuming cannabis is dry mouth, or cottonmouth as us stoners call it. After a few puffs your lips start sticking to your teeth. You lick your lips but your tongue is as dry as the Sahara Desert. When you try to talk the words come out in a struggle. Drinking water can fix this but usually only for a few minutes before you have to chug a bunch more.
Now that I have painted the picture of the never ending struggle of being a stoner, we are going to cover why this annoying affect takes place.
Our bodies have cannabinoid receptors, which are the reason we get the effects of cannabis. These receptors react to the cannabinoids in the cannabis causing the high feeling, calming effects and so on. Humans have multiple cannabinoid receptors throughout the body.
Our mouths have 3 glands that produce saliva and one of those glands contains 2 cannabinoid receptors. When we ingest marijuana and the cannabinoids reach the receptors below the tongue, the signals temporarily slow the production of saliva. It's literally that simple! The glands under the tongue produce 70% of the mouth's saliva. It is thought THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the lack of saliva production but more research is needed to prove this.
Now that the reason for this uncomfortable side effect has been explained, let's discuss the best ways to avoid and get rid of cotton mouth. First let's cover what things to avoid. It's best to avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol and tobacco as those dehydrate your body more. Instead, sip on water and make sure to hydrate prior to smoking as a preventative.
A way to actually trigger your salivary glands is to eat something sour. Eat some sour gummy bears or something of the like. Even just eating candy in general or sucking on a lollipop can help produce saliva. Juicy fruits like plums and watermelon are a healthier yet still sweet way to hydrate. This is also the perfect way to fix your munchies too!
Next time you're about to light up, make a run to the gas station and pick up some provisions. I promise your stoned self will thank your sober self! Happy smoking!