From cannabis to cigarettes to pipes, virtually every smoked product comes with the risk of bad breath. Pot comes with particularly high odds due to xerostomia, more commonly known to smokers as cottonmouth or dry mouth. When your mouth goes dry, your breath begins to break bad quicker than Walter White.
Why does cannabis run such a high risk for dry mouth and halitosis? It boils down to THC. When consumed, the flower's psychoactive cannabinoid binds to the body's receptors and cells. These interactions include the cells that control your mouth's saliva secretion. THC limits how much saliva is generated in the mouth. As follows, your mouth is not able to wash away any remaining undesirable elements from your mouth. That leaves these bits lying in your mouth, which leads to the unpleasant smells.
In addition to bad breath, frequent dry mouth comes with a series of additional side effects including:
- Changes in your sense of taste
- Sore throats
- Difficulty swallowing or speaking
- Plaque build-up
- Perleche and angular cheilitis (Drying and cracking of the corners of your mouth)
Tips to Avoid Weed Breath and Dry Mouth
A quick Google search or trip on any cannabis forum should reveal a range of tips and solutions to combat cannabis breath.
In some cases, folks rely on foods with prominent smells of their own like popcorn or peanut butter. These methods have been in practice for decades and have worked to varying success. Today, however, with the cannabis market booming in the U.S., Canada and beyond, new products are joining the ranks, like TheraBreath, a mouthwash that contains the enzymes found in saliva.
Sour candies are a point of debate when trying to prevent dry mouth and bad breath. Some swear by them as they are excellent ways to generate saliva. However, others see sour candies like other sugary drinks that can leave your mouth with more undesirable elements in your mouth.
Instead of eating food or buying specialty mouthwashes, you can take proactive steps to cut down your chances of ending up with a funky mouth. If you're not married to smoking, consider finding a new method. Vaping works, though it can run the same risks as smoking, but at lower rates. If you'd prefer to eliminate the risk altogether, consider edibles. Mints are also perfect for giving you the cannabis you want while keeping your mouth fresh, and they help produce saliva, win-win.
Those committed to smoking should consider cleaning out their pieces regularly. An unclean pipe or bong is going to increase your chances of weed breath due to the bacteria and germs leftover from past smoke sessions. Cleaning most devices, depending on their intricacy, won't take more than a half hour to clean. After the initial cleaning, regular maintenance on your piece should take just a few minutes.
With the topic reaching news outlets in major cannabis markets, more people are starting to catch onto weed breath. It is likely we’ll see more products like TheraBreath hit the shelves while tried and true methods continue on as well. So, choose your preferred technique and incorporate it into your smoking regime. Your mouth and those around you will appreciate it.