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Why Does Dry Mouth Happen After You Smoke?

You’re kicked back with your favorite smoking method in hand, ready to toke up and enjoy. You smoke, feel the euphoria rise, but then it strikes – the dreaded dry mouth. Suddenly you’re high, dry, and uncomfortable. But why? Why does dry mouth happen after you smoke?

For a long time dry mouth was considered something of an old wives’ tale, but as it turns out, you can blame science.

Why Smoking Causes Dry Mouth

Scientists refer to dry mouth as “xerostomia”, and it turns out that it can be caused by the same marijuana cannabinoids that we love for their sweet, stony effect.

The majority of your saliva is produced by the submandibular gland, which happens to have both type 1 and type 2 cannabinoid receptors. When THC and another cannabinoid called anandamide bind with these receptors, they limit the production of a compound that is essential for creating saliva. This compound is supposed to send a signal that would drive saliva production in anticipation of eating food, but once blocked, saliva reduces and dry mouth grows no matter how badly you have the munchies.

How to Prevent Dry Mouth When Smoking

Some people tend to be more susceptible to dry mouth than others. If you’re one of them, there are a few things you can do to prevent dry mouth from rearing its head:

Use a less “harsh” smoking method, like a water pipe or vaporizer

Sip lots of water

Avoid acidic or tannin-filled drinks like orange juice, soda, tea, or wine

Chew gum

Use over-the-counter products designed to combat dry mouth

Load up on vitamins A, B-2, B-12, and C, which all prevent and heal dry mouth

Sleep with a humidifier to prevent dehydration

Dry mouth is certainly not the best aspect of smoking, but it can be prevented. So follow the advice above, keep hydrated, and enjoy.


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