One of the most common side effects of using cannabis is cotton mouth, which is also known as dryness of the mouth. This sensation can feel like your mouth is full of cotton balls and can leave you feeling dehydrated and thirsty. While many cannabis users have experienced this effect, few understand why it occurs. However, scientists have recently begun to shed light on the causes and cures for cotton mouth.
Researchers have discovered that dry mouth as a side effect of consuming cannabis is relatively common and can be caused by a decrease in saliva secretion. They suspect that cannabinoid receptors located in the salivary glands are responsible for this effect. When a person consumes cannabinoids, receptors CB1 and CB2 bring about a significant drop in saliva production, causing the mouth to feel dry.
Dry mouth from consuming cannabis does not cause dehydration throughout the rest of the body, which is why it does not cause the type of hangover some experience from alcohol consumption. However, with increased cannabis use, oral health becomes a concern as consistently low levels of saliva can become a risk factor for tooth decay, cavities, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss.
The American Dental Association encourages consumers of cannabis to maintain regular visits with a dentist, chew sugar-free gum, and maintain a regimen of teeth brushing at least twice daily using fluoride-enriched toothpaste. Some other health professionals have suggested reducing citrus-based foods and alcohol-based breath sprays, beverages, and mouthwash because they can dry the mouth. Some drug stores carry gums and sprays that help keep the mouth moist and are a good idea. Gum chewing helps prevent signals from the endocannabinoid system that limit saliva production.
Another obvious dry mouth cure is drinking water, especially while consuming cannabis. While it may be tempting to have a refreshing beer or wine, those beverages contain tannins that can further dry the mouth. Some fruit juices and teas may also contribute to the problem.
In addition to these remedies, you can also research different strains of medical marijuana before purchasing them to avoid cotton mouth symptoms. Patients should search online for information about strains of cannabis, as there are so many different types of medical marijuana available. Online resources like Weedmaps, Leafly, AllBud, and more offer details about specific strains and data based on user reviews about common psychoactive and physiological effects, including dry mouth.
In conclusion, medical marijuana has become increasingly popular as a treatment for various medical conditions. If you think it might be helpful for your condition, the first step is to take an eligibility survey and consult with a medical doctor. While cotton mouth is a common side effect of using cannabis, there are ways to prevent or cure it. Drinking water, chewing gum, using hard candy or cough medicine, and researching strains of medical marijuana are all effective remedies for cotton mouth symptoms. Additionally, maintaining regular dental visits and practicing good oral hygiene habits can help protect your teeth and gums from potential damage caused by consistently low levels of saliva production.