More than 75% of Americans walk around dehydrated on a day-to-day basis. Whether in the hot summer months or the cold winter months, water intake is important to our overall health, impacting our skin, our organs, and our entire bodily health. As marijuana continues to grow more and more popular in North America, two common side effects are becoming more and more noted: cotton mouth and dehydration.
Whether you are a chronic consumer of marijuana or a newcomer to the plant, you’ll want to know all about the most common side effects of marijuana as well as how to overcome them.
In honor of the next glass of water that you drink, let’s explore how to stay hydrated while enjoying your marijuana consumption.
Does Cannabis Cause Dehydration?
When was the last time you sat down with your favorite bowl of Jack Herer? What about those G-Purps before bed? No matter what you are smoking, the odds of feeling slightly parched are going to increase after consuming marijuana. A logical extension of this fact would lead us to state that cannabis is the direct cause of dry mouth and dehydration, but is this the actual case?
According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it is taking in. If you go into a smoking session without enough water or fluid in your body, you will become more easily dehydrated after consuming cannabis. That does not mean that marijuana causes you to dehydrate though.
The Mayo Clinic goes on to suggest that cotton mouth and dehydration are commonly associated with smoking in individuals who are already dehydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, marijuana does not typically cause you to dehydrate.
Signs and Symptoms of Being Dehydrated
Even though cannabis may not directly cause dehydration, it sure can lead us to notice some of the signs and symptoms pertaining to the condition. If you find yourself lacking fluid intake throughout the day, you might find a few of the following symptoms to be familiar.
- Darkened Urine
- Fatigue and Dizziness
- Cotton Mouth
While the aforementioned signs and symptoms can point to dehydration, they can also allude to other medical issues. If you have concerns regarding your health, consult with a professional physician.
Cannabis and CHS: Rare Side Effects
While MMJ is not traditionally related to dehydration as a significant contributor, it can be related to a condition known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). According to a study published by the British Medical Journal, CHS manifests in roughly 6% of patients reporting to emergency departments with recurrent vomiting.
CHS, as we understand, is associated more with long-time cannabis users. Symptoms of this rare condition include severe vomiting and fluid loss, as well as significant abdominal pain. To find relief from this condition, patients reportedly resort to hot water baths as well as hot showers.
While CHS isn’t thoroughly understood, the team at Cedars Sinai explains how THC can impact the digestive tract when regularly consumed. Cedars Sinai went on to explain, “With repeated use of marijuana, certain receptors in the brain may stop responding to the drug in the same way.”
Cotton Mouth and Cannabis
While there are certainly rare conditions associated with the regular intake of cannabis, cotton mouth is not one of them. Also known as dry mouth, this condition brings about a feeling of thirst alongside the consumption of marijuana. As the most common side effect of the drug, dry mouth is caused by a decrease in saliva production caused by THC impacting cannabinoid receptors.
While cotton mouth may be considered an annoying or frustrating side effect of marijuana consumption, it is not considered dangerous. Long-term exposure to cotton mouth could allow bacteria and plaque to flourish, speeding up inflammation and tooth decay.
How to Combat Dehydration While Using Marijuana
If you want to continue enjoying cannabis while fighting against the downsides of its consumption, you might want to get into the practice of learning how to hydrate throughout the day. Already a dehydrated nation, American cannabis consumers can dramatically improve their symptoms by attempting the following hydration tips and tricks.
- Drink More Water – The easiest way to hydrate is to simply drink more water. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average daily fluid intake for men should be 15.5 cups of water versus 11.5 cups for women. Did you know that drinking room temperature water is better for your body? It’s true! Water at room temperature can help to improve circulation while assisting in bodily detoxing.
- Enjoy Oats in the Morning – Did you know that oatmeal can help more than your heart, it can help you to stay hydrated? Oats expand to absorb liquid, so mix in plenty of fruits and milk with your morning oatmeal. This is a tasty way to make sure that your body has access to hydration throughout the day.
- Eat More Fruit – Nearly 20% of our daily water intake is sourced directly from food. Vegetables and especially fruit contain high levels of water content. Consider eating more strawberries, watermelon, celery, and lettuce to improve your water intake. If you hate eating fruit, you can drink your way to hydration too. Consider creating a healthy smoothie in the morning to really accommodate your water intake requirements.
- Reach For Coconut Water – Instead of switching up your drinking rotation with sweet drinks or other junk beverages, consider reaching for a bottle of coconut water. Coconut water possesses several major electrolytes while reducing your intake of sodium and complex carbohydrates. Coconut water beats sports drinks a million times over when it comes time to stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated isn’t just important when you are smoking, it is something we should strive to accomplish at all times. When the human body is properly hydrated, it helps to boost our health, our daily activities, and our overall well-being. Consider incorporating the tips listed above to help stave off cotton mouth and dehydration during your next smoking session.