Many people believe that smoking weed or consuming substantial amounts of Marijuana ultimately leads to dehydration, when in fact, the dryness of the mouth they feel and any other symptoms they experience are merely a sign of the Tetrahydrocannabinol compound at work.
While smoking weed can sometimes lead to an intense dryness of the mouth, it doesn’t cause dehydration; at most, it accelerates the process.
Facts About Dehydration
Dehydration ensues when the amount of water expelled from the body far exceeds the quantity entering it. Even in the most subtle form, dehydration can result in constipation, lethargy, and migraines.
About 75% of the human body is composed of water. The chances of survival are next to none without this water. Water is coursing through every part of our bodies; it can even be found within blood cells.
Although we constantly excrete water due to normal bodily functions and the fact that we sweat and urinate, we can continuously replenish the body with more fluid by drinking water. By refilling the body’s lost liquids, the body can quickly recuperate from all the side effects of dehydration.
The Difference Between Cottonmouth And Dehydration
As stated earlier, the psychoactive compound in weed called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the mouth’s dryness after smoking. This is because, upon entering the system, this psychoactive substance binds to saliva-producing and specific receptors in the body, which results in cotton mouth.
Often, this feeling is associated with thirst. Still, surprisingly after taking a sip of water, most people find that they weren’t even thirsty to begin with, which clearly shows that they weren’t dehydrated and were simply high. There’s no reason to fret whenever you get the cotton mouth sensation, as it doesn’t take long to dissipate.
In severe cases, it should only take 30 minutes.
If you were already parched before smoking Cannabis and have experienced all the symptoms, there’s a possibility you already suffered dehydration.
Symptoms Of Dehydration
If you’ve been dealing with the following symptoms daily, you must seek medical advice to prevent the situation from worsening.
- Low blood pressure
- White tongue
- Dark colored urine
- Muscle cramps
- Infrequent Urination
- Body pain
- Dark Urine
Smoking cannabis leads to four of the symptoms on the list above: light-headedness, headaches, dizziness, and dryness of the mouth, which is where the misconception that weed causes dehydration stems from.
Is Weed Dehydrating?
Unlike diuretics, which speed up the rate at which the body expels water, smoking weed temporarily reduces the body’s ability to produce saliva by targeting the salivary glands.
The most common examples of diuretics are vegetables, fruits, alcohol, and caffeine. Alcohol is classified as a diuretic because it suppresses the flow of the antidiuretic hormone, which causes the body to lose water.
Therefore, a high intake of alcohol not only speeds up the rate at which our bodies expel water but it also suppresses our need to replenish the lost liquids. While smoking weed alone doesn’t lead to dehydration, combining it with alcohol can and must be avoided.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, weed doesn’t cause dehydration.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the cottonmouth feeling you get after smoking weed is what led to this widespread misconception.
Besides this, a few after-effects of smoking weed mimic the symptoms of dehydration, some of which are as follows:
- Dry mouth
Although it can be very confusing, the dryness of the mouth caused by a weed hangover isn’t at all a sign of dehydration.
What Causes Dry Mouth When You Smoke Marijuana?
A common question surrounding Cannabis use is, “does Cannabis cause dehydration?” The truth is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the real cause of slow saliva production and early morning nausea after consuming Cannabis. However, several other factors can contribute to mouth dryness, including insufficient water in the system.
Although the effects of smoking Marijuana are somewhat similar to the signs of dehydration, they are two different things entirely.
Being hungover from smoking Marijuana often leaves the mouth extremely dry. This is because of the cannabinoids present in it. While Marijuana use won’t make you dehydrated, combining it with alcohol most certainly will and can even lead to a rare condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome in heavy users.
Using both substances at once can lead to seizures, digestive tract issues, fainting, organ damage, and dehydration. As such, you must refrain from drinking alcohol or taking any form of diuretic while smoking; otherwise, the result can be detrimental to your health.
Signs of Dehydration caused by Drinking Alcohol And Smoking Marijuana
Often a urine analysis can provide all the necessary information to help you determine whether or not you’re dehydrated. If you suffer from dehydration, your urine should be much darker and more concentrated than usual.
To be sure, try examining your blood pressure and heart rate. Rapid heart rate and low blood pressure combined with dark-colored urine are three red flags you should watch out for.
Preventing dry mouth
You might want to drink enough water right before and after your smoke session. Doing this will help you combat the dry mouth feeling, gum inflammation, and tooth decay and also help you determine whether you’re suffering from extreme thirst or just stoned from repeated bouts of Cannabis.
If your mouth becomes dry after smoking Marijuana and you experience abdominal pain, it’s very likely that you haven’t been drinking enough water and not because you just smoked Marijuana. It could also mean that you already had an underlying illness you weren’t aware of, so it’s important to stay hydrated before smoking to know the difference.
What To Do When Dehydrated
When dehydration occurs, the best way to handle dehydration is during its first stage and by drinking enough fluids to compensate for the body’s lost fluids.
It helps to drink clear fluids like ice pops and sports drinks, but if you’d rather not, you can as well stick to ordinary water or a sugar-free drink. Also, try getting some extra sleep during this period to avoid further weight loss and to let the blood vessels transport water to specific receptors where it’s needed and the salivary glands.
When an underlying medical condition is responsible for dehydration, the best solution is to consult a qualified medical practitioner immediately.
While Consuming Cannabis products won’t cause you to become dehydrated, it’s best always to drink plenty of water and use them in moderation to avoid health complications.