Smoking in any form, be it cannabis or tobacco, comes with the risk of developing bad breath. However, cannabis is a particularly bad culprit, as no matter how you use it, the effect on your mouth is still the same. The reason? Xerostomia, or dry mouth in layman's terms. The moment your mouth goes dry, weed breath starts sneaking up on you.

Now, cannabis is considered a miracle plant by a lot of people, and more and more people are starting to use due to the increasing research suggesting it can positively impact certain conditions. Cannabis is also increasingly used recreationally for its compound THC. It is seen as a good way to chill, and many are finding it to be a favorable alternative to things like alcohol. This makes understanding how cannabis affects the body all the more critical.

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What is THC?

WHY DOES A CANNABIS DRY MOUTH CAUSE BAD BREATH?

THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, binds to the body’s cells and receptors. These interactions also include the cells that govern the mouth’s ability to secrete saliva. Think of saliva as our mouth’s very own organic mouthwash. Its cleansing mechanism washes away food particles and removes any acids that may erode our gums and teeth. It also helps remove odour-causing microorganisms.

Once THC starts to restrict the secretion of saliva, your mouth’s ability to wash away any undesirable elements diminishes. Because there’s no saliva, there’s nothing in your mouth that will wash away the oils and residue from using cannabis—especially if you smoke it.

Smoking is particularly bad, as the combustion of cannabis and tobacco creates tar, toxins and many other chemicals that enter your mouth through its smoke. You dont want these hanging around.

Apart from developing bad breath, dry mouth also comes with other side effects such as:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Changes in your sense of taste

Bad Breath and Sore Throat

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE ON YOUR WAY TO DEVELOPING BAD BREATH

If you’re using cannabis, especially if you are smoking it, it’s important to keep up with your dental hygiene. As is often said, “prevention is better than cure”. So before bad breath starts to hit you, here are some tell-tale signs:

  • Presence of dental plaque
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Perleche and angular cheilitis (Cracking at the corners of the mouth)

TIPS AND TRICKS IN AVOIDING BAD BREATH AND DRY MOUTH

So just how do you prevent bad breath and dry mouth from smoking cannabis? In most cases, folks rely heavily on food with dominant smells, like popcorn or peanut butter.

These have varying forms of success and have been used for nearly decades by casual cannabis smokers. Today, with the current increase of people smoking cannabis, there are new products that are now designed to combat cannabis breath.

Some people also use candies to prevent bad breath and dry mouth, but its effects are debatable. Some users swear that they are excellent at inducing saliva production, but sour candies, on the other hand, leave you with more than just dry mouth.

So, instead of having to use specialty products or food, you can take certain steps to proactively decrease your chances of getting bad breath. Whether you’re a casual or heavy smoker, these tips are designed to help you combat bad breath from smoking Cannabis.

Sore Throat

CLEAN YOUR SMOKING ACCESSORIES

Contrary to what others might believe, your bad breath could also be attributed to how clean your pipe or bong is. If your pipe or bong hasn’t been cleaned in quite a while, then bacteria and other germs are proliferating within your accessories, thereby contributing to the development of your bad breath as they transfer to your mouth.

USE A DIFFERENT METHOD FOR CONSUMING CANNABIS

Smoking cannabis could lead to bad breath, and if you can’t help smoking one every night, then you might as well think about a different method for consumption. Much like cigarettes have their nicotine strips, cannabis also has edibles, tinctures, and even THC capsules that can give you the same benefit as smoking—minus the actual smoking. Although other methods also restrict saliva production, they don't flood your mouth with the nastiness found in smoke. Thus the onset of bad breath is much slower/lower risk.

Mints

USE MINTS

You’ll never know when a minty pick-me-up will come in handy, especially if you’ve finished an unexpected smoke session. It’s always a good idea to have a batch of mints handy that provide you with different effects while keeping your breath fresh and clean. Casual cigarette smokers often have mints and other strong-flavored candies to make sure that their mouths don’t reek of tobacco after a quick smoke. Doing the same after using cannabis should work just as well.

RESTRICT YOUR SUGAR FOOD INTAKE

Developing a case of the “munchies”, or a sudden increase of appetite, can’t be helped when you’ve smoked cannabis. And having dry mouth doesn’t really help with preventing you from feeling hungry. That’s why it’s important to restrict your intake for soft drinks and sugary food when you are smoking cannabis. Foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates can lead to plaque retention and leads to higher incidence of caries. So, in case you do get the munchies, try to keep it as sugar-free as possible.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

MAINTAIN GOOD ORAL HYGIENE

Without saying, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Doing so helps eliminate the bacteria, oils, and other residues that cause bad breath. Keep your mouth clean, and the risk is minimised tremendously.

With the surge of users and products flooding the cannabis markets, more people are starting to develop weed breath, and it’s more likely that we’ll be seeing more products that are geared towards preventing or managing halitosis and dry mouth. These tips may not be perfect, but they can help greatly in preventing or minimizing your chances of getting bad breath.

Remember, there’s nothing worse than being oblivious to the fact that you have bad breath.

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