Does cannabis dehydrate you?
Cottonmouth and dry eyes, two common annoying side effects associated with cannabis use. Most people think that cannabis causes dehydration and that the dry mouth sensation is a direct result of cannabis’ dehydrating effects. Others argue that cannabis doesn’t cause dehydration; that there are other factors at play. So, which is which? Can cannabis dehydrate you or not? Let’s find out.
You might be dehydrated and not know it.
When you think of dehydration, some of us automatically think of situations like the desert, the middle of the sea, or severe illness. You imagine a lack of energy, sunken eyes, dizziness, and dark, yellow pee. You imagine someone who’s about to faint from lack of water.
But did you know that dehydration is more common than you think? In fact, in the United States alone, 75% of their general population suffers from chronic dehydration. Some of them don’t even exhibit symptoms of dehydration. They’re not even aware of their chronic dehydration.
You may not know it, but you could also be suffering from chronic dehydration. When you use cannabis, you immediately develop a dry mouth sensation. But can cannabis dehydrate you? Is its “dehydrating effect” the main culprit for cottonmouth?
Does cannabis dehydrate you and cause cotton mouth?
Cannabis contributes to the feeling of dehydration. But this effect has more to do with the endocannabinoid system and the cannabinoids. So, how can cannabis dehydrate you and contribute to the side effects?
The salivary glands produce 70% of our saliva. Like our other cells, the salivary glands also contain cannabinoid receptors.
One study found that our endogenous cannabinoids interact with these receptors. They inhibit the transmission of signals from the parasympathetic nervous system to the submandibular glands to produce saliva. With the signal blocked, the salivary glands produce reduced amounts of saliva; thus, the dry mouth sensation.
Now, THC also activates the cannabinoid receptors of the salivary glands. Its activation results in the dry mouth side effect of cannabis.
Does cannabis dehydrate you and cause dry eyes?
As for the dry eyes side effect, some users say it’s from smoking cannabis. The smoke irritates the eyes and results in the dry eyes sensation.
However, some cannabis edibles also cause this side effect. So obviously, there’s more to it than just the smoke irritating the eyes. Some say this effect has something to do with our body’s biochemistry. They say that some users are just more sensitive to the cannabinoids.
Cannabis also causes red eyes in some people. THC produces a dilating effect on the small blood vessels found in the eyes. As these small blood vessels expand, blood flow going through it increases, so they become more noticeable.
How do you get rid of these side effects?
These side effects go away after some time. But drinking lots of fluids helps relieve the side effects. So drink plenty of water before and after using cannabis. This can help keep you stay hydrated.
Sucking on some candy also helps. This stimulates salivary production and helps ease cotton mouth.
Can cannabis dehydrate you? Not really, but its effect on the cannabinoid receptors makes you feel you’re dehydrated.