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Why do I get cotton mouth when I smoke pot?

May 24, 2018

If you are anything like the growing majority of people in this country whom have ingested marijuana in some way, shape or form I'm sure you've felt some of it's effects. Otherwise, what was the point, right? Whether you eat it, smoke it or even drink it, pot impacts your mind and body.

 

After taking that bong hit, eating a weed brownie or puff puff passing on that joint, the next thing you know your tongue starts to feel as if it's stuck to the top of your mouth. Simple tasks such as swallowing begin taking way too much effort. As I'm sure your Science teacher must've glazed over the ins and outs of cotton mouth, we're here to provide you an explanation.

 

Biology 420

 

If you don't remember receptors from Science class, here's a quick refresher. Receptors are molecules that are attached to cells for the sole purpose of binding them with the proper chemical signals. Each receptor can only bind certain types of chemicals to it. When the attachment occurs, the cell that the receptor is connected to reacts accordingly and is triggered into action.

 

It's clear that receptors are a crucial part of what keeps your body operating smoothly. So if something were to, say, give the receptor the incorrect signal, your body is probably going to do- or worse, not do- something that it's supposed to be doing. I think you know where I'm going with all of this.

 

Saliva Saliva Saliva

 

Saliva is produced in three glands in your mouth, one of which has two types of receptors called cannabinoids. Sounds a lot like cannabis, huh? These particular receptors are actually found all over your body. When you ingest weed, the chemicals in the THC bind with the cannabinoid receptors. That's what ends up giving you the “high” feeling.

 

But when it comes to the receptors in your mouth, the THC chemicals send a wonky signal to the cells in the salivary glands. They temporarily stop operating sufficiently and your mouth doesn't produce it's usual amount of spit.

There you have it. So if someone tries to explain to you that cotton mouth has to do with the smoke, feel free to run Mythbusters on their ass with the facts. Regardless of your method of “relaxing” if there's THC involved at all, you're bound to experience a little dry mouth.

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