Arguably the most common downside of smoking cannabis is a sore throat. Inhaling marijuana can irritate the throat and spoil an otherwise pleasant experience. We’ll walk you through why this happens, and offer remedies to treat it.
Smoking cannabis comes with many wonderful effects. But, it can also have some less-than-enjoyable side effects, one of which is the dreaded dry mouth or “cottonmouth”. This is when your throat and mouth become dry and irritated after smoking.
Given how common it is for one to get a sore throat from smoking weed, we’ve looked into what causes it, and how you can help soothe your throat.
Can Marijuana Really Cause a Sore Throat?
The quick answer here is, yes! However, let us explain a little. Although marijuana is often seen as a means of treating various conditions, and rightly so, it still has the ability to do some harm – like most things. If you are enjoying marijuana by smoking it, whether that be in a joint or a bong, or however you prefer – then you are still inhaling substances that can irritate the throat.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIH), marijuana smoke actually contains carcinogenic combustion products, so it is a no brainer that if you are enjoying a lengthy smoking sesh with your pals – you’re bound to feel the effects of hours of toking!
Don’t get us wrong – we are serious advocates for the healthy consumption of cannabis, but there is no point in beating about the bush here. We all know what cottonmouth, or dry mouth, is, and it is famously associated with our favorite bud. The inhalation of hot and dry air results in a dry mouth and throat, which can easily become sore and irritated if you leave it unattended and continue to smoke.
So, now that we have established that yes, smoking weed can and often will lead to a sore throat – we can get onto the reason you are all here!
We realize everyone is different, seasoned cannabis users may have years of experience and certain routines in order to combat or minimize the results of endless smoking. But, if you are lacking inspiration or are brand new to smoking – stick with us for six easy things you can do to help with a sore post-weed throat!
Let’s start with the most obvious one, and probably the one that most people know about but still fail to do! Staying hydrated is always important, but if you are planning on a smoke, whether it is just a little pick me up or a full evening of smoking, you need to stay hydrated with water.
It is free, and there is nothing more beneficial for you when it comes to combating that pesky dry mouth, we all know and hate. Trust us when we say that drinking a healthy amount of water before, during and after smoking will help your throat stay moist and clear and will also help avoid cottonmouth better than any other drink!
So, stock the fridge with some icy cold water, for those times when your throat is burning up! Ahhhh…
2. Enjoy Soothing Foods
When we’re sick, we get our parents to cook us noodle soup and dote on us with ice-cream and the like… No? Just us? Well, the point we are making here, albeit badly, is that soothing foods can aid a sore throat, even when the cause isn’t illness, but rather an insatiable craving for pot!
This tip is doubly beneficial because what do we love more when we’re flying high than delicious culinary delights? Stock your fridge with your favorite flavor of ice cream, and make sure you have soft, easy foods to hand for when water just won’t do it.
3. The Old Salt Water Gargle
Another oldie but goodie, is the old-school salt water gargle. Yes, this is usually reserved for the sick or those with some kind of throat infection, but actually, gargling salt water can ease a very sore throat in the same way it could if you were genuinely ill.
Don’t get us wrong, swilling salty water around your mouth is bad at the best of times, but with your taste buds ramped up to 11 during a state of high, it is bound to be disgusting! However, in the name of relief, it can really help, especially if you put the salt into lukewarm water rather than cold.
4. Inject Some Moisture into the Air
Where do you like to enjoy your pot? Are you a great outdoors smoker, or do you prefer to draw the curtains and hide away indoors? It may not seem like it, but your location can actually have a huge impact on how sore your throat gets from smoking weed.
If you are more of an indoor type, then we recommend investing in a vaporizer or a humidifier which can help inject a little moisture into hot and dry air. Without it, you can be unknowingly subjecting your throat to more heat and harsh air as you aren’t letting any fresh air in. Using one of the above during the night can clear the space, leaving you to wake up feeling fresher than ever.
5. Take a Step Back
Okay, so you may not like this one – but we have a valid point. If you are smoking weed a lot and you suffer from a sore throat more than you don’t, then it may be time to take a break from bud…
Unpopular opinion, we know. But the fact is that subjecting your throat to persistently harsh substances will prevent your throat from recovering, and in severe cases, it could even lead on to more serious issues such as bronchitis.
Simply by taking a few days or a week off can help your throat recover and can make your next cannabis experience one you can truly enjoy to its full potential!
6. Explore Your Options
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly – we advise anybody struggling with a persistent sore throat from smoking weed to explore your options. If you have tried our above tips, or even if you haven’t – sometimes the answer lays in your methods. We are all different, and while one person may be able to smoke back to back joints without issue, the next may struggle after just a couple of tokes, so it pays to see what other options are out there.
So, what are the choices available if you’re considering venturing out from joints and bongs?
Vaping: Vaping can be a healthier, more discreet way of enjoying both THC and CBD, and it is significantly less harsh on the throat too! The great thing about vaping is that it cools the air down before it hits your throat, and you can also choose from dozens of designs and styles allowing for a really personalized experience!