Cotton mouth is a common and unfortunate side effect of cannabis. Some of the active compounds in the herb directly engage with receptors in the mouth which control the production of saliva. As a result, you might find that your mouth and lips become insanely dry, sticky, and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are a few simple solutions to this problem. Here are 10 ways to get rid of cotton mouth.
1. Sour candy
While most people know that candy isn’t good for your teeth, sour candy can trigger the flow of saliva. Glands in the mouth respond differently to different tastes, and sour flavors often come with a rush of moisture. Sucking on a hard candy can ease cotton mouth and provide you with relief that lasts as long as the candy.
2. Slowly drink water through a straw
When you have cotton mouth, your body needs one thing: moisture. Drinking water through a straw stimulates moisture production in two ways. You directly take water into your body, providing hydration.
Sucking on a straw also stimulates saliva production, which is the most nourishing fluid for your mouth. You might even find that using a straw allows you to drink more water.
3. Avoid caffeine and most teas
Caffeine found in coffees and teas can contribute to dry mouth. Caffeine is a diuretic. A diuretic is something that forces the production of urine. Caffeine causes the kidneys to hold onto water.
The kidneys then pass this water through urine rather than reabsorb it back into the blood. Even if you drink a cup of water after drinking a cup of coffee, you might find that you need to urinate more frequently and you may still feel dehydrated.
Teas also contain compounds called tannins, which are astringent plant compounds. Astringents tend to shrink pores and dehydrate skin and bodily tissues. This will cause sensations of dryness.
4. Nose breathe
If your mouth is dry, breathing through your nose can prevent it from drying out even further. Mouth breathing causes more moisture to leave the area, further aggravating cotton mouth. For best results, see tip number seven below.
Sugar-free gum is thought to be one of the best ways to get rid of dry mouth of all sorts. Gums containing xylitol are thought to help maintain a neutral pH of the mouth. This means that you can fight tooth decay while simultaneously getting rid of a dry mouth.
6. Avoid alcohol
If you have cotton mouth, sipping a beer isn’t going to help. Alcohol can make cotton mouth worse. Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic. It would better sip on some plain water or suck on an ice cube.
7. Use saline to hydrate your nose
Cotton mouth isn’t the only side effect of inhaling cannabis. Nasal passages can get quite dry as well, aggravating the sinuses, mouth, throat, and sense of taste. A saline spray can hydrate the ear, nose, and throat areas. This is a welcome relief to a dry mouth.
8. Turn on a humidifier or inhale some steam
Want to relieve cotton mouth and open your pores at the same time? Turning up the humidity can add moisture to your mouth and nose through the air. If you need instant relief, try holding your face over a steaming bowl or sink. Throwing in a splash of lemon or some essential oils will transform getting rid of cotton mouth into a relaxing spa-like treat.
9. Suck on lemon
Sucking on a lemon or an orange slice is a natural way to stimulate saliva production. Lemons and oranges are both sour. Not only does this taste nice and refreshing, but it can flood the mouth with moisturizing saliva.
10. Take small sips of water
When your mouth is really dry, it may be more refreshing to take small sips of water than to just chug away. Small sips will moisturize your mouth a little at a time, as well as give the salivary glands a chance to kick in. For optimal effect, swish each sip around a little bit or mimic the act of chewing.