Cannabis or ‘weed’ is a common drug that is smoked for its medicinal purposes or for recreational use. Those that have smoked weed in the past or are regular smokers will be familiar with the dry mouth sensation that accompanies it.
There is no limit to how much an individual needs to smoke before they feel these effects, as it completely depends on the person and how they react to it. Someone who has smoked weed regularly may not feel as dehydrated as someone who has never smoked before.
Many smokers may question if this dry feeling in their mouths means they are actually becoming dehydrated. This article discusses whether you can become dehydrated from smoking weed.
What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. The adult male body is made up of around 60% water, so it is important that we remain hydrated. Current guidelines indicate we should drink around three liters of water per day to stay hydrated.
When the body becomes dehydrated, it can strain a number of functions and lead to serious health problems if the issue keeps reoccurring.
One of the main organs impacted by dehydration is the kidneys, chronic dehydration can lead to kidney stones and reduced kidney function.
The symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling sleepy
- Urinating less frequently
- Feeling thirsty
- Feeling lightheaded and dizzy
- Extremely dark yellow urine that has a strong smell
- Aching muscles
If you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms, it is important that you seek the advice of a pharmacist and drink plenty of fluids right away to combat the symptoms. For more serious cases, alert a medical professional.
How Does Weed Affect The Body?
As we have mentioned, smoking weed leaves you with a dry mouth. This occurs as the main psychoactive compound in the drug, known as THC, binds to the salivary glands’ receptors.
When the THC binds to the receptors, the parasympathetic nervous system is blocked which means no saliva is secreted. Therefore, the more you smoke the more you will feel the effects of this process and your mouth will become drier.
Although this may be frustrating or uncomfortable for some, there is no way around it apart from stopping smoking completely.
A simple way to remedy the dryness is to sip fluids such as water or a sugar-free soda to restore the feelings of wetness in the mouth.
Does Weed Actually Dehydrate You?
The drying of the mouth makes us question whether this correlates with the body’s water levels and contributes to dehydration. After all, having a dry mouth is a symptom of dehydration.
On the whole, there is no evidence to suggest that the drying of the mouth when smoking weed has any impact on the body’s water levels. Although you may feel dehydrated, smoking does not cause it.
Those that are displaying symptoms of dehydration after smoking weed were likely dehydrated before they did so. As the human body is constantly using water and disposing of it (urinating, sweating) we need to keep it topped up where possible.
Can You Prevent Dehydration When Smoking?
Yes, of course you can prevent dehydration when smoking weed! As it doesn’t actually dehydrate you in the first place, it’s best to counteract the feeling of dehydration.
The best way to prevent feeling dehydrated when smoking weed is to stay as hydrated as possible before you start smoking. This could be drinking a large glass of water or another hydrating beverage.
One rule which is best to follow when smoking weed is to avoid drinking alcohol. When mixed together this can make you feel even more dehydrated as alcohol is a diuretic.
This means that your body removes fluids through the systems in place a lot quicker leading to dehydration.
If you do decide to drink alcohol and smoke weed in a close timeframe then be sure to drink plenty of water as well. Not only will this reduce your feelings of thirst, but it will also make you feel a lot better the next day.
There are a number of hydrating drinks that you can consume when you smoke weed to prevent you from feeling thirsty other than water. Examples of these include:
- Sports drinks with electrolytes in them
- Coconut water
- Herbal tea
Can You Get A Weed Hangover?
There is much debate about the validity of whether there is such a thing as a ‘weed hangover’. It is thought that they are pretty rare and usually mild, leaving the individual feeling tired, lethargic, and dehydrated.
Obviously, this will depend on how much the individual has smoked the previous evening and if they have also drunk alcohol.
Most people should be fine if they stay within their limits, but as with many things in life, we can have a tendency to overindulge, or perhaps the weed and dosage are stronger than they are used to.
The feelings of dehydration could be due to the fact that the individual may have gone to sleep without drinking water or withdrawal. Sometimes a nice refreshing shower can be enough to have you feeling good as new in the morning.
But you should also consider having a nice nutritious breakfast, a cup of herbal tea, and a glass of water to kick the feeling of a weed hangover. If this doesn’t relieve the feelings of a headache you can also take some painkillers.
Things To Avoid
Avoid caffeine if you are experiencing a weed hangover as this will make you feel worse in terms of dehydration and headache symptoms. Similarly, avoid eating salty processed foods such as chips, bacon, and fast food.
The Bottom Line
Smoking weed is not a cause of dehydration but it can lead to feelings of dehydration if the person is not careful. One of the main effects caused by smoking is a dry mouth, therefore it’s important to keep a drink nearby and stay hydrated when drinking.
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