Updated: Oct 25
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.
WHY DOES SMOKING WEED MAKE YOU COUGH?
The thing is, your throat doesn’t just get dry and irritated after enjoying a nice sesh; it also usually comes with a nasty cough. And once you start coughing, it aggravates your throat further, making you cough even more, which means even more irritation and more coughing… Well, you get the idea.
FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO A DRY THROAT WHEN SMOKING CANNABIS
So, what exactly is it that irritates your throat when you’re smoking cannabis? Let’s take a look!
BREATHING IN HOT SMOKE
Of course, when you’re enjoying hits from a joint or pipe, what you’re doing is inhaling hot smoke. The hot smoke heats up and dries out your throat and nasal passages. Check. But heat isn’t the only thing that contributes to this nasty side effect, otherwise we’d just need a glass of water and we’d be fine.
SUBSTANCES IN THE SMOKE FURTHER AGGRAVATE MATTERS
The passageway from your pharynx to the bronchioles in your lungs is now hot, dry, and irritated; it may even start to hurt. At this point, it would much rather not be further aggravated. But, that’s exactly what we’re doing since, after all, we’re smoking weed. The substances in your weed, including aromatic terpenes and cannabinoids, but also toxins from the smoke itself, will irritate your (already irritated) throat even more.
THC INHIBITS SALIVA PRODUCTION
When it comes to having a dry throat, you would think that the body would respond by producing more saliva to help things out a bit. And now comes the unfortunate part: cannabinoids such as THC and CBD may actually inhibit saliva production.
Well, say hello to a nasty, dry throat, lots of coughing, and the wonderful world of cottonmouth, courtesy of the same substance that also makes you high. Bummer, isn’t it?
HOW TO TREAT A SORE THROAT FROM SMOKING CANNABIS
After all, what beats ripping a nice bowl with your friends? Let’s talk about how you can treat throat irritation and pain from smoking.
This should come as a no-brainer: stay hydrated! Nothing rehydrates a dry throat like a glass of water. Know that cool water is best for this purpose. Avoid hot drinks like coffee or tea.
USE LOZENGES OR CANDY
The same candies you can find to soothe a cold will do a good job for “weed throat” as well. Sucking on a sweet candy or a lozenge stimulates saliva production, which helps keep your mouth and throat moist. Most of the time, throat lozenges also contain local anaesthetics that can help with irritation and speed up the healing process.
HAVE A BOWL OF CHICKEN SOUP
A hearty bowl of chicken soup has long been used as a home remedy for symptoms of the common cold and flu. It soothes and moistens the throat, which makes it great for a sore throat from smoking weed. As an additional bonus, it provides a filling meal!