The minor syndrome of dry mouth, pasty mouth or mouth of cotton. And how to deal with it when you are a cannabis smoker?
Marijuana lovers know that there are common side effects that come from medication or cannabis, such as forgetfulness, red eyes or even being stuck on the couch ... Perhaps the most common side effect for Cannabis users is the appearance of dry mouth or pasty mouth after inhalation of marijuana or ingestion of edible products. In other words, the cotton mouth or in English the "cottonmouth". But how does this minor syndrome occur?
Minor syndrome of a dry mouth
Since 2006, the cotton mouth has been the subject of a research by a group of Argentine scientists from the University of Buenos Aires. Thanks to them, we now know a little more about this minor symptom ...
The answer lies in the endocannabinoid system of the body, which is found in every human being. Cannabinoid receptors - the key component of this system - act as binding sites for plant and human cannabinoids. They are found in many parts of the body, including the glands where saliva is produced.
It turns out that both types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are present in the submaxillary glands - a pair of glands located under the mouth. And of course, they are responsible for producing about 70% of our saliva ...
The parasympathetic nervous system
When a cannabinoid such as THC binds to its receptor, the submaxillary glands prevent receiving messages from the parasympathetic nervous system by instructing them to produce saliva - giving rise to an experience that perhaps only a full mouth of cotton could breed.
It's interesting to note that cannabinoids are supposed to block messages from the parasympathetic nervous system in two ways. First, by binding to the receptors in the salivary glands as well as the brain receptors from which the signals originate.
Here, marijuana teaches us another lesson in biology: the role of saliva in digestion. Which is almost guaranteed to happen when one deprives oneself of cravings (munchies). Saliva not only helps to lubricate the passage of food from the mouth to the stomach. But it also provides digestive enzymes that help break down starches and fats.
Tips for fighting dry mouth syndrome
The best way to fight, is to stay hydrated ... Water, ice chips, throat lozenges, etc. There are even special products like "Cottonmouth Bubble Gum" and "Throat Coat Herbal Tea".
Another tip, relieve dry mouth by sucking hard candies, especially sour flavors and fruits. These stimulate the production of saliva. Avoid all substances containing tannin, such as: black and green teas, or red wine, for example.
They have an astringent effect and cause a sensation of dryness, straw in the mouth ... This only makes things worse with marijuana. Avoid sugary drinks, salty snacks, alcohol and tobacco too.
Researchers have sought to use this knowledge to address the problems associated with the production of altered saliva. By targeting cannabinoid receptors, scientists may one day be able to increase or decrease salivary levels in patients who suffer from a variety of known conditions. Notably these diseases that create a permanent state of cotton mouth. Anyway, it's something we can not complain about ...