Is Cottonmouth Spoiling your Cannabis Experience? I deal with both chronic pain and sleep issues. Opiates of been a part of my life to the better part of 30 years. My conditions, both pain and sleep, are progressive. After a while living with pain becomes something you put up with. But years without a good night’s sleep can make life unbearable.
For me, cannabis doesn’t help my pain. Well, that is unless you count the THC high that glosses your reality to the point that maybe you don’t care about the pain as much, but it’s still there. My interest in cannabis was solely for helping me sleep through the night. That became impossible until I learned that there is something could do about it.
The Dreaded Cottonmouth Experience
Cottonmouth, or as Raymond Reddington calls it, “The Post-Toasties” is almost universal. That said, if someone already deals with dry mouth symptoms it makes it even harder to deal with. Add to that the hobby of vaping e-liquid, which causes some dehydration, and you can have a real problem.
The Official Word from the Mayo Clinic
Dry mouth, or xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh), refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. – Mayo Clinic
… And some people can have multiple reasons for it. It sucks.
A few years ago, our own Julia Barnes (Julia Hartley-Barnes that is) wrote a definitive piece on dehydration and even in 2020 it shows up in our Top 20 landing pages every week. (Though it should be updated, Julia – ED)
Simply put, if you vape you should hydrate more often. It works wonders.
Cottonmouth and Marijuana
While I could write 10,000 words about dry mouth and medications, vaping, causes, diseases, and more, I’m going to limit this piece to occurrences cottonmouth while using marijuana, in any form.
Whether you smoke pot, mix it in edibles, vape it, or ingest it in other forms, the THC will cause a certain cottonmouth experience. To the lucky, those that don’t have to deal with dry mouth at all, smoking dope is a pleasant experience.
Those of us that do deal with dry mouth, cottonmouth becomes almost frightening. Imagine taking a couple of tokes from a joint or vape pen (just make sure your THC cartridge comes from a reliable dispensary. God help you if you decide to buy a bootleg cartridge). While your senses are being “altered” you find yourself unable to swallow. Your throat closes up, you begin to get nervous, try drinking some water, maybe soda, coffee, or tea, and it doesn’t make a dent. Now you’re afraid to fall asleep, thinking you might wake up with a bone-dry mouth. That’s happened to me before.
“Try Cannabis for Your Sleep Troubles”
My pain doctor told me that cannabis might be an excellent way to get off Ambien, which I had taken for 20 years. Ambien is wicked effective, but my insurance policy removed it from their formulary. If I want it, I pay full freight, more than $200 a month.
I fill out the application for a Cannabis Card. New Hampshire legalized marijuana for medical reasons, but the application and one-year ID card is $250. A hefty investment, no?
I get my ID card. Visit the dispensary in Merrimack NH. I buy an assortment of cannabis. After explaining my symptoms, pain, and sleep, I’m given a few leads on some strains and some THC levels I should try. I leave the store with $300 less than I had when walking in.
The Cottonmouth Blues
My first experience since high school (the pre-dry mouth days) all it took was two tokes from a THC vape pen and I was higher than I have ever been before. Immediately I think, “Yes, I spent more than I wanted to, but with marijuana this potent, it’s going to last.”
After 10 minutes the post toasties kicked in and cottonmouth reared its worst effects. Though I went into this for help with sleeping, I found that sleeping, even for a few hours, was impossible.
Cottonmouth Ruined my Cannabis Experience
I decided that the money I spent on cannabis products wasn’t going to do me any good unless I could find a real cure for cottonmouth. I went looking…
Investigating the reasons for cottonmouth, I had more than a dozen reasons for it. From certain health issues to medications, and yes, vaping. But come on, we put men on the moon decades ago, surely there had to be a cure.
Biotene – SmartMouth (love the name!) – ACT mouthwash, – Others
I use Biotene Mouth Spray during the day. I’ve experimented with some others and wound up ending the night with Biotene Mouthwash. On nights when I didn’t consume cannabis my dry mouth issues were over, though it felt like adding two more medications to my daily regime.
At first, I thought maybe I could try cannabis again. Wrong! Vaping, edibles, and even smoking a joint, they all caused cottonmouth just as badly as before.
Then I went searching for something that might work THROUGH the night and made the decision to try XyliMelts Discs for Dry Mouth.
XyliMelts Discs are safe and effective. The cool thing about these discs is that at night, right before turning in, you take two discs and place them in your mouth. The tan side of each disc sticks to your tooth, or tooth and gum if need be. After less than a minute that “set.” After five minutes they are very difficult to remove, which is good. No need to worry about choking on them during the night.
How XyliMelts Discs works for Cottonmouth
As I previously mentioned, during the day I use Biotene spray as often as I need to. At night I rinse with Biotene mouthwash. Using these products, I can drink coffee or vape to my heart’s content without dry mouth. And every night I place two XyliMelts on each side of my mouth. I wake up without dry mouth every time.
Once I was satisfied that it worked, I wanted to try marijuana for sleeping again. A few months before I purchased a couple of joints containing an average amount of THC. I took a few hits from the joint, put it out in the ashtray purchased just for joints, and relaxed.
For good measure on the first night I hit the Biotene spray once while finding the right music to fall asleep to (HELIOS “Unleft”). As the discs began to work, I felt this truly wonderous feeling of calm come over me. Since I didn’t take an Ambien I expected to toss and turn while falling asleep, but that didn’t happen. Instead, my mind absorbed the ambient music and I drifted off…. All night long.
No More Cottonmouth
While it is not a cure, it does work. Myself? Still using Biotene spray and mouthwash. I continue spray Biotene during the day. Drink coffee and vape when I want. And enjoy these things more than enough to fight for them with this symptom relievers.
Most important, however, is that using just a couple of tokes from a joint or a vape pen, I no longer use Ambien. I sleep better than ever now, and for a full nine hours.
It’s also true that when I do wake up, I spray the inside of my mouth with Biotene to get a jump on dry mouth that will appear by the time I get to the office. The biggest benefit is no more cottonmouth while being high from marijuana. No more “post toasties.”
There’s tons of content on the web about what causes dry mouth and how to combat it. Not everything they say works universally, but with some experimentation, you can find relief. Though the products above work for me, I have to tell you that staying hydrated during the day is still vital to your health. Drink plenty of water, just sip it all day and it will become second nature.
Bonus Information (because I think you need to know)
I used to drink 12-15 bottles of Poland Spring water per day. Then I saw one of the cutest actors in the world, Dominique Provost-Chalkley (fromWynonna Earp), give a talk about how much damage these plastic bottles are causing for our planet.
Dominique is seen nearly all the time with this reusable water bottle (she even takes it on stage!) so I thought I’d throw in my support and buy a couple. You can choose your own colors or patterns here.
If you have been fighting cottonmouth, or just dry mouth, this is a really good way to fix it. You can, too.