Cannabis use can make you feel thirsty. You may have experienced a feeling of thirst when smoking or ingesting cannabis that made you drink water. Can cannabis dehydrate you?
The answer is a little complicated. While it’s true that cannabis can make you thirstier than usual, it doesn’t cause dehydration in the same way as drinking too much alcohol or caffeine does.
A lot of people are curious if cannabis can dehydrate you. Fortunately, this article answers common cannabis and thirst questions such as “Does smoking weed cause dehydration?”, “Why does weed make you thirsty?”, “Do edibles dehydrate you,” and, “Can THC dehydrate you?”
By the end of this article, you’ll understand the feelings of thirst associated with cannabis use and know if cannabis can dehydrate you.
Does weed dehydrate you? It's a common question with a complicated answer. To be able to answer this question we first must understand what dehydration is.
The Mayo Clinic explains that "dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don't replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated."
We lose fluids daily through breathing, sweat, tears, urine, bowel movements, and saliva. When we over-exercise or are not well and experience fever, heavy sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea the amount of water and fluids the body loses exponentially increases which can lead to dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration in adults include:
Weed can cause dehydration in a very small subset of long-term frequent use cannabis consumers who develop Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a condition that leads to repeated and severe bouts of vomiting.
More research on Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is needed. What is currently understood about it is that the body of a heavy cannabis consumer stops responding to the anti-nausea properties found in cannabis and instead induces nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and consequently dehydration (as a result of vomiting).
Marijuana consumption does not prompt the body to lose fluids. If you are not a long-term frequent cannabis consumer with Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome it is unlikely that you will ever become dehydrated from the consumption of marijuana.
Even when you consume marijuana and feel thirsty it is important to note that the Mayo Clinic shares that most adults don't feel thirsty until they're already dehydrated and that "thirst isn't always a reliable early indicator of the body's need for water."
Edibles do not dehydrate you. It is important to note that while edibles will not dehydrate you, it is possible to become dehydrated if you consume too many edibles. The effects of an edible can last much longer than smoking or vaping cannabis (anywhere from 6-12 hours) and if you find yourself consumed by the high it is easy to forget to drink water.
If you are ever unsure if you are drinking enough water while consuming edibles be sure to check your urine color. If your urine is dark yellow then you need to hydrate and drink more water.
Now that you have answers to the question "Does weed dehydrate you" and "Do edibles dehydrate you" you may be wondering "Does smoking weed cause dehydration." Let’s dive into smoking weed and dehydration. Smoking weed involves two components: the effects of cannabis and the effects of smoke.
Smoking weed does not dehydrate you, however smoking can dry out your mouth. While THC causes feelings of thirst, the effects are temporary and are not related to dehydration.
It's important to keep in mind that while cannabis may not cause dehydration, it can make you feel thirstier than usual. So, while weed won't cause you to lose fluids like other diuretics such as alcohol or caffeine, it can make you feel thirsty which can lead to consuming more fluids and even possibly over-hydrating.
Have you ever experienced a dry mouth when consuming cannabis? If so, you're not alone. If you have ever experienced "cottonmouth" and wondered the answer to this question, you'll want to check out "why does weed make you thirsty?"
But to give you an overview: when you consume THC through inhalation, ingestion, buccally, or sublingually, the THC attaches to submandibular glands, which are glands in your mouth that produce saliva. Submandibular glands have cannabinoid receptors. When THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the submandibular glands, saliva production is inhibited. When saliva production is inhibited, your mouth feels dry, prompting the urge to drink water.
The thirst sensation from weed is the result of temporary low saliva production brought on by THC binding to salivary glands, rather than from dehydration. THC does not directly induce or cause the body to lose fluids - which is necessary for a substance to cause dehydration. In other words, THC does not dehydrate you.
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