Should You Consume Cannabis While Fully Hydrated or Parched?
Water is “the most essential component” in the human body. It is the “building material for cells and body fluids” and the transporter of nutrients.  On average, 60% of the adult human body and 75% of the adult human brain is water. Given how important water is for physiological and cognitive functioning, is hydration one of the factors you can control to improve your cannabis experience? Our data indicates that it is.
If you aren’t familiar with how Jointly helps you fine tune your cannabis experience to get the results you want, head over to Achieving Your Wellness Goals with Cannabis and CBD to get an overview of how the Jointly app can help you get the most out of the legal cannabis world.
What Does Science Say About Being Hydrated?
Surprisingly, there is insufficient research as to what is the optimal amount of water people should consume to prevent diseases or improve health. But it is well established that even mild dehydration causes a host of problems, such as fatigue, worse mood and impaired attention and memory.
Researchers have conducted various experiments in which they gave water to two groups of participants, one of which was “fluid deprived” and the other of which was adequately hydrated. They found that giving water to the dehydrated group led to an “enhanced state of arousal,” with better alertness, attention and reaction time. But even giving water to the adequately hydrated group led to “enhanced alertness and visual attention.”
So, are you thirsty, yet?
Does Cannabis Cause Dehydration?
There is a common misconception that cannabis or CBD causes dehydration because of dry mouth or “cotton mouth.”
The explanation for dry mouth is simple: marijuana use decreases saliva secretion because cannabinoids interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the salivary glands. But there is no scientific evidence that cannabis or CBD causes dehydration.
In fact, due to decades of federal prohibition on cannabis, there hasn’t been much research at all into hydration and cannabis, or whether hydration level impacts a cannabis user’s experience. However, Jointly has gathered some early data from our users indicating that hydration level does affect their cannabis experience—and we found some surprising results!
Jointly Hydration Report
Jointly users have been ranking cannabis and CBD products on scale of 1-10, based on how successful the product is at helping them achieve their wellness goals. Our users are also tracking if they are consuming these products while fully hydrated, partly hydrated, partly dehydrated or parched in order to learn what factors affect their cannabis experience. You can compare the average ratings for products across wellness goals and hydration level using the table below.
When Jointly users consumed a cannabis product to Relax while fully hydrated, they rated the product an average of 9.4/10. But when they consumed the same product while parched, they rated the product an average of 7.7/10. That’s a 22% improvement in rating for the same product if the individual is fully hydrated versus parched.
The graph below presents the percentage difference in product ratings based on wellness goal, depending on if Jointly users consumed a product while fully hydrated versus parched.
For Relieve Stress, our users rated cannabis and CBD products 24% higher if they consumed them while fully hydrated versus parched. For Reduce Anxiety, there was a 12% increase, and a 22% increase for Improve Sleep. For Escape, our users rated products 16% higher when they consumed them while fully hydrated versus parched.
Our data indicates that hydration levels matter most for the goals of Recover and Manage Pain. For Manage Pain, Jointly users rated products 37% higher if they consumed them while fully hydrated versus parched; and for Recover, our users rated products a whopping 47% higher when consuming them while fully hydrated.
Unexpectedly, our data indicates that for the wellness goals of Enjoy Social Experiences and Focus or Create, being fully hydrated might have an adverse effect. For Enjoy Social Experiences, our users rated products 26% higher when they consumed them while parched versus fully hydrated. For Focus or Create, Jointly users rated products 38% higher when they consumed them while parched versus fully hydrated.
We found similar results in Cannabis, CBD and Stomach Status. While we do not know the mechanism of action behind these findings, we can hypothesize. Dehydration is associated with an increase in sympathetic nervous activity, which sends a signal to the body to constrict blood vessels and increase water uptake in the kidneys. While we often associate increased sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation with the “fight or flight” response, the SNS also plays an important role in controlling attention and “reward-related activity,” so it is associated “not just with stress response, but also with an enhanced motivation towards a reward or a goal.”
The reward can be either extrinsic, like praise, or intrinsic, like the feeling of satisfaction gained from a positive social interaction or by entering a flow state while focusing intently.
Both Improve Social Experiences and Focus or Create are wellness goals oriented towards an intrinsic reward. If dehydration is associated with an increase in SNS activity, perhaps our parched users are tapping into this “reward-related pathway” when they are using cannabis or CBD with the goals of Focus or Create and Improve Social Experiences.
We don’t yet have enough data to break it down further into ingestion method or cannabinoid type, but that is on the horizon for Jointly. We will be publishing new editions of this report as we gather more data and can draw new insights about how hydration level affects a cannabis user’s experience.
Getting Answers with Jointly
Curious about tracking and optimizing how you use cannabis and CBD? Create a Jointly account and start setting wellness goals, tracking your experience, and adjusting how you use cannabis to achieve the results you want! By recording your sessions on Jointly, you are also contributing valuable information that other members of our community can use to improve their cannabis or CBD experience. The more people that use Jointly, the more useful and reliable the data becomes. Download the Jointly app, join the community, and begin your cannabis wellness journey today!