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Sore Throat From Smoking Cannabis: Causes And Cure

Like so many of life’s pleasures, smoking cannabis can have some undesirable side effects. Experiencing a sore throat after smoking is among the most common of these and is often accompanied by a dry mouth. This is otherwise known as cotton mouth.

Though annoying and uncomfortable, throat irritation of this kind causes no lasting health effects and can easily be soothed. Fortunately, there’s no need to suffer unnecessarily.

Why Does Smoking Cannabis Give You A Sore Throat?

Smoking involves the inhalation of hot, combusted material, which can be a lot for the sensitive lining of the respiratory system to handle. As this hot smoke dries out your tubes, the soft tissue at the back of the throat can become inflamed. Cannabis smoke can also contain tiny particles of plant material, which may further irritate the throat and other respiratory passages.

cannabis sore throat

On top of that, terpenes and cannabinoids can sometimes contribute to the development of a sore throat when smoking cannabis. Generally known for their positive effects, these compounds occasionally produce less welcome outcomes. For instance, THC may inhibit saliva production, preventing the mouth and throat from moistening and exacerbating the discomfort that sometimes comes with smoking marijuana.

How To Avoid Throat Pain When Getting High

As with most weed-related problems, sore throats and dryness are always more likely when smoking low-quality gear. The best way to avoid this scenario is therefore to ensure that you only consume the good stuff. Cannabis that’s not been cured properly is particularly harsh and often causes a sore throat in addition to tasting terrible.

Smoking weed that’s been treated with too many chemicals and pesticides can also be a nasty experience as the extra toxins and carcinogens in the smoke irritate the respiratory passages.

Avoid Dangerous Inhaling Techniques

And while most cannabis users don’t appreciate being lectured on the basics of getting high, it’s worth mentioning that toking techniques can affect the throat too. For instance, while many people think it’s necessary to hold smoke in the lungs for as long as possible to maximise their cannabinoid intake, this isn’t the case.

As long as you inhale slowly and fully, you’ll absorb all the THC, CBD and other goodies in your cannabis smoke. There’s no need to hold your breath before exhaling. Doing so can have a negative impact and lead to greater irritation of the lungs and throat.

Consider Where you Smoke

If you have a particular spot that you like to smoke in – such as your bedroom or living room – then it might also be worth investing in a humidifier. Dry air is never good for the throat and can cause pain even when you’re not getting baked. That being the case, it’s all the more important to make sure you’re breathing in good quality air when blazing, and a humidifier can help you ensure that your intake is never dry.

Change up your Consumption Method

Of course, you could also bypass smoking spliffs and blunts altogether in your quest to avoid throat pain. Vaping, for instance, involves the inhalation of vapour (obviously!) rather than smoke. While this can still cause irritation, vapour is less hot than smoke and contains fewer chemicals. It is also devoid of combusted plant material, and is therefore much less likely to ruin your sesh by giving you a wounded windpipe.

Many stoners also prefer using a bong to smoking a joint. Like water pipes, bongs work by passing smoke over water before delivering it to the user’s mouth. This cools the smoke and draws out some of the toxins, resulting in a smoother, cleaner hit that is less likely to result in a sore throat.

Finally, edibles are an excellent choice for those who don’t like the idea of inhaling anything. From space cakes to gummies, edible weed comes in many forms and offers a mode of ingestion that bypasses the throat and lungs altogether. Typically, edibles take a little longer to produce an effect than smoking or vaping but tend to hit harder once they kick in.

How To Treat A Sore Throat From Smoking Weed

The first and most obvious thing to do if your throat is in pain is to drink water. As previously mentioned, cannabis use can dry out the respiratory passages and cause a sore throat, so rehydrating is the best way to remedy the situation and eliminate discomfort.

Sucking on candy also helps as it stimulates the production of saliva. This moistens the mouth and throat to combat dryness. Throat lozenges are particularly useful as they often contain small amounts of painkillers. Sucking on one of these therefore provides the double-whammy effect of directly reducing throat pain while simultaneously wetting the palate.

More Tips to Soothe Your Throat

If you really want to kill multiple birds with one stone, then why not try weed candy? Sucking on these sugary edibles will get you high while at the same time soothing your throat. Happy days!

Speaking of eating, warm foods can help to soothe the throat, with soups and drinks being the most beneficial. Chicken soup is a classic remedy for throat pain, although herbal tea also works. Adding a spoonful of honey to your tea is always a good idea and can help reduce inflammation if your airways are irritated. In fact, something as simple as a glass of warm water can do the trick. That said, you’ll probably want something a little more indulgent if you’ve got the munchies.

If all else fails, try gargling with salt water. Simply mix half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle to your heart’s content. Doing so helps to draw water out of oral tissues, resulting in more moisture in the mouth and throat. This is a home remedy for sore throats that has been used for centuries. It’s a tried and tested method and remains one of the best ways to appease your respiratory apparatus.

Just be careful not to swallow any salt water, or you could end up in even greater discomfort!

Lastly, you could simply take a break from smoking weed. After all, if your throat is sore, it probably needs rest, and you’re unlikely to recover if you keep on toking. Put away the joint, and let your inflamed tissue recuperate. You can get back on the weed at a later date when your throat is in better shape.

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

Ben Taub