Does Smoking or Consuming Cannabis Cause Bad Breath?


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Written by Nicolle Callier

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What’s worse than having stinky breath? Being completely oblivious to the fact that you have stinky breath. We can all admit at some time or another we’ve had questionable breath, and we’ve also encountered someone whose breath reminded us far too much of our first visit to the zoo. But can smoking cannabis give you bad breath?  If so, what are some ways to combat foul breath after hitting a joint or bong?

Generally, any method of consumption involved with smoking could lead to bad breath. But cannabis is tricky because one of the most common side effects of smoking it is xerostomia, or “cotton mouth” (which is slang for dry mouth in the cannabis community). THC decreases saliva production, making the mouth particularly dry. And when the mouth is dry, it’s practically a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.

Think of saliva as our mouth’s very own cleansing mechanism that washes away food particles, acids that erode at teeth and gums, and odor-causing microorganisms. But once the mouth’s flow of saliva dramatically decreases, unpleasant breath is likely to follow. Research shows that smoking cannabis could result in periodontal (gum) disease, another leading cause of bad breath. 

Along with being open and honest about your cannabis consumption to your dental health provider, there are some things you can do on your own to improve your oral hygiene. Here are a few tips on how to combat stinky breath from cannabis consumption:

1. Regularly Clean Your Cannabis Smoking Accessories

Your bad breath may be attributed to your filthy bong or pipe that you haven’t cleaned in who knows how long. Thoroughly clean your pieces to ensure you’re not inhaling bacteria and germs that are contributing to your bad breath.

2. Try a Different Method of Consumption

cannabis tincture

Since smoking blunts or joints could lead to stank breath, give edibles, tinctures, or THC capsules a chance.

3. Give Cannabis-Infused Mints a Try


You never know when you’re going to need a minty pick-me-up, especially after an unexpected smoke session. Mr. Moxey’s has a line of cannabis-infused mints that offer a variety of effects while keeping your breath clean and fresh.

4. Limit Sugary Munchie Foods

sugary brownies

I know it’s tempting, especially when you have a serious case of the munchies and your mouth feels like the Sahara desert, but limit the amount of soft drinks and carbohydrates you eat because a diet rich in these foods could lead to “plaque retention and a higher incidence of caries.”


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