We truly understand how cannabis smoke can make your throat irritated and sore, especially when you’re a beginner and just starting out. Ever wondered why that happens?
The mucous membranes present in our throat are responsible for keeping it lubricated at all times. Smoking cannabis causes these membranes to dry out resulting in a dry throat and mouth, hence the cottonmouth you experience after smoking cannabis.
This dryness serves as the harbinger of dry cough and other throat related issues. A dry throat is more vulnerable to irritants as compared to a normal lubricated throat and the smoke, which results after the process of combustion, is itself a strong irritant. Furthermore, the absence of lubricating fluid in our throats makes them exposed to irritants and pollutants thus resulting in a dry cough, soreness, or irritation.
Although the sore throat that results from smoking cannabis does not last long but is inarguably a downside that spoils an otherwise pleasant smoking experience. At The Canna School, we care for your health as much as your cannabis pleasure, so furthermore, here are 10 ways to treat a sore throat after smoking weed.
1. Hydrate Yourself (Drink Water)
Nobody likes to drink or eat when they have a sore, swollen throat. But, staying hydrated is extremely important to cure a sore throat.
When you are dehydrated, the mucous membranes in your throat and mouth cannot produce enough saliva to keep the throat naturally lubricated. It is problematic especially when your throat is already inflamed. Therefore, hydration helps the body to balance the production of saliva and helps in reducing inflammation. Also, make sure that the water is either at room temperature or slightly warm.
Pro Tip: Keep a water bottle by your side while you’re having a joint session and keep taking small sips in between.
2. Take Steam
Old age wisdom is gold for a reason. Taking steam while a sore throat is irritating you is one of the best remedies out there. Steam provides instant relief as it calms down the inflammation and hydrates the cells in your throat and vocal cords. Two minutes into taking steam and we can guarantee you’ll feel its soothing effects kick in.
For the traditional method, drape a towel over your head to create some vacuum and carefully lean over a hot water tub to breathe in the steam. You can also utilize a steamer for this purpose. P.S: While this is an effective home remedy, it can also be dangerous if not handled with vigilance since steam can give you quite a hefty burn if it’s too hot.
3. Salt Water Gargle
You’ve probably heard about this one too. Maybe you can remember running with a sore throat from your mother with a glass of warm water (with salt). No doubt, this is the first remedy that our mothers suggest if we complain about a sore throat. Saltwater gargles can be extremely beneficial for symptomatic relief as well as a preventive measure.
The warm salt water creates a high-salt barrier and it pulls out a lot of fluids from the tissues in the throat area that are causing the swelling and soreness. The salt acts as a magnet by pulling the mucus out of your swollen, inflamed throat tissue and helps relieve the discomfort. (Recall the concept of osmosis!)
For one glass of saltwater gargle, combine ¼ to ½ teaspoon of table salt with a warm glass of water. Stir until the salt dissolves. Gargle and make weird noises (that is proof of a thorough gargling process, comically of course) and spit it out. Repeat the gargles several times a day if the dry throat persists.
4. Drink Tea
This remedy ought to be the favourite of tea lovers but even if you are not one, a warm cup of tea can help a lot with your sore throat. Generally, all types of tea contain one or another kind of antioxidant. These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. Herbal teas, such as green tea and ginger tea help reduce pain and swelling with their anti-inflammatory benefits.
The best tea, however, with proven remarkable benefits- is ginger tea. Add some honey to it which will not only mask the bitterness of ginger but also heal the swollen throat cells. Ginger has volatile oils that have anti-inflammatory properties similar to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It can especially help with coughing and the prevention of further throat damage. Other than ginger tea, black tea, chamomile tea and turmeric tea are also known to have proven benefits for a sore throat due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidizing and symptom-relieving properties.
5. Have Some Soup
What’s better than a hot bowl of soup to nourish and rejuvenate your irritated throat? Not only will a hot and warm bowl of soup satisfy the food cravings you have after smoking weed but will also take care of the sore throat that results from the smoke.
Chicken Noodle Soup, being the most common one, can be made instantly with ready to make recipe mixes available on the market. Chicken broth exerts soothing relief and boosts white blood cells which help the immune system fight infections and sore throats. The hot fluid also keeps you hydrated and helps ease the symptoms relatively faster.
Always have soups that are not too salty, spicy, textured or acidic. Salty soups can dehydrate you while spicy and textured soups (undercooked vegetables etc) can hurt your already irritated throat. We would recommend well-cooked chicken and vegetable soups!
6. Take Throat Lozenges
If you’re not familiar with a throat lozenge, think of a toffee that has the ability to provide temporary relief to your sore or dry throat. A throat lozenge is kept in the mouth to relieve irritation, suppress cough and lubricate and soothe the irritated tissues of the throat temporarily. Bear in mind that while a throat lozenge may provide you temporary relief from a sore throat and ease your pain, it is not effective in the long run. Keeping a stock of throat lozenges at home, however, might be a good idea if you are a regular cannabis user.
A throat lozenge dissolves slowly in the mouth releasing the medicinal ingredients inside that work to relieve the inflammation in a sore throat. Sucking a lozenge also increases saliva production which reduces dryness and itchiness in the throat.
As strange as it sounds, chocolate is a very beneficial edible that eases dry coughs. Take a piece of chocolate and hold it in your mouth so it slowly dissolves and forms a milky coating over the throat. The viscous chocolate coating then works to desensitize aggravated nerves in the throat.
Cocoa also has amazing other health benefits. Raw cocoa has demulcent properties that help reduce inflammation or irritation, so essentially, chocolate serves as a good candidate for treating a sore throat after smoking weed. Chocolate also has a profound effect on the mood of human beings. So make yourself a hot chocolate and let the smoothness of chocolate and warm milk do their thing.
And besides, who doesn’t love chocolate after smoking weed anyway?!
8. Honey Water
This is probably our favourite remedy. One tablespoon honey dissolved in half a glass of hot water will show immediate and long-lasting effects, just be sure to cover your throat for a while afterwards. The best time to take this drink is right after you wake up, but works during the day as well.
Honey is a natural anti-biotic and expectorant that helps clear mucus and gunk in your throat and chest. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and so it immediately starts working to soothe your throat inflammation. You can also always take honey without water but the hot water helps ease irritation and pain which is why we would recommend it with hot water.
9. Vitamin C Supplements
While they’re more helpful to prevent a sore throat than cure one, they still are a good remedy for a smoker’s cough. Vitamin C boosts your immune system and clears common infections such as a cold and sore throat.
Cringing at the thought of gulping down orange juice with a sore throat? Us too! Orange and other citrus juices are acidic, which is a good vitamin C source and also a preventive juice – before you have a sore throat – but an irritant when you have one. This is precisely why we mentioned Vitamin C supplements during the condition and not Vitamin C sources. Supplements with trace amounts of zinc and vitamin D are even better for the job because they too, aid in reducing throat inflammation.
If you’re one with a very sensitive throat and almost always have to fight a long battle with sore throats after smoking cannabis, it is time you consider using vapes, dab rigs or bongs. By using water as a filter or inhaling vapour instead of smoke, your sore throat problem could be reduced! A vaporizer can be set to cooler and different temperatures so that the vapour has no harsh or burnt cannabis smoke going into your throat.
And even if all these methods are harsh on your throat, but you don’t want to stop, try edibles! Cannabis edibles are available in the form of gummies, candies, chocolates and many more and you can even bake some edible brownies of your own at home!
So there you have it, 10 ways to cure a sore throat after smoking weed. As for some other useful tips we would like to suggest that you:
- Keep up with your exercise. A 30 min exercise per day boosts all normal bodily functions and a sore throat is no exception to it. Moderate exercises help blood flow towards infected areas and also stimulates your immune system.
- Use a humidifier. Dry air stings like a bee to an inflamed throat and adding a little moisture to the air helps with that.
- Add a bit of elevation for your neck when you sleep a night. Keeping your head up will prevent mucus from accumulating in your throat.
Ryan is a content manager at thecannaschool.ca who has a background in economics. Ryan specializes in making cannabis edibles at home but loves to write about all things cannabis!