How You Can Avoid Weed Breath
Smoking can cause bad breath, and cannabis is no exception. Here’s how you can prevent halitosis or bad breath from ever happening.
Don’t get caught with weed breath after the next time you light up. Whether you are at home or on the move, we have several top tips to help stop bad breath in its tracks—from practising good oral hygiene, to vaping, or in worst case scenarios, chewing on a few mints. Read on to find out why cannabis can cause us to have bad breath.
YES, WEED BREATH IS A THING
When you think about cannabis, dizzy heights of euphoria and complete relaxation come to mind. At no point does anyone point out that for all its good, marijuana can have a very damaging effect on your breath. We don’t wish to add to anyone’s social anxiety, but nothing shuts a conversation down quicker than bad breath. Unfortunately, smoking good old mary jane directly contributes to the onset of bad breath.
The reason for weed breath comes from the effect THC has when it interacts with the body’s cells and receptors. These interactions extend to the cells in your mouth responsible for producing saliva. Cottonmouth is how many smokers will recognise this effect. When xerostomia (the technical term for cottonmouth) occurs, it stops saliva from acting as your body’s built-in mouthwash. Particles, bacteria, and debris are left to linger in the mouth, thus contributing to bad breath.
Smoking spliffs especially exacerbates the severity of weed breath. Tar, toxins, and other chemicals are left behind from both the marijuana and the tobacco.
THE GOOD NEWS IS, THERE ARE WAYS TO AVOID WEED BREATH
Before panic sets in and you spend social events regularly breathing into your hands to see if your breath smells, weed breath can be mitigated. It cannot be removed entirely, but enough to prevent friends and family from avoiding you in the street.
If your throat becomes sore while smoking, you have difficulty speaking, or everything you eat starts to taste slightly off, it is time to take action. Those are all sure signs that THC has begun to prohibit your saliva production. In this situation, head straight to our section on “dealing with weed breath on the move” below.
FRESH BREATH GOLDEN RULES
Our three golden rules will not only mitigate the majority of impact weed breath has, but they are good practice to get into. Even if you are not smoking weed, you never know when you might get up close and personal with someone. Don’t let bad breath scare them off!
1. Practise good oral hygiene
Brushing twice a day, with mouthwash and flossing is going to remove most of the nasty-smelling stuff in your mouth. As cannabis grows in both popularity and legality, the chances of weed breath becoming a common occurrence are significantly increasing. There are some specific products aimed at reducing the impact cannabis has on your breath, but honestly, good old-fashioned brushing is the best place to start.
2. Use clean smoking accessories
Sounds obvious enough, but dirty pipes don’t just taint the taste and flavour of your marijuana. When you smoke, the leftover residue is passed on to the next most available surface—your mouth. The buildup will only get worse with time, so the longer you leave it, the greater the potency of your weed breath.
Cleaning out your smoking accessories after every session may sound excessive. However, not only will it preserve the sweet flavour of that Pineapple Kush you just picked up, but it will limit the impact on your breath. You don’t need to do a deep clean every time, just make sure that you wipe down anything your mouth is going to touch.
3. Switch to vaping, or better yet, edibles
If we had to rank cannabis consumption methods in order of how much they contribute to weed breath, they would probably go joint, blunt, pipe/bong, vaporizer, edibles. Joints/spliffs are likely to be a mix of tobacco and weed—double the trouble for your breath. Pipes and bongs lack tobacco, so the risk of tar being left in your mouth is removed. They will, however, pass on oil and residue from your marijuana.
Vaporizers remove a lot of the risk because they don’t burn weed, therefore limiting the particles that can enter your mouth. Generally speaking, they also reduce the onset of cottonmouth—so beneficial on two fronts.
For the ultimate weed breath prevention technique, edibles are the go-to option. Not having to inhale anything prevents weed particles from entering your mouth. Just remember if you do decide on edibles, wait that little bit longer before you choose to eat the whole tub.
DEALING WITH WEED BREATH ON THE MOVE
You have fantastic oral hygiene, but after a quick lunchtime smoke, you feel the dreaded weed breath setting in. This isn’t a time to avoid human interaction, instead, try any of the following.
- Mints or chewing gum
Simple, fast, and effective. Chewing gum will help restore your mouth’s normal saliva production. The minty flavour can also help mask some of the undesirable smell left by weed. Mints work in precisely the same way. Being asked why you are always eating mints is far better than being asked why your breath smells like a cannabis dispensary.
- Drink or gargle water
Water will help lubricate your mouth, and as a last-ditch effort, will remove some of the debris from your mouth. Make sure you swirl it around and rinse just like regular mouthwash. Avoid using any sugary drinks if water isn’t available. Sugar isn’t only bad for your teeth, but it actually contributes to bad breath.
- Grab some fresh fruit
Apples, oranges, or any citrus fruit for that matter are ideal for dealing with weed breath. Apples contain polyphenols, compounds that can help mask the smell of undesirable odours. Citrus fruits are also a great option because they promote saliva production.
Weed breath may be a necessary evil in the journey to spiritual enlightenment and fits of giggles. That doesn’t mean it has to damage your confidence. Good oral hygiene in conjunction with our “on the move” advice will keep halitosis at bay.
Weed breath is a necessary evil when it comes to smoking cannabis. Read our top tips for avoiding bad breath whether at home or on the move.
12 Scientific Ways to Eliminate Marijuana Breath
Poor dental hygiene is the top turn-off for both men and women, according to a national survey of 5,500 singles.* You know what’s associated with poor dental hygiene? Bad breath and smoking. That makes the prospect of walking around with smelly marijuana breath especially troubling.
Not only do you have to worry about the judgment that comes with people who might assume you’re a “stoner,” but it’s hard to get close to someone if they keep pulling away when you breathe.
So what can you do to eliminate weed breath?
We offer 12 science-backed ways to mask or eliminate bad breath. Some of these methods will leave you smelling fresh as a mint leaf while others trade marijuana breath for something equally pungent but decidedly less skunky.
1) Eat Mints
Mints are a fast, simple, portable way to keep your breath smelling fresh even after a smoke. Mint is included in almost every toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath-freshener on the market. Why? Because it works.
Of course, there is a chance someone might ask why you’re always eating mints, but that can be an easier question to answer than “Why does your breath smell so bad?”
Photo by Jeremy Dorrough on Unsplash
2) Chew Gum
Like eating a mint, chewing gum is a great, portable way to fight against cannabreath. Cheap, readily available, and easy to use on the go, gum is a simple way to keep your breath from smelling like your weed drawer.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
3) Gargle Mouthwash (or Vodka)
The liquid mint. Mouthwash not only freshens your breath, but it can play an important role in maintaining proper dental hygiene – something many smokers can struggle with.
Mouthwash isn’t for everyone – it can affect sensitive gums, for example – and it can be a bit less portable than mints (though travel sizes have eliminated much of this issue). But as long as you have somewhere to spit, a swig of mouthwash is all you need to fight weed breath.
If you don’t have mouthwash but you’re excited about swishing something, you can swish a mouthful of vodka or a mix of water and baking soda to help fight nasty mouth odors.
4) Brush Your Teeth
There are few more effective ways to refresh your breath than with some good brushing. Taking the mouthwash idea one step further, brushing your teeth after smoking will help eliminate the cannabis odor while keeping your pearlies healthy and white.
Photo by Goby on Unsplash
5) Put on Chapstick or Lip Gloss
The smell of cannabis smoke can cling to your hair, clothes, and even other parts of your body. Applying chapstick or lip gloss isn’t a complete solution, but it’s a quick, subtle way to mask any resin odor that glommed on to your lips.
Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash
6) Eat an Apple
Some foods mask unpleasant odors. Other foods, like apples, contain polyphenols that actually help break down the compounds causing bad breath. Whether you just burned one down or you’re about to get a smooch, eating an apple is a scientific way to keep your breath from smelling like a skunk’s backside.
Photo by Jonas Zürcher on Unsplash
7) Eat or Drink Citrus
Citrus is not only tasty and a key ingredient in preventing scurvy, but also great at fighting bad breath. It prompts the production of saliva which helps neutralize odors.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
8) Just Eat Food
You probably figured this out from the last two points, but eating food is a simple and oh-so-satisfying strategy to smite spiteful smells. Good or bad, most food carries an odor. By eating after you smoke, you can give your breath whatever scent you want: hamburger; pizza; popcorn; cake; gummy bears.
Most foods will work to help mask the weed smell. But if you’re particularly worried, you can always eat peanut butter, tuna, garlic, or another dish known for its unique bouquet.
The world is your oyster. Speaking of which, oysters are another great way to mask marijuana breath.
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
9) Drink Coffee
Coffee breath isn’t exactly a turn-on for most people. But in most settings it is more acceptable to smell like a dark roast than to smell like you’re roasted. As such, slurping on some coffee (even infused coffee) is a natural way to avoid the “stoner” stereotype that comes with a strong pot odor.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
10) Suck on a Lozenge
Whether you’re the proud owner of a bag of hard candies or you have leftover cough drops after your last cold, sucking on a lozenge once you’re done smoking can be a tasty way to fight weed breath.
11) Use a Vaporizer
If you’re just as happy with concentrates as you are with flower, vaping is a great way to get ahead of weed breath.
This isn’t a perfect solution, though – you may still get cotton mouth from vaping, and a lack of saliva can contribute to bad breath.
And that brings us to our final tip: drink water.
12) Rinse Your Mouth With Water
Yup. Water. If you find yourself in a pinch, rinsing your mouth with water after smoking can help clear out odor causing compounds.
Have a tip or trick for fighting weed breath that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
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Worried about stinky pot breath? Here are 12 science-backed ways to mask or eliminate marijuana breath. Karing Kind (Boulder, CO)