Does CBD Dehydrate You? What the Research Says

10 min read

Can CBD dehydrate you? Many people who have tried CBD or THC experience dry mouth, and they mistake that for dehydration. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is partially responsible for regulating the production of saliva in the mouth. Consumption of cannabinoid products can limit saliva production, causing the mouth to feel dry. This temporarily limited salivary activity is often mistaken for dehydration. This article will review how hydration works and explore whether CBD causes dehydration.

does cbd dehydrate you

Understanding Hydration

Under normal circumstances, you might walk outside and realize you are thirsty, then take a drink of water or, more commonly, consume an entire cup of water. 

Most people drink large amounts of water when eating, and the majority of that water gets removed from the body because of the bolus response. This is a natural response against too much hydration. It works via triggers in the mouth and throat that get triggered by large amounts of water and begin to excrete large amounts of fluid. 

Those who don’t experience thirst or feel dehydrated most of the time don’t tend to trigger this response because the majority of their hydration is obtained through the foods they eat, like fruits and vegetables. Overhydration is quite rare because the body naturally protects against it. 

But what about dehydration? Or cottonmouth? Many people who smoke marijuana have experienced cottonmouth, but does CBD dehydrate you? Does CBD make you dehydrated compared to smoking?

Can CBD Dehydrate You?

There are no studies that link CBD dehydration, and in fact, there’s no evidence to support any link between cannabinoids and dehydration.

Does CBD cause dehydration?

Let’s look at the culprits:

Marijuana, particularly THC, can cause dry mouth because of chemical changes in the mouth and a shortage of salvia. THC delays saliva secretion temporarily, which is why most people who smoke notice dry mouth, which is misunderstood as dehydration.

Dry mouth linked to dehydration is different, brought about because of a lack of electrolytes in the blood.

What about edibles?

Edibles with CBD in them do not cause dehydration. They do, however, give you that same sensation of having a dry mouth. They don’t cause water retention either.

What about smoking?

Smoking anything with CBD in it will give you a similar dry mouth feeling, but it won’t actually dehydrate you.

What about oils or tinctures?

If you have any type of oil, tincture, or lotion that has CBD in it, applying it to your skin, under your tongue, or anywhere else will not cause dehydration. If you experience dry sensations in your mouth, know that that is simply a response to the temporary changes in saliva production, but it is not because of CBD oil or any other product.

does cbd dehydrate you

Common dehydration symptoms

That said, it’s still important to understand what the key symptoms of dehydration are so that you can differentiate between dehydration and other CBD side effects, and if you recognize signs of dehydration, do something about it. 

Note: Babies, children, and the elderly are at a higher risk of dehydration.

Dehydration happens when your body loses more fluids than it is receiving, and if you don’t recognize the symptoms and treat them, it can get much worse and lead to serious health risks.

You can avoid dehydration by drinking fluids regularly. Make sure that you check the color of your urine each time you go to the bathroom. It should be a pale or clear color. If it gets darker, you should increase your fluids.

You should also be aware of what risks there are that can cause dehydration so that if, for example, you are sweating during hot weather or you are experiencing diarrhea, you know how to replenish your fluids and avoid dehydration.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Feelings of thirst
  • Feeling tired for no reason
  • Peeing less frequently than normal
  • Feeling dizzy 
  • Having dark yellow urine
  • Dry mouth, tongue, and lips
  • Sunken eyes

Experiencing dry mouth is not equal to dehydration on its own. The symptoms of dehydration tend to happen at the same time, which means you will experience things like dizziness, exhaustion, dry mouth, thirst, and reduced urination. If you are using CBD and you experience several of these symptoms at once, consider whether you have been exposed to any of the potential causes.

What about common causes?

Common causes of dehydration can include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Being sick
  • Diarrhea
  • Being out in the sun for too long
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Being in high temperatures for extended lengths of time
  • Taking medications that are diuretics (which make you pee more)
  • Having a fever
  • Sweating a lot during/after exercise

If, for example, you haven’t been hydrating for the last several days and you just completed a long hike, and then you came home and used CBD products to relax and help you sleep, any symptoms of dehydration you might be experiencing are more likely to be the result of previous dehydration and sweating from the hike. 

How to help with dehydration

It is important that you maintain adequate hydration while using CBD products. There are several things you can do if you notice the symptoms of dehydration.

For starters, drink fluids. This shouldn’t be something that you do all at once, but rather, you should drink around 8 oz every 20 minutes. Consuming water gradually will ensure that your body actually absorbs it instead of flushing it through your system because you chugged a 20 oz glass all at once.

You can also find oral rehydration solutions, things that usually come in powder or liquid form and get mixed into water before you drink them. These solutions are particularly effective if you have experienced diarrhea, if you’ve had a fever, or if you have done arduous physical activity where your body might have lost essential minerals, salts, and sugars.

Rehydrating solutions can also be things as simple as energy drinks such as Powerade or Gatorade, which include essential salts, minerals, and sugars to help replenish the body.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you notice severe symptoms of dehydration, there are times when you should seek medical help. Get urgent care if:

  • You have dark yellow pee or brown urine
  • You feel dizzy every time you stand up, and the feeling doesn’t go away
  • Your heart rate and breathing have increased
  • You are confused and disoriented, feeling unusually tired

Tip: You should always consult your healthcare providers before starting any CBD regimen. This can help you get answers to questions like “Does CBD dehydrate you?” and what you should do to stay hydrated If you experience symptoms.

Summing Up

Does CBD dehydrate you? No. There is no evidence of any links, regardless of factors like dosage, methods of consumption, or individual differences. However, it is common to ask, “Can CBD dehydrate you?” when you experience dry mouth. Thankfully, the dry mouth associated with CBD or other cannabinoids is the result of temporary changes to salivary production in the mouth. If you are planning to use CBD, be aware and informed with reputable research.

Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, there is limited research directly linking CBD to dehydration. Some users report dry mouth, which can be a sign of mild dehydration, but conclusive evidence is lacking.

Individuals taking medications that affect hydration or those with health conditions impacting fluid balance may be more susceptible. Consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. If you experience dry mouth, increase your water intake, and consider using saliva-promoting products.

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