does smoking weed cause bad breath

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Does Marijuana cause bad breath?

Serving Fort Worth, Arlington, Keller and surrounding areas of Texas.

Posted: September 14, 2017

Marijuana has medical uses and is used by some people recreationally. The use of Marijuana is legal in some states and should be discussed with health care professionals. It is derived from a Cannabis plant. And the active ingredient is tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC – this is the part that has an effect on the nervous system). It is also an anti-emetic, reducing nausea/ vomiting. The recreational use of Marijuana has a range of effects due to the different levels of potency based on the concentration.

The medical uses of marijuana includes treating muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis, nausea from chemotherapy, ocular pressure from glaucoma, chronic illnesses like HIV, or poor appetite. The short term effects include drownsiness and euphoria. However, there are some effects that it has on the oral cavity. Superficially, it leads to increasingly stained teeth, reddened mucosa/tissue, dry mouth, or possibly bad breath.

Researchers have found that the frequent use of marijuana leads to periodontal disease. This was found by comparing those who use Marijuana at least once a month to those who used it less regularly. Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone structure around the teeth. The increased inflammation seen in periodontal disease begins with pronounced bleeding gums and if untreated, leads to loosened teeth. Periodontal disease is reversible if treated in a timely fashion. When gums bleed frequently, it causes a form of halitosis.

Dry mouth, Xerostomia, is an effect of marijuana and it increases the risk of cavities. People often try to alleviate the feeling of dry mouth with sweet drinks or snacks that can worsen the accumulation of plaque and buildup around teeth. It is best to sip water or use a recommended mouthrinse like Biotene for dry mouth.

The temperature in the mouth goes up from marijuana smoking that changes the oral environment. Changing the natural temperature of the mouth and disrupting normal cell and tissue makeup raises the risk of oral cancer.

In summary, the use of Marijuana can cause bad breath. There are a number of mouthrinses that can reduce the harmful effects on the breath. Flossing, brushing, and keeping up with dental visits help in preventing the occurrence of periodontal disease. However, the use of THC must be properly discussed with a physician. And recreational use is discouraged to avoid potential side effects.

If you are interested in a checkup and would like to schedule a dental consultation, you can reach us at 817 870 5099. We are located within minutes of Downtown Fort Worth, and proudly serve patients from Arlington, Keller and Fort Worth Areas.

Marijuana has medical uses and is used by some people recreationally. The use of Marijuana is legal in some states and should be discussed with health care professionals. It is derived from a Cannabis plant. And the active ingredient is tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC – this is the part that has an effect on the nervous system). It is also an anti-emetic, reducing nausea/ vomiting.