Kissing and cannabis are two of my favorite earthly pleasures and I know I’m not alone. But, let’s just be real about something for a second, the two don’t always jive. THC can maximize a lip-locking session but without thought and care, it can get pretty gnarly. There are few ways that getting stoned can really screw with kissing but thankfully, solutions exist. Without proper awareness, your mouth can smell like a dead animal, and then you won’t be kissing anybody. Nobody wants to be that person, especially when it’s easily unavoidable. With that in mind, here’s a deeper look into how getting baked affects your make-out sessions and what you can do about it.

Pothead Pitfall – The derp factor

If I had to sum up the issue it would be with one word: awareness. I don’t know about you but if I’m smoking a heavy Indica strain, it’s not to become more aware. When you think about it logically, in most cases, the person walking around smelling like a human sulfur pit has no idea. If they did, they would probably try to deal with the situation in whatever way their means allowed – even with a temporary fix, like a mint. 

Solution – Ask questions

Check-in with yourself and if you feel comfortable, talk to your partner. It might feel awkward to ask about your breath, but if it’s killing the mood, this is your best chance to fix that. If that’s a little too uncomfortable, keep gum and mints visible and on hand. My buddy has a rule and we should all adopt it: if someone offers you a piece of gum, always say yes, and chew it right then and there.

Pothead Pitfall – Burn out

It happens to the best of us and I always blame the strain. THC arouses sensation by activating your nerves; this effect can really turn up the heat in the bedroom but it can also lead to movies on the couch. 

Solution – Strain choice

These days, there are so many options for tailoring your cannabis use to suit your endocannabinoid system. If an indica knocks you out, then go for Sativa. No tolerance? Use CBD. It’s never about having to avoid using cannabis, especially if it’s your medicine. You just need to choose what cannabinoids are going into your body and know what effect that dose will have.

Pothead Pitfall – Pasties

There is no getting around it, using cannabis creates dry mouth, regardless of whether you smoke or eat it. Cannabinoids such as anandamide block some of the key components that make up saliva, resulting in cottonmouth. Unfortunately, a glass of water is only a temporary fix and won’t stop the effect; dehydration is not the problem. 

Solution – Involve your other senses

While seeing a picture of food may not promote saliva production, smelling and tasting food does. Enzymes in saliva like amylase begin the digestive process and nothing makes you want to eat like getting ripped. So when you look at all of these factors and put them together, yes, cannabis will cause pasties, but it’s also going to give you the munchies. Use this to your advantage:

  • Do not underestimate the power of flavored lip products, especially if they are chocolate flavored.
  • Light delicious scented candles or use an essential oil diffuser to plan the aroma in the room. Not only will it set the mood, but the room might also start to smell so good your mouth will water. If your partner has also partaken in the pot, they might also feel the benefit. 

Pothead Pitfall – Bad Breath

Halitosis is the clinical term for a foul odor coming from the mouth. Sometimes it can originate due to a medical condition, but the most common culprit causing bad breath is dry mouth. Saliva works to do more than just lubricate your mouth, it provides a cleaning service to reduce stinky bacteria. Without it, areas that depend on being slippery are easy to stick to. Once a microbe has attached itself to your gum line, it works in two ways to stink out your mouth. 

Microbes can produce foul-smelling chemicals all on their own or create them through the decomposition process. The odor is not caused by the smell of damaged teeth, but the chemicals produced by the bacteria on them. Pasties can promote the right environment for the wrong aroma.

Solution – Commitment and Routine

Take your dental hygiene very seriously. If you use cannabis, vow to yourself here and now that you will brush and floss every day. Regardless of how burnt out, you are before bed, never skip brushing your teeth. In addition to maintaining good habits, keep water handy during your makeout sessions. Swishing water around the mouth will perform some of the work that saliva does in washing away bacteria, as well as keep your mouth moist.

Oil Pulling

If you have dental issues, it might be a bit late to deal with the situation through regular brushing and flossing, and sometimes it’s not feasible to go to the dentist. If this is the case, look into oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique of swishing 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes on an empty stomach. Coconut oil is incredibly antibacterial and helps to whiten your teeth. Plus, if you have a sore tooth, pulling with cannabis-infused coconut oil is incredible to treat the issue and the pain. This is a holistic approach but the testimonials to its benefits have been shouted for thousands of years. 

I tried oil pulling for a few months, every morning when I woke up. I was giving a coworker a ride home one day and I had the worst pasties. I was getting self-conscious because we were in the small space of my car and sure enough, they could smell my breath. Out of nowhere, they told me my breath smelled like coconut. Phew, crisis averted.

Who doesn’t love making out? Under the right circumstances, a kiss can be more passionate and fulfilling than an orgasm. Adding cannabis can help or hinder the whole experience…it’s just about being aware of what you are using, how it affects your body and planning ahead to tailor the experience.