Should I be drinking more water than usual if I'm using marijuana regularly?

"I use marijuana for back pain, but I have also read that dehydration can also cause back pain. I was wondering if you need to drink more water than normal if you are using cannabis?"

This is a 2 part question. Yes dehydration can cause back pain. The vertebrae in the back are cushioned by a disc that is filled with a gelatinous substance that is composed mainly of water Over time this water get pushed out and needs to be replaced. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps to restore the shape of the disc and prevent the discs from going out of alignment and causing back pain.

The dry mouth that you get when using cannabis in any form is possibly caused this way. Since the salivary gland have both CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and since cannabis contains them, it can inhibit the production of saliva. So drinking water while using cannabis can help to prevent "cottonmouth".

Perry Solomon, MD

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