You Already Know Cottonmouth: What About Cotton Vagina?

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Cotton vagina was a hot topic when it hit the internet back in 2015, after Vice Magazine released an interview with a doctor who insisted that it was indeed a real condition akin to cottonmouth, characterized by vaginal dryness following cannabis use. Whether or not cotton vagina really existed, however, was a matter that no one could definitively prove or disprove at the time, so it’s a topic worth revisiting. Does weed cause vaginal dryness?

Yes, Says the Originator of the Concept

A doctor in the Yes camp explained in an interview with Vice that despite a dearth of scientific research behind the drying effects of marijuana, her assessment was that cotton mouth and cotton vagina are the symptoms of the exact same side effect: dryness of mucous membranes. After all, women have reported experiencing vaginal dryness after taking certain medications like antihistamines, which are know to dry out the mucous membranes all over the body.

Logically, this theory may not hold water. If cotton vagina exists simply because your vaginal walls are mucous membranes, then it should follow that you also would experience cotton eye and cotton nostrils. Despite the popularity of cotton vagina as a hot topic of the week following the article in Vice, skeptics were unconvinced.

 

No, Says the Only Research Study Available

Shortly after the publication of the initial cotton vagina article, the Daily Dot released a counter-article debunking the phenomenon, citing the reasoning of another doctor who was firmly in the No camp. This doctor explained that cottonmouth occurs when endocannabinoid receptors present in the salivary glands are exposed to cannabis; this exposure leads to a decrease in the production of saliva, causing an uncomfortable feeling of dryness in the mouth. Accordingly, this is a biological response that is not remotely connected to vaginal lubrication or lack thereof.

Further, the Daily Dot pointed out that one of the only scientific studies in circulation covering the topic of sexual health and cannabis use actually drew a conclusion that contradicted what the Vice article contended about cotton vagina: cannabis use was not correlated with vaginal dryness. Ironically, the very same article was cited in Vice as proof that cotton vagina does exist; the publication had simply misinterpreted the results of the study upon which it had based its entire premise.

Compatibility Between Cannabis and Vaginas

As of now, there’s not much evidence supporting the existence of cotton vagina, and only a small bit of evidence negating it. That might not be enough to debunk the condition altogether, but we’re leaning No on the matter until further notice.

If you’re at all concerned that cotton vagina is a thing — and perhaps it really is a thing for you! — you might want to consider experimenting with cannabis lube, which enthusiasts swear by. After all, even if cannabis lube doesn’t get your juices flowing, commercial cannabis lubes are made with coconut oil, which is a viable lubricant in its own right. Just remember that oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex condoms.

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