Cannabis Science, CBD

Does Smoking Weed Help a Toothache?

dental proceedure

Stoners use weed to manage all sorts of pain. From headaches to period cramps, weed provides pain relief for many people. But what about a dreaded toothache? If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know it can be unbearable. You may want to reach for your blunt or bong to provide some much-needed relief. So does smoking weed help a toothache? Here’s what we know. 

Photo: Unsplash

Can Weed Help a Toothache? 

There aren’t many studies on whether or not smoking weed could help a toothache. However, technically smoking weed could help relieve a toothache due to the pain-relieving properties of weed. A 2021 study says that cannabinoid receptors are in the mouth; therefore, it makes sense that weed could help a toothache. Remember, cannabinoids, which are compounds in weed, can bind to cannabinoid receptors and have an effect on our bodies. Cannabinoids are the reason you may feel high after a smoke sesh or the reason you’re not in pain anymore. 

In addition to the cannabinoids, the study highlights that terpenes and flavonoids may have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Regarding toothaches, the study says, “Although studies are limited and mechanisms of action not yet elucidated, the analgesic properties of cannabinoids such as Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) have implicated them in the treatment of toothaches.”

People have definitely been taking advantage of weed for toothaches. As a matter of fact, the study noted that people have been using weed to manage toothaches for a long time. The study said, “Cannabis sativa L., in particular, has been utilized in traditional Asian medicine for tooth-pain management.”

One Reddit user said, “It helps alleviate my tooth pain.”

However, not everybody is lucky enough to have their toothache relieved by smoking a blunt. One Reddit user said smoking weed made their toothache worse. 

Another Reddit user echoed similar sentiments, “I have a toothache that seems to be getting worse and i just want to let everyone know.. smoking does NOT make it better. In fact it makes it worse.” 

Can CBD Help a Toothache?

CBD alone may be able to help relieve your toothache. According to Dr. Pamela Li, ingesting CBD doesn’t relieve toothaches quickly. You can apply CBD directly by using an oral spray, oil, or tincture for quicker pain alleviation.

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Sterngold Dental echoed Li’s sentiments. They said, “CBD can serve as dental pain medication in place of traditional pain relievers. It can be used to provide relief from routine tooth ailments such as tooth pain and swelling.”

Sterngold Dental says that CBD helps toothaches by neutralizing pro-inflammatory cytokines. 

Does Smoking Weed Cause Toothaches?

Unfortunately, smoking weed can cause toothaches in more ways than one. 

First, let’s look at why toothaches occur in the first place.  

According to the NHS, toothaches have many causes, including:

  • Dental abscesses
  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Infection
  • Damaged tooth

Weed can cause cavities. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), “Regular cannabis users are known to have significantly higher numbers of caries than nonusers..” Just to clarify, caries is another word for cavities. 

One of the reasons why weed can cause cavities is because it causes dry mouth. 

Kings Beach Dentist says dry mouth can cause cavities because “When your saliva production is low the bacteria and acids stay on your teeth longer, and this can lead to tooth decay or enamel erosion.”

In addition to that, the ADA says that munchies can indirectly cause cavities. Since weed can stimulate appetite, stoners often opt for cariogenic or food decay-causing snack foods. Snacks that cause tooth decay include sweet foods and drinks. 

Besides causing cavities, weed can sometimes make toothaches worse, according to many Reddit users. However, what they’re experiencing isn’t a weird phenomenon. The NHS says that while you’re having a toothache because it can make it worse. We’re not sure why smoking when you have a toothache makes it worse, but exposing your damaged tooth to hot, dry air doesn’t help. 

The other option you have is to use weed, in other words. You can try edibles, dabs, or any method that won’t irritate your teeth. We should also mention that the NHS advises against sweet foods when your tooth hurts. Therefore, let that guide the kind of edible you make if you choose that route. 

Ways to Treat Toothaches 

Before we get into remedies for toothaches, we must mention how to prevent toothaches. Since weed can increase your chances of getting cavities and toothaches, we recommend paying particular attention to your dental hygiene. That means brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing once daily. In addition to that, see your doctor every six months so they can treat problems before they worsen. 

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, Healthline has some great ideas to deal with toothaches. Healthline says you can:

  • Rinsing your mouth with saltwater. Add ½ teaspoon of salt into a glass of salt water and use it as a mouthwash.
  • Applying a towel-wrapped bag of ice to your toothache for 20 minutes. You’re able to do this multiple times per day. 
  • Rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide. Use 3% hydrogen peroxide with the same amount of water, and be careful not to swallow it.
  • Applying a garlic paste to the tooth that hurts. They said adding a bit of salt can help. 

In addition to those remedies, you can opt for over-the-counter painkillers.

However, if you have an awful toothache, you should make an appointment to see your dentist. Chances are something is wrong. If you have an infection or cavity, ignoring it will almost certainly make it worse. 


Does smoking weed help a toothache? Technically it can. Weed and CBD extracts can provide pain relief. However, smoking isn’t advised when you already have a toothache. Therefore you can opt to use weed in another way for pain relief. At the same time, using weed for pain relief doesn’t always help everyone. However, there are many other options, including over-the-counter painkillers. 

In addition to that, smoking weed increases the chances of getting cavities and, therefore, toothache. You can reduce your chances by practicing good dental hygiene and visiting your dentist at least twice a year. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].