Cannabis Science

Why Does Weed Make Me Burp

man smoking weed

Some of the tell-tale signs that you’ve smoked weed include red eyes, the smell, and apparently burping. Many cannabis enthusiasts complain that they belch after consuming weed. We’re here to answer the burning question: Why does weed make me burp? Here’s what we know. 

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Why Am I Burping After Smoking Weed?

The reason why weed makes you burp could be heartburn. 

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, smoking weakens the esophageal sphincter. The sphincter has the important job of keeping the contents of your stomach in your stomach, preventing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or simply chronic acid reflux.

However, since smoking weakens this muscle and can cause stomach acid to move backward into the esophagus, you may find yourself burping. 

Healthline echoes this sentiment, saying that acid reflex burping can be caused by smoking. 

Unfortunately, both sources seem to be referring to cigarette smoking since they didn’t specify marijuana. 

According to Cannabis Use and Associated Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Literature Review, published in 2023, the link between marijuana and acid reflux is not clear.

However, the literature review says that there have been studies that imply weed increases the risk of GERD symptoms, while some studies either show the opposite or no relation. 

For example, a 2019 study says that people who consume cannabis are more likely to report heartburn symptoms than people who don’t consume cannabis. 

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The study also said, “Animal studies suggest cannabis can reduce transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations (TLESRS), reflux, and vomiting, while human studies report conflicting findings.”

The 2023 literature review also says that our GI tract’s dominant cannabinoid receptor is cannabinoid receptor 1 (CBR1). They have found that the weed relaxes the tension in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) by interacting with CBR1. On the other hand, substances that act as antagonists for CBR1 receptors have the opposite effect. 

In other words, if weed interacts with CBR1 in your esophageal sphincter and relaxes it, you may have heartburn symptoms such as burping. 

Interestingly, according to a 1995 study, people with non-erosive esophageal reflux disease also highly expressed CBR1 compared to those without this disease. 

Other Causes of Burping 

Besides the interaction with cannabinoid receptors, weed could make you burp in other ways.  

The literature review points out that the coughing and irritation of the airways that accompany smoking weed could cause acid reflux.

“Chronic coughing and irritation may increase the likelihood of acid reflux by putting extra pressure on the LES and disrupting the normal functioning of the esophagus.”

If weed makes you burp, there is a chance it has nothing to do with acid reflux. 

Burping has a host of other causes. 

The Mayo Clinic says the most common burping cause is swallowing excess air. 

You’re probably thinking about your last weed sesh, wondering when you swallowed air. 

The truth is, there are many ways you swallow air without realizing it. 

Smoking is one way that you can swallow excess air, and some cannabis enthusiasts swallow air when they use their bongs, too. 

Your munchies could be another reason why you find yourself burping in the middle of your smoke sessions.

If you scarf down the food quickly or wash it with soda, you will likely swallow too much air and burp.

As a matter of fact, Health.com says that eating a lot of food in one sitting can make you burp. 

Another way you may think weed makes you burp is because you chew gum after smoking.

The Mayo Clinic Says, “You may swallow excess air if you eat or drink too fast, talk while you eat, chew gum, suck on hard candies, drink carbonated beverages, or smoke. Some people swallow air as a nervous habit even when they’re not eating or drinking.”

How to Stop Burping

Even though burping is usually harmless, it can be annoying and embarrassing, so here are some ways to stop it, according to the Mayo Clinic and Healthline:

  • Slow down– Eating and drinking slower should limit your burping.
  • Get active– Exercise can actually help move your food along.
  • Take a break from smoking– The act of smoking can make you burp, so opt for other forms of consuming cannabis that don’t involve swallowing a lot of air, such as a dab or edible.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks– Find an alternative to carbonated drinks such as sparkling water, beer, and soda.
  • Visit your local pharmacy- You may find relief by taking an antacid or medication with simethicone such as Gas-X.
  • Avoid gum- If you want to freshen up your breath after smoking, you can use mouthwash or brush your teeth. Gum, on the other hand, may make you burp. 
  • Put down the hard candy- Even though sucking on a hard candy may be the perfect treat when you’re high, it can contribute to excess burping. 

Takeaway

So, Why does weed make me burp? There can be several reasons why you’re burping when you’re high. It may be due to acid reflux as a result of cannabis affecting your lower esophageal sphincter. Or, you may be burping because you’re eating too fast and too much due to munchies. Simply smoking can cause you to burp. As a matter of fact, any activity that makes you swallow excess air can make you burp. Therefore, to fix it, you may be able to get on medication for acid reflux, find another way to consume cannabis, exercise, slow down your eating, and avoid certain things like gum.

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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].