Cannabis Science

Why Does Weed Make Me Pee?

wooden man sitting on a toilet

If you notice that you have the urge to pee more after using weed, you’re not alone. Many stoners report peeing more or having the urge to pee after firing up their bong, blunt, or munching on an edible. However, urinating more is not commonly found on a list of weed side effects  So, why does weed make you pee, and if so, why? Here’s what we know. 

Photo: Unsplash

Does Weed Make You Pee More?

It might! 

Many stoners report that weed makes them pee more. 

One Redditor said, “I’ll go a few times a day, but in the couple hours I’m high, be it edibles or flower, I’ll have to use the washroom at least 3-4 times.” Other stoners in the thread expressed that they had similar experiences. For example, one responded, “i pee alot high too.”

There were similar stories on Quora. One person commented, “I was smoking weed every single day and I’ve noticed an increase in urination. I was literally going to the bathroom 8 to 10 times a day. Waking up 2–3 times in the middle of the night to pee. I stopped smoking and now I only use the bathroom 3 to 4 times a day.”

Another Quora user said, “Every two hours I’m running to the bathroom when I smoke weed. One of the reasons I stopped smoking. I miss smoking but I enjoy not waking up every two hours to paiss [sic] more.” 

Therefore there is anecdotal evidence that weed makes you pee more. 

But why?

There are a number of reasons why marijuana may send you running to the bathroom more often such as:

  • Weed acts as a diuretic
  • Urinary retention
  • Drinking more water 

At the same time, scientists are currently looking into whether or not marijuana can treat an overactive bladder in women. However, we will focus on why weed may make you pee. 

Weed Acts as a Diuretic 

Firstly, there is evidence that weed has chemicals or substances that are a diuretic. Diuretics are substances that increase the passing of urine. Another well-known diuretic is alcohol, so that explains why after a night of drinking, you find yourself peeing way more. 

But let’s get back to marijuana having substances thought to be diuretics. For years people have used weed for that very reason.

According to a journal article, “Products of the cannabis plant were used as diuretics in ancient India, and early laboratory studies on the effects of cannabis or Δ9-THC reported that phytocannabinoids increase amounts of voided urine in both rats and humans.” 

The researchers also mentioned that the cannabinoids dose-dependently increase diuresis. That simply means the more weed you use, the more you’ll need to pee. 

In terms of the mechanisms, it’s a bit unclear. The CB1 receptor seems to be involved however there is probably more to the mechanism. 

Finally, more research is needed to fully understand how or why weed may act as a diuretic. The journal article says, “it is unclear whether cannabinoids increase urine production, stimulate the release of urine from the bladder, or both.” 

Urinary Retention 

Marijuana Doctors believe that the use of medical marijuana can cause urinary retention. While it’s not immediately clear why it happens, it could be part of the reason you’re running to pee after smoking a blunt. 

Urinary retention, according to Cleveland Clinic, is a condition where your bladder doesn’t empty fully. When it’s chronic, it can cause you to pee up to eight times per day. Marijuana Doctors says that other symptoms include:

  • Weak or interrupted stream of urine 
  • Difficulty starting a urine stream
  • Pain or discomfort in the urinary tract or the abdomen
  • Inability to pee

It’s important to get treatment because urinary retention can you can develop urinary tract infections (UTI) or kidney problems. 

Marijuana Doctor admits they aren’t sure how to prevent urinary retention in marijuana users. They said, “Because the medical community isn’t sure why marijuana causes urinary retention, it’s difficult to recommend ways to prevent it. In some cases, your physician may recommend adjusting your diet.” In addition to that, you and your doctor can be on the lookout for medication that increases your risk for urinary retention so you can avoid it if possible. 

Drinking More Water

One of the reasons why weed may make you pee is you’re drinking more water. If you find that you cough more or just generally have a dry mouth you could be reaching for your water bottle more. If you’re drinking more water, chances are you’ll pee more. 

Besides drinking more water, there are other ways to treat cotton mouth. According to Oregan Liquor and Cannabis Commission, you can:

  • Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production
  • Limit caffeine usage
  • Use alcohol-free mouthwash
  • See your dentist regularly 

On the other hand, if coughing is your problem, you can try alternative forms of using weed that don’t irritate the throat and the lungs. In addition to that, you try taking smaller hits or reducing the amount of time you hold in your smoke. 

Why Does My Pee Smell Like Weed?

Not only are you noticing that you’re peeing more when you smoke weed, but your pee may even smell like weed. Well, stoners have reported that sometimes their poop, farts, and armpits smell like weed. Is it weird that your pee smells like weed? 

Dr. Donald Colantino told Health Tap that weed is excreted through urine however the odor could be caused by dehydration. There are many reasons why your pee could have a smell. If you find that your pee smells like weed even if you didn’t use weed, it could be caused by a number of other factors.

If you’re concerned we suggest seeing a doctor. Foul-smelling pee can indicate a variety of issues such as diabetes. 


Scientists aren’t certain why weed makes you pee. It could be a variety of reasons including the chemicals in weed, urinary retention or simply you drinking more water. If you find that your pee smells like weed you could be dehydrated. If you have strong-smelling urine, you could see a doctor for a check-up to make sure everything is okay.


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].