Will Heavy Cannabis Use Give Me Body Odor?

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Dear Mary Jane Doe,

I just read Jessica Rasmussen’s awesome deodorant article on Ladybud Magazine. It got me thinking about sweating. I just finished up with a fun indoor 4-day weekend with my boyfriend and nothing but muggy rain, rain, rain outside. Now that I am back to work, I think that maybe it seems whenever I’m withdrawing from a weekend of intense [Cannabis] smoking, I’m a bit more smelly. Under my arms, in particular. It is unpleasant.

What’s the connection and what to do?

Linnea in Umeå

Greetings lovely Linnea, my dear sweaty Swede.

I’m feelin’ ya. Detox periods can be stinky… with those following debaucherous long weekends even more so. Firstly, I’m wondering if your days-of-isolation didn’t include some other type of adult fun. Eating meat, eggs, liver, onions, garlic, curries, asparagus, high fructose corn syrup…tobacco…drinking alcohol?

There are a whole host of things that can make the purging of said toxins a smelly affair. Hormones, too, have as much to do with body odors as diet. I would, accordingly, like to suggest that perhaps your malodorous bouquet today, in particular, might not actually be a result from your Cannabis “withdrawal” at all. Maybe, but maybe not.

However, I’m only here because EVERYTHING has at least SOMETHING to do with the cannabinoids, right? True, true. Everything does. Bear with me.

I feel compelled to go all Aspie on the term withdrawal for a sec, at least in the case of using that word in reference to Cannabis use. “Withdrawal” is a term of subtle meaning, ripe for misunderstanding.

Yes, you were, technically, “withdrawing” the drug from your system. As in, if you feed your dogs every day at 7am and 5pm, and then you stop, you have – by definition – “withdrawn” their food. Poor doggies.

Fresh pits bring admirers. Photo by Angela Bacca.

Fresh pits bring admirers. Photo by Angela Bacca.

So, too, if you stop doing something you’ve been doing regularly for a while, you are, likewise, “withdrawing” that thing. You began the process of withdrawing the cannabinoids from your system upon exhaling that very last bonghit of your 4-day-long hot-and-homebody-super-Swedish-stoner-movie-fuckfest.

Now we tap into the other definition of “withdrawal,” and whether or not you began any noticeable process of biochemical withdrawal from your prior period of Cannabis exposure. The boundaries and terms of your “withdrawal” period from this particular cannabinoid-drenched journey… well that’s to be decided by you, the user and experience-er of said effects.

Normally, “withdrawal” is a term that defines a syndrome of signs and symptoms – a constellation of (objective, noticeable) signs and (subjective, reported) symptoms associated with the disengagement of the drugs we take from the receptors and tissues to which they bind, to the metabolic breakdown and movement of these compounds, and to the eventual processing and departure of these converted molecules from our bodies. It is the withdrawal of a drug from your body that results in the withdrawal syndrome associated with that particular drug.

Whether or not there exists any significant such syndrome in response to Cannabis intoxication, however, is a matter of much academic dispute. Indeed, numerous peer-reviewed journal articles have evaluated the signs and symptoms following cessation of Cannabis, and have associated irritability, restlessness, insomnia, anorexia, nausea, sweating, salivation, increased body temperature, altered sleep, deviations in waking EEG, tremor and weight loss to it.**

However, only very rarely does anyone suffer from all of these symptoms simultaneously, if ever, and rarely are any combinations of any of these symptoms truly of great significance to their sufferer. The vast majority of scientific literature to date simply doesn’t present the type of evidence needed to build a persuasive argument that Cannabis is capable of generating any significant withdrawal effect in humans.

This, of course, reflects the reality of millennia of human consumption of Cannabis – that, by-and-large, the withdrawal aspects of the Cannabis experience in an otherwise healthy individual are minimal in comparison to that of almost any other drug known, and that this is true in nearly everybody who uses it.

So, getting back to your funky pits, Linnea. It is quite likely that you may be somewhat sweatier after a bender than you might have been without having participated. You might smell a little more because you might be sweating a little more – you are correct. But I would shy away from declaring outright that “pot withdrawal” makes you stinky. Or makes ONE stinky. Or makes anyone stinky. There are just too many other things that can make you a tad spicier than usual***.

“I would shy away from declaring outright that ‘pot withdrawal’ makes you stinky. Or makes ONE stinky. Or makes anyone stinky. There are just too many other things that can make you a tad spicier than usual.”

However, if you do find yourself to be emanating like that dirtyhot patchouligirl down the street, I may be able to help. Permit me a personal admission: I may be a precious flower and all, but even this blessed body can aft gang agley. I will admit, after any significant time afoot, my otherwise-lovely armpits, when left to their own devices… well they can, how do you say, shock-and-awe somewhat. And, though I want to avoid any manner of product placement here****, I do believe I’ve discovered an appropriate personal countermeasure to my pits flora’s rather tangy first-strike potential.


Soapwalla Kitchen’s Deodorant Cream, Click to buy!

Seek out Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream. It’s a departure from the normal bar of toxic chemicals, I know. Soapwalla Kitchen‘s Chef Rachael combines a melange of organic Simmondsia  chinensis (jojoba) oil, organic Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) oil, organic rosehip seed oil,  Butyrospermun parkii (shea) butter, organic corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, kaolin clay, organic vegan kosher glycerin, and a light mixture of essential oils, including organic Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), organic Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree), organic Citrus sinensis  (sweet orange), organic Mentha piperita (peppermint) and Citrus Aurantium bergamia (bergaptene-free bergamot). All that goodness mixes up into a lush, non-oily salve.

Find it. Try it. It may be odd, but it has worked like a charm for me.

Blessings of only sweet smelling weekends upcoming.



*Can we all just agree that it’s getting hotter? It’s as hot as thermite in a downtown New York basement out there today.

**Jones RT, Benowitz NL, Herning RI. Clinical relevance of cannabis tolerance and dependence. J Clin Pharmacol. 1981 Aug-Sep;21(8-9 Suppl):143S-152S.

***Surströmming on tunnbröd. Deny it.

***Other than being a happy customer, I have no connection with Soapwallakitchen.