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why does weed make you cough

5 Reasons Why You Cough While Smoking Weed and Solutions

One of the most common questions concerning smoking marijuana is: “Why does weed make you cough?”.

Nearly every person who has taken a hit from a bong or smoked a joint has experienced some type of coughing on one level or another.

It starts the second that you take a hit, you begin to feel that uncontrollable tickle in the back of your throat, you have a mouthful of smoke, something has to give.

So you let out a gasp of air, all that marijuana smoke, and the coughing begins.

Why does weed make you cough? Let us take a deeper look at the top 5 reasons that you cough when smoking weed.

1. Heat

It doesn’t matter which smoking method you use, whether heating up a dab, a pipe, a bowl, or a bong, excessive heat is going to trigger some degree of coughing.

When you light up your weed, the temperature can easily exceed 1,000 degrees.

Now while water can certainly cool down the vapor as it enters your throat, your lungs are still going to be inhaling some white-hot smoke.

The sensitive tissues in the lungs and throat become instantly irritated, and this triggers your body to alert you something is potentially wrong.

Coughing can result the second the white-hot smoke hit the throat or lungs, but fear not, there are ways to help control those urges to cough each time you take a hit.

Solution: Adding ice cubes or shaved ice to the bong will drastically reduce the temperature of the vapor and allow you to smoke with little discomfort.

Low-temp dabs works too, while setting your vaporizer to the lowest temperature setting will reduce any coughing attacks.

2. Smoke

Marijuana smoke does contain some of the same irritants and carcinogens that are in tobacco.

The smoke is the reason for that buildup of tar in the lungs, and increased exposure to the smoke could increase mucus levels and increase cough-inducing inflammation.

The reason this occurs is because as you take a hit of weed, very minute particles of ash begin to dust the throat and eventually the sensitive tissues within the lungs.

The body immediately goes on the defensive and will produce excess mucous to cleanse from within.

That excess mucus is what can trigger coughing fits, which is a natural attempt by the body to clear out irritants and mucus.

Solution: One way to limit the amount of ash that finds its way into the throat and lungs is to switch to smoking weed out of a bubbler or vaporizer.

The hit will feel cooler and less contaminants will get trapped in the throat or lungs that trigger coughing.

3. Smoking Experience

Many people who try smoking weed for the first time have never smoked a cigarette before. This means they are introduced to smoking through a bong, pipe, joint, dab, or vaporizer.

What happens usually for the newbie is they take a huge hit, hold, and then instantly spew out the smoke and hit the floor coughing like they were just rescued from a drowning at the beach.

If the first hit doesn’t get them, they usually grab a second hit too quickly and burn the throat and cough uncontrollably until the sensitive lung and throat tissues return to normal.

Being drunk only complicates the issue for new smokers because they go too deep too fast.

Solution: This isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon. Take a slow, controlled hit, until your throat becomes acclimated to the heat of the smoke. If the joint smoke is too hot, start with a bubbler or water pipe packed with some ice.

4. Weed Quality

Make no mistake about it, the quality of the weed that you are smoking will have a direct impact on whether or not you have a coughing attack.

Poor quality weed can contain dust, residual pesticides, mildew, and other particles that can make your smoking experience less than ideal.

Marijuana is sticky by nature, and poor quality weed means more of those contaminants piggy-back along and travel into your throat and lungs where they cause excessive irritability.

Each time you take a hit of low-grade weed, you are basically smoking tiny pieces of that growing environment too.

Harsh weed that burns each hit can be an indication you are not smoking high-quality buds.

Solution: Know where you are getting your weed from. Buying in bulk from unknown growing sources could have harmful health effects. Purchase quality herbs from a dispensary or make certain the strain is well-known.

5. Hit Size

If you are gargantuan in size, it doesn’t matter the size hit you take of your weed, it will not affect your breathing.

The rest of the mortals out there need to carefully consider the size of their hits because if it is not in line with the size of your body, coughing will certainly result. Regardless if two people are the same physical size, lung size and capacity can vary significantly.

When you fill up with more marijuana smoke than your lungs can handle, you will experience a degree of coughing. The devices that may provide too big a hit are the dab rig or bong.

While heat control is easier to maintain with these smoking devices, you have the potential to go overboard on hit size.

Solution:Consider using a carb cap to break up the hits to smaller ones. Another way to eliminate coughing is start out with smaller hit and work yourself up with bigger and deeper breaths as you get comfortable.

So now you have a better understanding as to why does weed make you cough and how to not cough when smoking weed.

In most cases, you can just slow down and take smaller hits, where other times you have to start off with the best quality herb to reduce those coughing bouts.

The good news for marijuana smokers is that as you tweak these methods, you will eventually find a sweet spot and enjoy smoking your weed each time.

Start with the best quality herb possible, slow down and take smaller hits, and try to ice down the smoke to keep your lungs and throat from reacting to that scorching heat that is entering the body each time you inhale.

5 Reasons Why You Cough While Smoking Weed and Solutions One of the most common questions concerning smoking marijuana is: “Why does weed make you cough?”. Nearly every person who has taken a

Why does weed make you cough?

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Contents

  1. Why does weed smoke make you cough?
  2. Does coughing make your high more intense?
  3. What can you do to avoid coughing?
  4. The bottom line on weed and coughing

As embarrassing and annoying as it can be, coughing is a common byproduct of smoking weed. Here you’ll learn why smoking weed makes you cough and what you can do about it.

Why does weed smoke make you cough?

Coughing when smoking weed has a clear anatomical explanation, according to Dr. Melanie Bone, a board-certified OB-GYN and cannabis specialist. As she explained, “Coughing is technically a protective mechanism for the lungs and the tubes bringing air down to them, to open themselves and expel irritants.”

Coughing is the body’s natural way of ridding the lungs of harmful materials. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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In a sense, coughing is the body’s natural way of ridding the lungs of harmful materials. A modest degree of coughing, then, should not be reason to panic. A persistent coughing fit may, however, be an indication that you should take a break from smoking. That doesn’t mean you need to forego cannabis altogether. If a frequent weed smoke cough is bothersome, try an oral or topical form of cannabis to enjoy many of the same potential benefits.

Does coughing make your high more intense?

It is a common myth that coughing can make your high more intense. But the two are not related, said Dr. Bone. “Another common error is to hold the smoke or vapor deep in the lungs for longer to try to get higher. It is as effective to inhale and exhale without that extra deep drag in,” she said.

Some people think they are taking in more psychoactive THC by holding the hit longer. But THC is absorbed very quickly by the lungs, in as little as a few seconds after inhalation. If you do feel a bit different or lightheaded from holding your drag, it is more likely that your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. This temporary decrease in oxygen does not correlate with a high but with a need to exhale and breathe normally.

In addition, inhaling and holding for an extended time may mean that you are taking in more smoke rather than cannabinoids. The more smoke you inhale, the more likely you are to experience coughing fits. Therefore, trying to cough to get higher is a double whammy, as you will probably not achieve that goal. Rather, you will take in more smoke, producing an unpleasant domino effect of coughing.

What can you do to avoid coughing?

A slight degree of coughing may be a natural effect of smoking marijuana. “Few marijuana smokers or vapers escape coughing, be it an occasional mild cough or a deep hack-up-part-of-your-lung cough,” according to Bone.

However, there are some ways to try to reduce the occasional cough associated with smoking marijuana. Dr. Bone shared the following tips:

  1. Consume natural cannabis products. Beware of weed containing added ingredients that can cause irritation. Traces of solvents remaining in vapes and added terpenes to enhance the product’s smell and effect are the primary culprits. Opting for the most natural and un-doctored products will be gentler on the lungs.
  2. Experiment with inhalation techniques. Inhalation techniques can be pertinent because the longer smoke or vapor comes into contact with your throat tissues, the greater the chance you’ll experience irritation. Inhaling directly without hesitation is a more efficient method.
  3. Drink fluids: A glass of water or cup of herbal tea can help move residual particles out from the throat down to the stomach. This can be accomplished with lozenges or hard candy as well.
A glass of water or cup of herbal tea can help move residual particles out from the throat down to the stomach. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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The bottom line on weed and coughing

Mild coughing while smoking cannabis may not be cause for major concern. Dr. Bone pointed out that coughing is a protective mechanism that we shouldn’t try to stop. To avoid coughing entirely, consider a different way of consuming cannabis such as tinctures, capsules, and edibles. Otherwise, accept the occasional coughing fit as a normal part of a stoned existence and keep a glass of water nearby.

Coughing is a common byproduct of smoking weed. Here you’ll learn why smoking weed makes you cough and what you can do about it. ]]>