Why does weed make you cough?

A person's holding a blunt and lettering "Why does weed make you cough?"

When it comes to consuming weed, one common occurrence that many enthusiasts are familiar with is the tendency to cough. But have you ever wondered why this happens?

Inhaling smoke, including cannabis smoke, activates the sensory nerves in your throat and lungs, triggering a natural cough reflex. This reflex serves as a defense mechanism to clear and protect your airways from irritants. However, the severity of the coughing response can vary among individuals.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the reasons behind cannabis-induced coughing, along with practical tips to minimize coughing during consumption. We’ll also address common misconceptions surrounding coughing and its relationship to the intensity of the high.

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Why does it happen?

A person's holding weed blunt and coughs

When you inhale smoke, including cannabis smoke, the particles in the smoke can cause irritation and inflammation in your throat and lungs. This irritation activates the sensory nerves lining your airways, triggering a cough reflex. The purpose of this reflex is to expel the irritants and protect your respiratory system.

Coughing helps to clear the airways by forcefully expelling the smoke particles, mucus, and other substances that may have been inhaled. It serves as a defense mechanism to prevent potential harm to the delicate tissues of the lungs and respiratory tract.

However, it’s important to note that individual sensitivity to smoke can vary. Some people may experience a stronger cough reflex when exposed to smoke, while others may be less prone to coughing. Factors such as lung capacity, respiratory health, and personal tolerance can influence the severity of the coughing response.

To minimize coughing during cannabis consumption, there are several strategies you can try. Taking smaller hits of weed smoke allows for a milder exposure to smoke, reducing the likelihood of triggering a cough.

Additionally, using alternative delivery methods like vaporizers or edibles can provide a smoke-free experience, minimizing irritation to the airways.

Staying hydrated by drinking fluids can help soothe the throat and reduce irritation. Inhaling and exhaling smoothly and gently, without holding the smoke for an extended period, can also contribute to a smoother smoking experience with less coughing.

It’s worth noting that coughing itself does not enhance the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Holding the smoke in your lungs for a longer duration does not significantly increase the absorption of THC. Instead, it may lead to oxygen deprivation and lightheadedness.

Remember, everyone’s response to cannabis smoke can vary, and it’s essential to listen to your body. If you develop a chronic cough or experience persistent respiratory discomfort, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional and consider alternative consumption methods to protect your respiratory health.

How to Not Cough When Smoking weed

A person holds a lighter and a joint

Here are some tips to minimize coughing during cannabis consumption:

Opt for Smaller Hits

Taking smaller hits of weed smoke reduces the likelihood of triggering a cough. If you have a small lung capacity or reduced lung function, inhaling smaller amounts can be particularly helpful.

Choose Healthy Cannabis Products

Avoid dried-out cannabis, as it is more likely to cause coughing. Additionally, steer clear of products that contain added ingredients, such as blunt wraps or solvents in vape cartridges. Synthetic terpenes used for odor and effect enhancement can also contribute to coughing.

Instead, you can try Infused Joints from our catalog.

Stay Hydrated

Drink water or herbal tea to help flush any residual particles from your throat to your stomach. Sucking on lozenges or hard candies can have a similar soothing effect.

Avoid Holding Smoke in Your Lungs

The longer smoke lingers in your throat and lungs, the higher the chance of coughing. Exhale smoothly and gently to reduce irritation.

Explore Other Delivery Methods

Consider alternative methods like water pipes or bongs, vaporizers, edibles, topicals, capsules, tinctures, transdermal patches, or suppositories. These methods can provide a different experience and may minimize coughing.

Pack Bowls and Joints Appropriately

Avoid packing bowls or joints too tightly or with excessive empty space. Finding the right balance can contribute to a smoother smoking experience.

Inhale and Exhale Smoothly

Inhale first into your mouth, then into your lungs, allowing fresh air to accompany the smoke. This influx of oxygen can help reduce coughing episodes.

Strawberry Banana — Mini joint or Purple Kraken — Mini joint infused+kief are well suited for this

Take Breaks from Smoking

If you develop a chronic cough, it is advisable to take a break from smoking and explore alternative consumption methods until your cough subsides.

Remember, experienced cannabis smokers may have developed techniques to minimize coughing. With practice, you can “train” your lungs to process smoke more efficiently, potentially reducing coughing over time.

Does coughing make your high more intense?

a person smokes a blunt

It is important to understand that the primary goal of inhaling cannabis is to allow the active compounds, such as THC, to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Holding your breath for an extended time does not significantly increase the absorption of THC or enhance the psychoactive effects.

Once the cannabinoids are absorbed by the lungs, they rapidly enter the bloodstream, and the desired effects are achieved.

Moreover, holding your breath for too long while inhaling can lead to oxygen deprivation, causing temporary dizziness or lightheadedness. This sensation is not associated with an intensified high but rather with a need to exhale and replenish oxygen levels in the body.

It is essential to prioritize your respiratory health and breathe normally during cannabis consumption.

Inhaling more smoke by taking deep or prolonged hits can have negative consequences. The additional smoke may irritate your airways, leading to coughing fits and discomfort. This can disrupt your overall cannabis experience and detract from the desired effects you seek.

To optimize your cannabis consumption and minimize any potential discomfort, it is recommended to inhale the smoke or vapor gently, allowing it to reach your lungs naturally, and then exhale normally.

This approach ensures the effective absorption of cannabinoids while reducing the risk of respiratory irritation and coughing.

Ultimately, coughing during or after cannabis inhalation is a natural response of your respiratory system to the irritants present in smoke or vapor. It is not an indicator of a more potent high and should not be pursued as a means to enhance your cannabis experience.

Prioritizing responsible and mindful consumption practices will help you enjoy the benefits of cannabis while maintaining your respiratory well-being.

In conclusion, understanding why weed makes you cough and learning how to minimize coughing during cannabis consumption is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

By recognizing that coughing is a natural defense mechanism of your respiratory system and taking practical steps like opting for smaller hits, staying hydrated, and exploring alternative delivery methods, you can reduce irritation and promote respiratory well-being.

Remember that coughing does not enhance the psychoactive effects of cannabis, and holding your breath for extended periods can lead to oxygen deprivation. Prioritize responsible consumption practices to optimize your cannabis experience and safeguard your respiratory health.

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