why do we cough when smoking marijuana
why do we cough when smoking marijuana

Why Do We Cough When We Smoke Weed? - Science Speaks

Coughing with Cannabis - The Science Behind Why We Cough Smoking Weed

Posted by:
BehindTheWaves on Wednesday Nov 20, 2019

Why Do You Cough When You Smoke?

why do we cough when we smoke

Something very recognizable when you around people smoking marijuana is the constant sound of coughing. It doesn´t matter if you are an experienced smoker or has just started to endeavor in cannabis. When there is a deep inhalation, it sometimes sounds as if the person is coughing up his entire lung. It doesn´t sound particularly pleasant. It rather sounds as if it could be hurtful. Thus, the question remains: why do you cough when you smoke?


Why do we Cough?

There are a few reasons why you might start coughing after inhalation. Most often it is the body´s way to tell you something. A responsible person learns to listen to his or her body. But does it mean you have to stop smoking? Or, is there something that can be done to diminish the effect of coughing? Here follow some reasons why your lungs might complain and result in coughing:


Smoking cannabis is not linked to causing lung cancer. But it still might have the same carcinogens and irritants as tobacco. When you inhale smoke, the lining of the throat and esophagus get irritated. The inhaled smoke causes a build-up in the lungs and the lungs then tries to get rid of it by coughing to replace it with oxygen. Smoke also builds up tar in the lungs that produces increased levels of mucus that leads to inflammation. The mucus is there to try to rid the lung from the irritants. If you keep on coughing even if you are not smoking, your lungs might tell you that you are overdoing it a bit. It might be good to find an alternative way to consume your weed.



When you inhale something like smoke, it can cause excessive heat. You might not know it, but lighting up a joint, the heat released into your lungs is around a 1000 degrees Fahrenheit or 538 Celsius. If you prefer a bong, the water tends to cool the heat down a bit, but not enough to not have an irritable effect on the lungs. The throat and lungs are filled with very sensitive tissue linings, that do not really like too much heat and result in coughing. If possible, try to reduce the heat by adding ice blocks to the bong chamber. When you use a vaporizer, turn the temperature to a low setting to reduce the heat.


The Irritants inside

Maybe it is not always possible to find good quality weed. The worse the quality, the easier it is to cause severe coughing. People that do not care how they grow marijuana, use insecticides. They also might not pay attention to something like mildew or other fungi. The stuff sticks to the resin in marijuana, and unwillingly, you are inhaling more that you are counting on. The more you know about the marijuana you buy, the better. If you find that there is constant irritation, try to use it in a different way like in the form of an edible.


Hit Size Matters

Some people can take a huge hit. But it is important to understand that lung capacity plays a role. If you inhale more than what you can handle, you would end up coughing even long after the hit. Something like a bong makes it easier to take a very big hit. Try to calculate your hits. There is no reason to go overboard.


Is it Possible to Reduce Coughing?

Many cannabis smokers develop chronic coughs. As long as it does not go accompanied by shortness of breath, it is all ok. When tobacco is also smoked, things get more complicated. There are some tricks to reduce coughing, though. Here follow some:

Bongs rather than joints – The more distance you put between your mouth and the intake method, the better. The water in the bong also serves as a filter and helps to take out harmful residue.

Include a Percolator- There are water pipes on the market that include a second chamber or a percolator. This helps to reduce smoke by absorbing more particles in the water. The double filtration system is very helpful.

Use Edibles and other Methods Instead – When smoking gets too much, you might want to change your method of intake. Cannabis-infused edibles will also do the trick. You could also turn to vaporize your cannabis. This could still induce coughing because of the hot air, but it would reduce the carcinogenic plant material that causes harm.

Drink Water – When your throat is dry, an intake of smoke would cause more dryness. Drinking water throughout the whole process reduces coughing significantly.

Pacing is Wise – There is no need to smoke all at once. With smaller and more controlled hits, the risk of coughing too much also gets reduced nicely.

Final Thoughts

Apart from all the above-mentioned ideas, it is also good to take some extra oxygen in. There is also no need to keep the smoke in your lungs for a long time. The fallacy that it would make you higher, is just that. The moment you inhale marijuana, the cannabinoids get released and absorbed by the body.











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