Final Bell

How to cough less when you’re inhaling cannabis

Published Jul 10, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / klebercordeiro

Smoking is still by far the most popular method of consumption, but it does come with the unfortunate side effects of lung irritation and increased phlegm production, which, when combined, tend to induce a cough. It’s uncomfortable and incredibly frustrating when inhaling is the way you know and love, and the good news is that there are some things you can do to reduce or eliminate coughing.

Organic materials

Far too many producers rely on the benefits of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to maximize profits, and these ingredients leave behind traces that may worsen lung irritation. Of course, many claim to put crops through a flushing period in order to remove much of the risk, but there is no way to eliminate these hazardous additions entirely. For that reason, those who struggle with coughing might want to consider opting for organic cannabis products.

Invest in a vaporizer

Inhalation often starts with combustion, as a flame is applied to the plant materials to create smoke. Good quality vaporizers deliver a similar experience without reaching such extreme temperatures required to meet the parameters of combustion. Instead, they vaporize all of the good things you want from cannabis, leaving behind the green materials that often do nothing but contribute to the harshness. Some low-quality vapes burn too hot to truly vaporize the terpenes and cannabinoids, so be sure to get a good one!

Maintain temperatures between 170 and 180

Vaporizers are widely considered to be a much healthier way to enjoy the act of smoking without many of the unfortunate side effects of combustion, but most of these devices also come equipped to reach various temperature ranges, many of which go much higher than enthusiasts need. If you’re struggling with coughing, then keep yours set to somewhere between 170-180, which can help to reduce the risk of combustion while also leaving other harsh additions like oils intact.

Use other methods to bolster effects

We get it! There’s nothing that hits quite like a big, fat joint or a vaporizer, and that’s why so few are willing to give it up, even if the habit is causing health issues. It might be time to consider bolstering the effects of flower or concentrates with other healthier methods like edibles or oils. Doing so can help to reduce the craving to smoke while delivering more potent, longer-lasting effects that leave you feeling just as good with fewer hits.

Take smaller hits

It’s easy to get carried away, especially when you really want those effects to take hold fast and hard, but bigger draws can really make you cough. Smaller hits will take you there just as well, only they’ll be much easier on the lungs. Of course, it might take some mental retaining if you’re used to taking in massive amounts of smoke, but the transition is more than worth it, and it’s sure to reduce the amount you cough.


Avoid excess materials

Rolling papers are affordable, convenient, and accessible, but they do nothing good in terms of taking the edge off a hit. They are actually well known for making the problem worse, and ditching them the wrong way can actually make things worse. Pipes with poor filtration are the worst way to go. Instead, consider healthier rolling papers like rice or hemp, and avoid wraps that might include tobacco, which is only going to make the situation even more uncomfortable.

Skip the tobacco

Some enthusiasts use tobacco to stretch their stash as a way to save money, and for that, it can certainly work, but this mixture isn’t going to do your lungs any favours. Reducing the amount added might help, and opting for other smokable herbs with more soothing effects is sure to make a world of difference in the experience. Many smokable herbs aren’t as addictive, and most can be grown in your garden at home for free, so this method will still save money while protecting your lungs.

Don’t hold hits

One of the most notorious myths associated with smoking is that each hit needs to be held in order to maximize the effects when the truth is that all available cannabinoids are absorbed within seconds. Holding it in will only further irritate the lungs increasing your likelihood of coughing. Luckily, there’s no good reason to do this, and though it might take a bit to get used to, if you’re used to holding on as long as you can, releasing that smoke sooner will feel just as good.

Choose a less irritating method

Smoking is likely to remain the most popular choice of enthusiasts for many generations to come, but there are much safer ways to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without inhalation. Edibles, capsules, oils, drinks, breathe strips, and in some areas, even gum could be all you need to get the dose of cannabinoids and terpenes you crave. It’s not going to be the same experience, and it may take some experimentation to find the right amount, but if your health is a concern, the transition is more than worth it, and it’s not too difficult once you set your mind to it.

Organic cannabis is the hottest new trend


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