Why do you cough after smoking cannabis?

Almost all smokers experience coughing while smoking cannabis.

Almost all smokers experience coughing while smoking cannabis.

But why not? Coughing is a natural bodily response that can be experienced not only when smoking marijuana, but also when smoking tobacco.

In fact, some regular smokers cough even when they are not smoking cannabis. But why does your body cough? Find out why cannabis causes coughing (and ways to prevent it).

There are several reasons why you cough after smoking cannabis, such as:

woman smokes cannabis
Woman smokes cannabis.

Three reasons why you cough after smoking cannabis

1. coughing as a reflex

  • The throat and lungs are very complex organs that are lined with sensitive sensory nerves. The job of these nerves is to detect any irritants in the airways (such as smoke) and alert the body to remove them.
  • So when you smoke a joint, the smoke acts as an irritant and stimulates these nerves. In response, the nerves start sending signals throughout the respiratory system and trigger the cough reflex to get rid of the smoke and protect the lungs and airways.
  • This cough reflex is normal if you inhale any kind of smoke, whether from a joint or cigar, or from an old truck that emits black diesel smoke.

2. smoke burns throat

  • While the smoke won’t cause high-level burns, it can be quite hot to your throat and respiratory system, which can make you cough. This works in a similar way to the previous point, where if you inhale hot cannabis smoke, your respiratory tract starts to induce a cough to expel the smoke for protection.
  • This is the reason why many smokers use ice in their bongs to cool the water. However, this is not as effective as you might think. More on this later.

3. low quality cannabis

  • Cannabis doesn’t always make you cough – its smoke is relatively milder and safer than other types of smoke you may inhale. However, there is one case where its smoke can be much harsher on your throat – your cannabis is of poor quality.
  • If your cannabis buds are mussed up, contaminated with other substances, undried and poorly stored or unclean, this can cause a severe cough in your body. Your body is not trying to expel the cannabis smoke, but the impurities that can enter your lungs.

More theories on why cannabis causes coughing

The above reasons are widely accepted by both experts and cannabis smokers. However, there are many other claims about what may cause a severe cough after smoking cannabis, e.g:

  • the cannabis is too old or dry.
  • You smoked too fast
  • You laughed while smoking it
  • You swallowed some saliva while puffing
  • You inhaled more smoke than you could handle
  • Some strains cause more coughing because they contain terpenes that can tickle the throat.

These are plausible theories, but there is not enough scientific data to back up these claims. So take these claims with a grain of salt.

Preventing coughing while smoking marijuana

coughing while smoking marijuana
Coughing while smoking marijuana.

If you are already in the midst of a cough or have a sore throat as a result, don’t fret, as it’s not as bad as it sounds. You can quickly soothe your throat in a few simple ways, such as.

1. minor interventions

Many users believe that the more smoke they inhale, the greater their performance. This is a myth because the THC in the smoke is absorbed into the lungs almost immediately. Above this point, users are simply depriving their lungs of oxygen.

Additionally, this can irritate the throat and lungs more, leading to a domino effect that leads to coughing and even more coughing.

Instead, take smaller doses and inhale/exhale quickly. This will not affect your high in any way, but will reduce the likelihood of a cough reflex.

2.experiment with other inhalation techniques

experiment with other inhalation techniques
You can also experiment with other smoking techniques that won’t irritate your throat as much when smoking cannabis. Some of the inhalation techniques you can try to prevent coughing while smoking cannabis are: deep and direct inhalation, gentle inhalation and exhalation, and avoiding talking while smoking.

3. Drink water

Drink water

The number of things a glass of water can solve is incredible, and coughing after smoking cannabis is one of them. So whenever you smoke, have water on hand and drink it before, during and after you take a drag.

Water cools the throat and soothes any irritation caused by the smoke, which can drastically prevent coughing after smoking cannabis.

Fast cough soothing

If you are already in the midst of a cough or have a sore throat as a result, don’t fret, as it’s not as bad as it sounds. You can quickly soothe your throat in a few simple ways, such as.

1. gargle with salt water

A grandmotherly remedy is to gargle with salt water, which has a soothing effect not only on coughs, but also on other throat complaints such as pain or discomfort. Simply mix ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle for a few minutes.

The salt water helps to relieve pain, soothe the throat and loosen the mucus in the throat.

2. drink cold water

Similarly, you can also drink cold water. This will reduce dryness in the mouth, cool the throat and quickly relieve irritation.

3. eat sweets

Sucking on sweets increases the production of saliva in the mouth, which slowly moves down the throat, relieving the pain. But this may not work with every candy – some sweets are sharp and can make the irritation worse. So reach for lozenges designed to soothe your throat.


Summary: Why do you cough after smoking cannabis?

Coughing while smoking cannabis is quite common – so much so that it is a common gag in films, which always feature a stoner coughing while smoking a joint with psychedelic music and effects.

In most cases, coughing after smoking cannabis is nothing to be alarmed about. It is simply the respiratory system’s reaction to the smoke, which can sometimes be rough on the throat. It simply wants to protect you from harm and is doing its job.

If you are using cannabis medicinally, be aware that the smoke can be unpleasant, especially if you are smoking old or low-quality cannabis.

Use the tips and advice above to prevent and alleviate coughing after smoking cannabis. However, if you develop a persistent cough that doesn’t go away after a while, consider seeing your doctor.

nukaseeds logo animated

If you want to try quality cannabis seedstake a look at our offer.

Published by Blood


Post a comment

to make a comment