Sometimes, cannabis and coughing seem to go hand in hand. Research shows that these symptoms affecting the lungs will subside gradually when folks stop smoking cannabis.
But we don’t necessarily need to stop smoking—we just need a few life hacks to stop that hacking.
Coughing from cannabis is a sign of irritation to your lungs or throat, and chronic coughing could develop into mild respiratory problems. A cannabis cough is accompanied by wheezing and can cause you to produce sputum, a mix of saliva and mucus.
You combust plant matter when smoking marijuana, so the chemicals that the process produces may get stuck in your airway; coughing helps clear your airways and lungs.
If you’re new to cannabis smoking, simple things like making sure your marijuana glassware is clean and storing your cannabis flower properly can help stop coughing when consuming.
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Not everyone suffers from cannabis cough, but if you’re one of the unlucky ones, here are some tips on how to smoke cannabis without coughing.
1. Grind Your Cannabis Well
Breaking up cannabis buds into finely ground pieces ensures a smoother and slower smoke. Grinding marijuana also allows the flame to move through the flower consistently and ensures good airflow when inhaling.
While you may sometimes break up your cannabis by hand, a far better method is to use a grinder. This way, you won’t unexpectedly come upon a too-big piece of cannabis flower. Investing in a sizeable metal or wooden grinder is a must for those who regularly suffer coughing fits when they smoke cannabis.
But if you’re not keen on grinding marijuana flower yourself, some brands even sell cannabis crumble—pre-broken up marijuana flower.
2. Take it Easy When You Smoke Marijuana
Inhaling too fast or with a big amount of force will overfill your lungs with smoke and inevitably result in an aching cough. Inhale slowly, and let the smoke fill your lungs gradually for a steady—and less painful—smoke.
Remember to exhale as slowly as you inhale, too. Try to maintain a calm breathing pattern and release the smoke at a gradual pace. Taking smaller puffs is also a good way to ease into smoking and determine your lung capacity.
If coughing persists, try to spread out your smoking sessions to allow your throat and lungs more time to recover.
3. Don’t Hold On to Your Marijuana Smoke
As tempting as it is to keep the smoke in your lungs in the hope that it will impart a stronger high, let it go. Holding smoke in the lungs is a guaranteed way to get a strong cough after a puff. Smoking this way may even cause damage to your lungs, since the toxins from smoking cannabis can stoke irritation.
4. Don’t Forget to Hydrate While You’re Smoking Cannabis
Drinking water is more than just a healthy habit when it comes to cannabis. A glass of cold water sipped before, during and after smoking marijuana can help your throat recover from feeling scratchy and irritated.
But stay away from hot drinks before, during and after smoking, as they could cause dehydration and an even dryer throat.
5. Employ Temporary Relief Measures When You Smoke Marijuana
Cough drops, hard candy and mints that help produce saliva may provide temporary relief during cannabis smoking sessions. It’s not a surefire method, but it’s a tasty and potentially helpful one.
Other ways to find temporary relief include gargling salt water to help get rid of phlegm and plugging in humidifiers and steam inhalers to help bring moisture into the air. This can be especially beneficial if you live in a dry area.
6. Take a look at Your Cannabis Flower
It’s worth taking the time to find a quality marijuana strain. Cannabis flower with mould or mildew could cause respiratory problems, and cannabis cultivated using pesticides could also cause throat or lung irritation.
Try to find out as much as possible about the quality and growing conditions of the marijuana you buy. If one strain seems to irritate your throat and lungs, try switching it out for another strain to see if it minimizes your symptoms.
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In the same breath, it’s worth mentioning that cleaning your cannabis accessories regularly is a good habit that will create better smoking conditions and potentially less coughing. Also make sure to store your marijuana flower properly in an airtight container in a dry, cool and dark place.
7. Try Other Methods of Cannabis Consumption
Although not ideal if you really enjoy smoking cannabis, it may be worth trying out other methods of cannabis consumption. You could try:
If you do find yourself coughing after using a vaporizer, try taking smaller draws and gradually work your way up to bigger puffs.
8. Find the Origin of Your Cough
There’s a possibility that your cough is the result of sickness or infection not related to smoking cannabis, especially if you’re a regular consumer and rarely experience excess phlegm or coughing.
Stop smoking cannabis for a few days and see if your throat clears up. Although really testing this method is better over the long term and not just for a few days, those few days may just be enough for you to see if the cough is getting worse.
If chronic and painful coughing persists, go visit your doctor. Bronchitis and similar conditions won’t really clear up by themselves and if you do have something that’s not just a cannabis cough, Medication in this case will aid a faster recovery.
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