Why does cannabis make you cough?

Why Cannabis Causes Coughing and How to Avoid Coughing From Smoking

Coughing while smoking cannabis is a known and common phenomenon among both recreational users and patients. The causes range from simple inhalation of smoke into the lungs to pesticide residues or due to a bad aging process. How can we avoid this phenomenon as much as possible?

Coughing is in fact a natural mechanism of the respiratory system that helps clean the respiratory tract through the elimination of secretions, particles and foreign bodies that should not be in these areas of the human body, but it does not do any doubt it's one of the most annoying. and undesirable phenomena in the context of cannabis consumption.

It is possible to estimate with certainty that there is not a single cannabis user or patient who has experienced smoking (and yes, also vaping) cannabis, who does not experience the phenomenon of coughing. and who has experienced it alone with one intensity or another.

When it comes to consuming cannabis in a social setting, some discomfort can also be added to the unpleasant physical sensation, because of course, no one likes to hear a loud coughing fit.

Severe coughing while smoking cannabis can be caused by reasons related to the act of smoking itself, the type or quality of cannabis, and of course also personal health reasons

Causes of cough resulting from smoke inhalation in general

Smoke byproducts : When inhaling smoke, which is a product of the combustion of any organic matter, components such as tar (tar) or carbon monoxide (CO) enter the lungs. These substances can impair the blood's ability to carry oxygen or stick to the lungs and walls of respiratory vessels and cause irritation, possibly leading to coughing.

Smoke temperature : in addition to the harmful substances that enter the body following smoke inhalation, there is also the aspect of the temperature of the smoke. The higher the temperature of the smoke inhaled, the greater the risk of irritation of the respiratory tract and, of course, coughing.

The amount of smoke : When you inhale a large amount of smoke into your lungs at the same time, the risk of oxygen deprivation or respiratory irritation is naturally higher.

Holding smoke in the lungs for a long time : There is a misconception among some consumers of cannabis, according to which the longer cannabis smoke remains in the lungs, the stronger the effect will be. As we have already seen in the past, this is an unnecessary practice that mainly causes damage to health.

Causes of cough resulting from specific inhalation of cannabis

Mold, infections and pesticide residues : this phenomenon is particularly common on the unregulated black market, but not only that. Sometimes cannabis flowers also contain pesticide residues or other polluting substances as well as heavy metals and foreign factors such as dust or other dirt that have reached the flower in one way or another. other.

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Cannabis that has not been properly dried : cannabis flowers that are too “wet”, with high humidity percentages, will make the combustion process more difficult, increase the risk of mold development and will also produce unpleasant smoke to inhale. On the other hand, it should be remembered that overly dry inflorescences can also cause an increased feeling of irritation of the respiratory tract.

Poorly aged inflorescences : the aging process of cannabis helps to break down chlorophyll (the green pigment of the plant) and allows slow and uniform evaporation of plant liquids. People with asthma or certain allergies may be more sensitive to a high concentration of chlorophyll and in general it is one of the causes of excessive coughing.

The terpene profile : The effect of the composition of terpenes (Terpenes) in cannabis inflorescences on stimulation of the respiratory system has not been extensively tested, but from objective reports from patients and consumers it is evident that There may be certain terpenes whose presence in higher concentrations in the inflorescence can cause coughing. Two terpenes mentioned in this context are caryophyllene, which is a terpene that produces a peppery aroma that can cause respiratory irritation in people with some sensitivity, and pinene, which is a terpene attributed to cell-expanding properties. respiratory vessels, which in this practice can (again, according to unsupported estimates) lead to a coughing effect due to excess smoke entering the lungs during inhalation.

The cannabinoid profile : “Stronger” cannabis, with a higher THC concentration, can cause coughing with a higher probability compared to cannabis with a low THC concentration. Although none Scientific Research has not yet been found indicating a direct link between a high concentration of THC and coughing when consuming cannabis, the fact that the active substance also causes dryness of the oral cavity can at the very least lead to excessive irritation of the mouth. respiratory tract when smoking.

How to avoid coughing while smoking cannabis?

Having reviewed the main reasons why people cough while smoking cannabis, the question arises as to how to treat the phenomenon and minimize coughing – both in terms of smoking and in terms of cannabis itself. -even.

“Cooling  » means: there are various means on the market that help cool the smoke, such as a “percolator” for bongs and water pipes (Bong Percolator), a cooling filter for normal pipes, in the case of joints – which is the most common way to smoke cannabis – a ceramic filter. Another method for seals, in the case of using a regular paper filter, is to roll a longer filter, which will move the burning part away from the mouth and send the smoke down a longer path which will reduce the heat.

Short, measured inhalations : while long inhalations mainly produce a nice visual effect of lots of smoke coming out when exhaling, it is important to remember that inhaling too much smoke and keeping it healthy for a long time does not necessarily result in a medical effect stronger and the harm resulting from this practice often exceeds its effectiveness. Experts believe that most of the active substance in cannabis is absorbed into the bloodstream during the first few seconds of inhalation.

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Inhale clean air before smoking : Before inhaling cannabis smoke, it is recommended to take a deep breath of clean air and exhale it slowly. Another method that some consumers recommend to avoid coughing is to begin the inhalation with a short inhalation of clean air and then continue the inhalation with the inhalation of cannabis smoke (i.e., in the same inhalation, take a little clean air through the nose). then continue inhalation and inhalation of excess smoke through the mouth as usual). Of course, the two methods can be combined.

Consume cannabis from a trusted source : By using cannabis that has been tested and monitored throughout the cultivation and marketing process, there is less chance that it will contain mold, pesticide residues or various polluting ingredients.

Drying and aging cannabis : If the cannabis flowers you have seem a little too wet, it is recommended that you put them through another drying and aging process. Alternatively, if they seem too dry, it is advisable to add moisture back into them.

Experiment with different varieties and genetics : Different cannabis strains will naturally contain different compositions of cannabinoids and terpenes. As mentioned previously, it is possible that some consumers or patients may experience sensitivity or another to some of these secondary metabolites, so it is recommended to look at different genetics of different cannabis strains, to find out which strains do not cause coughing.

Washing the inflorescence (“aging in water”) : there is a somewhat controversial technique, during which the inflorescence is immersed in water (preferably distilled water) for about one to two weeks. This method apparently does not harm the cannabinoid concentration, but it does harm the visual appearance of the flowers as well as their taste and aroma (since the terpene concentration is altered). The advantage of this method for coughing is that by washing the flowers, the organic matter decomposes as well as the mass of salts and sugars present in the flower – which leads to a smoother and more pleasant combustion.

Drink water or cold liquids : Consuming fluids before, during and after smoking will avoid the feeling of dehydration sometimes common with cannabis consumption and will help clear the throat of remnants of foreign particles that may accumulate following the introduction of smoke into the body.

Honey, lozenges or chewing gum : Generally speaking, it is not recommended to consume lozenges or lozenges on a regular basis, but these measures can certainly be effective in a localized manner in reducing symptoms of respiratory tract irritation and coughing. Alternatively, chewing gum can make it easier to inhale the smoke and many specifically recommend honey.

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Tags : BongconsumersmoldpesticiderecreativeStonerterpeneVaporization

The author weedmaster

Media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet, including the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.

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