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Does Coughing Make You Higher? The Truth About Cannabis Smoke and Coughing

One of the most common questions I receive from readers is, “Does coughing make you higher?” Many people believe that coughing after smoking weed can intensify the high, but is this really the case? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind cannabis smoke and coughing to determine the truth about this myth.

 

The Basics of Cannabis Consumption

Before diving into whether coughing can make you higher, let’s review the different ways to consume cannabis. The most common methods are smoking, vaporizing, edibles, tinctures, and topicals.

Smoking involves combusting the plant material and inhaling the resulting smoke. This is the most traditional method of consuming cannabis, but it can also be the harshest on the lungs. Vaporizing, on the other hand, heats the cannabis to a temperature that produces vapor without combustion. This method is becoming increasingly popular due to its reduced health risks.

Edibles are food products that contain cannabis, such as brownies or gummies. These can be a more discreet way to consume cannabis, but they also take longer to take effect and can be difficult to dose accurately. Tinctures are liquid extracts placed under the tongue or added to food or drinks, and this method is popular for its ease of use and fast onset time. Finally, topicals are cannabis-infused lotions or balms applied directly to the skin, primarily used for their pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

What Happens When You Cough?

Now that we’ve reviewed the basics of cannabis consumption let’s talk about what happens when you cough. Coughing is a reflex action that occurs when the body senses an irritation in the throat or lungs. When you inhale cannabis smoke, it can irritate the respiratory system, causing coughing.

Coughing serves a few purposes. First, it helps to expel any irritants or foreign objects from the lungs. It also increases airflow to the lungs, which can help to clear mucus and other secretions. However, coughing can also indicate poor lung health or harsh smoke, which we’ll discuss further in the next section.

 

Does Coughing Make You Higher?

Now, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: does coughing make you higher? The short answer is no. Coughing may affect your high subtly, but it doesn’t actually intensify the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

One common belief is that coughing can increase THC absorption by depriving the body of oxygen. While it’s true that THC is absorbed more efficiently when oxygen levels are lower, coughing doesn’t lower oxygen levels significantly enough to make a difference.

Another factor to consider is that coughing can be a sign of harsh smoke or poor lung health, which can decrease your high quality. When smoke is too hot or contains harmful chemicals, it can irritate the throat and lungs, leading to coughing and other respiratory symptoms. Additionally, chronic coughing can lead to inflammation and damage to the lungs, which can decrease their ability to absorb THC and other cannabinoids.

 

The Truth About Cannabis Smoke and Coughing

To truly understand the relationship between coughing and getting high, we need to look more closely at cannabis smoke. Cannabis smoke contains many of the same harmful chemicals as tobacco smoke, including tar, carbon monoxide, and benzene (this is true for any smoke created from organic material). These chemicals can damage the lungs and increase the risk of respiratory disease, particularly when smoking is done frequently or in large amounts.

However, it’s important to note that cannabis smoke also contains beneficial compounds, such as cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotective effects. When cannabis is consumed in moderation and using a method that minimizes harm, such as vaporizing, these benefits can be realized without the harmful effects of smoke.

To minimize the risks associated with smoking, it’s essential to choose high-quality cannabis that has been grown and cured properly. It’s also essential to use a method of consumption that reduces smoke exposure, such as vaporizing or using a bong. Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of your respiratory health and to avoid smoking if you have a history of lung disease or other respiratory issues.

 

Debunking Common Myths

There are many myths surrounding cannabis consumption, and coughing is no exception. Let’s look at some of the most common misconceptions about coughing and getting high.

One myth is that “holding in” smoke can get you higher. While it’s true that holding in smoke can increase THC absorption slightly, it also increases exposure to harmful chemicals in smoke. In the end, the risks of holding in smoke outweigh any potential benefits.

Another myth is that coughing clears your lungs. While coughing can help to expel irritants and mucus from the lungs, it doesn’t actually “cleanse” the lungs of harmful chemicals or tar. In fact, chronic coughing can lead to inflammation and damage to the lungs, which can make it more difficult to breathe and decrease the quality of your high.

Finally, some people believe that coughing is a sign of good weed. While coughing can be a sign of potency, it’s not necessarily an indicator of quality. Harsh smoke can indicate poor growing or curing practices, which can decrease the overall quality of the cannabis.

 

FAQs About Coughing and Getting High

Let’s wrap up this article by answering some frequently asked questions about coughing and getting high.

Q: Is it normal to cough when smoking weed?

A: Yes, coughing is a common side effect of smoking weed. However, chronic or severe coughing may indicate harsh smoke or underlying respiratory issues.

 

Q: Can you overdose on cannabis?

A: While it’s possible to consume too much cannabis and experience adverse side effects, it’s not possible to overdose on cannabis like other drugs. Cannabis is considered to have a low toxicity profile and is generally safe when used responsibly.

 

Q: Can you get higher from eating edibles?

A: No, eating edibles doesn’t produce the same high as smoking or vaporizing cannabis. Edibles are processed by the liver, which converts THC into a more potent form. This can produce a longer-lasting and more intense high, but it doesn’t increase the psychoactive effects of THC.

 

Q: How can you reduce coughing when smoking?

A: To reduce coughing when smoking, use a bong to cool and filter the smoke or a vaporizer to reduce the possibility of smoke inhalation. It’s also important to inhale slowly and deeply to avoid irritation to the throat and lungs. Finally, choose high-quality cannabis that has been grown and cured correctly to minimize the risk of harsh smoke.

 

In conclusion, coughing doesn’t make you higher. While coughing may affect your high subtly, it doesn’t actually increase the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Additionally, coughing can be a sign of harsh smoke or poor lung health, which can decrease the quality of your high and increase your risk of respiratory issues. By understanding the relationship between coughing and cannabis, you can make informed decisions about how to consume this plant safely and responsibly.


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