There’s a little part of us that really wants to look like we know what we’re doing when we take a hit. We picture those professional smokers who inhale a deep drag and blow the smoke out in perfect circles.
So, when the reality isn’t quite so sophisticated, and you end up coughing, it’s embarrassing, annoying, and painful.
The thing is, whatever you’re inhaling, whether it’s a blunt, joint, or cigarette, the smoke gets into your lungs. That’s the point. But you have sensitive membranes there that are easily irritated.
When you don’t cough, it’s because the membranes weren’t “tickled.” To make this happen on purpose, use these five tips to cough less when you smoke weed.
1. Accessorize (Your Bong, We Mean)
Taking a hit straight from a bong means your lungs are getting the direct impact of the harsh smoke. If you add a percolator to the main shaft, it smoothes the effect and irritates the membranes less.
Percolators are water chambers that connect to the bong tube. Each one can have a different design, but they do the same job. The extra water increases the ratio you inhale of smoke to water. Instead of a harsh, hot inhalation, you breathe in cool, liquified smoke.
Make sure your filter is top-quality, too. The better the filter, the smoother the smoke that gets through it is.
Your last accessory is a diffuser. Your weed goes into the open end, and the smoke goes through the diffuser, which breaks it up into small sections. More the smoke contacts the water, and you get a smoother hit.
2. Don’t Inhale So Deeply
Huge hits look cool, but only until you’re coughing like crazy after it.
If you’re new to smoking, or your lungs are already irritated, they can’t handle a big hit. The smaller hit you start out with, the less smoke is in your lungs, tickling the membranes.
Start out with small puffs and work your way up to the big stuff. You might not get there if your lung capacity is little, and that’s okay. You can enjoy your weed better if you’re not coughing up a lung after every inhale.
3. Switch to Vaping
You’ve tried the other options, and the smoke is still irritating your lungs. It could be that inhaling the heat is what’s causing the problem.
Luckily, you can get the same results from a vape as from a joint.
Vaporizers work similarly to a percolator and diffuser without burning the weed. Instead, the buds are turned into THC-laced water vapor. Without the combustion, there’s nothing to cause irritation and, therefore, coughing.
You can find vapes everywhere, but if you invest in a good one upfront, you’ll notice a difference over the cheaper alternatives.
4. Check Your Weed Quality
No matter how many accessories you add or how carefully you inhale, if your weed quality isn’t good, you’re going to cough.
The problem with poor-quality weed is that it’s full of chemicals and pesticides. All the filters and diffusers in the world won’t get rid of every bit of the bad stuff and leave you with the good.
And the more you filter it down, the more product you have to add to your bong. It may be cheaper at first, but in the long run, you get what you pay for.
You’ll be buying a lot more than you would have if you’d gone with medicinal-grade marijuana to begin with. Plus, you have the nasty side effects that come with breathing in chemicals.
Stick with dispensary-produced weed. Once you try it, you won’t settle for the cheap stuff anymore.
5. Skip the Smoking and Go to Edibles
If all else fails and you decide smoking weed isn’t for you, don’t give up on the benefits. Switch to edibles!
Do you love to cook? Is baking your favorite hobby? Adding cannabis buds to the recipe is an easy, delicious way to slide your weed into your day without hurting your lungs.
It’s okay if cooking isn’t your thing. Premade edibles, like gummies and chocolate bars, are sold at most dispensaries. You can get them over-the-counter and online if they don’t have more than .3% THC, too.
In addition to edibles, there are lots of other THC and CBD products on the market. Oils, tinctures, topicals, and concentrates give you the fix you want without the annoying side effects (and they’re more discrete).
A coughing fit after a hit takes away the enjoyment you’re supposed to be getting. No matter what you smoke, though, coughing is a potential side effect. Your respiratory system is working, and it doesn’t always like what’s coming through.
It’s possible to soothe the sensitive membranes and avoid excess irritation. These tips will help you look like you know what you’re doing during your next smoking session.