Everyone coughs from time to time when they medicate.
Anyone who knows me and I’ve had the pleasure to sesh with, knows that I cough regardless. I even joke about it regularly, “Makes me feel alive. Hahaha.” I medicate daily, so let’s say I don’t have virgin lungs. Sometimes, people joke about it being my first time smoking. Not everyone acclimates to smoking. Our lungs are not designed to process smoke. We all should understand that smoking is not healthy long term. If it’s really a concern for you, edibles are always an option. Vaping, theoretically, is a healthier alternative for delivering THC compared to combustion.
So why does cannabis make someone cough? It can be many things. I like the act of smoking my cannabis and the different high I obtain. It’s about the peace of mind for me. I originally tried vaping, but found it not to be the same experience as smoking. My coughing continued as well, possibly because I felt the need to take longer and heavier pulls. I could pull on a vape all day and not get the same desired effect as hitting a bong or joint, but everyone is different.
When comparing smoke from tobacco and cannabis, cannabis smoke is thicker, heavier and slow moving. Some say cannabis smoke carries more tar, however it should be made clear that experts have found cannabis tar has not shown to cause cancer, like that of tobacco. There are other concerns, however, associated with the act of smoking, like as COPD, Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis. Here are some tips to help identify why you are coughing.
It’s easy to get eager and try to take a big toke off a pipe, joint, or even a vape. Others love taking extra time holding the smoke in their lungs. While holding in the smoke will increase the likelihood that more THC/CBD is absorbed into the body, one needs to ask themselves if it’s really aiding the delivery of medicine. Taking an increased number of shallow pulls may be more enjoyable than taking one big hit and holding it in, yet you can get the same desired effect. Inhaling too much does you no good, since you’ll be quickly coughing it out not giving your body enough time to absorb the cannabinoids.
Deep Slow Breathing
Researching this topic, I read some interesting thoughts on how deep slow breathing can be a cause for some coughing. It made sense to me, since I too have experienced similar situations. Have you ever noticed when you inhale, the sensation of something stuck in your throat? It is the smoke getting trapped which makes you feel like you have to cough. I get it every now and then and it’s like I need to clear my throat. This happens when a person hesitates while inhaling. Slow and steady wins the race!
Temperature is a big factor in causing someone to cough and which points to vaping as being a safer alternative to combustion. Smoking has been found to be too harsh for some people to bear with. Studies have shown that vaporizing cannabis exposes the user to lower levels of harmful substances than smoking cannabis. Of the studies about vaporizing marijuana, few have addressed the quality of the vapor extracted and delivered; instead, studies usually focus on the mode of usage of the vaporizers. There are 483 identifiable chemical constituents known to exist in the cannabis plant, and at least 85 different cannabinoids have been isolated from the plant. The aromatic terpenes begin to vaporize at 126.0 °C (258.8 °F), but the more bio-active THC, CBD and CBN do not vaporize until near their respective boiling points: THC 315 °F, CBD 320–356 °F and CBN 365 °F. This is far lower that the temperature of a standard Bic lighter which can reach 3,590 °F. If you are using a pipe or joint, this hot smoke is being directly ingested. The hot and unfiltered smoke is known to cause irritation and tar build-up. An easy way to filter the smoke is using a water pipe or bong. These devices utilize water to cool down the smoke and filter out particulates, such as ash and plant material. Devices which include secondary filtration, like a percolator, can’t hurt to easy your cough. Stem diffusers are a great addition to your piece. Instead of being a standard downpipe with two open ends, one end on a diffuser is closed with tiny holes to increase the filtration process.
Quality of Medicine
You would think that this should not be a problem with state program in Connecticut. We don’t have to be concerned with concentrates with butane, since the program requires CO2 extraction. Not that butane extracts are bad, but there is a concern of ingesting butane. Butane burns fast and hot, much of which evaporate prior to heating up. Butane gas has been proven to cause headaches and irritate the bodies mucous membranes, CO2 extractions have been found to be easier to inhale and less irritating to the lungs.
When it comes to cannabis in flower form, there can be many concerns relating to pesticides (not allowed in CT MMP) and how the plant is grown. If a plant is not properly purged and cured, the bud can be harsh when smoking. It benefits the user to buy quality over quantity. Taking your medicine doesn’t need to be painful. Fire Flower should be sticky to touch, covered in crystals, smell dank, not too dry so it breaks up into a powder, not too wet, and should not look brown or yellowish.
Cannabis is an Expectorant
The famous Jack Herer wrote, “Cannabis is the best natural expectorant to clear the human lungs of smog, dust and the phlegm associated with tobacco use.” Marijuana smoke effectively dilates the airways of the lungs, the bronchi, opening them to allow more oxygen into the lungs. It is also the best natural dilator of the tiny airways of the lungs, the bronchial tubes – making cannabis the best overall bronchial dilator for 80% of the population (the remaining 20% sometimes show minor negative reactions).
If you truly want to understand how increase your body’s lung function, try doing some breathing exercises before and after you medicate. If you are more likely to sit most of the day, your lungs are only operating at 50% of their capacity. Try to work out your lungs, just as much as you would your body. Some exercises you could try are 4-7-8 Breathing, Pursed-Lips Breathing, and Diaphragmatic Breathing.