Does Coughing Makes You Higher: Unraveling the Myth

Does Coughing Makes You Higher: Unraveling the Myth

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Cannabis users love to mystify stories so much that everything surrounding cannabis use often sounds magical!. This is why cannabis culture is full of myths and urban legends. One such myth is the idea that coughing while smoking cannabis can intensify the effect. Whether you're a casual user or a seasoned connoisseur, you've probably heard this statement at some point. Whether coughing makes you higher is a topic of much debate in aficionados and scientific circles.

In the following post, we explore the myths and truths behind this intriguing concept from various angles, delving into the physiological and psychological aspects of coughing while consuming cannabis. We also address the impact of different consumption methods and provide evidence-based answers to the old question: does coughing really make you higher?

Key Takeaways

  • Coughing is a natural reflex the body uses to expel irritants from the respiratory system. Essentially, coughing is not a desirable side effect but rather a physiological response to irritants.
  • Vaping, while not completely risk-free, may cause less coughing since it involves inhaling vapor instead of smoke. In contrast, edibles, absorbed through the digestive system, bypass the respiratory tract entirely, making them a cough-free alternative.
  • The expectation of a stronger high after coughing may be attributed to the placebo effect, in which people perceive the effects as stronger than they really are.
  • Excessive coughing is not a desirable or beneficial effect and can actually be really uncomfortable and even lead to health problems.
  • ​​Not coughing from weed carts or when smoking cannabis is completely possible by simply applying certain techniques.

Coughing and Cannabis: Understanding the Body's Reflexes

Having a clear idea of the physiological response that causes coughing can be of great help in understanding the impact of coughing on the high. Coughing is a natural reflex the body uses to expel irritants from the respiratory system. While it is a defense mechanism designed to keep our airways clean and healthy, it can also be triggered by smoke inhalation.

The Mechanics of Coughing While Smoking

When smoking cannabis, the hot smoke irritates the delicate lining of the respiratory tract. This irritation activates the body's cough reflex, causing the characteristic coughing fits experienced by some cannabis users. It is important to note that coughing, in this context, is not a desirable side effect but rather a physiological response to irritating smoke.

Consumption Techniques: Do They Influence the Coughing-High Dynamic?

Different methods of cannabis consumption can significantly influence the likelihood of coughing and the intensity of the effects. Smoking, vaping, and consuming edibles are among the most common methods, each with its own set of effects on the body.

Smoking, as mentioned above, can cause coughing due to irritants in cannabis smoke. On the other hand, vaping, while not completely risk-free, may cause less coughing since it involves inhaling vapor instead of smoke. In contrast, edibles, absorbed through the digestive system, bypass the respiratory tract entirely, making them a cough-free alternative.

Behind the Buzz: The Science of Coughing and Getting High

It is crucial to explore the scientific mechanisms behind the feeling of being high to gain a better understanding of the relationship between coughing and getting high. At the center of this “high” experience, which for many is the pinnacle of cannabis use, is the interaction between cannabis compounds, such as THC and its different isomers, with the human body.

Interplay Between THC and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a central role in mediating the effects of THC and other cannabinoids. When using cannabis products, cannabinoids interact with the ECS by binding to endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body, triggering a series of physiological and psychological effects. 

When the cannabinoids are psychoactive, such as THC, this interaction results in the feeling that many describe as “being high.” While the interaction between THC and other similar cannabinoids with the ECS is well established, the idea that coughing intensifies this interaction remains debatable.

Deconstructing the Oxygen Deprivation Hypothesis

One theory suggests that coughing could make you feel higher by temporarily depriving the brain of oxygen. This theory posits that coughing fits can cause a brief period of hypoxia, which could enhance the feeling of being high. While this hypothesis seems plausible, we still need more scientific evidence to support it. In any case, self-inducing hypoxia isn't the healthiest method to achieve an enhanced high.

Debunking the Myth: Is the Cough-Induced High Real or Perceived?

Another crucial perspective is that psychology plays a role in the coughing-high dynamic. The intensity of the high after coughing may not be the result of physiological changes but rather a matter of perception. Our minds have a significant influence on our experiences, especially when using psychoactive substances.

The Mind's Influence: Psychological Factors at Play

Psychological factors can shape our experiences, and this is especially evident in the context of cannabis use. The expectation of a more potent high after coughing can lead to a placebo effect, in which people perceive the effects as stronger than they really are. Additionally, it's worth noting that coughing can occur with non-psychoactive strains, such as Sugar Queen CBD, suggesting that coughing is not inherently related to an enhanced high.

Health Considerations: Navigating Coughing During Cannabis Use

Health should always be a primary concern when using any cannabis product. For those who seem to enjoy coughing when smoking cannabis, it is especially vital to consider the health implications. The simple act of smoking already entails certain health risks. 

Coughing, whether due to irritants from cannabis smoke or other factors, is a reflection of this, and the act of smoking itself can have adverse effects on the respiratory system. In addition, the constant use of this coughing "technique" to increase the high can cause potential damage to our throat and even lead to a chronic cough, which can cause breathing problems and discomfort.

The Risks of Coughing Too Much: What You Need to Know

Excessive coughing is not a desirable or beneficial effect. Coughing attacks can actually be really uncomfortable and even lead to health problems. While some people may feel that coughing can increase their high, whether it is reality or a placebo effect, it is not the most recommended thing to do. 

Some people wonder whether the type of product or cannabinoid could make them cough more or less. This doubt led to a prevalent belief among users about whether certain Delta 8 products, such as Delta-8 Godfather OG, could cause more cough than products containing other cannabinoids.

The reality is that cannabinoids themselves don't have much to do with coughs. The most influential factors in causing cough when smoking cannabis are usually the temperature and thickness of the smoke. That's why some users turn to using bongs or water pipes, occasionally even adding ice to the water chamber to cool the smoke before it reaches your throat. By lowering the smoke temperature, this method is less likely to cause the irritation that activates the cough reflex. Another viable alternative is to turn to smokeless methods to consume cannabis, such as Delta-8 live resin tincture, which offers the benefits of Delta 8 without the throat irritation associated with smoking.

Achieving a Cough-Free Session: Practical Tips

Whether you smoke or vape cannabis, exposing your throat to smoke or hot vapor can cause irritation that leads to a possible cough. Nonetheless, not coughing from weed carts or when smoking during a cannabis session is completely possible by simply applying certain techniques. Doing so could ensure a more comfortable and pleasant experience. Here are some practical tips to achieve a cough-free session:

  • Start with low doses: Whether you smoke or vape, taking smaller, controlled doses, such as one or two gentle puffs, can help minimize the chances of coughing, especially if you're new to cannabis.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration can help soothe your throat and reduce irritation, potentially leading to less coughing.
  • Use vaporizers: Vaporizers heat cannabis to lower temperatures, producing vapor instead of smoke, which is less likely to cause coughing. You can test the effectiveness of this method with our Forbidden V live resin THCV carts, which deliver a flavorful and therapeutic vapor at a temperature that won't likely cause any coughing at all.
  • Breathe slowly: Inhale slowly and deeply to minimize irritation to the respiratory system.
  • Consider edibles: Edibles, such as Delta-9 gummies, offer a smokeless and cough-free option for using cannabis.


smoke around a woman's face


Concluding on a High Note: The Verdict on Coughing and Cannabis

The idea that coughing makes you feel higher is debatable, with limited scientific evidence to support this claim. While some consumers seek to increase the effects of their cannabis products by watching movies, listening to music, or enjoying some of the best video games to play while high, it is always vital to prioritize personal safety.

The theory that coughing could make you higher is still a subject of study and constant debate. Obviously, the type of cannabinoids contained in your cannabis joint or vape does not play a central role in terms of coughing. Nevertheless, there are still many questions about whether spliffs, which mix cannabis and tobacco, could make you feel higher than regular joints. Available evidence suggests that a perceived increase in effect may be due to factors such as lack of oxygen, similar to self-inducing hypoxia by coughing, and not to an enhanced cannabis effect.

Final Thoughts

The belief that cough amplifies the effect of cannabis is a myth that lacks solid scientific evidence either to validate or completely refute it. While some people may subjectively feel a stronger high after coughing, it is possible that this may be due to psychological factors, such as expectations and placebo effects, rather than physiological changes.

When it comes to cannabis use, responsible and safe practices should be the priority. Understanding the various consumption methods and their effects on the body can help users make more informed decisions that fit their preferences and health considerations. Whether you choose to smoke, vape, or consume edibles, prioritize your well-being and comfort.

As the field of cannabis research continues to evolve, future studies may shed more light on the relationship between cough and high. Until then, approach the idea that coughing gets you higher with a healthy dose of skepticism and focus on enjoying your cannabis experience responsibly, using the method that best suits your individual needs and preferences. 

Why Does Coughing Make You Higher: Frequently Asked Questions 

Why do I cough when I smoke cannabis?

Coughing when smoking cannabis is usually triggered by the irritation caused by smoke, heat, or irritants in cannabis smoke, which can trigger the body's cough reflex.

Does coughing spread the THC in my system faster, making me higher?

There's no scientific evidence to support the idea that coughing spreads THC in your system faster or more effectively. Coughing can temporarily increase blood pressure, but it doesn't enhance THC absorption.

Are there ways to reduce coughing when smoking cannabis?

To reduce coughing when smoking cannabis, consider staying hydrated, using devices with water filtration like bongs, choosing smoother strains, or switching to alternative consumption methods such as vapes or edibles.

How long does the "dizziness" from coughing last after taking a hit?

Any dizziness from a coughing fit after taking a hit is usually temporary and can be attributed to a brief decrease in oxygen and an increase in carbon dioxide levels. Nevertheless, this effect often passes within a few minutes.

Are there consumption methods that are less likely to make me cough?

Alternative consumption methods like vaping and edibles are generally less likely to make you cough, as they take the act of smoking out of the equation.

Does the quality or strain of cannabis influence how much I might cough?

The quality and strain of cannabis can, indeed, influence the likelihood of coughing. Smooth, high-quality, properly cured cannabis buds tend to reduce coughing, while harsh, low-quality buds can increase irritation and, thus, coughing.

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