Vaping is supposed to be a simple and convenient way to smoke weed, and for countless people, it remains just that. However, one thing that can cut the fun short is when vaping stops being physically comfortable.
Anyone who’s had to endure a sudden bout of coughing from taking a hit of their favorite cart knows how frustrating that can be. Worse, it can leave you with a scratchy throat and lots of pain that can prevent you from fully enjoying your vape for long stretches of time.
If you’ve been fighting with this stubborn side effect of vaping for a while, you might be wondering what ultimately causes persistent coughing from weed carts, and how to prevent it.
That is exactly what this article is for. Read on to find out how coughing and vaping are interrelated, how to manage the problem, and how to achieve a smoother, more pleasant vaping experience over the long term.
Why Do I Cough When Vaping?
So where does all that coughing come from? It might not be the most surprising thing to hear, but any form of smoke inhalation takes a toll on our lungs to some degree. Over time, this can (but doesn’t have to) cause lasting damage, so you need to be careful.
While smoking marijuana is less of a health risk than smoking tobacco, that doesn’t mean that you can get away with vaping carelessly without paying attention to your body’s needs.
Coughing when vaping is common, but its causes are plentiful and diverse. If it just happens once or twice, it’s probably nothing more than a momentary irritation of the throat or the esophagus. This is a risk we all take when we vape or smoke weed, tobacco, or something else.
A more serious cough that won’t let up could signal a serious problem deserving immediate attention. One thing you can do to try and narrow things down is to ask yourself whether you experience coughing only when vaping, or also while doing other activities, such as exercise, eating, drinking, playing musical instruments, or consuming tobacco.
If you notice your cough is present during other activities other than vaping, then weed is probably not the cause of your condition, but merely exacerbating it. Your cough might be coming from an inflammation of the throat, an infection, or a similar condition. Ask your doctor for advice if the symptoms persist for a long time – they should be able to help.
Why Do I Cough When Vaping But not Smoking?
If you notice your cough is limited exclusively to vaping, while smoking cannabis or tobacco does not trigger it, then the diagnosis may be easy.
The most likely culprits include your choice of vaping gear, your technique, the content of your cart, as well as mismatched settings, or poor maintenance. Let’s look at it all in some more detail.
Sometimes, a small change in technique can make a big difference in terms of results. That’s one rule that any cannabis enthusiast will be happy to corroborate with their own experience.
The same goes for how you vape. Tiny mistakes – often caused by reliance on techniques learned from smoking cigarettes – can throw off the whole experience and lead to a coughy, scratchy throat.
Ingredients in Vape Juice
Not all vape carts are cut from the same cloth. This goes down right to the ingredients used to make the fluid inside. You might not be aware of this, but plenty of people are sensitive or even outright allergic to a few chemical compounds used in some, but not all, formulations of vape juice.
Carefully study the label and packaging of your cart to find out if this may be what’s causing your coughing fits.
Propylene Glycol Sensitivity
A key component of vape juice that often causes problems for some people is propylene glycol. It is used in lots of products, from deodorants to fragrances, and even wet wipes and some brands of soap.
Therefore, if you have a really serious sensitivity to PG…well, you probably know by now. While there aren’t many kinds of vape carts that are entirely PG-free, you can find many that use 100% organic vegetable glycerin instead.
Vegetable Glycerin Sensitivity
Unfortunately, some people are actually sensitive to vegetable glycerin, too! Again, you are unlikely to have a serious sensitivity or allergy to VG without knowing that you do.
The compound is widely used in soap, skincare products, cosmetics, and foodstuffs as a stabilizer. Suffice to say, a serious physical incompatibility with VG is a rare thing, and without solid evidence that VG is what causes your symptoms, you shouldn’t bet on it.
Issues With Vaping Device
Ultimately, vapes are devices just like any other, and can malfunction. Even if your vape pen is working fine on the face of it, there might be something wrong causing you to inhale vapor incorrectly.
But it doesn’t have to be a defect. Sometimes, vape manufacturers will have very unique (and confusing) requirements for what oils you can fill their vape pens with.
Vaping Too Much
If you're not experienced, taking a lot of hits rapidly is not a good idea. This is an easy way to overload your lungs and your throat, and it can often lead to coughing fits.
Generally speaking, vaping at higher temperatures is more likely to lead to irritation, and in turn coughing. Your lungs weren’t made to handle burning-hot air, so the cooler your vape is, the gentler it’ll be on your system.
Underlying Health Issues
This one is impossible to diagnose over the internet, but it is quite possible that some underlying health condition may be interfering with your ability to vape normally.
If you are sure that none of the other potential causes listed in this guide apply to you, then it would be time to make an appointment with your physician and discuss the issue with them.
If you suspect that a cardiovascular or respiratory problem is causing your coughing when vaping, you should abstain from further vaping as well as smoking right away.
How to Not Cough From Weed Carts
After reviewing the potential causes of excessive coughing when vaping, let’s see how to prevent yourself from experiencing this kind of annoying symptom in future.
Tweak the Technique
If your technique is messing up your vaping experience and stressing your body, there are several things you can try to do to fix that.
A slower, calmer inhale work wonders for many people. Often, the deep-inhale technique many of us get accustomed to from using cigarettes and joints can lead to coughing from weed carts.
You should also refrain from holding the vapor inside your lungs for too long before exhaling. Doing so can only multiply the stress and potential damage that the high-temperature vapor can cause to your system.
If you find yourself struggling with consistent coughing while vaping, try taking smaller inhales. You might be used to deep hits with cigarettes or joints, but these don't necessarily apply to vaping.
A shallow and short inhale is often enough and won’t irritate your throat. Also, trying to fill your lungs to maximum capacity can and often will backfire. Remember, vapes aren’t cigarettes, and you shouldn’t treat them as such.
Try to do gentler and shallower hits and you should already see an improvement in your coughing symptoms.
Check Vape Temperature
Some pens have an adjustable heat setting. If the temperature is too high for your choice of oil, dial it down a little and see what changes.
Take a Break From Vaping
If your throat is already irritated, the best thing is to give it a rest. Put the vape pen aside for a few days and wait until your body recuperates.
When you’re feeling well again and the coughing has subsided, you can make another attempt, this time paying extra attention to the points outlined above.
Better Quality Vapes
While this is not a solution in and of itself, you should never underestimate how big of a quality-of-life improvement it can be to invest in seriously high-quality vapes.
A quality cart will not just taste better and give you more reliable, enjoyable hits, higher manufacturing standards also ensure better oil viscosity and temperature balance, for example.
At Botany farms, we use a proprietary full-spectrum extraction process for all our vape carts. This means that these carts retain all the healthy nutrients, cannabinoids, and terpenes straight from the plant. We don’t use any artificial additives or cost-cutting measures to improve taste or add potency to our carts – everything you inhale is pure cannabis.
For those with sensitive throats and lungs, we recommend our Live Resin Delta-8 THC Vape Cartridge. Made with full-spectrum Delta-8 concentrate blended in with real live resin CBD oil, this cart will transport you into a state of complete relaxation and relief with the power of these organic, potent cannabinoids.
If you’re sensitive to Delta-9 THC, you’ll be delighted by Delta-8's gentleness and how well it complements the CBD in the cart. To suit different preferences, these carts are available in three profiles – punchy Indica, creative Sativa, or our personal favorite, the wild card which is the excellent Sour Space Candy hybrid strain.
If that doesn’t sound like it’s packing enough oomph for you, you’ll likely love the Delta-8 THC Vape Cartridge. Based on the extremely energetic Tangerine Dream Sativa strain and packing over 94% pure Delta-8, rest assured that this cart will provide a much more intense euphoric hit than its competition.
Sometimes, you’d rather trade some of that excitement for a little bit of extra endurance. If this sounds like you, consider a CBG Vape Cartridge. Infused with moderate amounts of CBD and Delta-8, the most prominent active ingredient in this cart is one many smokers sadly overlook. CBG might not have a lot of recognition, but it is an extremely important minor cannabinoid. Its superpower? Extremely long-lasting, powerful relaxing effects accompanied by a distinct head buzz.
For our CBG cart, we took some terpenes from the Lemon Diesel strain for a strong sweet-sour taste profile and punchy effects. Because we used our full-spectrum extraction method, none of our CBG carts contain any propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or other potential irritants such as MCT!
Speaking of long-lasting, relaxing hits, nothing does that better than Delta-10 THC. Delta-8’s little brother may be less potent, but it more than makes up for that with its pleasant and extremely smooth effects. Perfect for a slow afternoon, our Delta-10 THC Vape Cartridge lets you lean back and let all worries drift away in slow-motion.
This cart is based on the award-winning Sativa strain, Purple Haze. Its fruity flavors combined with a thick, gassy exhale make for an excellent complement to Delta-10’s smooth buzz.
But people are different, so maybe even Delta-10 is a bit too close to bog-standard for you. In that case, consider the trailblazer in our line of vape carts – the HHC Vape Cartridge. Relatively little known, HHC's effects and unique properties are in a league of their own.
Essentially a hydrogenated cousin of Delta-9 THC, HHC’s effects can be just as potent, while having a distinctly different feel altogether. Thanks to a 99% HHC concentration, these carts hit hard, providing a very long-lasting buzz and waves of euphoria. Because of that, we mostly recommend them to experienced THC users looking to up their game.