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Does Coughing Get You Higher? [Debunking Cannabis Myths]

Ever been mid-puff during a relaxing cannabis session when an unexpected coughing fit strikes? Amidst trying to regain your composure, you might have heard a voice chime in with, “Did you know that coughing gets you higher?”

This assertion, tossed around within cannabis communities for years, has provoked debates and even piqued the interest of scientists. But does this infamous ‘cannabis cough’ truly amplify your high, or is it merely a well-circulated myth?

We’re delving into the science behind this controversial topic to uncover the truth and shed light on your smoking experience.

Why Do You Cough When You Smoke Weed?

The act of coughing is a physiological response of the body to clear the airways of irritants, and cannabis smoke, like any smoke, is viewed as an irritant by your body. This response is primarily controlled by nerves in the lungs and airways that send signals to the brain when they are irritated.

When you smoke cannabis, the smoke contains several substances such as tar, toxins, and cannabinoids, among which is the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). When inhaled, these substances pass through the bronchial tubes, where tiny hair-like structures called cilia work to keep the airways clean.

Smoke can paralyze these cilia, making it harder for them to do their job, resulting in the body triggering a cough reflex to clear the airways.

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Why Do Weed Users Think That Coughing Gets Them Higher?

The cannabis community is diverse, and so are the theories about why coughing might make someone feel higher after using cannabis.

Let’s look at some of the most common theories and perspectives shared by users, bearing in mind that these are individual experiences rather than scientifically validated facts.

ALSO CHECK: What are the Different Stages of Being High?

Theory 1: Increased Lung Permeability

Some cannabis users, such as Kushdieselwrec K, argue that coughing increases the permeability of the lungs, leading to faster absorption of THC into the bloodstream.

According to this theory, a large hit followed by a cough could lead to a more intense high because the THC, which typically takes time to cross into the blood, is absorbed more quickly.

Theory 2: Oxygen Deprivation

Other users, like Marcell Bell and Patrick Dalton, suggest that the sensation of feeling higher when coughing is due to a lack of oxygen.

The act of coughing after a big hit could temporarily reduce the amount of oxygen in your system, leading to lightheadedness.

Combine this with the effects of marijuana, and the resulting feeling could be interpreted as an intensified high.

ALSO READ: Why Am I Still Feeling High After 24 Hours?

Theory 3: The “Bigger Hit, Higher High”

Several users, like Grotesque_Filth and LilEngineThatCant, suggest the perceived increased high from coughing isn’t from the cough itself, but from the larger hit of cannabis that provoked the cough.

According to this theory, the act of smoking a larger amount that causes coughing results in a more potent high.

Theory 4: Deep Inhalation

Italian_boi proposes that deeper inhalation, which might cause more coughing, leads to a higher high because more cannabinoids can be absorbed.

However, he emphasizes that it’s not the act of coughing that increases the high, but the deep inhalation, potentially leading to increased absorption of THC.

These are all interesting theories, but it’s essential to remember they are just that — theories. They are based on personal experiences and observations, not scientific evidence.

While they provide insight into how some cannabis users interpret their experiences, they don’t necessarily reflect the actual physiological processes at work.

In the next section, we’ll delve into what science has to say about the connection between coughing and the intensity of a cannabis high.

So, Does Coughing Really Get You Higher?

Given the array of theories we’ve discussed, the question still stands: does coughing really get you higher?

In light of scientific evidence and contrary to some cannabis user beliefs, the answer is no.

Coughing does not get you higher when you smoke cannabis.

The sensation of feeling more ‘high’ after coughing is more likely associated with physiological responses such as increased heart rate and decreased oxygen levels, rather than an enhanced absorption or effect of THC.

What Really Happens?

Firstly, coughing can cause a temporary increase in heart rate as your body reacts to perceived respiratory distress. This increased heart rate can lead to a heightened flow of blood throughout your body, including your brain. This amplified circulation might momentarily intensify the feeling of being ‘high.’ However, this sensation is not the result of more THC being absorbed into your system, but rather the physiological response to coughing.

Moreover, when you try to hold in cannabis smoke to get higher, the psychoactive THC component is absorbed by the lungs within just a few seconds after inhalation. Holding your breath longer doesn’t change the effects of THC on your body.The feeling of being lightheaded when you hold in smoke is more about temporary oxygen shortage to your brain, not about getting more intoxicated.

Once you return to a normal breathing pattern, this feeling dissipates and is not related to increased intoxication from cannabis.

In a 1989 study, researchers found no enhancement in THC’s effects when breath was held for longer than 10 seconds. The perception of being ‘extra high’ after coughing is more likely attributed to oxygen deprivation than to increased absorption of THC.

ALSO READ: What are the Symptoms of Being Too High?

We’ve covered some of the common theories and misconceptions about why coughing might occur when smoking cannabis and whether it can enhance the effects.

Now let’s answer some other related questions you might have on this topic:

Are there any drawbacks when you cough while high?

Yes, frequent or persistent coughing while smoking cannabis can cause discomfort and might be a sign of lung irritation.

Chronic coughing could lead to throat soreness, hoarseness, and even temporary lightheadedness.

It’s important to listen to your body and if you’re experiencing chronic coughing, you may want to reconsider your consumption method or stop smoking altogether.

Should you prevent yourself from coughing if that’s the case?

Coughing is your body’s natural response to clear irritants from your lungs, so suppressing a cough is generally not recommended.

Instead, focus on identifying and addressing the root cause of the cough, such as taking smaller hits, using other forms of cannabis, or finding a strain that’s less irritating to your lungs.

How do you avoid coughing while you’re high next time?

There are several strategies you can adopt to minimize coughing when smoking cannabis.

These include staying well hydrated, taking smaller hits, trying a different strain or quality of cannabis, and considering other consumption methods like edibles or vaporizers.

It’s all about finding what works best for you and listening to your body’s reactions. Remember, persistent coughing is a sign to stop and consult a healthcare provider.

To End

In essence, the act of coughing does not increase the effects of cannabis. It’s a physiological reaction to an irritant in the lungs, which can lead to a brief increase in heart rate and blood flow, but it does not enhance the psychoactive properties of cannabis itself.

Rather, the perception of an intensified high is likely due to physiological responses to coughing and oxygen deprivation, rather than any enhanced interaction with THC.

And when it comes to quality, that’s our speciality here at BMWO. We pride ourselves on offering top-grade cannabis products that provide a reliable and enjoyable experience, without the coughing.

Now, we’d love to hear from you as well.

What are your thoughts on this coughing debate? Ever found yourself coughing during a smoke session? Did it make any difference to your high? Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below.

Your insights will help enrich our fellow reader’s understanding of this topic.

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