Vaping cannabis is an increasingly popular way to consume. It’s low odor, discreet, and generally easier on your lungs. But it’s common for vaping cannabis to trigger coughing. Here’s why vaping can cause coughing fits and what you can do to fix it.
Why Does Vaping Cause Coughing?
There are a few reasons why you might find yourself coughing while you vape, even if you’re not new to using cannabis. Here are some of the top reasons your vape pen might trigger a coughing fit:
- You’re new to vaping – People who are still getting used to vapes often take a while to figure out how much to inhale. As a result, they can inhale too much vapor at once and trigger a coughing fit. This can even be the case if you’re used to smoking joints, which require bigger inhales than vapes. Usually, with time and practice, you will learn how to puff to get the effect you want without coughing.
- Vapor causes coughing – Our lungs generally don’t like breathing in hot vapor, no matter what is in it. For some people, even vapor from a hot shower or a cup of tea can trigger coughing, so it’s not exactly surprising that a vape pen can do it, too. If you find yourself coughing every time you vape, try adjusting the temperature. Setting it to a cooler temp and drinking water as you vape can help soothe your throat and reduce coughing.
- You’re having a reaction to components of the vape oil – Vape cartridges contain many different ingredients, including oils called terpenes, which flavor the contents. These can cause irritation in your throat. If you find yourself coughing a lot after buying a new cartridge, you might want to try a different flavor to see if it is easier on you.
- You have a health issue – People who have respiratory issues, whether chronic or temporary, should generally avoid using vapes. If you have asthma or bronchitis, you’re going to cough a lot from excessive throat irritation.
Is Vaping Bad For Your Lungs?
Though vaping is often advertised as healthier for your lungs than smoking, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Let’s get one thing clear, though: if it comes down to smoking vs. vaping, vaping is considered safer. It doesn’t introduce smoke particles into your lungs and it contains fewer chemicals.
There is emerging research to show that vaping has plenty of its own health risks, including increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. But if we’re purely asking if vaping is as bad for your lungs as smoking, the answer is no.
That being said, if you have asthma or any kind of respiratory illness, you should avoid both smoking and vaping.
What Can You Do to Reduce Coughing While Vaping?
Sometimes, the reason that you’re coughing is a matter of form, which comes with practice. Sometimes, it is a matter of needing to switch products.
Try adjusting your vape pen to a lower heat and taking smaller, slower puffs. This reduces the risk of irritating your throat with hot vapor and triggering a coughing fit.
Try switching out the flavor you’re using, especially if you notice the coughing becoming a problem after you buy a new cartridge.
If you’ve tried these and you’re still coughing, you might want to try consuming your cannabis in a different way, such as through edibles or oils.
Alternatives to Vaping
If you find that vaping irritates your lungs too much — or if you have a medical condition that makes smoking or vaping unsafe — you can still consume cannabis in other ways.
Edibles are a popular way to consume cannabis, and they’re easy to make at home (like this firecrackers recipe). Some edibles, like the firecrackers recipe, call for ground bud, while others use cannabutter, which is regular butter infused with weed.
Bear in mind that if you want to make your own edibles (including the firecrackers edibles) you will need to decarb your cannabis ahead of time to activate the cannabinoids. Otherwise it won’t have a psychoactive effect.
Alternatively, there are plenty of commercial edibles you can find, including everything from cannabis tea to gummies, baked goods, and much more.
You might also want to try cannabis oil, which you can add to food or drink or even take under your tongue like a medicine.