Contrary to the old saying, you don't have to cough to get off: in fact, holding in marijuana smoke until you're forced to talk in a weird, super-quick cadence, then bust your lungs hacking for 20 minutes, is doing you more harm than good.
While cannabis smoke is way better than, say, tobacco smoke, excessive, prolonged coughing is still a sign you're irritating the delicate mucous membranes in your lungs. As UCLA professor of medicine Dr. Donald Tashkin tells the Cannabist:
If this describes you, here are six ways to mitigate the harshness when you get mellow.
1. Cultivate some distance
Generally speaking, the smaller the distance between your mouth and the burning cherry, the
2. Let it percolate
Some water pipes include a percolator - a subchamber in the shaft of the bong that provides extra heat diffusion and exposes more smoke to the surface of the water, cooling it and removing particles. While there's a dizzying array of percolator designs - dome, pedestal, tree, helix, honeycomb and fritted disc among them - all of them provide extra filtration, while helping to reduce coughing.
3. Think outside the box
Edibles, tinctures, and vaporizers all get you high minus the need to inhale any smoke whatsoever. Edibles, unlike smoked cannabis, also introduce THC to the body through the gastrointestinal tract, where it is processed by the liver before entering the bloodstream. According to Patty Javier Gomez, R.H.N, "The liver changes the cannabinoid THC into the more potent 11-
4. Stay hydrated
Keep an ice-cold glass of H2O on hand to sip before, during, and after your session. When your throat is already scratchy and irritated, you'll have more difficulty handling a bong rip. In addition to sipping water, some people swear sucking on a mint or candy that promotes the production of saliva, like an Altoid or cough drop, can help. According to Harbourside Health Centre, staying hydrated is also key to ameliorating the symptoms if you accidentally ingest too much.
5. Pace yourself
You can always smoke more; it's substantially harder to smoke less. To avoid unattractive, uncontrollable coughing, take a small hit, wait, then hit it again. Who wants to torch the entire bowl in a single sitting, anyway? As the Gentleman's Guide to cannabis decrees, "it's better to take multiple small tokes, than one huge toke putting you on your ass." Inhale evenly and steadily until you feel the slightest pressure in your lungs, then, after a few seconds maximum, release. Ahhh...
6. Quality over quantity
h/t The Cannabist.