For some, marijuana smoking has always been associated with coughing. In fact, many users tolerate it because they believe that it’s a prerequisite to getting high. Some even hold their smoke, thinking that it can help intensify the buzz. Unfortunately, these are nothing but harmful misconceptions. You certainly don’t have to cough and bust your lungs to get your dose of THC.

If so, then how are you supposed to inhale that flavorful, cannabinoid-rich cloud? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Below, we talk about how to smoke weed without coughing.

The Best Ways to Smoke Weed Without Coughing

If you’re always coughing while toking up, it might seem like a lost cause. But, there are actually several ways to go about it. For instance, you can try investing in certain accessories or smoking paraphernalia. Another option is to employ proper smoking and inhaling practices. Stick with these habits, and it won’t be long before you’re drawing in intense yet velvety-smooth rips.

1. Use a Percolator or a Diffuser

Using a bong? Go get a percolator if you still haven’t. More commonly known as “percs,” percolators are sub-chambers typically added to your water pipe’s main shaft. They help cool down and filter the smoke, resulting in smoother hits and significantly less coughing.

Glass percolator bong to smoke
A man smoking on a glass percolator bong

A diffuser, on the other hand, is a specialized downstem that resembles a glass test tube. It’s sealed on one end and features several open slits on the other end. The slits work by breaking up the smoke for a nice cooling effect. This, in turn, results in a smoother hit that’s gentler on your throat and lungs.

2. Keep the Right Distance

Generally, the closer your mouth is to the cherry – the glowing part of the joint – the more likely you’ll experience coughing. Aside from that, the cloud will be hotter as well. So, you might want to cultivate some distance when you’re about to take a hit.

The amount of oxygen you inhale is another factor, too. That is, sucking in more air can induce a lot more coughing and wheezing. Ideally, there should be a tiny space between the jay and the filter, which ensures that you’re not drawing in too much oxygen while taking a drag.

3. Take Smaller Hits

Some marijuana smokers tend to suffer from a fit of coughing after taking a too-powerful rip. If you’ve experienced anything like it, then your lungs are probably not strong enough to handle massive hits. So, to reduce the likelihood of coughing, try taking smaller hits.

Smoking Joint of Marijuana
A Man Smoking Marijuana

Note: If you’re curious about your lung capacity, then consider having a spirometry test. It’s a fairly simple test that’s meant to evaluate how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you can breathe in and exhale. Even better, it can also help diagnose certain lung conditions.

4. Take Slow, Deep Breaths and Exhales

We know you’re excited to toke up, but don’t rush it. Taking a quick, sudden intake of marijuana smoke, for example, will only transform you into a hacking, coughing mess. Ideally, you should take slow, measured drags to avoid shocking your lungs. Try to inhale deeply, too. If you’re hesitating, the cloud may only get stuck in your throat, resulting in coughing. Likewise, be gentle when you’re exhaling as well.

Note: Try performing some deep breathing and coughing exercises regularly, especially right before the smoking sesh. These can help improve the way you inhale, as well as your lung function. As a bonus, it also does wonders for stress and anxiety.

5. Don’t Hold Your Smoke

This is probably the most common mistake that novice smokers do. It might be tempting to hold the marijuana fumes – but don’t. Contrary to what you might normally think, it will not magnify the psychoactive effects in any way. Instead, it may only increase the pulmonary health risks.

Additional Tips to Reduce Coughing

What if you’re still coughing even after investing in the right accessories and learning how to inhale properly? Go the extra mile by incorporating these smart strategies before your next toking session.

1. Splurge on Some Dank Weed

Coughing can arise if you’re smoking dirt weed – and unsurprisingly so. After all, it’s probably chock-full of chemicals, treated with pesticides during the growing process, or just downright inferior. Put simply, it most likely won’t produce your coveted honey-smooth hits.

Marijuana Herbs
High quality Cannabis Buds

Remember, the quality of your smoke is only as good as the quality of your buds. So, for the ultimate toking experience, opt only for some top-shelf cannabis.

Note: If you’re growing your own plants, then make sure to start with high-quality seeds. While it seems laborious, it’s a lot more cost-effective in the long run. Not to mention, it also assures you of the safety, purity, and overall quality of your flowers.

2. Store Your Weed the Right Way

Without proper storage, even the highest-grade marijuana buds will deteriorate in quality in no time. That’s because if the nugs are too dry, they’re more likely to irritate your throat and produce a harsh-hitting cloud. So, make sure to store your stash correctly.

Remember, place your weed in an airtight mason jar. Then, keep the glass containers in a cool, dark, dry place away from direct sunlight.

3. Get a High-Quality Grinder

Are you still breaking up your nugs with a pair of scissors or your bare hands? It might be the time to invest in a top-quality grinder for a more consistent grind. Weed that’s too coarse and uneven, after all, tends to produce a harsher smoke. Next time you roll a stick, try to go for a slightly finer grind.

Marijuana Grinder
Cannabis Grinder

4. Stay Hydrated

Make sure to gulp down some water before lighting up. When your throat is already scratchy and sore, after all, just a bit of marijuana fumes may already be enough to trigger a coughing fit. Plus, before the smoking sesh, ready some water and keep it within arm’s reach. You want to be able to soothe your throat immediately. To sweeten the deal, drinking plenty of water can also relieve cottonmouth and dry eyes – two of the most common side effects of marijuana intake.

Note: Consider dissolving some mints or cough drops in your mouth. This will help soothe your throat while encouraging the production of saliva.

5. Switch to Vaping

If your lungs are easily irritated, then you might want to transition to a non-combustion method, such as vaping. It enables you to harness the many appealing traits of smoking – such as the fast-acting high – but without the common adverse effects. For instance, since vaporizers don’t burn the plant matter, they won’t generate toxic by-products like carcinogens and respiratory irritants. For this reason, it’s considered a safer and healthier alternative to smoking.

Smoke using Vape Pen
man smoke using Vape Pen

On top of that, vaping is pretty versatile and some models even allow you to customize the experience. If you’re extra-sensitive, for example, you can heat the dried herbs or concentrates to slightly lower temperatures. Doing so will produce a much cooler vapor that’s a lot less harsh on the throat. If you’re a beginner or a lightweight, keep the vaping temperatures between 325°F (163°C) and 350°F (177°C).

As a bonus, different types of vaporizers exist in the market. Without a doubt, you’ll be able to find one product that best suits your specific needs and preferences.

6. Make Some Edibles

Can’t handle vaping either? Unfortunately, this might be an indication that inhalation methods are not for you. But don’t worry, several other options could get you high as a kite. Marijuana edibles, for instance, are not only discreet and incredibly delicious. They’re also known to generate more intense, longer-lasting effects. You can buy them pre-made or whip up your own dishes in the comfort of your home.

A Stronger, Smoother High Is Attainable

While marijuana smoke is superior to, say, tobacco smoke, it’s still enough to induce a coughing fit in some people. More than likely, you’re inhaling the wrong way or not using the right accessories. Or, you might be overeager and breathing in more than what you can handle. If so, there are easy fixes. You can also elevate the smoking experience by prepping beforehand and blazing up only high-grade weed.

Smoke on cannabis bong
Smiling man using a bong for smoking marijuana

But, if your lungs just happen to be extra-delicate and easily irritated, then you may have to steer clear of joints, pipes, and bongs. To be safe, just stick with non-combustion methods, including vaping and oral ingestion. Rest assured, these could also produce your much-awaited, mind-blowing high.