A few tips to reduce a burning throat and coughing while smoking

A few tips to reduce a burning throat and coughing while smoking
Luke Sholl

If you smoke weed – and since you’re reading this article we’re assuming it's likely – you’ve probably found yourself coughing more than you'd like to at some point in time. Here are a few ways to reduce this phenomenon.

Somehow there's a belief among some people that coughing from smoking weed makes you higher. Well, it doesn't. Coughing is annoying, especially when it's accompanied by a burning throat. In those scenarios you do end up coughing, there are a few things you could do differently while smoking to ensure the hit is smoother.


Starting with the basics, let’s take a look at the quality of weed that’s being smoked. If your bud is old and dried up, it will burn faster, making the smoke thicker and hotter. This is known to cause a lot of extra coughing and burn. Low-grade weed is also a common culprit.

There’s also the possibility that your pot could be full of pesticides and chemicals, which could lead to a myriad of health concerns other than just coughing. As expected, a fat hit of pot laced with toxic substances will inevitably make you cough.

It can be more expensive - sometimes significantly - to only buy the best quality ganja, but it’s well worth it and might even end up outlasting the low-grade stuff, since it’s likely to be considerably stronger, thus you need less of it to get where you want to go.


Now, this is arguably the most important factor, considering you’ll be inhaling your weed regardless of the preferred smoking method. A lot of people think that you need to inhale and hold the smoke in for as long as possible if you want to get high (thanks Hollywood), but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Not only will holding it in not do anything to boost your high, it’s actually harmful to your lungs and throat.

It’s best to do a slow, deep inhale and let the smoke gently fill your lungs, then after about 1 second, slowly exhale. This is the most comfortable and effective way to inhale cannabis. Also keep in mind, that swallowing the smoke (yes, this happens sometimes) isn't good for you either. Not only will you not get high, but it could lead to stomach discomfort.



This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re taking huge hits it’s entirely plausible that your lungs just can’t tolerate that much smoke, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If that’s the case, just take smaller hits. You’ll still be able to enjoy the weed all the same and get equally stoned.

Plus, usually the longer you smoke, the less you’ll cough over time and eventually, you’ll be able to comfortably take huge hits.


If your preferred smoking method is to hit a bong, consider buying one that has a percolator and/or ice chamber. A percolator is an additional water compartment that serves as an extra filter, so to speak. It allows for a higher water to smoke ratio, thereby cooling down the smoke and making it much smoother to inhale.

An ice chamber is a small section of notches, normally fairly close to the mouthpiece, where you would put one or two ice cubes to further cool the smoke.

Another accessory to consider is a diffuser for your bong. It’s an adapted down stem that's closed on the end that goes into the bong and has small holes throughout it. This allows the smoke to make better contact with the water by mixing with it in smaller and more equally spaced portions.



If you don’t mind investing in some new paraphernalia, utilizing a vaporizer is a great way to give your lungs a break. Instead of actually burning the marijuana, a vaporizer uses high, indirect heat to turn the buds into vapor that contains the active ingredients.

Not only is it much less harsh, but it’s also safer as you won’t be exposed to the carcinogens that are present in smoked cannabis.


Although the above list is quite thorough, here are a few more precautions you could take and things to keep in mind. Some people swear by using a cough drop or eating a tablespoon of honey before smoking – make sure it’s completely raw and unfiltered honey though, it’s so much better for your health.

It’s also important to avoid anything that incorporates tobacco, such as blunt wraps/swishers, or splifs (tobacco mixed with weed in a joint).

Whatever option (or options) you decide to go with, we hope our tips help you enjoy a much smoother and more relaxing smoking experience.

Happy blazing!

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl

Fascinated by the wellness potential of nature, Luke has spent over a decade writing about cannabis and its vast selection of cannabinoids. Creating, researching and writing content for Cannaconnection, alongside several other industry-related publications, he uses strong technical SEO skills and diligent research to bring evidence-based material to thousands of unique visitors.