Estimated 6-minute read
Marihuana and tobacco have their obvious differences. In fact, you may ask anyone which is healthier to smoke and most people will say weed. However, inhaling weed can also irritate the lungs and cause a smoker's cough. Weed does not have toxic substances such as lead, arsenic or ammonia like regular cigarettes does. We might think weed smoke is clean, and it might be, however, our lungs are not designed to inhale any type of smoke at all.
Our lugs are designated to extract from the fresh air those oxygen molecules that give us life. Some muscles work together to make the lungs expand and take in air. Tiny sacs, called alveoli, allow oxygen to pass into the bloodstream to drive various vital physiological processes. Lungs and smoke don't get along, lungs can only be exposed to smoke so far before they suffer from problems.
What is the smoker's cough?
The cough has a very important purpose. This reflex action expels the particles from the lungs and throat at a speed of about 80 kilometers per hour. Our lungs are vital organs which have an extremely important role in the body and its function. That's why lungs have this defense mechanism to get rid of irritating substances and clear blockages. The reasons why we cough are many, some of them are respiratory infections, allergies, asthma or smoking too much.
Our lungs are not only made of epithelial cells (which line the airways and produce mucus), they also contain hair-like extensions called cilia that help expel mucus from the lungs. Smoking damages these structures, which means it is harder for your lungs to clear all that mucus which in turn leads to a smoker's cough.
How to get rid of the smoker's cough?
The only and most efficient way to get rid of the smoker's cough is to quit smoking. It is pretty obvious, when the stimulus is removed, the lungs take over to repair some damage. It takes time, but eventually you will have a clear throat and stop coughing.
¿If it is possible to get rid of this cough without stopping smoking? It is not possible, although you may experience periods of intermittent coughing, continuing to smoke will make you more prone to episodes of smoker's cough. For some of us quitting smoking is not an option, so here we will tell you some natural remedies to relieve this type of cough, as well as some ways to continue enjoying weed but without combustion.
Change the way you smoke
Changing the way you consume weed is often a solution for the smoker's cough. Vaping offers a similar ritual and level of satisfaction to smoking, while reducing some of the damaging effects on the lungs.
Vaporizers do not burn cannabis buds. Instead, they use lower temperatures to evaporate the cannabinoids and terpenes leaving most of the plant material behind. This offers a more flavorful experience and exposes the lungs to fewer toxic substances. Those who vape remain at risk of developing bronchitis and chronic cough, but evidence suggests that vaping is an improvement over smoking.
When I was in high school, I had a close friend who had lung surgery. Suddenly he stopped coming to school and when I texted him, he told me what happened. Me and the boys visited him in the hospital and the first thing he told us when he saw us was “keep smoking you bitches”. We laughed and had a good time visiting our friend. However, when I was alone, I meditated on what the chances were, and I was thankful, for my health and because it was not me on the hospital bed. My friend's problem was attributed mainly to tobacco, but he was not able to smoke weed again. This was a huge deal, because we used to smoke before classes and during recess, so we began to cook a lot of edibles. Today my friend is totally healthy and he began to smoke weed again. He knows the risk but I guess he learned some good stoic lessons, momento mori and all that stuff. We as young people always hope for the best, and live one day at a time.
So, from this experience we can learn that there are other ways to get high without inhaling smoke or vapor. Edibles in any presentation offer a longer-lasting high without taxing your lungs. But keep in mind that THC in edibles produces a more intense psychoactive experience, as the liver converts this molecule into 11-hydroxy-THC, a much more powerful chemical.
Natural remedies for smoker's cough
A classic remedy for coughs and their ailments will always be a cup of hot tea. A cup of hot tea helps to soothe a sore throat and flush out mucus. There is a great variety of botanical and natural products with very beneficial compounds.
Drinking strong infusions is a fairly efficient ancient remedy. Prepare a tea with lemon and honey and add a little thyme and sage. The warm water will help dissolve the phlegm buildup in your throat. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is one of the best antioxidants and detoxifiers out there. Honey is a naturally antibacterial, and soothes coughs by coating a sore or dry throat.
Thyme is antispasmodic, which means it will reduce the sharpness of the cough. Sage also has antibacterial properties, and also reduces inflammation. This is a great combination to increase your water intake.
- Green tea: This type of tea is packed with antioxidants and can help relieve congestion
- Ginger: Many people turn to this spicy-flavored rhizome to combat the common cold. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties and relieves sore throats.
- Turmeric: Very similar to ginger and a key Ingredient in Indian cuisine, contains anti-inflammatory compounds that help soothe coughs.
- Hot Toddy: A shot of whiskey combined with the duo of honey and lemon. Whiskey contains alcohol, which although is not a medicine, it can work like one. Alcohol dissolves mucus, relaxes nerves, and helps you fall asleep. It also creates a feeling of warmth in the chest. Many coughs' syrups contain alcohol for these reasons. Just be careful not to overdo it. Excess alcohol does more harm than good.
Many of these herbal remedies are as old as the ancient Egyptian civilization and still retain their legitimacy for fighting cough.
Gargle with water and salt
Gargling with salt water is an excellent remedy for coughs and sore throats, as it produces an intense vibration that helps remove mucus buildups. It may not have a very pleasant taste but it does not. have to be swallowed for it to have an effect, so it can be done at different times of the day.
Avoid dairy products
Many people claim that eating dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt or milk makes coughs worse and increases mucus production. However, this is half true. Science has shown that dairy products do not directly produce more mucus. What actually happens is that the consistency of dairy products such as milk, yogurt, ice cream, or butter trends to coat the throat, creating the sensation that there is mucus.
Take a steam bath
Prepare a hot bath with mint and eucalyptus leaves. As soon as you breathe you will feel a sense of relief. The water will warm your muscles and help your blood vessels dilate. Eucalyptus is an expectorant, so it will help remove excess mucus. The blood vessels dilate, facilitating a better absorption of oxygen by the lungs.
To state the obvious, a break from smoking would just help a lot, just as drinking plenty of water and exercising will also make a big difference. If you are also tired of coughing while smoking your should totally try this, a easy to smoke pipe that prevent people from coughing as they use to.
Do you know any other remedy for the smoker's cough? Let us know on the comments