Does Coughing Get You Higher?

A lot of people who smoke have the question does coughing get you higher in their head. This has been a debate for years. While some say yes and some say no, let us take a look at scientific evidence to prove this answer.

Lung Anatomy & Function

To understand if coughing will get you higher you must first understand how the lungs work and how they are designed. As most of us know that the deeper and longer a breath the more oxygen that can diffuse into your blood. If you are to take a few deep breaths that las a couple seconds each, you will start to feel calming effects that are associated with providing increased oxygen to the bloodstream.

The problem with coughing right after smoking, you are inhaling a lot of oxygen quickly. This would actually reduce the concentration of the smoke which also reduces the concentration of THC that would be in your lungs. Less concentration of the THC would mean that less of this is going to your alveoli sacs. Also, if you just inhaled a bunch of smoke then coughed your actually getting rid of the THC filled air sacs that would have otherwise gone into the bloodstream.

People assume that when they cough, they are getting a larger hit than normal and inhaling more smoke than they would usually. This is because they inhaled enough smoke to make them physically cough. However, coughing can clear mucus from airways and would make it easier to get air or smoke into your lungs even if they were not filled with mucus to begin with. However, this probably doesn’t have much of an impact.

Coughing and High

Because of all this evidence, coughing while you are smoking should not make anyone absorb more THC than normal. This means coughing does not get you higher. You are most likely thinking you are getting higher because you had taken such a large inhalation of smoke. Coughing is just the natural reaction to a large inhalation of smoke.

In theory then, anything that would cause a large break and then maintain the smoke in the lungs for a period of time without coughing would increase the amount of THC that is able to diffuse across the alveoli. Then enter the bloodstream and possibly increase the high. However, this would require something to increase the amount of air that would be delivered all the way to the tiniest sacs of your lungs. When all your lungs want to do is cough and quit. One thing that would do this is an inhaler.

Inhalers are known for the compound bronchodilators. This means that they cause the part called the bronchioles (tubes in lungs that connect windpipe to alveoli) to open up and stay open. Basically, when using an inhaler, your deep breath is a deep breath on steroids. Deep breaths increase the surface area exposed in lungs. This will deliver more oxygen to the brain or allow for deeper breaths which would result in a larger hit. A larger hit would mean a better high.