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Why Do I Cough When Using CBD Inhalables? - Erth Wellness

Why Do I Cough When Using CBD Inhalables?


If you’re short on time but really want to get a quick dose of CBD, you might consider using CBD vape juice or a CBD pre-roll. These two options are great for users who don’t have time (or patience) for the CBD to work when it’s needed. For example, if you’re feeling uneasy about a job interview or need some additional calming before walking into a party, a quick puff of your inhalable might help soothe your overactive nerves. Yet there’s a major drawback with using inhalable CBD products that turns many users away: the dreaded cough. What causes this unpleasant side effect and is there any way to avoid it? Keep reading to find out!

What Are CBD Inhalables?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an impressive compound found in high quantities within the hemp plant. It’s been praised for its non-psychoactive effects that help soothe uneasiness, calm overactive minds, and improve your overall well-being. With consistent use, CBD can help improve your sleep habits, boost your energy levels, ease joint and muscle discomfort, and much more. CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, making it legal in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill.

CBD comes in many forms, but are usually categorized as edibles or inhalables. Edibles are ideal for first-time users and are available in softgels, tinctures, gummies, oral strips, and even hard candies. Inhalables, on the other hand, are typically reserved for those who vape or smoke. Pre-rolls, CBD vape juice, and CBD flower are all forms of inhalables and will usually require some sort of external hardware in order to be used effectively. Users of all experience levels can enjoy inhalables with just a bit of patience and practice, so don’t immediately write off inhalables as an upper echelon of the CBD community. Inhalables are extremely attractive for cannabinoid users as the compound bypasses the digestive system completely (as opposed to edibles) and enters into the bloodstream via the lungs.

Can Anyone Use A CBD Inhalable?

The short answer is yes! With just a bit of patience and practice, users of all experience levels can use and even prefer inhalables over edibles. But keep in mind that inhalables have a steep learning curve that requires some experience with smoking or vaping, or at least knowledge from someone who vapes or smokes. If you do decide to pick up a CBD pre-roll without ever having smoked before, you’ll most likely feel a growing discomfort that can include a burning sensation in your throat followed by intense fits of coughing.

If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory issues, you probably shouldn’t be using inhalables. It’s strongly encouraged to consult your primary care physician before starting any form of CBD inhalation. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re not using inhalables, it’s probably a good idea to keep it that way. There are many other forms of CBD available that may suit you better. If you’re trying to get away from the marijuana lifestyle but keep all the benefits of the cannabis plant, smoking or vaping CBD may be a great alternative.

Why Do I Cough When Using A CBD Inhalable?

There are two reasons why you might be coughing, even if you’re a seasoned CBD smoker. We’ve listed several reasons below why you may experience fits of coughing, but if there are any we’ve missed, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

The Components Of An Inhalable.

Regardless if you choose a CBD vape juice or crush CBD flower into a fine powder and roll into a joint, there are certain unavoidable ingredients that may cause you to “hack up a lung.” First and foremost, you should ensure that the product you’re using is of high quality. Many inhalalbes are crafted with a list of other ingredients. For example, CBD vape juice contains VG, PG, and flavorings. Some people experience an allergic reaction to these ingredients, leaving your lungs feeling like they’re on fire. CBD vape juices with a higher PG content are known for their dry cloud sensations, so be sure to check the VG/PG ratio in your vape juice before loading up your vape tank.

Another key factor of CBD inhalables is actually a key component in the hemp plant: terpenes. We’ll go in depth on what exactly terpenes are in another article, but to summarize, terpenes are responsible for the plant’s scent and sometimes the flavor. You may have noticed that some CBD smells more intensely than other strains. That identifying scent is the direct result of specific terpenes. When inhaled, those terpenes can cause irritation to your throat lining. When the body detects an irritant, the normal response is to rid itself of the offensive irritant through coughing. Both broad- and full-spectrum CBD contain terpenes, so you may just need to find strains with lower amounts of terpenes in them.

You’re Thirsty!

The vapor or smoke from an inhalable can often dry out your throat, leaving you feeling parched. That parched feeling might cause you to choke, which in turn leads to intense fits of coughing. Vape from CBD e-liquid is heated to a temperature hot enough to transform the liquid into a vapor, resulting in water molecules being suspended in the air (known as a vape cloud). As the vapor leaves your throat, you may experience cottonmouth and increased thirst as you exhale. The same goes for CBD flowers and pre-rolls. As you take deep draws from the lit joint, the smoke that you inhale and exhale can dry up any remaining saliva, resulting in very little moisture in both your mouth and throat. You can try to keep a glass of water handy to combat this, but just know that the drying-out feeling in your throat is simply a scientific reaction to the inhalable.

Tips To Avoid Coughing When Using A CBD Inhalable

We’ve mentioned two reasons why you might feel the overwhelming urge to cough when using an inhalable. Aside from knowing the contents of your vape juice and keeping a glass of water handy, there are some tips from preventing that unpleasant coughing when using a CBD inhalable.

Give Yourself Time To Adjust

New users especially will need time to adapt to the process of vaping or smoking. It’s crucial that you exercise patience that only comes with repeated use. You’ll start to learn the more comfortable way to use your inhalable over time. Remember that it’s not a race to the finish line, but more of a relaxing stroll through the clouds. You may start to notice little tell-tale signs that will cause you to alter your technique. If you know someone who smokes or vapes, try asking them what methods they use and see if they work for you. With just a bit of modification on their technique, you may very well discover your own!

Try Different Inhalation Techniques

There are several different methods for inhaling and exhaling when you’re using a CBD inhalable. You should experiment with different techniques until you find one you’re comfortable with. Here are some suggestions, but remember that there’s no perfect technique that works for every user.

  1. A slow inhale. Be careful not to take too deep of a drag or you may find yourself exhaling all at once with a harsh and burning cough. Start off slowly and once you feel comfortable, you can experiment with how you release the smoke/vapor from your lungs.
  2. Slow exhale. Once you’re satisfied with how deep of a drag you’ve taken, try to slowly exhale the vapor and fully expel all of the smoke/vape from your lungs.
  3. Quick exhale. You can try to forcefully exhale all of the vapor/smoke in one quick burst.
  4. Short hits. Instead of taking deep pulls or exhaling quickly, try short and sweet pulls. Quickly inhale and quickly exhale.
  5. Exhale through your nose. Instead of whooshing everything you’ve inhaled through your mouth, you can try keeping your mouth closed and simply blow everything through your nose.

Again, these are all merely suggestions until you find a technique that’s comfortable to you. Just because you know someone who doesn’t cough with their technique does not mean it will be the same for you.

Don’t Automatically Head For The Cheap Stuff

The cliche “you get what you pay for” rings true when it comes to CBD products, especially inhalables. The CBD product you choose should be crafted with high-quality ingredients and should be tested for purity and potency by third-party independent labs. While they may cost a bit more, you’ll enjoy the good stuff longer and look forward to using them. Cheaply made CBD often uses low-grade materials to keep their overall cost down, thus making them attractive for CBD users on a budget. If you’re looking to shop for CBD that won’t drain your wallet, look for promotional discounts or holiday sales, join loyalty programs, and check to see if the site offers free (or discounted) samples.


CBD inhalables are a fantastic way to experience the holistic properties of the hemp plant without waiting for the non-psychoactive effects to take hold. Yet many users avoid these types of products due to their unfortunate side effects, namely coughing and drying out the mouth. While it’s true that these types of CBD products may cause you some initial discomfort, you may be able to lessen or eliminate the urge to cough entirely. Keep in mind that even the most seasoned smokers and vapers will cough occasionally, due to terpenes or the ingredients within the product. Be patient and experiment with different techniques until you find the best method for you.

Here at Erth Wellness, we proudly present a wide variety of CBD vape juice and pre-rolls that have been crafted with premium ingredients. All of our products have been tested by third-party independent labs to ensure potency and purity. We are confident in the quality of our CBD products but understand that you might not be; that’s why we’re delighted to offer samples of our CBD products to ensure you find the product that is right for you.

Not quite ready to jump into the world of inhalables? No problem! We offer CBD softgels and smooth tinctures that allow you to effortlessly incorporate CBD into your daily routine. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have about anything in this article or CBD in general. Check back soon for an in-depth explanation on what terpenes are and the role they play in CBD products. We look forward to seeing you there!

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