How to Not Cough When Hitting a Bong

How to Not Cough When Hitting a Bong

Many of us love the thick, lung-busting hits a bong produces. After all, that's why this is considered the best way to smoke weed among the Smoke Honest crew! However, maybe you've found that your coughing fits after every single hit you take have started to take away from your experience and leave you searching for alternatives.

Capsule Water Pipe

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If you're looking to learn how to cough less when hitting a bong, you're in luck. Today, we'll share our favorite tactics to create smoother hits from your water pipe. From cleaning your water pipe to upgrading it, using ice, and even upping your standards for weed - there are
so many different ways to make rough rips a thing of the past. Try all of these out yourself and see firsthand how much more enjoyable the experience of using a water pipe can be!

First, let's address a common question we get asked: why do you cough when smoking a bong?

Why Do You Cough When Smoking a Bong?

Some degree of coughing when you take a hit from a bong is normal - but that doesn't make it any less annoying. So, why does it happen? 

First and foremost, you need to realize that any form of cannabis smoking can be agitating on your lungs. They're designed to filter air and help you breathe - not filter smoke. With that said, the design of bongs helps provide a smoother, cleaner hit than smoking a blunt, or a pipe. This is done by filtering the smoke - and that is why there is water in a bong.

Now - we've established that a little cough here and there is something to expect from hitting a bong. But what if you're coughing uncontrollably? There are two primary reasons you might find yourself coughing up a storm after using a bong:

  • The Smoke is Too Hot: If the smoke from your hit is too hot, it will irritate your throat on the way down and cause you to cough. One way to combat this is by using an bong with ice slits and/or percolators, which we'll touch on later.
  • You Took in Too Much Smoke at Once: It's easy to overdo it when taking hits from a bong and end up inhaling more than you intended. This is especially true when you're first getting started and don't really have a gauge for how big each rip will be. When this happens, your lungs can't handle it all and you'll start coughing. The best way to avoid this is by taking smaller hits at first until you get a feel for how much smoke your lungs can handle.
  • You Choked on the Smoke: One of the most painful forms of coughing from hitting a bong is choking on the smoke. This is caused by coughing while you still have smoke in your lungs/throat. And it's unlike the traditional weed cough you may experience as you exhale a typical hit. Instead, your chest and throat develop a horrible burning sensation that doesn't seem to be remedied by anything other than time. This can be avoided by having better control of the smoke you inhale, and exhaling it before you feel that cough coming on.

With a better understanding of why you cough when smoking a bong, you're probably eager to discover the various ways you can mitigate it. So, without any further ado, let's get into the main topic at hand today: how to not cough when hitting a bong!

How to Not Cough When Hitting a Bong

Coughing sucks - even if it's just a little cough here and there. The good news is that there are quite a few things you can do to stop coughing when hitting a bong. Even if you don't struggle with coughing all that much, these tips will create smoother, more enjoyable, more flavorful hits.

Some of these methods are easier than others, but they're all worth trying out until you find the perfect solution for yourself. Let's start with the #1 piece of advice we offer water pipe parents: clean your baby regularly and change the water often!

Regularly Clean Your Bong & Change the Water

It's no secret that bongs can get pretty dirty, pretty quickly. The water inside starts to turn brown and murky, and the residue from the smoke sticks to the walls of the chamber. Not only is this gross, but it also means you're smoking residue each time you take a hit. Over time, this will cause your coughs to worsen as your lungs become more irritated. So, one of the best ways to reduce coughing fits is by keeping your bong clean.

But how often should you clean your bong? We recommend giving it a good scrubbing down once you see resin forming on the glass or plant matter sticking to the walls of your bong. Or, if you're just looking for a timeline, every week or two (depending on use). Our complete guide (linked above) will help you find a frequency based on your unique preferences & use. We can also teach you how to clean a water pipe.

Now - just as important as cleaning your bong is changing the water in it. Keeping the water fresh will offset how frequently you need to clean your bong. It also improves the flavor and smoothness of your hits. As for how often to change bong water, we recommend doing so after every time you use it. This will help ensure that the water is always fresh and provide the best experience possible. After all, even the best bong in the world isn't pleasant if it's grimy!

Ditch the Lighter for Hemp Wick

Chances are you light bowls of weed with a lighter. This is the norm - but is it the best approach to sparking up? Not in our opinion. The reality is that smoking with a lighter introduces butane into the flower, along with other harmful compounds released from your fuel-based flame. 

A hemp wick, on the other hand, allows you to mitigate the harsh effects of butane lighters. This also leads to a cleaner taste - so you can appreciate the quality of your flower as it was intended. And, it just looks classier! This is one of the best modern smoking accessories out there. 

Cool the Smoke Down With Ice

If you find yourself coughing frequently when taking hits from your bong, then you might want to consider using ice. This is easier than ever these days, as most bongs come equipped with ice pinches. These are little notches in the tube of your bong that allow you to stack ice cubes along the inside.

As the smoke passes through the ice, it cools down and becomes much smoother. This can drastically reduce coughing fits, as well as make for a more enjoyable hit. Just be careful not to use too much ice, as this can make hits uncomfortably cold.

Try a Percolator Bong

If you're looking for a more long-term solution, then you might want to consider investing in a percolator bong. We know what you're thinking...wait, what is a percolator bong, exactly? We're glad you asked! These bongs come with an attached percolator - a small chamber that diffuses the smoke as it passes through. This results in cooler, smoother hits that are much less likely to make you cough.

Percolator bongs tend to be on the pricier side, but they're definitely worth it if you find yourself struggling with coughing fits. Moreover, they make it more difficult to clean your bong when the time comes. The tiny percs can easily become clogged, leading to excess drag when you try to pull a hit through. And, they're fragile - breaking easily when the glass is jarred around or bumped. As a result, we tend to avoid percolator bongs ourselves. Just be sure to do your research and choose a percolator bong that will fit your specific needs.

Inhale More Slowly & Gently

This is probably the most common piece of advice when it comes to learning how to not cough when hitting a bong. And for good reason! Inhaling too quickly or forcefully can cause you to suck in more smoke than you're able to handle. This, in turn, will make you cough as your body tries to get rid of the excess smoke.

The solution is simple: inhale slowly and gently when taking hits from your bong. Start by taking small sips of air until you've built up a comfortable amount of smoke in your lungs. Once you're there, simply exhale and enjoy the smooth, flavorful hit. Just be sure not to hold the hit in for too long - this can also lead to coughing fits!

Consider a Smaller Bong

As we said earlier, sometimes, it comes down to your bong. Cheap, low-quality glass - or silicone, metal, or other suboptimal materials - don't provide the smoothest hits. And while we don't particularly love percolator bongs ourselves, maybe they'll work for you. With that said, there's a better type of bong that produces a smoother, less harsh experience: smaller, more compact bongs!

By their very nature, these don't allow for quite as large of hits as other styles. So, it's much easier to control your hits. Plus, the compact nature of these bongs creates much more filtration - leading to cooler, smoother hits. We'll share the best small bongs for weed later on. If you’d like to learn more about how to choose a bong, take a look at our complete guide. For now, let's move on to the next tip in our discussion of how to not cough when hitting a bong.

Use Higher-Quality, Cleaner Cannabis

All the advice we shared above will be rendered useless if you aren't smoking safe, clean, high-quality cannabis. Sure, you'll pay a premium for this type of bud. But it's worth every penny - trust us. You get what you pay for.

Low-quality cannabis can be found for as little as $100 an ounce. And if you're just looking for something to roll up into blunts for a party, it may do the trick. But it won't cut it for taking bong rips. Why? Because it wasn't grown right.

Most of this cannabis was dried and cured improperly, leading to harshness. Furthermore, maybe the cultivar used synthetic plant nutrients or pesticides. Even after proper flushing prior to harvest, these compounds reside within the plants. And you'll definitely feel the effects of this when you smoke cheap flower. It's just harsher - simple as that.

And, when you consider how much more of it you have to smoke to get your desired results, the decision to invest in the high-quality bud is a no-brainer. You get more bang for your buck, and may end up saving money in the long run!

Final Thoughts on How to Not Cough When Hitting a Bong

That concludes our guide on how to not cough when hitting a bong. In this article, we addressed why you cough when smoking a bong - and what you can do about it. Here is a quick summary of the different tips you can implement to cough less when hitting a bong:

  • Regularly Clean Your Bong & Change the Water
  • Use Ice 
  • Try a Percolator Bong
  • Ditch the Lighter for Hemp Wick
  • Inhale More Slowly & Gently
  • Consider a Smaller Bong
  • Use Higher-Quality, Cleaner Cannabis

We hope the advice we’ve shared provides you relief and elevates your cannabis consumption experience. If we had to leave you with just one piece of advice, however, it would be this: upgrade to better glass! Our bong buying guide will help you 

However, you can save yourself time and energy by simply heading over to Smoke Honest and treating yourself to the #1 portable water bong: the Capsule Water Pipe. 

This modern masterpiece is the best of both worlds: it’s stunning, and it performs wonderfully. The thick, shatter-resistant glass it’s crafted from and its small stature make it perfect for on-the-go use. And, through an intuitive, compact design, you’ll find that this bong makes you cough far less than larger, more lung-busting alternatives. 

See the difference yourself by shopping now - once you take that first rip, you’ll be glad you did!