Why Do Dabs Make You Cough? (and What to Do About It)

Do you ever get nostalgia for the first time you ever tried smoking weed and instantly lapsed into a minute-long spluttering fit? 

Crazy coughing fits are all too familiar for a weed lover, some more memorable than others. If you’ve ever tried dabbing, a couple of powerful spluttering sessions probably come to mind.

While landmark memories become fonder with time, none of us enjoys coughing more than necessary. It’s unpleasant, and of course, potentially unhealthy, although the science has yet to come to a decisive conclusion.  

Some people find that ‘dab cough’ is more persistent than the cough from smoking regular flower. They ask, “Why do dabs make me cough so much?”

We’re here to answer that question.

What Is Dabbing?

Dabbing is when you heat the nail of a dab rig and apply a small amount of cannabis concentrate. The concentrate is potent, so only a small amount is required. Overloading the rig is a standard rookie error. 

The heated nail wakes up the concentrate, and the user inhales the smoke through a water filter. Simple enough.

Cannabis Concentrate

There are many kinds of concentrate, dabs included. Cannabis concentrates are at the cutting edge of what weed growers have been doing all along, trying to cultivate strains that produce predictable results. It comes out of labs where they can, to an extent, control the levels of different chemical compounds to make distinctive highs.

Why Do Dabs Make Me Cough?

There are several possible causes of dab cough, not all of them as harmless as you might think. If dab cough gets you every time, there could be ways to prevent it.

Low-Quality Concentrate

Bad product leads to bad results, and in this case, dab cough. Quality can be a difficult one to manage, depending on where you are. Some states have a much better market for concentrate than others, but as ever, finding a knowledgeable seller is your best bet.

Ask about the strain and the processes used. A good seller will usually sell a good product, so if they can’t provide helpful answers, don’t buy it.

Overheated Nail

The nail often gets heated with a blowtorch. While this is effective, it can be challenging to know when you’re at an optimal temperature. 

An overheated nail will destroy the delicate flavors. It’ll also ensure that your lungs get a lot more heat than they wanted.

Gently heating the nail means you can better control the temperature and achieve far more satisfying results. Be patient, and consider investing in an electronic nail if you find this a tricky step.

Dirty Nail

We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping the whole rig clean. Banger nails are especially prone to residue build-up. Taking care of your equipment doesn’t just keep it looking nice; it dramatically improves the quality of your experience.

Clean the whole dab rig, especially the nail, after every use. A common cause of dab cough is an acrid build-up of scorched residue. Doesn’t sound tasty, does it? It’s not.

Dry Rig

Make sure there’s enough water in your rig to filter the hit thoroughly. A full-force whirlwind of dry cannabis concentrate vapor will give you dab cough until you’re blue, and it hurts. Keep that filtration system under close surveillance.

Titanium Flavoring

Titanium can heat faster than quartz or ceramic, but it isn’t necessarily something you should want. It also imparts a strange taste to the hit, which can cause dab cough.

The Usual Suspects

Of course, if you go in for a hit with a parched throat, you’re going to have a bad time. Make sure you drink plenty of water. It’s surprisingly easy to forget.

And don’t be a hero! Cannabis concentrate is potent. You don’t need to use a considerable amount, and you don’t need to take massive rips. Big hits are an evident and avoidable cause of dab cough.

The Bottom Line

These are all steps that will help you enjoy a fantastic way to get high. Trust us — once you’ve experienced the dab without the cough, you’ll fall in love. Follow us on Facebook for more advice and news on all things cannabis!


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