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Inhaling weed properly seems like a no-brainer, right? I mean, all it takes is lighting up your buds, breathing in, and breathing out? Wrong! There’s more to dabbing, vaping, or smoking weed than just lighting up and calling it a day.

If you’re serious about getting the most bang for your buck from your buds and reducing the amount of tar and resin in your lungs, you have to read our comprehensive guide to inhaling cannabis, the right way. Let’s get started!

How to Inhale Weed Like a Pro

Inhaling cannabis can be tricky for first-time smokers or even seasoned users who have developed bad habits over time. Cannabis consumers have all seen movies and tv shows where a character takes a hit and proceeds to cough their brains out. That’s not what you want.

If you want to avoid coughing up a lung, having a burning throat, hurting your lungs, and enjoying your precious THC to the fullest, we have provided you with tried-and-true methods to have an enjoyable hit, time after time.

How to Inhale Weed for Better THC Absorption

Chances are, you’re one of the many users who take a big puff and hold it in your lungs for as long as you can. In some cases, some users hold their weed in so long that no smoke or vapor comes out when they exhale. Crazy!

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the world record for holding your breath when smoking weed. It’s worse for your lung health and can ruin your otherwise good smoke sesh.

Master of Marijuanas recommend holding in cannabis smoke for a few seconds. About 95% of THC gets absorbed by alveoli in your lungs and into your bloodstream to produce fast-acting effects. So, why do you feel higher when you hold in cannabis smoke?

Holding in marijuana smoke any longer than a few seconds deprives your brain of oxygen. That feeling of getting higher is you feeling lightheaded. The carbon monoxide and smoke toxins intensify the effect but don’t improve the experience.

How to Inhale Weed and Reduce Tar and Resin

Let’s face it. Smoking marijuana is one of the best ways to feel the effects instantly but can deposit tar and resin in your lungs. Yuck, I know! Because of this, your lungs produce mucus to essentially clean out the debris through those nasty coughs you may experience.

If you think this is all reefer madness, look at pictures of new and used carbon filters used to capture tar and resin. After just a few hits of weed, the difference between new and used filters is like night and day.

If you’re worried about the tar and resin build-up, we recommend investing in carbon filter devices for bongs, joints, and dab rigs, although the cost of replacing these can add up in price, depending on your frequency of consumption. If necessary, consider smoke-free consumption methods like edibles.

How to Inhale Cannabis Without Coughing

Having a coughing fit when smoking marijuana is not a sign of success. Taking a big rip from your bong and holding in the weed smoke is a recipe for disaster. If you think coughing when smoking is inevitable, you’re wrong. 

What does it mean if you cough when you smoke weed? It can mean tar and resin irritate your lungs, the smoke is too hot, or you inhale too much smoke. Nobody wants to feel that burning sensation or work toward building cough resistance. There’s a better way.


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If you want to stop coughing when you smoke marijuana, we recommend using smoking devices such as bongs or dab rigs with a percolator, adding ice to bongs, or using ice bongs designed to be placed in the freezer and used to cool down the hot smoke.

How to Inhale Weed: A Step-by-Step Process

Now that you know the different factors necessary to inhale weed properly, here is a step-by-step process on how to dab, vape, or smoke weed.

  1. Light your cannabis flower with the tip of your flame. If vaping, use the lowest temperature setting to heat your cannabis oil. If dabbing, heat your nail at temperatures between 400-500º F. Quartz inserts and terp pearls can facilitate low-temp dabs.
  2. When your cannabis is lit, inhale the smoke or vapor for just a few seconds. If you have a high tolerance, you can always consume more after.
  3. Do not hold the weed smoke or vapor in your lungs. After just a couple of seconds, you can exhale the cannabis and repeat as needed.
  4. Use a carbon filter device on your vaping, dabbing, or smoking device to prevent resin and tar from accumulating in your lungs.

Inhalation Methods

There are many consumption methods, each with its pros and cons. Here are a few ways to enjoy your cannabis.

Joints, Blunts, and Spliffs

Rolled cannabis products such as joints, blunts, and spliffs are an easy and convenient way to inhale marijuana. We recommend using a joint or blunt filter/crutch to keep the buds from getting into your mouth and burning your fingers when the joint is near its end.

Bongs and Bowls

cannabis next to a bong, how to inhale weed

Smoking marijuana from a bong, pipe, or any device with a carb is similar with a few minor differences. All require you to grind up your herb and pack your bowl. Bongs can be filled with water and ice to filter the smoke.

When the bowl is packed, you put your mouth on the mouthpiece, cover the carb (if using a pipe), light your cannabis, and slowly inhale, then exhale. You can use a carbon filter device to filter out the tar and resin.

How to Inhale Weed: Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Here is what you need to know about how to inhale marijuana correctly.

Does Inhaling Cannabis Get You High?

Yes. Keeping cannabis smoke in your mouth can be absorbed but not to the extent of getting high. Lungs have a greater surface area, allowing you to absorb more of the THC, which causes intoxication.

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How Long Should You Hold In Weed?

You don’t need to hold in weed to the point of oxygen deprivation. We recommend inhaling the smoke deeply for about two seconds.

Does Coughing Mean That You Will Get Higher?

Coughing when smoking, dabbing, or vaping cannabis means you’re doing something wrong. When tar and resin reach your lungs, they get irritated, causing an intense cough. Use a carbon filter device to prevent this from happening.

Is Inhaling Cigarette Smoke and Cannabis Smoke the Same?

Cigarette smoke and cannabis smoke contain many of the same toxins, but weed smokers draw the smoke deep in their lungs and hold it in for longer, allowing more of the tar and resin to build up.

Final Thoughts on How to Inhale Weed

Learning how to inhale weed properly is a science and an art form. If you’re concerned about your lung health, which you should be, we recommend following the recommendations listed above to reduce coughs, prevent tar and resin build-up, and improve your cannabis experience.

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