By Max Sargent

Find yourself coughing whenever you hit your vape? Maybe you’ve just taken your first hit ever and it burned more than you thought it would. In this article, we look at why vaping might be making you cough, and how to inhale vape smoke without coughing. For new users, it might just be a matter of time. For everyone else, something might need to change.

Vaporizers vs Vape Pens

Vaporizers and vape pens are similar in that they produce vapor, but distinct in what they vaporize.

Vaporizers tend to be larger and have ovens—either convection or conduction—into which you can place plant matter or concentrates (weed, hash, resin, etc.). The oven then heats up to a specific temperature and vaporizes the material inside, which can then be inhaled. Vaporizers are often customisable, allowing users to adjust the temperature to the product they’re vaping, in order to get the most out of the cannabinoids or terpenes.

Vape pens, on the other hand, pair with pre-filled concentrate cartridges or vape juice, aka e-juice. This juice is made by extracting the desired compounds from the plant matter—for instance, THC from weed. This extract is then added to a liquid to make e-juice, which is then vaped using the pen.

So, in short, you can put raw material or concentrate in a vaporizer and customise the heat, whereas with a vape pen, you have to use vape juice/oil and you don’t get to adjust the temperature.

Vaporizer vs vape pen

Why Do I Cough When I Vape Cannabis?

Vaping, like smoking, can make you cough—sometimes a lot. Usually, as the throat becomes used to what is essentially a jet of steam entering it, the coughing will subside. But sometimes, something is amiss. Below, we investigate potential reasons that you might cough when vaping.


The most likely reason for coughing is that you have the temperature set too high. The hotter the vapor, the more intense the hit and the more likely you are to cough. It might just be that you need to get used to it, or it could be that you’ve set it unusually high.


A faulty vape can sometimes cause coughing. This is especially true if the fault is located in the atomiser or heating element, as this can disrupt the heating process. In such cases, the temperature you set your vape to won’t be the same as the temperature it actually heats up to, which can end up hurting your throat.

Your Weed

It may also be that your weed or concentrate is low-quality and irritating your airways. Perhaps it’s very dry, or maybe it’s contaminated with dirt and dust. This is not the most likely reason that your vape is causing you to cough, but it’s worth looking into.

Inhaling Straight Into Your Lungs

If you breathe vapor directly into your lungs, it will make you cough. It’s the same with smoke. Inhaling smoke and vapor is a two-part process. First, you need to draw it into your mouth. And once it’s there, you then breathe it into your lungs. This process allows it to cool, and will make it much less harsh.

Vape Juice

If you're using a vape pen with vape juice, it might be the juice that’s causing you to cough. Low-quality juices can hurt, but even high-quality ones can cause irritation.

Propylene glycol is added to vape juices to make the hit harsher so that it feels more like smoking. With weed vape juices, levels of PG shouldn’t be too high, but it’s worth considering. This compound attracts water, which means as it enters your throat and airways, it will gradually dry out. The end result is an irritated and sore throat.

Why do i cough when I vape cannabis

How to Vape Without Coughing

If you find you’re coughing and that it’s a nuisance, the following tips might help you overcome it.

Turn the Temperature Down

First, try vaping at a lower temperature, if possible. This can help to make the vapor less sharp, and reduce your coughing. You may find you’re happy staying at this lower temperature, or you can work your way back up. But going in high is going to hurt, so you should give your body time to adjust.

Fix Your Vape

If you think the coil is damaged in your vape, you should get it repaired. Not only can a damaged coil hurt you, but it will be inefficient at vaporizing your chosen product, and you’ll be wasting precious terpenes and cannabinoids.

Inhale Properly

If you’re new to vaping/smoking, you may well be inhaling improperly. There’s no shame in this! We’ve all been there.

To inhale properly, you should first breathe only into your mouth. You can then remove the vape from your lips and inhale the vapor into your lungs. If you’re a novice, this may still make you cough, but it will be much more comfortable, and become even more comfortable over time.

Stay Hydrated

Vaping can dry the throat out, and this in itself will make you cough. So drink water and stay hydrated. You don’t need to guzzle down litres; rather, just have a drink on you and sip it frequently to keep your throat satisfyingly lubricated!


It may be that you just need to get used to breathing hot vapor in. Much like smoking, it will not be pleasant at first, and your body will need to adapt. You shouldn’t assume that just because it hurts, there’s something wrong. This could just be your body having a perfectly healthy response.

Vaping cannabis

Our Top 5 Weed Vapes

If you're after a new vape, then look no further. We stock a range of vapes to suit all needs—from budget-friendly to world-class. Here are our top five, in no particular order.

  • AirVape XS GO: This small, portable vape is a top seller of ours and is the best option for those with a low budget who want to vape dried herb. It combines conduction and convection heating, bringing the best of both worlds, and has five temperature settings (180–215ºC).

AirVape XS GO
56_1 Heat Conduction & Convection
57_2 Size 2.5 x 2.5 x 9 cm
58_3 Weight 56 gr
59_4 Temperature 180 - 215ºC / 356 - 420ºF
60_5 Heat Up Time 10 - 30 sec
61_6 Chamber Size 0,25 gr
62_7 Control type Manual
63_8 Used With Dry Herbs

Buy AirVape XS GO

  • PAX Plus: If you’ve got a higher budget, then the PAX Plus is a world-favourite. With its sleek design and great functionality, it’s a hard little beast to beat. Smooth, sexy, and efficient, this vape has four different temperature settings and can be used with flower and concentrates.

PAX Plus Vaporizer
56_1 Heat Conduction
57_2 Size 3.1 × 2.2 × 9.8 cm
58_3 Weight 91 gr
59_4 Temperature 182 - 215ºC / 360 - 420ºF
60_5 Heat Up Time 20 - 30 sec
61_6 Chamber Size 0,5 gr
62_7 Control type Digital & manual
63_8 Used With Dry herbs & concentrates

Buy PAX Plus Vaporizer

  • CRAFTY+: The smaller sibling of the MIGHTY+ by Storz & Bickel, this is one of the best flower and concentrate vapes available. It has a high degree of customisability that puts it ahead of the competitors, and it’s timeless and almost unbreakable. Used alongside its companion app, it’s a hard choice to beat.

56_1 Heat Conduction & Convection
57_2 Size 11 x 5,7 x 3,3 cm
58_3 Weight 135 gr
59_4 Temperature 40ºC - 210ºC / 104ºF - 410ºF
60_5 Heat Up Time 60 sec
61_6 Chamber Size 0,25 gr
62_7 Control type Digital
63_8 Used With Dry Herbs


  • AirVape X: For concentrate lovers on a budget, this is probably the best choice. It’s not the cheapest vape in the world, but it’s potentially the cheapest that can reliably work with concentrates such as resin and hash. For this reason, it belongs on our list.

AirVape X
56_1 Heat Conduction & Convection
57_2 Size 4.7 × 1.2 × 10.4 cm
58_3 Weight 90 gr
59_4 Temperature 93 - 220ºC / 199 - 420ºF
60_5 Heat Up Time 20 sec
61_6 Chamber Size 0,25 gr
62_7 Control type Manual
63_8 Used With Dry herbs, Wax & Oils

Buy AirVape X

  • CBD Vape Pen: If you want a clean and easy way to use CBD, then look no further than our own CBD Vape Pen! You can use this with five of our homemade e-juices, which each contain 50% CBD and no harsh chemicals such as propylene glycol (so no coughing!). These vape pens are all about getting CBD and an array of other compounds into your body with as little extra filler as possible.


Vaping: It Doesn’t Need to Be Harsh

If you’re regularly coughing your guts up when you take a hit of your vape, then it’s likely something is wrong. Now, if you're new to it, then it’s probably just part of the learning curve. But if you know you can usually handle it, then it’s likely that something is amiss with your vape or its contents.

Using the list above, hopefully you can figure out why. Perhaps it’s time for a new vape?

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