I Smoke Marijuana: How Do I Keep My Throat and Vocal Chords Healthy?

This singer takes care of his voice while using cannabis.

I smoke marijuana
Photo by Flickr user cori kindred

Up at 5 a.m. almost every day, I am constantly kicking my own ass and chasing down new opportunities for my most recent startup company.

By midday, I’m out the door for a quick surf and then right back on the grind until late with my other day job consulting. When the sun sets, it’s time to practice with one of my two bands, where I belt out vocals like I’m not exhausted and write new music.

It’s obvious; I’m busy. I’ve been adding new things to my juggling act over the last two years, like entrepreneurship, live music acts, comedy, writing and big wave surfing. The constant chaos of handling multiple jobs and side projects along with daily singing and intense exercise can easily expose me to sore throats and even infections.

When I kick back at the end of the day and feel like lighting up a relaxing toke, I cannot afford to take chances with my lungs, throat and vocals. I’m too busy, and my singing schedule is only getting busier. That’s why I always try to partake in the healthiest methods possible – keeping both my mind and body happy.

Here are some of my favorite methods:

Eat To Treat 

I occasionally use edibles to cut combustion out of the equation completely. I have found that that they are quite different from the normal acute effects and take a little longer, but they have a more blanket calming effect and don’t affect my lungs or throat at all. If you can invest in some low-milligram adult candies or mints, you’ll be glad you did and your lungs will be too!

Vaping: Safer And Smoother

Since edibles typically take a little too long to kick in, my vaporizer heads up the collection as my go-to method. It only heats up the plant to just below combustion temperatures, effectively “baking” it and causing it to release only the chemicals that elicit beneficial effects.

Vaporizers cut out the burn and the carcinogens that are released upon combustion, so I try to rely only on this method. It’s amazing but true; all you inhale is vapor. I highly recommend investing in the mid-to-high range models for the best quality, especially since some low end options actually end up burning and causing combustion after all.

Just Add Water 

These expensive machines aren’t always handy, so in the absence of a vaporizer I’m very partial to water pipes. These still allow combustible components to enter your lungs and irritate your throat, but at a much reduced level. It’s more pleasant, and the addition of ice cubes or cool, fresh water acts like an added bonus in alleviating the effects on my vocals and throat.

Put The Lighter Down

I also try to use safe combustibles for igniting these kind of smoking apparatuses; using propane and lighter fluid to light and inhale smoke through a pipe actually pulls in trace amounts of the exhaust from these lighters. That can be harmful as well, so using something like hemp rope to light and burn can reduce toxins in each inhalation.

Be wary, however; there are some methods out there that seem healthy and actually are not.

It’s very widely accepted that propylene glycol is a safe additive in edible foods for humans. But companies that sell cannabis oils and other vape pens with pre-loaded cartridges use it as a thinning agent for the oils. When inhaled into the lungs, propylene glycol is definitely harmful and can cause seriously negative effects, as Jahan Marcu, PhD reports. Take care to choose wisely if this is your preferred method!

Getting Steamed

Once I’m done with a long day, a stressful singing session or a light smoke session, I like to turn on the steam inhaler, which can be purchased at any local drug store. It’s an instant refresher for your vocal chords and throat. The hot plate in the steamer boils the water into steam, which brings back moisture and hydration to the tissues in your throat and lungs when inhaled. It’s key for the singer especially, but great for the skin and throats of everyone.

With any of these methods, you can be sure to stay in top shape, no matter what your average day looks like! 

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