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Is Exhaling Smoke From Your Nose Bad For You?

Published on July 4, 2017, By Anna Wilcox

Delivery Methods Marijuana Knowledge Base

There is little evidence to suggest whether or not exhaling through your nose or your mouth is bad for you. However, what is known is that exhaling through the nose subjects the nasal cavity to some of the same harms as the lungs and mouth.

Smoking, in general, is not a healthy habit. Research has shown that while cannabis smoke is not associated with the same harms as tobacco smoke, smoking can still cause bronchitis-like symptoms as well as inflammation and reversible damage to airways.

While nose exhales typically taste better, exhaling through your nose exposes the delicate tissues of the sinuses and nostrils to irritants. However, the overall damage the herb does to the nose will also depend on how often you smoke and your chosen consumption methods.

Is exhaling smoke from your nose bad for you?

Arguably, blowing smoke from just about anywhere can be considered bad for you. But, exhaling from the nose specifically? Here are six reasons why nose exhales can be irritating:

1. Heat

As common sense suggests, smoke is hot. Intense heat in the lungs and respiratory system can be irritating. Further, smoke from burning plant materials contains hot tar and embers, which can cause injury and irritation to the soft tissues of the nose, throat, and airways.

2. Aging

Smoking is a major contributor to aging. Smoke is a pollutant that can cause oxidative stress to the skin and other exposed tissues. While there is no firm evidence that cannabis smoke contributes to nasal or skin cancers, smoking certainly can accelerate the aging process in the skin.

3. Increased exposure to carcinogens

Thus far, a meta-analysis of pooled studies has failed to find a correlation between cannabis and head and neck cancers. However, combusting plant materials increases your exposure to known carcinogens like benzene, toluene, and naphthalene. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid these compounds when possible.

A small study has shown that vaporizing at a temperature of 365℉ (185℃) reduces the risk of exposure to these carcinogens by 100 percent. Of course, these numbers may change depending on the type of vaporizer.

4. Dryness

Dry mouth is one of the most unwanted side effects of cannabis consumption. The herb gives you dry mouth because compounds like psychoactive THC bind with cell proteins known as cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are present in mucous membranes throughout the body, including in the nose. Exhaling smoke through your nose can make your nose feel dry and irritated.

5. Concentrate additives

More research is needed, but nose-breathing after puffing on a vape pen may have worse health effects than exhaling after a bong rip. This is not because of cannabis, but because of additives used as thinning agents in vaporizer cartridges.

Some vaporizer cartridges contain propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol. Research shows that when these additives are burned at 446℉ (230℃), they release the carcinogenic compounds formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.

Propylene glycol is also dehydrating, meaning that it can suck moisture from the mucus membranes in the nose. In anecdotal reports, vaporizers containing propylene glycol have caused damage to the tissues nose after repeated use.

6. Nasal microbiome

Like the rest of the body, the nasal cavity is an ecosystem teeming with beneficial (and possibly harmful) microorganisms and viruses. When you exhale cannabis through your nose, your nasal microbiome is getting its smoke on, too.

While no studies have looked specifically at how cannabis smoke affects the microbiome, research on tobacco has found that smoking is associated with major changes to your nasal flora. Specifically, cigarette smoke may increase the number of pathogenic bacteria in the region, potentially making consumers more prone to infection.

Though, it’s important to note that tobacco smoke has also been associated with immunosuppression, and it is unclear whether or not cannabis would have the same effect.

How to reduce harms from smoking

While smoking may be bad for you, that certainly does not mean that cannabis is harmful. There are several ways to limit the harms from smoking. These include:

1. Control your heat

If smoking is your thing, then opting for a cooler method like a bong or water pipe is preferable to smoking joints, blunts, spliffs, or from a standard pipe. Why? Smoke from water pipes is just a wee bit cooler than smoke from other consumption methods. While smoking out of a bong is still smoking, water catches more burning embers and reduces the overall temperature of the smoke. As mentioned above, heat is irritating to the soft tissues of the respiratory system.

2. Use saline

If blowing smoke has your nose feeling a little dry, it may be time for some saline. Saline is more or less just salt water spray. This spray can re-moisten the nasal passages. This makes them less prone to tear and is just downright more comfortable. Saline can also help with dry mouth.

3. Opt for safer consumption methods

Smoking isn’t the only way to consume cannabis. Vaporization is considered a far safer way to inhale the herb. Unlike smoking, which combusts plant material at high temperatures, vaporizers heat at low temperatures. This melts the waxy resin glands on the plant and creates a steam rather than a smoke.

Combustion occurs at 445℉ (230℃). At this temperature, carcinogenic compounds like benzene can be released by the cannabis plant. This is a natural, though toxic product of burning materials. This is one major reason why smoking is considered bad for health.

Edibles, tinctures, capsules, and transdermal patches are additional ways to consume cannabis. Though, inhalation is the fastest way to experience the psychoactive effects of the herb.

4. Exercise

Hoping to break up mucus and clean out your respiratory tract? Exercise may help. Exercise forces deep breathing, which is beneficial for both the lungs and the nose. Exercise also boosts immune function and is thought to reduce inflammation.

Exercise also increases blood circulation, which means that vital nutrients and oxygen will be dispersed throughout the body. Without movement, nutrient transport is much more stagnant. This means that less oxygen and nutrient-rich blood will make it to areas around the nose and sinuses.

5. Eat a clean, plant-rich diet

Feeling congested? Eat some pineapple. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can do wonders for overall health. But, did you know that some foods can have beneficial effects on the lungs? Pineapple, for example, contains a protein called bromelain.

While the protein is most concentrated in pineapple stems, it can be found in the fruit as well.
Early research suggests that this compound may be helpful in treating symptoms of sinus infections. Additional rodent research suggests that an oral administration of this compound reduces inflammation associated with asthma.

Since smoking potentially changes the microbial communities in the nose, eating prebiotic foods may also be useful. Prebiotic foods include onion, garlic, leek, asparagus, dandelion greens, and Jerusalem artichoke. These foods all contain fibers which microorganisms like to eat.

While there is little research on the influence of prebiotic foods on the nasal microbiome, prebiotics have been associated in blinded, placebo-controlled trials with reduced symptoms of allergy and skin-related conditions like eczema.

This post was originally published on July 4, 2017, it was updated on May 13, 2020.

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Is Exhaling Smoke From Your Nose Bad For You? Published on July 4, 2017, By Anna Wilcox Delivery Methods Marijuana Knowledge Base There is little evidence to suggest whether or not exhaling

The 7 Best Smoke Tricks and How To Do Them

You know the age-old mantra parents tell their kids: Smoking isn’t cool. Well, that only applies to kids that don’t know how to do cool smoke tricks.

Kidding. Don’t go out and buy a pack of Lucky Strikes now.

The only cool smoke tricks out there are the ones that you do with ganja. NOT cigarettes. And there’s plenty of them to go around. The only problem? You don’t know how to do them yet.

That’s where we come in.

We decided to take a look at some of the coolest of the cool-guy smoke tricks, and teach you guys ourselves. Wanna learn how to do smoke tricks and become a total badass? Just keep on reading, friend-o.

Smoke Rings

Creating smoke rings is the oldest trick in the book. Having said that, it still gets a pretty solid reception, every time. Knowing how to do smoke tricks like this will up your game.

First, gather up all the smoke you inhaled in your mouth. Let it sit in your cheeks for a second or two. Then, open your mouth and make a ring, or ‘O’ shape with your lips. Now, don’t exhale, but simply push the smoke out of your mouth by opening and closing your throat. This way, the small throat movements will only release a little bit of smoke in the time, and, if done correctly, they should be in the shape of a ring. However, this trick definitely requires some patience and practice to perfect.

The French Inhale

The French inhale is another staple of cool smoke tricks, and it’s probably a little simpler than pulling off a mean smoke ring. This trick provides a little bit of mind-fuckery because it makes it look as if you’re inhaling smoke that’s coming out of your nose, through your mouth.

Step one is, obviously take your hit (preferably a big one). Again, hold in in your cheeks until you’re ready to perform. Then, simply exhale incredibly lightly, and then quickly inhale through your nose. When exhaling, make sure you do it slowly enough so that you’re able to inhale it through the nose, considering it’s basically impossible to exhale and inhale at the same time.

Another simple trick for mastering the French inhale—push your jaw forward. It makes it easier to inhale the smoke coming out of your mouth.

Ghost Inhale

The ghost inhale is another popular trick that you’ve probably seen. The difference between this one and the first two, however, is the ghost inhale is pretty freaking easy to do. So, you’ll spend a lot less time practicing and a lot more time showing off your sweet new skills to your stoner friends.

To do a proper ghost inhale, simply exhale a small amount of smoke (again, stored in your cheeks), and then quickly inhale it all back into your mouth. That’s pretty much it. Obviously, timing is a factor, as you still want to inhale it before it dissipates. Also, make sure you inhale strongly, so you don’t leave any smoke in the air, which would, in effect, make you quite lame.

The Waterfall

Number four on our list of “how to do smoke tricks” is the waterfall. Another classic.

This one requires props — an empty bottle, and some ice.

The waterfall trick is dope because it makes you look like you’re a special effects guru on some science-fiction movie. But, in reality, you’re just trying to get stoned while putting on a show.

For the waterfall, all you need to do is take a big ol’ hit of some pot and exhale into the bottle that contains a little bit of ice on the bottom. Then, just tip over the bottle, and the smoke starts flowing like the wine of Capistrano. This effect happens because the ice at the bottom chills the smoke, which makes it sink to the bottom. Cold air always sinks, after all.

Bull Ring

This is probably the most advanced trick here, but it makes for one of the cooler forms of entertainment when you’re trying to impress your smoke buddies.

The bull ring is actually just a version of the regular smoke ring trick, except with a little extra flare.

Basically, just create a smoke ring, and then slowly inhale through your nose. This will put the top half of the ring in your nose, giving you the appearance, of, well, a bull.

Smoke Tornado

This is a fairly easy trick to do with practice — however, it might require extra material.

There are basically two ways to do it — either with a cardboard paper towel roll, or just your hands.

For the first method, blow smoke into the paper towel roll slowly and let it collect in the tube. Hold it against the table, but make sure you don’t block the hole on the bottom of the roll. As the smoke begins to gather on the surface, take the tube away from the table and slide your hand over the smoke on the table. Finally, lift your hand quickly into the air, and guide the smoke cloud upwards, into a tornado-looking shape.

Doing it without the paper towel roll is actually way simpler, but it might not look as good. Just simply blow smoke directly onto the table, instead of into the tube. Cut out the middleman, if you will.

Smoke Bubbles

This final trick will also require the use of a prop—actual bubbles (don’t worry, it still qualifies as one of the many cool smoke tricks).

This is, realistically, the easiest trick so far. If you can blow bubbles and smoke weed, then you’re instantly capable of doing this trick.

Just simply combine the two.

Here’s how to do smoke tricks with bubbles. Take a hit of whatever you’re smoking and then break out the bubbles. As you go to blow the bubbles from the wand, you will already have all of the smoke in your mouth. Exhale the smoke as you’re blowing the bubbles, and lo and behold, you have smoke bubbles.

Well, that’s all we have, in terms of cool smoke tricks. Practice makes perfect, so if you read this comprehensive guide on how to do smoke tricks a few times, you should be able to show off for your friends soon.

Up your game and toke up like a pro.