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Why marijuana smokers cough up black phlegm and cigarette smokers do not:

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  • Nov 24 2009 08:59 PM
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Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:59 PM

I personally did not write this. I found it after googling black phlegm, regarding my recent quit from cigs. I found this and though it was interesting enough to shear. Enjoy!



The main thing going on here is the difference between bronchial dilators and constrictors. Tobacco is a bronchial constrictor whereas Cannabis is a bronchial dilator; this means smoking tobacco will tighten and close the pathways in your lungs where Cannabis will open them up. Nicotine constricts terminal bronchioles in lungs, which keeps tars trapped in the tissue. Its there these chemicals do their worst. THC and the chemicals associated with MJ are dilators. This allows the particulate matter (black mucus) etc., to be expelled, thereby eliminating their effects "on contact" with lung tissue. Anytime you smoke you’re going to have a presence of mucus.

For me MJ has a slight allergic reaction just like my everyday allergies. However it is this very bodily reaction that protects us from long term contacts with allergens, by allowing "matter" to be trapped and expelled. So, the "Black Phlegm" is a good thing.



post note:
(1) THC is a bronchial dilator, which means it works like a cough drop by opening up your lungs and therefore aiding in the clearance of smoke and dirt. Nicotine has the exact opposite effect. (5) Unlike the chemicals in marijuana, nicotine has a paralyzing effect on the tiny hairs along the body's air passages. These hairs normally work to keep foreign matter out of the lungs. This means that carcinogenic tar from cigarette smoke is relatively much harder to purge from your lungs than is that from marijuana.

[1] Heath, R.G., A.T. Fitzjarrell, C.J. Fontana, and R.E. Garey. "Cannabis sativa: Effects on brain function and ultrastructure in Rhesus monkeys," Biological Psychiatry. 15:657-690, 1980.
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Posted 16 November 2010 - 09:02 AM

Sooo true- i remember hearin my professor talk about this in a psycholoy course dedicated to drugs and humans.

thc is a bronchial diolator and opens up your lungs/airways.

good shit- ive been hacking up the nastiest resin filled loogies and your post reminded me that its prolly from the mixture of tobacco and mj smoke

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:11 PM

Yerrrr when i was doing alot of blunts i coughed alot of that black phlegm

at first i was scared going "What tobacco already effecting me???"

Then i learned...
Thanks to the poster to bring this thread back up as im sure alot of smokers dont know what it is there coughing out and prolly scared just like i was.

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:23 PM

I've never coughed any shit like this up. I don't smoke tobacco, except for the occasional B&M, But I only smoke weed, and I do it alot. Why ain't I coughing this shit up? Is it because I don't have anything down there to cough up or what.

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  • tokinITguy
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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:27 PM

It's threads like this that make me glad I invested in an MFLB and a Volcano.

I don't want to EVER be coughing up anything that is "black". I don't give a shit what it is, or how THC affects the dilation of the organs related to breathing. That just sounds really bad, IMHO.

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:31 PM

When your coughing up black and you know you smoke ALOT of marijuana its a GOOD thing.
its cleaning out your lungs of anything that can cause infections.

now if your smoking straight tobacco and no weed then yeah its time to see a doctor if your coughing up straight black.. usually you will see blood before black if your smoking tomuch T

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  • tokinITguy
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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:52 PM

When your coughing up black and you know you smoke ALOT of marijuana its a GOOD thing.
its cleaning out your lungs of anything that can cause infections.


I do see your point here with the benefits of the THC actually causing the dilation that makes this "self-cleaning" process happen, but I guess I'd rather just vape and avoid the issue from happening in the first place.

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:55 PM

This is kind of a relief. I've never habitually smoked tobacco but I always cough shit up from baking all the time. It's gotten worse since I started a nightly blunt regimen as well

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:15 PM

I've smoke for 4 years everyday multiple times for the last 2 I never coughed up black shit untill I started smoking cigarettes. I've quit them now and I rarely cough up anything.

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:16 PM

i cough up some nasty shit but its not black, normally like green

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:24 PM

Smoke your resin filled mucus! :smoke:

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:34 PM

Stop smoking blunts and start smoking papers my man. You wont be coughing up black shit...problem solved.

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 04:12 PM

Good timing on posting this info, I needed this little reminder! Since I have asthma and all I was beginning to get a little worried when I began coughing up more phlegm lately...was starting to wonder if I should take a t break for a different reason. :smoke:

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 04:21 PM

Good timing on posting this info, I needed this little reminder! Since I have asthma and all I was beginning to get a little worried when I began coughing up more phlegm lately...was starting to wonder if I should take a t break for a different reason. :smoke:


Ive heard that cannabis actually helps people with asthma, but regardless if i were you id buy a vape (if you have enough money), or theres always other ways to ingest weed other than smoking.

But if smoking is your thing then yea you should prolly take a week break in between smoke sessions.

Hope that helps :smoke:

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:37 PM

Every big bong hit i cough up black in my spit lol. I dont smoke any other way and i smoke... alot... lots of black shit comes up! ive always thought this was a great thing, if it stayed in... thats nastay.... thanks for the info

good vibes!

Edited by DojaMonkey, 16 November 2010 - 08:41 PM.


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Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:54 PM

Also explains why marijuana helps me excercise so much better! Opens up airways and bronchioles thus increasing surface area, oxygen intake and therefore increases rate of diffusion. Essentially meaning i can run harder and longer. Get caffine in there too and you're on fire.

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:57 PM

Never happened to me before. My usage has ranged from daily for several months to once of twice a week for a couple months, and i have never experienced anything like that.

I have never regularly smoked tobacco so thats probably why...

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:09 AM

Hi! Glad everyone enjoys the information, and thanks for bringing this post back to life!:D

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:29 AM

[1] Heath, R.G., A.T. Fitzjarrell, C.J. Fontana, and R.E. Garey. "Cannabis sativa: Effects on brain function and ultrastructure in Rhesus monkeys," Biological Psychiatry. 15:657-690, 1980


It was tested on monkies, not humans tho....

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:19 PM

actually this makes alot of sense for me, since ive been smoking on the reg i noticed i always have a bit of phlem worked up. not enough to consider myself sick but still there.




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