Why Do You Get Higher When You Cough?

When you cough, you get higher because coughing causes a temporary increase in intra-abdominal pressure, leading to increased pressure in the brain. This can result in a fleeting feeling of being higher or lightheaded due to the decreased blood flow to the brain.

Coughing can also stimulate specific receptors in the brain that are responsible for the sensation of dizziness or vertigo. Additionally, the sudden contraction of the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles during a cough can affect the blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain, contributing to the feeling of being higher.

Coughing And Increased Blood Flow

Coughing is a common reflex that helps to expel irritants or foreign particles from the airways, but have you ever noticed that sometimes coughing can make you feel a little “higher”? This sensation can be attributed to increased blood flow in the body.

The Role Of Increased Blood Flow In Feeling Higher

When you cough, several physiological changes occur, including increased blood flow. The increased blood flow is primarily directed towards the brain, leading to a temporary feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness, commonly referred to as feeling “higher.”

The temporary lightheadedness or dizziness sensation can be attributed to the fact that the brain requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function correctly. When you cough forcefully, it increases the intra-abdominal pressure, influencing the blood flow to the brain.

How Coughing Affects Blood Circulation In The Body

During a coughing episode, the forceful contraction of the muscles involved in the cough reflex exerts pressure on the blood vessels surrounding them. This pressure, combined with the increased intra-abdominal pressure, causes a temporary disruption in the normal blood flow.

The disruption results in a momentary decrease in blood supply to the brain, leading to reduced oxygen and nutrient delivery. In response, your body triggers compensatory mechanisms to restore blood flow to the brain.

Effects of coughing on blood circulation
Coughing increases intra-abdominal pressure.
Increased pressure on blood vessels surrounding the cough muscles.
Temporary disruption in blood flow to the brain.
Compensatory mechanisms activated to restore blood flow.

This compensatory mechanism involves an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, aimed at maintaining adequate blood supply to the brain. The body’s response to the disrupted blood flow boosts circulation, leading to a surge of blood toward the brain and contributing to the sensation of feeling “higher”.

Although the feeling of being “higher” when coughing may be brief and transient, it serves as a reminder of the intricate connection between blood flow and our body’s response to physiological changes.

Coughing And Brain Activity

Coughing is a natural reflex that helps us clear irritants from our airways and is often accompanied by a range of bodily responses. Interestingly, coughing not only affects our respiratory system but also has an impact on our brain activity. This article will explore the fascinating connection between coughing and brain activity, exploring the neurochemical changes during a coughing episode.

The Impact Of Coughing On Brain Activity

Coughing triggers various responses within our body, and the brain plays a crucial role in coordinating these actions. When we cough, our brain receives signals from our respiratory system, prompting a series of complex interactions that ultimately expel irritants.

These interactions involve the activation of different regions of the brain, such as the cerebral cortex, brainstem, and medulla. The cerebral cortex is responsible for initiating the cough reflex, while the brainstem and medulla control the muscles involved in coughing.

Also, coughing stimulates the vagus nerve, a major nerve connecting the brain to the respiratory system. This nerve sends signals to the brain, providing valuable feedback about the effectiveness of the cough and any lingering irritants still present in the airways.

Neurochemical Changes During A Coughing Episode

A coughing episode triggers muscular contractions and leads to distinct neurochemical changes within the brain. One of the fundamental changes is an increase in the release of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and endorphins.

Dopamine, often referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, is released in response to various stimuli, including coughing. This dopamine release can contribute to relief and satisfaction after coughing.

Furthermore, coughing can also activate the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals produced by the body. These endorphins can help alleviate discomfort in the throat or chest that often accompanies a persistent cough.

Moreover, the increased brain activity during a coughing episode also engages regions associated with attention and focus. This heightened alertness can be attributed to the brain’s response to the potential threat of an irritant or foreign object in the airways.

Coughing And Oxygenation

Coughing is a natural reflex that helps to clear unwanted substances or irritants from our respiratory system. While most of us are familiar with the physical effects of coughing, such as the sound and discomfort in our chest, you may be surprised to learn that coughing can impact our oxygenation levels and even give us a temporary feeling of being “higher.” This article will explore the fascinating connection between coughing and oxygen supply.

Oxygenation Levels During Coughing

Coughing involves forcefully expulsing air from our lungs, which can temporarily increase oxygenation levels. When we cough, the deep inhalation that precedes the actual cough allows more air to enter our lungs. This influx of air can provide an increased oxygen supply to our body. Additionally, the forceful expulsion during coughing helps to clear mucus or other obstructions from our airways, allowing for better air circulation and, thus, improved oxygenation.

It is important to note that these increases in oxygenation levels during coughing are temporary and do not impact our overall respiratory function. However, this quick boost in oxygen supply can create a unique sensation that some individuals describe as feeling “higher.” It is essential to understand that this feeling does not involve any psychoactive effects; instead, it results from the increased oxygenation and the unique physical sensations associated with coughing.

The Connection Between Oxygen Supply And Feeling Higher

The sensation of feeling “higher” when coughing can be attributed to the increased oxygen supply and the physical effects of coughing. The influx of oxygen during coughing can stimulate specific receptors in our respiratory system, leading to a heightened sense of alertness and energy. Additionally, the forceful expulsion of air during coughing can temporarily increase blood flow and heart rate, which may contribute to the feeling of being “higher.” While these effects are transient and not comparable to the impact of recreational drugs, they can still be an intriguing experience for some individuals.

In conclusion, coughing can briefly enhance our oxygenation levels, leading to a unique sensation that some individuals describe as feeling “higher.” This temporary boost in oxygen supply and the physical effects of coughing contribute to the overall experience. However, it is essential to remember that this feeling is not indicative of any psychoactive effects but rather a result of increased oxygenation and the accompanying physical sensations. So, the next time you find yourself coughing, take notice of the fascinating connection between oxygenation and feeling “higher.”

The Psychological Aspect

The Influence Of Expectancy On Feeling Higher When Coughing

When people anticipate a specific outcome, they may experience it more intensely. Research shows that if individuals expect to feel higher when they cough, their anticipation can influence their perception of the effect. This phenomenon is known as the influence of expectancy. Even though the physiological impact of coughing remains unchanged, the psychological aspect plays a significant role in how individuals perceive and interpret their coughing experiences.

The Placebo Effect And Its Role In Cough-related Experiences

The placebo effect can profoundly influence how people interpret the sensations associated with coughing. When individuals believe that coughing will increase euphoria, their brains can release neurotransmitters that produce this desired effect. Therefore, the sensation of feeling higher when coughing can be attributed to the placebo effect, where the mind’s perception drives the subjective experience of heightened sensation. This highlights the decisive role of expectation and perception in shaping the experiences individuals have when coughing.


Coughing can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure due to the sudden contraction of muscles and increased pressure in the chest. This can lead to a feeling of being “higher” or lightheaded. Understanding the physiological mechanisms behind this phenomenon can help alleviate any concerns about cough-induced dizziness.

Remember, if frequent or severe dizziness occurs, it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Stay informed and take care of your health!

Frequently Asked Questions Of Why Do You Get Higher When You Cough

Why Do Stoners Cough So Much?

Frequent coughing in stoners is due to smoke irritation, which can irritate the throat and lungs, leading to coughing. This can be exacerbated by more extended inhalation and holding in the smoke. Using proper techniques and considering alternative consumption methods is essential to minimize coughing.

What Is Bong Lung?

Bong lung, also known as marijuana-related lung disease, is a condition caused by frequent and long-term smoking of marijuana through a bong. It can lead to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Quitting smoking is the best way to prevent and treat bong lungs.

How Many Cigarettes Equal One Joint?

One joint is roughly equivalent to smoking 2-5 cigarettes, depending on the size and potency of the joint.

Do Edibles Help With Coughing?

Yes, edibles can help with coughing. Edibles that contain ingredients like honey, ginger, or herbal extracts can soothe the throat and reduce coughing. They provide a natural and effective remedy for cough relief.

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