Chest Pain from Smoking Weed

chest pain from smoking weed

If you're reading this, it is probably because you are experiencing chest pain from smoking weed.

First things first, don't panic.

There are several reasons why you may notice pain in your chest after smoking weed that can stem from taking too big of a hit to inhaling tar, resin, or mold, and can even be caused by anxiety-producing strains.

chest pain from smoking weed

We are going to cover the 4 reasons you may be experiencing chest pain from smoking marijuana and just what you can do about it!

Other issues that arise can be much more severe and require medical attention that may not have to do with smoking marijuana in the first place.

If you want to learn to spot the difference between minor chest pains from smoking pot and more serious chest pain concerns that require seeking a health care physician, you've landed on the right article!

*Disclaimer - this article has not been written or reviewed by a doctor. If you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing, contact a healthcare professional immediately*

There are 4 main reasons that can cause your lungs to hurt after smoking cannabis. Find out what they are and ways to help alleviate chest pain when smoking marijuana.

4 Reasons Why Lungs Hurt After Smoking Weed

There are several issues said to be the cause of chest pain from smoking weed. Among these reasons are resin and tar, mold in weed, panic attacks caused by the strains, and holding in weed too long after a rip. Each of these is usually the culprit in minor chest discomfort from smoking cannabis.

Here are 4 factors of why your lungs hurt after smoking weed:

Chest Pain from Smoking Weed - Tar and Resin

Are you familiar with resin and tar from weed smoke? The buildup in your lungs begins the moment you take your first hit. If you look at a brand new bong after you smoke your first bowl, you can see for yourself the tar and resin buildup instantly. The same thing happens to your lungs.

Tar and resin buildup can cause a very heavy, uncomfortable feeling in your lungs and chest.Additionally, if you experience asthma or any pre-existing lung conditions like it, resin and tar can cause lung irritation and produce a cough attack. Learn more about the effects of weed and asthma.

To prevent tar and resin from building up in your lungs, make sure you are using a triple carbon marijuana filter for joints, blunts, bongs, and weed vape pens.

lungs hurt after smoking weed

Moose Labs MouthPeace and MouthPeace Mini have a triple layer activated carbon filter that has proven to filter out tar and resin from weed smoke without removing the good stuff. MouthPeace users claim that using these weed filters have helped control coughing and lung irritation. Not only that, but your rips are tastier and cleaner.

Chest Hurts After Smoking Weed - Mold in Weed

Moldy weed is another cause of chest pain when smoking weed. Mold in weed has mainly been discoverable in midgrade weed and unregulated recreational marijuana. So, if you purchase premium cannabis, this probably isn't the cause of your chest pain. But there have been instances of aspergillus mold found in even premium weed. Marijuana is a plant; it is alive, meaning it can harbor mold.

You can identify moldy weed as a white, fuzzy film, like you may have seen on a fruit. If you have found mold in weed, you will want to toss it out and find a better source that sells top strains of weed.

chest hurts after smoking weed

Chest Pain from Smoking Too Much - Anxiety and Panic Attack

In smaller doses, marijuana activates the sympathetic nervous system. Your heart rate and blood pressure will increase, and oxygen flow to the heart muscle will be mildly restricted. It is prevalent to feel that you are having a more difficult time breathing, but this doesn't mean you are not breathing at all.

Breathing shallower can increase the chance of having a panic attack, especially if you have anxiety as an underlying issue. This is because when your heart rate increases, it makes it harder to take a full, deep breath. When this happens, it triggers panic, which only makes the shortness of breath continue. Also, certain types of marijuana strains are known to increase paranoia and anxiety - stay clear from those.

If this happens to you, don't panic. This is common and can be helped by inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 5 seconds. No, not marijuana, just oxygen.

Do this for 5 breaths, and you will notice your breathing can deepen, and the shortness of breath should subside.

Smoking too much THC when your body hasn't built a tolerance to it is also a factor in increased anxiety and panic attacks. Just be sure and smoke what your body can handle so you can work your way up and build a tolerance.

Marijuana Chest Pain - Holding in Weed Too Long

The fourth reason you are experiencing marijuana chest pain is from holding in a rip for too long. The amount of THC absorbed in your lungs is done so within the first second of touching your lungs. The longer you hold in a hit, the longer you deprive your brain of oxygen, which can trigger a panic attack. Make sure you understand how to inhale marijuana.

When to Worry About Chest Pain After Smoking Weed

It can be a terrifying thing to experience chest pain after smoking weed. Especially if you have never experienced it before or if you are new to smoking weed.

It is common to feel chest pain when inhaling smoke from anything, not just cannabis. This is due to irritation to the lungs that leads to coughing.

However, there are clear signs of much more severe health concerns that may not be related to marijuana. In these instances, it is advisable to call a health care physician or 911 right away. Continue reading to know what signs to look for.

Is it Really Weed That is Causing My Chest Pain?

No matter what, smoking anything, whether it's marijuana or tobacco, can cause chest pain. This is due to a foreign substance (smoke) infiltrating your lungs. In this instance, smoke irritates the lungs, which causes coughing. Coughing is your body's attempt to rid your lungs of the foreign smoke. This usually subsides within a few minutes.

Slight chest pain from a coughing fit is common.

There are other things to look for that are uncommon. Seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing ANY of the following:

  1. intense chest pain
  2. experience chest pain while working out
  3. chest pain happens suddenly, out of nowhere
  4. chest pain 15 minutes or longer
  5. if the pain spreads to other parts of the body (jaw, upper back, left arm)
  6. chest pain in addition to heart palpitations, overheating, dizziness and nausea, short breath

The list above are signs of more severe issues going on within the body that need medical attention. Do not let these symptoms continue without seeking advice from a physician.

Why am I Getting Shortness of Breath from Smoking Marijuana?

As you inhale smoke from weed, it goes to your lungs first. From your lungs, smoke is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, smoke and its compounds are distributed through the veins, passing into the heart and brain.

Since the compounds from weed smoke permeate the entire body, every cell is touched and affected.

Due to your whole body being affected by smoking marijuana, it can cause panic attacks, which may increase shortness of breath or the feeling of shallow breathing.

Your sympathetic nervous system is activated when you smoke weed, which causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate; this reduces the chance of catching a deep breath producing a feeling of shortness of breath.

Keep reading below to find out what to do if you experience this symptom of smoking weed.

Health Issues Could Make it Hard to Breathe After Smoking Weed

While smoking weed is not considered dangerous, it can worsen heart and lung disease. So you should always be honest with yourself and the doctor when talking about consuming cannabis. Always let the doctor know of any history of heart disease that may run in your family. This will allow for a proper diagnosis.

Coronary Artery Disease - Chest Pain From Smoking Weed

If you have a history of coronary artery disease, you may experience pain after smoking.

For someone with a coronary artery disease history, marijuana can actually cause chest pain from smoking and even bring on a heart attack. It can rupture cholesterol plaques and cause blocking of the coronary artery.

Airway or Lung Disease - Shortness of Breath After Smoking Weed

Do you find it hard to breathe after smoking weed? Whether you are a light or heavy weed smoker, smoking affects your airways and lung tissue, which can also lead to chest pain in between and during smoking. 

Reviews show that there is concern for potential adverse lung effects, and the purpose was to highlight the recent studies that show the impact on the respiratory system when you are inhaling marijauana smoke.

Smoking pot leads to coughing and chest pain from: Inflammation and irritation of your large airway (Pharyngitis), also irritation and inflammation in your small airways and lung spaces (Bronchitis).

What to Do When Cannabis is Causing Discomfort in my Chest?

Any form of smoking is irritating to the lung. When talking about weed smoke, the most common reason for your body's immediate coughing reaction is from the primary irritants: tar and resin.

Resin and tar enter your lungs the second you inhale smoke from marijuana. The best thing to do to avoid experiencing a coughing fit and chest pain or discomfort from smoking weed is to switch over to edibles or oils and tinctures. If you love smoking weed, it's advisable to use a MouthPeace to reduce the buildup of tar and resin in your lungs.

Disclaimer: Moose Labs makes no claims in treating any lung disease or condition. Moose Labs MouthPeace and MouthPeace Mini only help to reduce tar and resin. Smoking, in any form still has many potential risks. If you are experiencing any discomforts in your chest, seeking medical attention is the best option.

Legal, medical marijuana is much more heavily regulated in most states. Generally, buying medical marijuana will reduce the risk of purchasing weed contaminated with pesticides, mold, and other harmful contaminants.

Seeking medical attention is always advised to find any underlying issues that could be the root cause of why your lungs hurt after smoking weed.


There are minor causes of chest pain, like indigestion from overeating when high, and can be alleviated by taking Tums. Then there are not so common signs while experiencing chest pain from smoking marijuana that possibly links to more severe issues that require medical attention.

Don't take chest pain after smoking cannabis lightly. Review the list of notable signs to look for that require a physician to become involved. Remember to be honest with your health care provider to help them better diagnose whether you have a real underlying issue or if you just smoked too much weed.

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