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Is a raspy marijuana voice something to worry about?

My voice is so raspy I avoid Zoom meetings.

By David HeitzPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
LeVan Smith III/Unsplash

My voice is really raspy. It never used to be.

I smoke a lot of pot. I often top my flower with concentrate. It’s hard on my lungs.

My doctor doesn’t mind that I smoke pot. In fact, she supports it. But she doesn’t like what it’s doing to my lungs. She wants me to vape instead.

I always feel like the THC levels are too high with vapes. I don’t want to be disabled when I smoke.

But something must give about my raspy voice. Sometimes it’s so bad you can barely understand me.

It’s so bad I try to avoid Zoom meetings and the like. I don’t cough an awful lot, but my voice is terribly raspy.

I must admit, it scares me. I had a good friend die from lung cancer. I remember how his voice was raspy, and then it got to where he couldn’t breathe.

Breathing problems alarming

Sometimes I feel like I’m not getting all the air out, so I can’t get all the air in. I am not sure whether this is permanent damage or just symptoms I’m having due to smoking more lately. When I breathe, my lungs sometime gurgle. This has been getting better lately, but it still scares me.

Earlier this week I went to see a doctor to obtain my medical marijuana card. He must have told me three times he recommends I stick with edibles. He said human lungs were not meant for marijuana consumption.

I didn’t like hearing that. Edibles don’t do anything for me except put me to sleep. At times they are quite useful in that regard.

Edibles best part of medical card

But according to my medical marijuana dispensary, LivWell Enlightened Health in Denver’s Central Park neighborhood, the edibles are the best part of having a marijuana card. They have much higher levels of THC than the edibles available on the recreational side of the dispensary.

I’m hoping the medical side also has a better selection of distillates. I would vape more often if I could find a pen with a true terpene profile that tastes like weed, not bubble gum. Or whatever.

Other people like the fruity flavors, but to me it seems so artificial. Not like regular weed.

Vape pen THC levels too high

I also wish they would make a vape pen with THC levels like those found in flower, or around 20 percent. Most vapes I’ve seen and bought have THC levels of 60 percent, 80 percent, even 90 percent.

For a person who likes to smoke during the day, these levels are much too high. Suck on a distillate vape too long and you’ll be asleep.

Research into raspy marijuana voice scarce

In a blog post on the Cleveland Clinic website, Dr. Candace Hrelec says it’s hard to know whether smoking marijuana causes a raspy voice. “I haven’t seen as many cases of polypoid corditis in those who smoke only marijuana. There isn’t enough research looking at these voice changes. People who smoke marijuana may also smoke cigarettes. So, which one is causing the vocal cord effects? Or maybe both are? It’s hard to say without more evidence and research.”

I have not had a cigarette in almost10 years. So, I know my raspy voice is not from cigarettes.

A study in the medical journal Voice concluded that marijuana does cause some people to lose their voice. “They reported symptoms that they attributed to marijuana use, including hoarseness, breathiness, and weakness.” The study mostly included people who never smoked cigarettes.

When I do take a small break from smoking weed, my lungs quickly clean themselves out. I start coughing up phlegm right away. So, I know at least my lungs still perform maintenance.

Marijuana is medicine. That’s why I smoke it. But its effects on your lungs – and your voice -- can’t be underestimated.

health

About the Creator

David Heitz

I am a journalist with more than 30 years' experience. Here at Vocal, I write mainly for Potent, Vocal's cannabis magazine. I have a PTSD diagnosis and a medical cannabis card. I have lived in a penthouse and also experienced homelessness.

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    David HeitzWritten by David Heitz

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