Asthma and weed

September 2, 2018

Due to the fact that the most popular method of recreationally consuming cannabis is smoking, it may seem like an unlikely medical treatment for a respiratory condition. Any doctor will tell you that smoking cigarettes is not a good idea for asthma sufferers (or for anyone, really). However, evidence suggests that cannabis may have beneficial effects for those with asthma, even when smoked.


What is asthma?

 Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. If not managed, attacks can be fatal.
Although asthma can't be cured, its symptoms can be controlled.There are 300 million asthmatics worldwide with 1/10th of those living in India.



Asthma and weed

 The ability of cannabis to act as a bronchodilator is perhaps its most significant property in terms of the treatment of asthma. During an asthma attack, the bronchioles become constricted. As a result, the rate of oxygen flow drastically reduces.

Currently, the most common method of treating asthma attacks is through the use of corticosteroids. These include high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression among other severe side effects.

Several studies have shown that administration of cannabis in various forms can significantly improve bronchoconstriction both during an asthma attack and in normal circumstances.

A study in 1973 observed that cannabis smoke—unlike that of tobacco—caused a bronchodilatory effect. A 1974 study found that while the bronchodilatory effect of cannabis was weaker than that of isoproterenol, its effects lasted longer. Additionally, one large 20-year study found that moderate cannabis smokers with asthma actually improved their lung function. Moreover, they did so without suffering the lung damage that is seen in cigarette smokers.

Last toke

 Although smoke does pose a certain amount of risk as a trigger, one can always opt for vapes. When THC is delivered through a vaporizer, it still has the almost immediate bronchial dilation effects without the harmful smoke. Vaporizing cannabis isn’t really all that different from the current accepted treatments, just with what may be a more effective drug.

Although there’s a lot of contradictory researches on the subject, the aforementioned studies suggest that there’s weight to the claim that cannabis has expectorant and decongestant effects. Thus, further research into the relationship between asthma and  weed could be advantageous.

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