I suffer from asthma. Is marijuana something that could help me?
Answer - Co-Founder HelloMD
According to a British study in 2014 marijuana may have the same effect on airways as asthma medication. Here is the study:
Apparently, THC can block muscle contractions which signals a molecule called acetycholine. Acetycholine helps maintain muscle tone of the airways and also helps contractions during an asthma attack. A professor at UCLA first discovered marijuana’s effect as a bronchodilator back in 1973.
Unfortunately, smoking can irritate the respiratory tissue and can cause inflammation especially with chronic use. Also, if you do not know what is in your cannabis (via lab testing) there may be some toxic irritants in there that you are not aware of. Due to this, many people prefer to vaporize. So while it is counter intuitive, it does seem that studies have shown that it may have a positive effect.
There is a flip side however, as there are many opponents of using cannabis for asthma as well. Here are some additional articles to check out:
https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/marijuana-asthma-can-it-help https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/asthma-patients-may-breathe-easier-with-cannabis https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/marijuana-your-lungs-should-you-be-worried
Answer - Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD
That's a good question. Asthma is a lung disease that causes a person’s airways to narrow and swell during an attack, which leads to wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. If not managed, attacks can be fatal. Even in the medical community, there has long been debate over whether or not cannabis is helpful for asthma patients when smoked. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease and cannabis is a known anti-inflammatory, so could the benefits outweigh the smoking risk? Studies on the pro side cite THC’s ability to dilate respiratory passages and inhibit coughing as factors that make it beneficial for some patients. Turns out, cannabis actually does the opposite of tobacco smoke in that it expands, rather than constricts bronchial passageways.
When the only way to smoke cannabis was in bud form and burn it, the concern was the ash etc that was generated and could that be harmful to asthmatics. Since the advent of vaporizers those concerns are eliminated. So the THC, CBD and THC-V that seem to be most helpful to help dilate the small passages in the lungs, seem to be able to help without those effects. Doctors have been surprised to see their patients get almost immediate relief from asthma attacks after smoking cannabis. The response can be as effective as the most commonly prescribed inhalers, but without the complications of corticosteroids, which can include high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression among other severe side effects. Another concern that has been somewhat answered is that studies seem to show that cannabis use does not appear to increase the risk of lunk cancer that is found in smoking tobacco products.
When you are using it for asthma, it seems that a low THC percentage cannabis product works the best in the range of 2-3% and in a vaporizer device.
Answer - Co-founder & CEO
I have never heard of cannabis being good for asthma. Is this really something that could help you? If you find out, please let our community know what your preferred method of treatment is.
Answer - Doctor Sharon Olson
CBD cannabis does tend to help asthma because CBD cannabis does tend to stop the inflammatory cells in the body and dehydration and inflammation tends to trigger asthma if prone to this disease. CBD also tends to relax muscle spasms and in an asthma attack the muscles do tend to spasm restricting the bronchi so using CBD regularly does tend to have a positive impact but don't use CBD like a rescue drug to get you out of an acute asthmatic attack. Using CBD regularly will also reduce any anxiety that may trigger an asthmatic attack.
Answer - potvalet
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