While smoke from any source is a respiratory irritant and can make asthma symptoms worse, research shows that the cannabinoids in marijuana can actually improve asthma when consumed in other ways.
Asthma is a condition where airways become inflamed, narrow, and swell. Extra mucus is produced, which makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma can be a minor annoyance or it can be chronic and interfere with daily activities. In some cases, it may even lead to a life-threatening attack.
Symptoms of asthma may include difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough, and wheezing. There are more than three million cases of asthma diagnosed in the United States each year. Bronchitis, allergic asthma, sinusitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are related respiratory conditions. Typically inhalers are prescribed for temporary relief.
Because there are different levels of severity in patients and different causes of asthma, and because research is just beginning on the impact of cannabis on asthma, there are still areas that need to be explored and researched before verifying marijuana can definitively help or eliminate asthma. However, the compounds in marijuana are already proven to provide general relief for inflammation and spasms. When taken orally via edibles or tinctures, it can also act as a bronchodilator. This kind of relief can indirectly help to reduce symptoms of asthma.
A 2020 study on three asthmatic patients treated with medical cannabis and a 1976 study of THC administered by aerosol showed an improvement in the participant’s condition. The bronchodilator effect from cannabis relaxed the muscles in the lungs to widen the airways. The study revealed that cannabinoids may have a soothing effect on the lungs when taken orally via edibles or tinctures.
According to Joanna Zeiger, Ph.D., an advocate of medical marijuana and CEO and researcher for Canna Research Group, “I always tell people the first thing to do is figure out what it is you want to treat. For those with chronic illnesses, it would be optimal to have a discussion with a physician knowledgeable in cannabis. The type of condition you are treating will help dictate which type of cannabis you need and how you consume it.” A doctor well versed in medical marijuana can help their patient decide the safest route of administration.
To find out more about adding medical marijuana to your treatment plan, contact The Healing Clinics to make an appointment with one of our physicians.