Marijuana and Asthma: Does it Help?
Can weed help asthma? There has been a lot of talk about using marijuana for medical purposes in recent years. Some people argued that its downsides still outweigh the potential benefit of helping relieve people’s health problems. Others promoted the idea of a world where it is legal to purchase and use marijuana freely. Some even rallied and protested for the cause.
Be that as it may, everyone has heard of at least one serious study that supposedly proves it can help patients with severe forms of diseases like cancer. We are still working on the cure for both, and perhaps this is why people are turning to more radical solutions in the first place. But, is medical marijuana good for asthma and other allergies? Does marijuana help asthma, or does it only help induce the patient into a state of euphoria where he or she accept their current condition easier?
In this article, we will take a look at both of these possibilities. Let’s get into it.
What are the Symptoms & Types of Asthma?
Asthma is a lung disease. A very common problem in the general populace and most of us know at least one person who is suffering from it. It causes the airways in a person’s lungs to swell and narrow, which can especially be tough during an attack.
And, we all know most of the symptoms—things like shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing attacks, and stuff like that. People who have it also complain about chest tightness, they can’t do sports, or sometimes they can even function properly.
There are several types of asthma diagnosis:
- Occupational Asthma
- Nonallergic Asthma
- Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction
- Asthma-COPD Overlap
- Allergic Asthma
- Adult-Onset Asthma
Since asthma has everything to do with breathing, somebody got the idea of treating it with marijuana. But, the question is, does marijuana help asthma?
Can Smoking Weed Affect Asthma?
While the treatment is still considered alternative, marijuana and asthma treatment are often mentioned together in official documents and information outlets. But, since this is a chronic lung inflammation of the airways, apparently, the patient should not smoke marijuana. Medical marijuana for asthma works differently. It should be taken in its other forms, which do not require inhaling.
Does Medical Marijuana Help Asthma?
Marijuana contains THC, or the Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is one of many cannabinoids found thus far in cannabis. Numerous studies and even official sources agree almost universally that, to some extent, THC can help open up the airways in the lungs. It’s important to remember that asthma is a disease in which those airways swell and narrow to the point of clogging, so this is the main connection between medical marijuana and asthma treatment.
But, on the other hand, marijuana (cannabis) is a psychoactive drug precisely because of the THC contained within, which is a psychoactive component. And, although smoking is the most popular way of consummation, it is proven to cause irritation in the airways and other breathing problems.
Thus, most of the online sources suggest that medical marijuana for asthma is best taken by other methods, which include vaporizing, as an extract, or even within the food. However, this leaves the other side effects of consuming drugs, and THC has many. Those side effects are divided into physical and mental.
Physical effects of cannabis include:
- Impaired body movement
- Increased appetite
Mental effects of cannabis include:
- An altered state of mind
- Loss of sense of time
- Impaired short-term memory
- Impaired concentration
However, all these are under the assumption of low to medium usage. At high doses and/or with prolonged consummation, cannabis can cause severe mental disorders, like hallucinations, paranoia, panic, anxiety, ides of reference, and even psychosis.
Using medical marijuana for asthma would have to also include the dangers of excess consummation. However, the amount for consummation necessary to reach the threshold for severe side effects is highly unpredictable and varies greatly from person to person. One might argue that it is even lower in sick people at weakened physical and mental states.
Marijuana and Asthma Attacks
Marijuana and asthma attacks combined would pose an even greater danger to an asthma patient than just the usual attacks. For this reason, medical marijuana is usually a synthetic strain of the plant, much less potent than in its natural forms.
This is the common mistake most people make when talking about the subject because they assume that using marijuana for medical purposes means allowing its use for the general public and legalizing what is currently considered its abuse. However, the countries that have legalized it strictly for medical purposes have regulated this under strict laws.
Currently, using marijuana in medicinal purposes is allowed in Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and some U.S. states. The distribution is regulated by state law, and usage requires a doctor’s prescription.
Medical marijuana cards are also issued by the state as identification cards to patients that have received doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana in medicinal purposes. These may extend to allow the patient to possess, obtain, and even cultivate the plant.
But, Can Marijuana Help Asthma?
The central question is, however, still unanswered by the major authorities in medical fields. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and many other top institutions have still not given the definitive answer to the question. So, can weed help asthma? We just can’t be sure at this point.