Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Benefits of Cannabis with Asthma

It seems hard to believe that smoking marijuana can help asthma. Unlike smoking nicotine that constricts the lung passageways, THC in cannabis expands the airways. Amazingly, cannabis consumed by smoking has been shown to reduce asthma symptoms.

Asthma attacks are muscle contractions. Restricted breathing is initiated from a signaling molecule called acetycholine. Dr. Tashkin, a lung expert from UCLA, studies the use of cannabis for asthma patients. He stated that traditional asthma medications “prevent the acetycholine from binding to its receptor. But THC works proximal to that. It doesn't have any competitive effect for binding to receptors. It just prevents the acetylcholine from being released.”

Different ways of consuming cannabis have shown a variety of results with asthma treatment. Taken orally, it is not strong enough and takes too long to be effective. Traditional asthma inhalers using THC make people cough. This is due to THC being a large enough molecule to cause a cough response. Smoking marijuana can offer immediate asthma relief. This method is not ideal due to noxious chemicals that can cause inflammation to the respiratory tissue. The best effective method is with THC being delivered through a vaporizer.

A twenty year study with people that suffer with asthma showed decrease in symptoms from cannabis use.(Source) Cannabis has been found to be a bronchodilator.(Source) Currently medicine including marijuana targets short-term asthma attacks. Researchers are looking into the possibility of cannabis providing a long-term treatment for asthma.(Source)


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