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Have you ever wondered, what happens if you smoke weed with asthma?
The correlation between weed and asthma is often negative. And since the primary method of consumption for cannabis is smoking, it’s easy to see why the connection seems dangerous. If you’re inhaling something then it must be terrible for your asthma, right?
Incredibly, science is beginning to shed light on why marijuana will soon become a staple in any asthmatics treatment.
Cannabis never ceases to amaze. Its benefits are spilling into every corner of the medical world. A lot of people are aware of the common ailments it treats. Such as pain, inflammation, depression, Crohn’s Disease, cataracts and epilepsy, to name a few.
But, surprisingly, next on the list is asthma.
Let’s take a look at the common questions and facts about cannabis and asthma.
Asthma is a crippling respiratory disease that hinders the lives of 300 million worldwide. It leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths yearly. Asthma affects our lung’s airways by becoming inflamed, making it difficult to breathe.
Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and spastic lung function. Those affected by severe asthma will find it difficult to perform physical activities.
Asthma is manageable with proper treatment but is fatal in worst-case scenarios.
A growing amount of evidence is stepping away from the rhetoric that asthma is genetic. Research is starting to show that it may begin at an early age due to a bacterial infection. This infection causes a weakening of the immune system and makes it susceptible to allergens and symptoms.
Azithromycin and erythromycin have great antibiotic use towards acute symptoms of asthma. THC, CBD, and CBG are cannabinoids that have a broad range of antibacterial effects against infectious pathogens.
These cannabinoids have shown to destroy specific genes. These genes might be the foundation of certain respiratory issues.
Marijuana, as an anti-inflammatory, has been long documented. With inflammation found in the lungs of asthmatics, it is an inflammatory condition.
Levels of inflammation increase during an asthma attack, causing the lungs to constrict. The consensus is this response is due to allergens irritating our lungs.
Generally speaking, the first treatment of acute episodes is with bronchodilators. But, in severe cases, it is also likely that some form of anti-inflammatory drugs. These include steroids or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
We have discovered cannabinoid receptors in our lung tissues. CB1 and CB2 receptors play an integral role in the regulation of inflammation.
We are exploring the correlation between cannabis and relieving the inflammation of asthma. The dots are there; we just need to connect them better.
Possibly the most significant benefit of treating asthma with cannabis is its ability to be a bronchodilator. When a patient is suffering an asthma attack, the bronchioles become constricted – thus dropping the amount of oxygen flow rapidly.
Several studies that date back to the 70’s show cannabis can dramatically increase the airflow during an asthma attack. Those who have asthma have a harder time breathing compared to their non-asthmatic counterparts.
Studies showed that the improvement of lung function during an asthma attack. Cannabis was on par or better than the medication salbutamol. Although marijuana doesn’t treat as quick, the effects last longer.
3. Cannabis is anti spastic
Marijuana reduces spasms in plenty of ailments, including Tourettes, Parkinsons and Epilepsy. During an asthma attack, our bronchioles contract and cannabis ease these contractions.
In a 2014 study, researchers extracted bronchial tissues from 88 people and used simulation to make the tissue contract. After administering THC, the muscle spasms significantly reduced in comparison to other treatments and medications.
Smoking Vs Vaping: Which Is Better For You?
It’s clear cannabis has some serious benefits for asthma. Most Doctors, but not all, are still lagging when medicating their patients with marijuana.
To this day, inhalers are still the number 1 prescribed medication for asthma, and more than likely will continue to be for the next bit.
We suggest speaking to your doctor before making any sudden changes. They may lead to serious health issues. However, we encourage you to explore additionally supplementing cannabis.
The following are the best methods to medicate safely.
Smoke is one of asthmatics’ greatest foes. Vaporizing cannabis, on the other hand, is safe and effective. Not only does it not irritate the lungs, but the vapor may relieve asthma attacks on the spot.
When vaporizing marijuana, cannabinoids enter the bloodstream instantly. It is the quickest method to neutralize inflammation.
We recommend a dry herb vaporizer. Most liquid vaporizers use distillate. These vaporizers often lack CBD; a significant component in alleviating inflammation.
While vaporizers produce instant effects, edibles take longer. Therefore making them more of a preventive than reactive medicine.
Cannabis edibles are much stronger than other methods. The effects start to settle in 45 to 60 minutes after ingestion, lasting anywhere from 4-12 hours, depending on the dosage.
Start slowly when using edibles. When eating edibles, our livers convert THC into 11-Hydroxy-THC. In layman’s terms, it makes the effects more pronounced and psychedelic. The suggested starting dose for edibles is 5mg. If the dosage does not affect, increase by another 5mg in 2 hours.
Like edibles, you ingest tinctures. But, they do differ from edibles, as most tinctures use a carrier. Such carriers as coconut oil and MCT oil increase the bio-absorption of cannabinoids. Thus decreasing the amount of time it takes for the effects to set in.
5mg is also a great starting dosage – increase as needed.
Due to cannabis’s complex nature, different strains are better suited for specific ailments. Research is only in the beginning, but THC and CBD are the best anti-inflammatory compounds.
Selecting a strain that is high in CBD with a healthy dose of THC is the best option. For starters, people that are new to cannabis will be sensitive to THC’s psychological effects. Thankfully CBD mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC. At a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio, the psychoactive effects will be minimal.
Not only are the psychoactive effects minimal, but by using a high CBD takes advantage of the entourage effect. Essentially the healthier a balance of cannabinoids, the greater the medicinal benefits.
The following are 3 of the best strains for treating asthma.
Harlequin is ideal for most patients. It boasts an 11 percent CBD ratio, with 5-10 percent THC as well. The Harlequin strain is a sativa with relaxing effects. It’s worth noting this strain is rarer than most. It’s a good idea to purchase when the opportunity presents itself.
Another great strain for asthma is Cannatonic. It features roughly the same amount of CBD, but even less THC. Most tests come back with less than 6 percent THC.
Charlotte’s Web is the original medicinal CBD strain. It was first bred for Charlotte Figi, a girl from the U.S. with Dravet’s syndrome. Thanks to her, scientists bred a THC Free strain to combat her daily bought with seizures. Now it is easily obtained and perfect for those that do now want any THC.
It’s only a matter of time that doctors will become more comfortable with prescribing cannabis for asthma. You can’t deny, marijuana is a bronchodilator, anti-spastic and anti-inflammatory. With methods such as vaporization, tinctures and edibles available, there is no reason to delay its usage for asthma.
If you or a loved one have asthma, speak with your doctor about adding cannabis to your regimen. There’s no harm in asking, and it might just change your life.