What Are The Asthma
Marijuana smoke is generally unfiltered. Smokers inhale marijuana more deeply than tobacco smoke. As a result, more tar ends up in the lungs.1 Marijuana smoke damages the lining of the airway and increases airway inflammation, which can trigger asthma symptoms.8
Compared with nonsmokers, marijuana smokers are more likely to have , cough on most days, phlegm, wheezing, and chest sounds.1 Their breathing symptoms are very similar to tobacco smokers.
Benefits Of Marijuana For Asthma
Asthma starts with the inflammation of the airway, which leads to spasms in the respiratory system.
Cannabis asthma management is possible because marijuana is an anti-inflammation and an anti-spasmodic agent that provides some comfort from asthma. The cannabinoids in marijuana connect with cannabinoid receptors in a sufferers immune system. Once marijuana and CB2 connect, they send signals to cells in the affected airway leading to the reduction of the inflammation.
Reduce Exposure To Smoke
If you smoke, the best thing to do is to quit smoking. Quitting smoking is important whether you are a person with asthma or taking care of a child with asthma. The benefits of quitting include:2
- You will have fewer daytime and nighttime asthma symptoms.
- Your lungs will function better.
- Your airways will be less sensitive to triggers.
- You will need less rescue medication and inhaled corticosteroids.
- Your inhaled corticosteroids will work better.
- Your asthma-related quality of life will improve.
Even cutting back on how much you smoke can help, although the improvements are smaller.2
It is important for people with asthma to avoid tobacco smoke exposure. Studies have shown that if parents who smoke take steps to reduce tobacco smoke exposure, their children have fewer medical visits.1 Some ways to do this are:1
- Do not allow smoking in your home or car. Going outside to smoke may not be enough to avoid the risks to children.
- Do not allow anyone to smoke around you or your child.
- Be sure that no one at your childs school or daycare smokes.
- If you have a choice, try to live in a town or county with smoking bans. People who live in smoke-free counties have less smoke exposure, as measured by byproducts of second-hand smoke in the blood.9 They also go to the hospital less often.5
Recommended Reading: How Often Can You Use Albuterol Sulfate Inhaler
Dont Give Up On Your Pharmaceutical Treatment
It may be tempting to give up on pharmaceutical drugs altogether, especially when cannabis-induced results exceed expectations. However, existing anecdotal evidence, including this article, is not enough to guarantee safety in all possible asthma-related situations.
Asthma is by nature unpredictable, as it depends on literally hundreds of factors ranging from environmental ones to dietary habits, and even psychological states. Ironically enough, you could even experience a small panic attack following the realisation that your inhaler is not in your pocket, which could in turn trigger an asthma-related issue. Do not underestimate the multiple effects your prescription drugs can have on you, including the placebo effect.
Is There An Association Between Cannabis Use And Pulmonary Function
systematically reviewed the evidence found in 34 publications, of which 12 reported on the effects of airway response and 14 reported on the effects of pulmonary function. The authors found that short-term exposure to cannabis smoking resulted in bronchodilation. Specifically, acute cannabis smoking was consistently associated with improvements in specific airway conductance, peak flow measurements, and FEV1, as well as reversed bronchospasm from challenges by either methacholine or exercise. Any short-term benefits, however, were offset by the effects of long-term cannabis smoking. Specifically, regular cannabis smoking was associated with a lower specific airway conductance on average by 16 percent and also with a lower FEV1. There was also a doseresponse effect between average daily quantity of cannabis and a lower specific airway conductance. However, the clinical significance of the association between regular cannabis smoking and a lower specific airways conductance is not known. Other studies that examined the association between long-term cannabis smoke exposure and pulmonary function have inconsistently found lower or no change in FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, DLCO, and airway hyperresponsiveness .
Discussion of Findings
Don’t Miss: What Is An Asthma Doctor Called
What You Need To Know About Smoking Weed With Asthma
More states are legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Some states are going beyond just medical use and legalizing weed for recreational use. But is using marijuana safe for people with chronic diseases, such as asthma and can it help the condition? The answer may depend on the form of marijuana used, dose and the frequency.
Before deciding if smoking weed with asthma is the right choice for you, its helpful to learn a little more about marijuana. Marijuana is often referred to by different names, such as pot, weed, and grass. Regardless of what you call it, marijuana is derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabis contains various cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are compounds that bind to specific receptors in the central nervous system.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is probably the most well-known cannabinoid and is primarily responsible for the high or psychoactive effects. But other lesser known cannabinoids that are non-psychoactive may also have a therapeutic effect. Many factors influence the effects of marijuana including the types of cannabis used, the dosage and a persons experience using the drug.
Dont Prioritise Your Desire To Medicate With Cannabis Over Your Life
We understand the thrill of finding a solution to amedical problem that is all-natural, non-invasive, and possibly, overall moreefficient. However, in the same way you should never solely rely on an inhalerto keep you healthy and safe, cannabis should not become your lifesaver. Keepyour inhalers handy. And if you are experiencing a critical asthma-relatedissue, dont try to talk yourself into good health. Try to gauge the situationobjectively, and if necessary, call a doctor.
Are you an asthma patient yourself? Mark, theinterviewee, and Jay, the interviewer, both are. Tell us about your personalexperiences with cannabis and asthma in the comments section below!
- Disclaimer:This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or other licensed medical professional. Do not delay seeking medical advice or disregard medical advice due to something you have read on this website.
You May Like: What Occurs During An Asthma Attack
How Safe Is Using Cannabis As A Medical Treatment
Joanna Zeiger: Inhaling cannabis is least safe for people with asthma. As noted previously, inhaling cannabis by smoking or vaping should be avoided by those with asthma.
For anyone using cannabis, particularly those with a chronic illness, safety is paramount and comes first. Determine with your doctor the safest method of using cannabis and the lowest possible dose that provides optimal relief.
Use cannabis responsibly. If you feel too high, sleep it off or wait it out. Do not overindulge. Even though cannabis can have medical value, it can also have adverse effects.
Lung Health And Marijuana Smoke
Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung. Research shows that smoking marijuana causes chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis.4,9
Smoking marijuana has also been linked to cases of air pockets in between both lungs and between the lungs and the chest wall, as well as large air bubbles in the lungs among young to middle-aged adults, mostly heavy smokers of marijuana.
However, it’s not possible to establish whether these occur more frequently among marijuana smokers than the general population.4
Smoking marijuana can harm more than just the lungs and respiratory systemit can also affect the immune system and the body’s ability to fight disease, especially for those whose immune systems are already weakened from immunosuppressive drugs or diseases, such as HIV infection.4,9
Studies have shown that smoking marijuana may increase the risk of opportunistic infections among those who are HIV positive, although it does not seem to affect the development of AIDS or lower white cell counts.4,9
Another potential threat to those with weakened immune systems is Aspergillus, a mold that can cause lung disorders. It can grow on marijuana, which if then smoked exposes the lungs to this fungus.4 However, it rarely causes problems in people with healthy immune systems.
You May Like: No Inhaler Asthma
Bullous Lung Disease And Emphysema
Characteristic, peripheral, cystic changes on high-resolution computed tomography scan are often found in patients who are cannabis smokers, although the specificity and rate of occurrence of these findings are unclear. Only one cross-sectional study, recruited from the Greater Wellington area, measured radiological changes, reporting an increase in rates of macroscopic emphysema in tobacco smokers , but not in cannabis-only smokers . However, the cannabis smokers showed a significant increase in low-density lung regions compared with tobacco smokers, and this was interpreted as a result of airflow obstruction and hyperinflation rather than microscopic emphysema.
Table 2 Summary of case studies and case series on the association between cannabis smoking and bullous lung disease
Dont Smoke Cannabis If You Have Asthma Let Alone Tobacco
Smoking tobacco can be extremely harmful to ones lungs, mostly on a long-term basis. To asthma sufferers, its negative effects can have quite immediate impact.
Depending on the severity of your asthma, it can also be damaging to smoke cannabis. Vaporizing can provide the desired effects of cannabis, with virtually no danger.
You May Like: Asthma Relief Without Inhaler
The Risks Of Using Weed With Asthma
The marijuana plant itself doesnt appear to have an adverse effect on asthma unless you are allergic to it. However, smoking marijuana does have the potential to cause problems. Smoking weed ups your chances of developing lung cancer, and the smoke may aggravate asthma symptoms in many people, If your asthma symptoms appear to get worse when using cannabis, the potential benefits are probably not worth the risks, and you should discontinue use.
Q: Is weed bad for asthma?A:As long as you are not allergic to cannabis, there is no evidence that marijuana on its own is bad for asthma. Smoking weed may contribute to asthma symptoms, but it appears to be the smoke itself that is the irritant not the cannabis.
Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Asthma Attacks
Cannabis Use And Its Impact On Asthma And Allergies
Allergy & Asthma Network and Joanna Zeiger, PhD, hosted a Twitter chat on June 11 on cannabis use and its impact on people with asthma, exercise-induced bronchospasm, allergies, eczema and urticaria. As part of the Allergy & Asthma Network Pain, Exercise and Cannabis Experience survey, Dr. Zeiger answered questions during the Twitter chat that are summarized here for you.
Dr. Zeiger is CEO and researcher with Canna Research Group, an organization seeking to better understand how people are using cannabis to manage medical conditions.Dr. Zeiger is also a former U.S. professional triathlete who was the 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Champion and competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where she placed 4th in triathlon. She is the author of The Champion Mindset An Athletes Guide to Mental Toughness.
You May Like: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse
What Is The Goal Of The Allergy & Asthma Network Peace Study
Joanna Zeiger: We want to understand how people with asthma and allergies consume cannabis, whether it helps or hinders their allergic conditions and if cannabis affects their usual medication use to treat asthma and allergies.
We also aim to understand knowledge and attitudes of cannabis in people with asthma and allergies. Different patient populations likely use cannabis differently, but to know for sure we must look at it systematically with the Allergy & Asthma Network PEACE Survey.
Also, we need to start learning more about cannabis use and its impact on asthma, allergies, eczema and urticaria so we can educate patients and doctors on proper cannabis use.
8229 Boone Blvd, Suite 260, Vienna, VA 22182
For Eczema Is There A Difference In Using Cbd Vs Products That Contain Thc Do They Work On Different Immune Issues What Sort Of Products Do You Recommend
Joanna Zeiger: There just isnt a lot known right now about how cannabis affects eczema. That is why we are doing the Allergy & Asthma Network PEACE survey to learn more!
It would be beneficial to speak to a doctor who specializes in cannabis to help direct you to products that could potentially help you without causing adverse effects.
Read Also: What Happens If You Smoke Weed With Asthma
Survey: Many Cannabis Users With Uncontrolled Asthma Choose To Smoke It
Disclosures: We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact .
A survey revealed that many patients with allergy and asthma who use cannabis including those with uncontrolled asthma smoke or vape cannabis rather than use edibles or tinctures.
Results from the survey were published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
It surprised me that over half of the cannabis users in this study who have asthma were smoking it,Joanna Zeiger, PhD, an epidemiologist and CEO of the Canna Research Group, said in a press release. And further, of those with uncontrolled asthma, half reported smoking cannabis. We also found that people with asthma are not routinely being asked or advised by their physician about cannabis and how they are consuming it.
The anonymous online survey was sent to participants in the Adult Allergy & Asthma Network. The network is a patient advocacy group striving to educate patients in the U.S. with asthma, allergies and similar conditions.
A total of 489 respondents were included in the final analysis. Of those, 18% reported current cannabis use meaning they used cannabis in the last 2 weeks and 37.6% reported that they were not currently using it, but they had previously used cannabis. Among those who did not use cannabis, 2.5% reported having an allergy to cannabis.
What Are The Natural Compounds Found In Cannabis
- THC tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the compound in cannabis that is psychoactive and gives the high sensation. Its consumed by smoking and in oils, edibles, tinctures and capsules.
- CBD cannabidiol. CBD is the cannabinoid that is associated with anti-inflammatory and immune modulating properties, and is not psychoactive, so it does not typically provide a high sensation. Its sold as gels, gummies, oils, supplements and extracts.
You May Like: Prognosis Of Asthma
Choose Vaporizing Over Smoking
Cannabis has the potential to alleviate symptomsexperienced by asthma patients regardless of the method of consumption.However, this does not mean all of these methods are equal in efficiency. Italso does not mean that using any of the least asthma-friendly ones is entirelyharmless. Key elements to consider are:
- Optimal safety
- Potential for instant relief
- Controllable dosage andefficiency
Smoking cannabis is not recommended, as depending on the severity of your condition, it may escalate an existing asthma-related crisis, or even trigger one. Edibles, on the other hand, because of certain variables such as the time they may take to release their effects, can be used as a long-term treatment, but would not be reliable enough in the case of an attack. This is why for emergency treatments, vaporizing is definitely the best option for cannabis and asthma. Not only is the release of cannabinoids in the body close to optimal, the risks for the lungs are at an absolute minimum.
Of course, smoking cannabis is not harmful to theaverage, healthy human body. But, as an asthma sufferer, you need to watch outfor anything that can irritate or negatively impact your respiratory system.
Do Children Need To Wear Face Masks
COVID-19 vaccines are now available in the U.S. for everyone 12 years old and older. Children in this age range should get vaccinated as soon as possible so they are protected from COVID-19.
The CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Children with a disability that keeps them from safely wearing a mask and children under 2 should not wear masks.
Recommended Reading: Free Albuterol Inhaler Coupon
What Is Cannabis Research Telling Us About The Potential Benefits And Risks Of Using Cannabis For People With Asthma And Allergies
Joanna Zeiger: Asthma is a disease with many causes, meaning not all patients with asthma react the same way to various triggers. For some people with asthma, cannabis is an immediate bronchodilator it relaxes the airways which can help breathing.
The drawbacks are that inhaled cannabis is an irritant and can cause increased cough, sputum and wheezing. So, risks far outweigh benefits and asthma specialists do not recommend inhaled or vaped cannabis for the treatment of asthma.
Cannabis can be used to decrease anxiety, but it can also be a drawback if it decreases the appropriate concern for managing asthma especially if that concern causes patients to stop taking prescribed medicines that control their asthma.
The take-home message is cannabis should not be inhaled or vaped by people with asthma. Other preparations may not have any specific beneficial effects on asthma or other allergic diseases.
So Why Do People With Respiratory Issues Use Weed
It may seem far-fetched to imagine a doctor telling their asthmatic patients to use weed, but thats exactly what Janice Knox does. Shes spent 32 years working as a board-certified anesthesiologist before she began studying the impact of cannabis on illness, and now, she incorporates cannabis into her consultations with patients at her familys American Cannabinoid Clinics in Oregon, where her husband and two daughters all physicians also practice.
Knox says endocannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2 work in the lungs to modulate immune responses to inflammation. People have been treating the symptoms of asthma for years, but in the case of cannabis in the lungs, its a CB1, CB2 receptor on those bronchioles, Knox tells Allure. And if we know its chronic inflammation, we know which part of the cannabis is going to work best on those receptors its going to be the THC and the CBD as an anti-inflammatory.
Also Check: Can Allergies Cause Asthma Attacks