Saturday, October 15, 2022
HomeHealthDoes Smoking Weed Affect Asthma

Does Smoking Weed Affect Asthma

Can You Develop Asthma From Smoking Weed

How does smoking affect asthma?

It appears that smoking weed will not cause asthma to develop. But in people that already have asthma, smoking weed may cause a flare-up of symptoms.

In some people, inhaling marijuana smoke into the lungs can increase asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest, due to airway irritation. There is also a risk that inhaling the smoke will lead to bronchospasm.

What Does The Research Say About Smoking Weed For Asthma

At first glance, smoking weed and asthma may not seem like a good match. But in recent years, the use of medical marijuana has gained more acceptance. Some of the chemical compounds in marijuana have been found to have therapeutic benefits. For example, it has been found to decrease pain, anxiety, and nausea.

Research is mixed on whether the possible benefits of cannabis for people with asthma outweigh the risks. It does appear that potential benefits may depend on the way cannabis is used and how often. For instance, research published in the Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy indicated that marijuana may have a bronchodilator effect, opening the airways.

Additional research published in Nature, also indicated the same results and found the chemicals in marijuana may have a potent dilating effect on the airways, which could ease asthma symptoms. But the same research also found that some people with asthma may experience increased bronchospasm when smoking weed for asthma, which could make symptoms worse.

As expected, men that smoked cigarettes had decreased lung function. The study also indicated that moderate marijuana users slightly improved their lung function test. The study did caution that the potential effects of heavy use on lung function are less clear, but findings suggest it may cause a decline in lung function.

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.

Don’t Miss: Allergy Related Asthma

Chemicals In Smoke Contribute To Inflammation

However, the chemicals in cigarette smoke may irritate asthmatic airways in such a way as to cause neutrophilic inflammation to exist alongside eosinophilic inflammation. Neutrophilic inflammation responds poorly or not at all to corticosteroids. So, smoking can make your lungs less responsive to traditional asthma medicine.2,3

It Can Make Your Asthma Harder To Control

How Does Smoking Impact Asthma Symptoms?

People with asthma who used pot were more likely to need treatment at a hospital and more likely to need intensive care in the hospital, according to a study published in Respirology.

The researchers looked at admissions records from more than 400 patients with asthma and theorized that people who use marijuana are also less likely to stick to their asthma treatment plan, allowing their condition to get out of control.

Also Check: What Is The Blood Test For Eosinophilic Asthma

My Thoughts On Asthma And Smoking

I do know some people who have asthma who also smoke. One of my friends said she thought it was fine to do because she no longer has asthma. However, I humbly reminded her that its a myth that asthma goes away with age, and that, even though she displays no symptoms, she still has it. So, be warned, I said.

And I dont judge people. Thats not the point here. Its a free country, so Im not an advocate of laws forcing people to not do something they choose to do. A am, however, of the belief that education is important. Plus, I think Id feel guilty if my friend with asthma who smokes actually developed worsening asthma or COPD and I never said anything. So, I did. And I wont say anything further.

Okay, so, it has been known for years now that smoking can make your asthma worse. My doctor warned me not to do it. So, heres my humble reminder to all my fellow asthmatics not to smoke, and if you do smoke, and if youre interested, heres your incentive to quit. If youre a former smoker, I commend you for quitting.

Secondhand Cannabis Smoke May Cause Allergy Worsen Asthma In Children

By Rob Goodier, Reuters Health

3 Min Read

– Secondhand marijuana smoke appears to have provoked a cannabis allergy and worsened the asthma of a 6-year-old child, researchers told the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunologys annual conference in Seattle.

The findings may be the first reported case of cannabis allergy in a child, the researchers said November 16 as they described the details.

The young patient had poorly controlled asthma and lived with adult family members who often smoked marijuana at home. The boys grandmother also had a history of hives after smoking marijuana. Skin prick tests and blood tests confirmed that both the boy and his grandmother were allergic to cannabis.

The boys asthma improved after family members stopped smoking cannabis in the home, as confirmed by further medical tests and reports from the family.

Children exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke can become allergic to cannabis, which in turn may significantly worsen their asthma or allergy symptoms, said the reports lead author Dr. Bryce Hoffman, an Allergy and Immunology Fellow at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. This is particularly concerning as the cannabis may not be suspected as a cause.

The problem may become more widespread as exposure rates increase with the trend toward cannabis legalization in U.S. states and other countries, Hoffman noted.

If they dont, they could miss a significant trigger for asthma and other allergy symptoms, Tuck said.

Don’t Miss: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse

How Does Marijuana Affect Lung Function

As the early studies showed, marijuana opens up the airways.4 This effect lasts for about one hour.8

Another study showed that people who smoke marijuana have more lung capacity.2 This study included people with and without asthma. One theory to explain this is that people smoke marijuana differently than cigarettes. They tend to inhale marijuana more deeply and hold their breath longer.1 This action might stretch the lungs or strengthen the chest wall muscles.8 These changes may affect the results of lung function tests. However, it is not clear how such changes might affect lung function in daily life.8

One study included more than 5000 people with and without asthma.8 Information about tobacco use, marijuana smoking, and lung function was collected for 20 years. People who used tobacco had less lung function. On the other hand, low-level marijuana was not linked to lower lung function. Low-level marijuana use was defined as 7 joint-years or less. This study did suggest that heavy marijuana use might reduce lung function.

What Are The Traditional Remedies For Asthma

Effects of Smoking : How Does Smoking Cause Asthma?

Unfortunately, asthma is a long-term condition, and at present, there is no permanent cure. When it comes to treatment, the goal is to control the condition which involves:

  • Preventing chronic issues such as coughing fits.
  • Reducing reliance on quick-relief medication.
  • Enabling you to sleep through the night and maintaining your existing activity level.
  • Preventing serious asthma attacks that require immediate medical attention.

Asthma management involves discovering your triggers and avoiding them. In terms of medication, patients may be prescribed a variety of inhaled medications.

Don’t Miss: Can You Join The Army If You Have Asthma

Final Thoughts On Asthma And Cannabis Use

Smoking marijuana over time may lead to decreased lung function and other related respiratory conditions, so it wouldnt be advised for patients suffering from asthma to consume cannabis by inhaling it. That involves smoking, vaping, or using smoking devices like bongs, pipes, dabs, and others.

However, using marijuana in other forms may prove to be beneficial for asthma patients, though more research is needed on the subject in order to confirm its safety and effectiveness.

If you do decide to use medical marijuana for asthma treatment, make sure you speak to a licensed physician, since this article is only intended to provide information, not to give medical advice on the subject. Do additional research and consult with your doctor when it comes to deciding what forms of marijuana may benefit your case.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.

About Us

Legal Issues And Regulation

In many countries in the world, cannabis is illegal for both therapeutic and recreational use. At the federal level, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, which means it cant be used for therapy and recreation. According to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, the federal government cant enforce this prohibition in states and territories that have chosen to legalize marijuana.

For medical use, 33 states, the District of Columbia, and four territories have made cannabis legal. Indian reservations have the leeway to determine whether or not to legalize marijuana.

CBD hemp extract, on the other hand, is legal at the federal level as long as it contains 0.3% THC. This THC composition is too low to have.

You May Like: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse

Rolling A Joint Or Spliff

This may be the most tried and definitely most tested method on this list. A spliff consists of mixing cannabis and another herb or tobacco and then rolling it up. We dont suggest using tobacco for obvious reasons, but if you must you must!

To use hash in a joint or spliff, youre going to want to roll the hash into a snake, using the same motions you would if you were a kid making a snake from Play-Doh. Once completed, lay it on top of your cannabis or tobacco, and proceed to roll the joint. Voila, you have yourself a hash filled spliff!

Customize Your Vaporizer With A Water Pipe

Does Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Affect Asthma

Many vaporizers, especially home vaporizers, have the necessary connections allowing them to be hooked to an additional device. Connect a water pipe to your vaporizer, and vaporize through the warm water. This will help you inhale when your lungs are already in a bad shape.

However, ensure that the water does not get too hot as it could have the opposite effect. If you feel like your lungs are filled with mucus, opt for a dry vaporizing session instead. Warm, dry air is good for the lungs.

Read Also: How Often Can You Use A Nebulizer For Asthma

How Can You Ingest Cannabis Instead Of Smoking It

Smoking pot releases the chemical were all familiar with: THC, or specifically Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. Knox explains that eating marijuana can result in a dramatically different body high because of the way the liver breaks down cannabis. Its broken down in the liver into something called 11-hydroxy tetrahydrocannabinol . Thats more intoxicating than Delta-9 THC, says Knox. You may not want to start with edibles for a more naive patient.

Eating marijuana can result in a dramatically different body high because of the way the liver breaks down cannabis.

That kind of breakdown and absorption process can also hinder the benefits of weed for people with GI issues like irritable bowel syndrome or colitis, Knox explains. Something where the gut is sick, it may not absorb as well. We try to get a different way to get the product into the body.

In a legal market like Oregon, alternatives to smoking are widely available in stores. A person with asthma or other lung ailments can walk into a weed store and buy a high-CBD, low-THC blend in the form of candies, capsules, drops, or even a nebulizer a cool-mist, smoke-free inhaler. But what to do in the majority of the country where the most-likely available product is old-fashioned flower? Thats where a portable decarboxylator comes in handy.

Is It Safe For People With Asthma To Smoke Cannabis

Many people with asthma are smoking or vaping cannabis. This could be harmful to their lungs and airways, especially in adolescents.

In the PEACE survey, 53.4% of cannabis users with asthma smoked it, while 35.2% vaped cannabis. Further, about half of the cannabis smokers with asthma reported uncontrolled asthma symptoms.

It surprised me that over half of the cannabis users in the study who have asthma were smoking it, says Joanna Zeiger, PhD, principal investigator of the PEACE survey.

Its not recommended that people with asthma smoke or vape cannabis. Smoking or vaping cannabis can cause increased cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. It can increase risk of an asthma attack or asthma flare. In the PEACE survey, nearly one-third of those who smoked cannabis reported cough.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler

Risks Of Marijuana For Asthma

It is common knowledge that asthma typically reacts badly to smoke being inhaled. The following is what happens if you smoke weed and have asthma first, the marijuana smoke would most likely inflame the airway leading to an asthma attack.

There have been research findings indicating that smoking marijuana can increase your chances of getting lung cancer. Besides cancer, smoking marijuana increases your chances of getting lung infections, which only exacerbate asthma attacks and impair the proper function of the lungs.

An asthmatic smokes weed and bronchitis affects their lungs, making their conditions even worse. Smoking weed with asthma is, therefore, an entirely bad idea.

With all the information above, one might be left wondering, does marijuana help asthma without driving the sufferer crazy? The answer is yes. Marijuana has two different cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol .

While both THC and CBD have demonstrated some anti-inflammation properties, CBD is preferred.

CBD is a bronchodilator, and it is the right cannabinoid in to use for wellness since THC is psychoactive.

If you introduce THC into the system, youll get high, and whatever benefit you gain in terms of health will be wiped out. The relationship between CBD and asthma is, therefore, more widely accepted than that of THC and asthma.

Research on the use of medical marijuana for the management of asthma still has many unanswered questions.

Benefits Of Marijuana For Asthma

Does Secondhand Smoke Trigger Asthma Symptoms?

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.

Recommended Reading: What Happens If You Smoke Weed With Asthma

Best Marijuana Strains For Asthma

There are thousands of marijuana strains out there, and choosing the best one for you can be a complicated endeavor. Looking at the body of evidence we can see that THC and CBD could be effective for asthma, even in very low concentrations . The terpenes eucaliptul, limonene and pinene could also alleviate some of the symptoms of asthma, and the entourage effect theory that suggests a potential synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes even suggest some of these terpenes could potentiate the effects of THC and CBD. If your physician and you decided to try marijana treatment for your asthma, you should look for chemovars high in these cannabinoids and terpenes. In case you live in a state where theres an active marijuana program, you could ask for the Certificate of Analysis of the product youre considering in order to examine the main cannabinoids and terpenes in it.

If you prefer avoiding the high associated with THC, you can look for chemovars like Ringos Gift, that are high in CBD and have both pinene and limonene. If you have any concerns about smoking marijuana, you can try other delivery methods, such as vaporizers, inhalers, tinctures or edibles. Some of the knowledge about these compounds is based on preliminary research, and though they are all generally recognized as safe by the FDA, you should consult with your treating physician before trying marijuana for asthma.

Treat The Real Issues

All of our experts agree that if you have asthma, particularly if its severe or uncontrolled, then you should avoid smoking pot or using marijuana in any form.

If youre considering smoking marijuana to help with a medical condition, like asthma or anxiety , you should instead get proper treatment for that condition specifically, Dr. Gerber says.

That may mean changing to a daily or different asthma medication and getting therapy and/or medication to control anxiety.

The bottom line is that no one wantslung damage, but because asthma already causes lung damage, people with asthma need to be even more careful with what they put in their lungs.

Also Check: What Causes As

How Is Smoking Related To Asthma

If you have asthma, an asthma attack can occur when something irritates your airways and triggers an attack. Your triggers might be different from other peoples triggers.3

Tobacco smoke is a common trigger for asthma. Tobacco smokeincluding secondhand smokeis unhealthy for everyone, especially people with asthma.3,6 Secondhand smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles that includes:4,5

  • Smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
  • Smoke that has been exhaled by someone who smokes

Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.6

If you have asthma, its important that you avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.3

If you are among the 21% of U.S. adults who have asthma and smoke, get help to quit smoking talk to your doctor about treatments that can help you, or call . 7


Most Popular