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.
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Lifestyle Changes To Help Severe Asthma
As well as medication, there are lifestyle changes you can make that can help.
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise routine. If youre taking long-term high doses of oral corticosteroids, they can increase appetite and cause weight gain. It can be difficult to manage your weight with severe asthma, as your symptoms may make exercise more difficult, and you may lack energy and motivation if youre feeling unwell. But even by making small changes to your diet and activity levels, you can make a difference.
- Quit smoking. is a major risk factor for asthma attacks, as well as being associated with numerous other health problems. If you smoke and have asthma, you should try to quit. Seek help from your doctor, nurse or a smoking cessation group to help make the change.
- Do breathing exercises. Regularly practising breathing exercises can be beneficial as they help to improve lung capacity, strength and health. There are various methods suitable for asthmatics, some of which are taught by experts or physiotherapists, and theyre easy to learn and practice at home.
- Reduce your stress levels. To reduce stress which can be a key trigger for asthma incorporating yoga, meditation or mindfulness practice into your lifestyle may be helpful.
Useful treatment tools
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.
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Why Smoking Moldy Weed Makes You Sick
There are several reasons why smoking moldy weed can trigger adverse effects on health. Mold spores can endure amazingly in rough environmental settings, including being flamed, only to stay inside the damp and warm environment within the human body. If the immune system is not that strong, this can develop lung infection.
Moldy weed may also develop sickness because of its compounds which are known as mycotoxins and endotoxins. Mycotoxins settle on the exterior of mold spores and in little portions of the mold. They are classified as toxins because they are damaging to the body, and may cause illness and irritation. This is particularly noticed if you are consistently exposed to them and in huge volumes.
Endotoxins, on the other hand, are molecules produced by bacteria as they perish. Commonly, endotoxins and molds go together, making exposure particularly disturbing. Endotoxins are known to aggravate the manifestations of asthma and a factor in lung irritation.
Breathing in several mycotoxins and endotoxins together may trigger inflammation. Chronic vulnerability to mildews and pro-inflammatory molds may worsen autoimmune conditions and heightens the possibility of forming an infection.
In the worst case, this infection may lead to pneumonia and may spread to the other parts of the human body. Symptoms of mildew exposure and acute mold may include the following:
- Memory impairment or brain fog
Review Of Studies Categorized By Study Outcome
Short-term Marijuana Use and Airway Response
Twelve studies assessed the impact of short-term marijuana use on airway response. The studies used various measures to evaluate airway response: specific airway conductance , ,,,, forced expiratory volume in 1 second ,,, peak flow, airway resistance, and change in methacholine- and exercise-induced bronchospasm.
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Risk Of Other Lung Conditions
E-cigarettes pose several concerns when it comes to your health, especially your pulmonary health. And while these can affect any users and are of great concern, they especially do so if you have asthma given your already compromised airways and existing risk of certain complications, such as pneumonia.
For example, the aforementioned team of Johns Hopkins’ researchers found that non-smokers who vape have an increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as much as 2.6 times higherand tend to develop the disease between ages 30 and 34.
This suggests that the ongoing use of e-cigarettes can cause a cascade of respiratory illnesses over time and may even speed the development of COPD, a disease that typically affects people 45 and over. Of note, asthma itself is considered a risk factor for COPD.
While it is true that e-cigarette solutions contain ingredients that are generally regarded as safe in their inert form, the heating of these ingredients can cause changes in their consistency and increase their toxicity in the lungs.
Take coconut oil and the sweetener glycerol, two ingredients commonly used in vaping products, for example. Both are well-tolerated on the skin or in the digestive tract, but can cause inflammation when inhaled and accumulate in the airways as the thickened oils cling to tissues. Over time, this can lead to a rare respiratory condition called lipid pneumonia .
Vaping Marijuana Associated With More Symptoms Of Lung Damage Than Vaping Or Smoking Nicotine
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Adolescents who vape cannabis are at greater risk for respiratory symptoms indicative of lung injury than teens who smoke cigarettes or marijuana, or vape nicotine, a new University of Michigan study suggests.
The result challenges conventional wisdom about vaping nicotine, says the studys principal investigator, Carol Boyd, the Deborah J. Oakley Collegiate Professor Emerita at the U-M School of Nursing.
I thought that e-cigarettes would be the nicotine product most strongly associated with worrisome respiratory symptoms, she said. Our data challenges the assumption that smoking cigarettes or vaping nicotine is the most harmful to the lungs. If we control for vaping cannabis in our analyses, we find there is a weaker relationship between e-cigarette or cigarette use and respiratory symptoms when compared to vaping cannabis.
Boyd, who also co-directs U-Ms Center for Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health, stressed that the findings do not mean that vaping nicotine or smoking cigarettes or marijuana are not bad for you. These products also produce symptoms of lung injury, but not to the same degree as vaping marijuana, she said.
The researchers also found that an asthma diagnosis was most strongly associated with symptoms of future lung injury than cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cannabis use and vaping cannabis.
The study is scheduled to appear in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
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Other Treatments For Asthma
Numerous conventional treatment options are available for people with asthma. Aside from quick-relief medications, such as inhalers, your doctor may recommend drugs that provide more long-term control. These help stop asthma symptoms before they become problematic by decreasing inflammation. Examples include:
- inhaled corticosteroids
- leukotriene tablets
If youre looking for more natural forms of asthma treatment, talk to your doctor about the following options:
- breathing exercises
Could There Be Something Wrong With My Lungs
Combusting and inhaling smoke allows carcinogens, cancer-causing elements, into your body. While there is evidence to suggest that anti-cancer properties exist in cannabis, it is not known how this affects your risk for long-term lung damage from heavy or frequent cannabis smoking.
If you are a smoker, particularly if you are a heavy smoker, it is important to consider quitting. Its also important to find a pulmonary specialist to help you protect the health of your lungs. For more help in your journey to optimal health, call us today at 213-441-0156, or book an appointment with us online.
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Moderate Persistent Asthma: Step 3
Doctors also use long-term daily medication to treat moderate asthma that persists over long periods. These medications are often different from those that treat milder forms of asthma.
For moderate persistent asthma, doctors prefer to use either:
- a combination of a low-dose ICS and a long-acting beta agonist
- a medium-dose ICS
Alternative therapies include a low-dose ICS along with an LTRA or, less commonly, theophylline.
In addition, a person can use a SABA inhaler when needed to relieve symptoms.
Can A Person With Asthma Smoke
Smoking when you have asthma is not recommended. Smoking further irritates your lungs and inflames your airways, which can lead to even less air reaching the lungs and increased symptoms. Because of this, smoking can be a trigger for many people living with asthma, causing symptoms to worsen and the condition to flare up.
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I Know People With Asthma Use Inhalers But What Does The Inhaler Do
Metered dose inhalers are portable, handheld devices that are like mini-aerosol cans. Sticking with the straw analogy, they help to unsqueeze the straw when the breathing tubes constrict during an asthma flare-up. The inhaler has a small plastic tube which releases the medicine in a mist that relaxes the airways so theyre not constricted. It is important to use a spacer when using an MDI. Without a spacer, much of the medication is swallowed and does not reach the lungs where it is needed. A spacer is a plastic tube that holds the mist in between the MDI and the childs mouth.
Some inhalers are dry powder inhalers, which dont spray out the medicine but, instead, deliver it in powder form. Kids who use this kind of inhaler must do more of the work, inhaling the powdered medicine quickly and forcefully .
Diagnosing Asthma In Young Children
Healthcare providers are often reluctant to give a diagnosis of asthma to infants and very young children because children often cough and wheeze with colds, chest infections like bronchitis, and other conditions responsible for asthma-like symptoms.
Since there is no diagnostic test available for children younger than six years of age, making a diagnosis in this age group is more difficult than in older children. Over the age of about six it is possible for a child to have a spirometry test. This is a simple test that measures a childs airflow through the large and small airways. Results reveal if the childs airflow can be improved with medication. Reversibility of airway obstruction is a key feature of asthma. If administering a bronchodilator reverses airway narrowing significantly, the diagnosis is probably asthma.
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What Can You Do If Your Child Has Been Diagnosed With Asthma
If your child has just been diagnosed with asthma, know that you are not alone. Asthma Canada and your healthcare team have many available to you.
- Start by learning as much as you can about the . Work closely with your childs healthcare provider to monitor your childs asthma symptoms. Ask questions and clarify any information you are unsure about.
- Reach out to Asthma Canadas FREE Asthma & Allergy HelpLine to speak with a Certified Respiratory Educator.
- Begin keeping a diary to keep track of what non-allergic affect your childs asthma. This will help you identify your childs triggers, and develop strategies to avoid them.
- Learn all you can about your childs . This includes possible side effects of medication and the appropriate technique for administering medication.
- Ask you healthcare provider about developing a Kids Asthma Action Plan. And Asthma Action Plan monitors asthma symptoms and has a written plan to follow when symptoms change.
- Join Asthma Canadas membership alliance to connect with other Canadians living with asthma or impacted by asthma.
Can You Overdose On Marijuana
While there are no reports of someone dying directly from marijuana use, it can still cause serious health problems. Some people have psychotic reactions that can lead to dangerous behaviors. Others may have uncomfortable side effects from marijuana, such as shaking, leading them to seek care in an emergency room.
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What Does It Look Like
Soft black resin, furry green leaves and hard brown lumps, cannabis can look very different depending on its type but it all comes from cannabis plants.
Youre most likely to come across these types:
Also known as grass, weed is made from drying out the leaves and flowering parts of the cannabis plant. It can look like dried herbs and is usually brownish-green in colour.
This is the name given for particular strains of grass that are very strong. Skunks become very popular in recent years and is often bright, pale or dark green in colour and covered in tiny crystals.
Not nearly as common as it used to be, hash is made from the resin of the cannabis plant and can be black, brown, soft or hard depending on the type.
This is a dark, sticky and honey-coloured substance thats much less common than other types.
These are highly concentrated forms of cannabis that are extracted using butane. They come in a solid form known as ‘dab’ or ‘shatter’ and can be used as e-liquids in vape pens.
Simple Lung Function Measurements
The results of these 19 studies are summarised in . A total of 11 studies were cross-sectional,, and 8 were observational cohort studies., Eighteen out of 19 studies included spirometric measurements in chronic marijuana smokers.,, The results from these studies varied eight studies found no significant changes in FEV1/FVC ratio,,,,, whereas six studies found a significant decrease in FEV1/FVC in chronic marijuana-only smokers compared with that in controls, with 0.51.9% reduction.,,, The remaining studies also varied in their findings, but suggested that simply measuring the FEV1/FVC ratio does not accurately reflect the pulmonary effects of chronic marijuana use.
Table 1 Summary of studies on the association between chronic cannabis use and lung function
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Risk Of Developing Asthma
The exact cause of asthma remains unknown, but the disease is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors. How vaping plays a role in the development of asthma is equally unclear.
With that said, there is epidemiologic evidence linking vaping to the onset of asthma symptoms in high schoolers. People in this age group remain the prime consumers of e-cigarettes in the United States.
According to research published in Preventive Medicine, use of e-cigarettes among high schoolers is associated with a 1.5-fold increased risk of asthma compared to high schoolers who have never vaped.
The findings were supported by a 2016 study from Korea in which high schoolers who vaped had a nearly three-fold increased risk of asthma and missed more school days due to asthma than peers who smoked conventional cigarettes.
Furthermore, research from John Hopkins University found that non-smokers who vape have a higher risk of asthma, often developing the disease between the ages of 18 and 24.
While it is too early to suggest that e-cigarettes “cause” asthma, they appear to contribute to the risk and are now considered an independent risk factor for the development of the disease.
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.
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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.