Cannabis for asthma: Research-backed Analysis 2020 updatespeedgreens
Cannabis for Asthma: Does it help or harm?
If you have asthma, have a family member, or know a friend who is asthmatic, this article can help you give a different view on another option on how to help manage asthma.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic (lifetime) condition affecting the respiratory system that makes the lungs very sensitive and breathing very difficult.
Not all asthmatics have the same triggers. Some have exercise-induced asthma, some are triggered by irritants like dust and fumes, and some asthmatics are triggered by allergies like pollens. These triggers an asthma attack, making the airways small and tight or swollen and filled with extra mucus.
These reactions make it hard for the air to pass through and in turn set off asthma’s characteristic tightening of the chest, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing.
Depending on how severe one’s asthma is, one may get frequent attacks as several times a day, a week, or can be as infrequent by when just in contact with trigger factors.
There is no cure for asthma but it is a manageable condition with proper treatment and control. The daily effects of asthma can be then significantly reduced and help an asthmatic lead a normal and active life.
In Canada, charting as the third most common chronic disease has 3.8 million people affected last 2018. Despite asthma being able to develop at any age, it is mostly found in children with an approximate population of 850,000 under the age of 14. It has been found that 317 individuals are diagnosed with asthma daily and around 250 individuals die of asthma each year. Research also shows that asthma is 40% more usual among the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities in comparison to the general population.
Another research showed that despite effective treatment being very available; around 9 out of 10 asthmatics do not have it under control. Also, it is one of the reasons for individuals unable to attend school or work.
Canada legalizing the possession and use of recreational marijuana in 2018 paved the way for patients to use cannabis’ medicinal properties for relief. The cannabis’ medical properties include: potently reduce inflammation or swelling (anti-inflammatory), regulate or normalize the immune system (immunomodulatory), and acts to relieve pain (analgesic).
As of 2019, there are 619,041 Canadians registered as medical marijuana clients and the year 2020 is expecting to have a population of 715,000.
Cannabis for Asthma
Wild in the tropical and temperate areas of the world, the plant genus Cannabis L. and its well-known species; Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are found. Cannabis is one of the widely consumed substances in the world along with alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.
It has over 400 chemical entities and of which over 60 are cannabinoids but Cannabis L. is known more for its major 2 cannabinoid compounds: the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the cannabidiol (CBD).
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is primarily produced in the leaves and buds of the female plant and is the main psychoactive ingredient giving the high experience.
Medical properties of THC include increasing appetite and reduce nausea, pain, inflammation, and muscle control problems. Up to date, there are 2 man-made pills called dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet) that is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and is administered to patients undergoing chemotherapy to prevent nausea and vomiting.
Cannabinol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid and is not a psychoactive drug. It is thought to be responsible for the majority of the medical properties of Cannabis which are very useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizure and is currently being researched for mental illness and addictions. Epidiolex® is a CBD based liquid medication that health care providers prescribe to treat two forms of severe childhood epilepsy: the Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
CBD might be a promising component in making the future treatment for asthma because it has a significant effect in the body where it weakens the sudden contractions of the lung muscles. In the end, the lung muscles get relaxed and allow easy breathing.
THC and CBD both have anti-inflammatory properties but professionals prefer and widely accept the relationship of CBD to asthma.
Smoking marijuana should be strongly decreased and avoided for asthmatics. It has been acknowledged that it is not the best way of taking cannabis for people with asthma because the mode of smoking introduces irritants and particulates into the lungs, such as ammonia and carbon monoxide. This, in turn, can also trigger asthma attacks.
Non-smokeable options are easy to find and are available, like consuming cannabis as an edible, a tincture, in capsules or applying topical preparation onto the skin or tinctures. These non-smoking options are better fit for asthmatics because all relieving effects are still being provided and can be obtained by the consumer. Among these options, it has been pointed out that the better options for individuals who have asthma are edible cannabis because it allows a controlled and higher dosage for consumption.
Consuming edible cannabis has a clear indication that it is one of the safest methods of treating asthma which is an advantage. It also has been recorded that previous users had zero to minimal side effects of using it.
Risks of Consuming Edibles
Short term effects may help relieve medical symptoms but in the long run, edibles have also been associated with increased risks. These include:
● A potential overdose because of the delayed effects,
● Anxiety and panic attacks,
● Hallucinations and paranoia,
● Vomiting, and
● Cardiovascular problems.
This is why it is very important to talk and seek advice from your doctor or healthcare provider because, with their knowledge, they can help plan for a treatment that can decrease these adverse side-effects.
CBD’s effectiveness has been tested and proven by various professionals, institutions, and organizations making them a promising component for asthma’s future treatment. If you are considering this option, seek advice from a doctor before starting to use it because, despite the cannabis’ medical significance, there are still potential risks involved in using it.
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