Louisiana recently approved a bill that allows medical marijuana dispensaries to sell cannabis inhalers to patients, which are almost identical to those used by asthma patients. Although these metered-dose inhalers are different from those of the asthma variety, it does beg to question whether cannabis is a viable solution for treating asthma symptoms. Let’s review how asthma affects your lungs and overall health as well as the historical uses of cannabis to treat asthma as well as recent research that showcases its benefits as well.
Historical Uses of Cannabis to Treat Asthma
The ancient Egyptians were the first to use cannabis as their preferred treatment for a variety of ailments; including asthma. French writer Marcel Proust used cannabis regularly to manage asthmatic symptoms in the late 1800s, referring to it as “anti-asthma cigarettes.” Up until the 1920s, medical practitioners would prescribe cannabis as a type of cough medicine for patients because it was the only substance at that time that worked and didn’t make patients depressed and constipated.
Marijuana Legislation Through the Years
The 1930s brought with it the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. This act banned the possession of cannabis by requiring users to obtain a tax stamp. Of course, it was a catch-22 because you weren’t able to buy a stamp without providing details about the amount and location of your stash, thus incriminating yourself in the process.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that this act was ruled unconstitutional and later replaced by the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970’s which placed cannabis in the most restrictive category: Schedule I. This was supposedly done as a place holder until then President Nixon finally overruled the Schafer Commission’s declaration that marijuana should not be in Schedule I in the 1970s.
When Air Pollution and Allergens Ruled the World
Every passing year, we see more smog in the air above major metropolitan cities, pollution in our waters, and more chemicals in our food than we knew even existed. As air pollution and allergens exponentially worsened across the nation, it’s no wonder the number of asthma sufferers has been on the rise since the 1960s, increasing by 15% in the last decade alone. Only recently has cannabis been seen as a possible treatment option for asthmatics seeking solace from their condition.
Cannabis has shown subjective promise in acting directly at the body’s pain-sensing nerve cells to reduce pressure and constriction in the lungs and alleviate pain. Although pain is not necessarily considered to be a primary symptom of an acute episode of asthma, studies have shown that up to 76% of patients experience chest pain during an attack.
As one of the main benefits of smoking cannabis is pain reduction, we can see how people continue to flock to cannabis as their asthma solution even though it has not yet been known to act in that manner directly. For many asthmatics, though, smoking a joint can cause more problems; even if the smoke carries beneficial medicine, it’s not really worth the trouble of irritating already-sensitive lungs even more.
Does Cannabis Carry the Cure for Asthmatics?
Although one study from 1998 found that young healthy adults who smoke cannabis regularly are more likely to have lung inflammation, but edibles such as pot brownies, biscuits, candies, etc. may prove to be a safe and healthy way for asthmatics to enjoy cannabis. The high from edibles, however, is both longer and stronger than smoking, but since it takes longer for cannabinoids from edibles to enter the bloodstream, it may be able to stabilize your system and prevent an asthma attack in the first place.
Although cannabis edibles hasn’t been studied a lot in the past, findings from an animal study from 2015 suggests that CBD might benefit people with asthma, due to its anti-inflammatory action. These anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects might reduce symptoms, but there is not enough evidence to ensure it can be safe and effective for asthma.
Studies have also suggested that one type of THC may help make breathing easier for people with asthma as it has shown success at helping suppress the immune system. This could help reduce autoimmune diseases which is perfect to displace allergic reactions such as asthma from causing a person’s immune system from over-reacting in an environment that is triggering the attack. In the end, it’s always best to Microdose with different strains to document and understand how your body feels to ensure safety at all times.