It is estimated that 25 million Americans suffer from asthma. The fear and discomfort experienced by sufferers are forcing many to seek alternative treatment options such as medical marijuana. In recent years, an incredibly detailed body of research has been conducted on the treatment of asthma with cannabis and the findings are undeniable. The anti-inflammatory properties of weed help prevent and ease asthma attacks. In fact, many physicians and researchers believe that medical marijuana is a more effective treatment method than standard prescription medications and inhalers.
Does Cannabis Relieve an Asthma Attack?
Asthma is classified as a chronic lung disease. It significantly affects the breathing of sufferers. The air passages within the lungs become inflamed forcing them to grow even smaller. Oxygen has a challenging time passing through the narrowed airways which causes an asthma attack. The attack may only be temporary but the suffer feels mild to severe discomfort. In rare cases, asthma can even lead to death. The anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant help reduce the inflammation in the airways to relieve an asthma attack quickly.
Symptoms of Asthma
Many things trigger an asthma flare-up such as colds, sinus infections, fatigue, rapid breathing, exercise, stress, certain medications, changes in weather, allergies, and smoke exposure. Sufferers of asthma experience three main signs.
- Inflammation: The bronchial tubes become swollen and red. Over time, the chronic swelling and irritation cause permanent damage to the lungs.
- Airway Irritation: The airways start to narrow when triggered by certain things such as fumes, pollen, or dust. Even a small trigger can immediately cause the airways to shrink.
- Airway Obstruction: The airways in the lungs tighten as a direct result of allergies, colds, and viruses. A person starts to experience shortness of breath and wheezing as they gasp to inhale enough oxygen. The feeling causes many individuals to panic.
Children and Asthma
Asthma is a common disorder in children. A child asthma sufferer will demonstrate shortness of breath, tightening in the chest muscles, rapid breathing, weakness, loss of energy, and a whistling sound in the chest with each breath.
Treating Asthma with Cannabis
Cannabinoids found in cannabis have been found to be an effective treatment for chronic pain and neurological conditions. In many states, medical marijuana is used to treat and relieve arthritis and multiple sclerosis because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties. Asthma is also a disorder caused by inflammation of the lungs. So far, it appears that marijuana can significantly reduce the inflammation in the lungs to bring the asthma sufferer relief.
In one study, researchers found that an during asthma induced bronchospasm, clinical trial participants were given marijuana as an inhalant and it caused an immediate reversal of the asthma symptoms.
If you are an asthma sufferer and you think that medical marijuana might help relieve your asthma-related symptoms, then please consult with your physician.