Asthma is a chronic lung disease causing the inflammation and swelling of a person’s airways during an attack. During an asthma attack, patients experience chest tightening and difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms include wheezing, coughing (most pronounced at night), shortness of breath, and chest pain. If not managed correctly, asthma attacks can be fatal. There are already a number of treatments approved for asthma, however not all asthma cases are similar.
Cannabis has been known to relieve various symptoms of asthma in a number of medical traditions, including ancient India and China. Medical Cannabis pertains to the use of cannabis and its other forms as therapeutic alternatives to treat diseases.
In case you are planning to explore alternative management therapies for this chronic lung disease, here are the top 4 benefits of cannabis for asthma:
#1: Manages asthma-related pain
Pain is not necessarily considered as a primary symptom of any asthma attack. However, some patients may experience chest pain, similar to a deep ache or a sharp stabbing sensation that develops for the first few hours of an attack. There are no specific studies supporting the effect of cannabis on asthma-related pain, however the its ability to relieve inflammation of the airways and its analgesic effects may become useful in managing pain related to an asthma attack.
#2: Fights microorganisms
Some studies show that asthma may be triggered by bacterial or viral infections encountered early in childhood. Asthmatic patients grow to be susceptible to allergens and irritants due to the infection’s effect on the immune system. Cannabinoids (THC, CBDM and CBG) have shown to have broad-spectrum bactericidal effect.
#3: Reduces inflammation
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs. During an attack, levels of inflammation increase. This inflammatory episode is thought to be the response of the immune system against the presence of allergens and irritants— although not ascertained applicable across all individuals. Primarily, acute asthma attacks are treated with bronchodilators, as a first line of defense. However, in severe cases, anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDS AND steroids are given.
Cannabinoids in cannabis are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoid receptors have been found in human lung tissues and are known to play an important part in regulating inflammation, and muscular contractions.
#4: Serves as bronchodilator
The most important property of cannabis is its ability to act as a bronchodilator. In an asthma attack, the bronchioles constrict decreasing the amount of oxygen flow in the body.
Studies show that cannabis administration improves constriction of bronchioles both during an attack and in normal conditions, severely asthmatic patients have lower than average oxygen airflow even in the absence of attack.
To date, there are still many debates as to the use of cannabis as alternative treatment in relieving symptoms related to asthma. No matter what treatment is used, it is important that the patient listen to the needs of the body and gain a better understanding as to which type of treatment it responds most positively to.