CANNABIS FOR BRONCHIAL SPASMS
Those with different opinions may not believe that cannabis can assist asthmatics in several ways. However, there are a few surprising kinds of research indicating that the cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis may contribute to reducing certain life-threatening or chronic symptoms of asthma.
Those who are asked about cannabis, the first thought comes to the mind are smoking a joint. Although, smoking comes along with multiple adverse effects on the body and mind, cannabis can offer a lot more than that!
Cannabis and Asthma
Cannabis and asthma share a long relationship that can be traced back 1000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians around 1200BC would use this herb for treating several medical conditions in people including asthma.
Marcel Proust, a renowned French Novelist has been regularly using cannabis to manage asthmatic symptoms. He would refer to cannabis as an ‘anti-asthma cigarette'.
Before the ban on the use of cannabis, it was highly used for treating cough. Moreover, during the early 1920s, even the medical practitioners were prescribing cannabis-infused tinctures for a cough as the other drugs like morphine made the patients feel constipated and depressed..
The prohibition of this herb soon adapted after the tobacco industry outstretched to an incredible height. When the lung cancer and smoking tobacco were linked, the smoking of cannabis began to fade among its users.
Lately, new scientific results have highlighted this matter. The study explains the science behind using cannabis for managing asthma in patients while achieving some kind of relief.
Introduction to asthma
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that restricts breathing while narrowing the airway tubes. In most of the patients suffering from asthma or any kind of allergies, asthma causing blocked airways can be cleared with the help of a few lifestyle changes and cost-effective treatments. An asthmatic attack can trigger the patient any time under the following conditions:-
- Possible allergies to dust or pollen
- Air pollution
- Respiratory infections
- Allergic to medicines such as aspirin
- Laughing or under stress
- A sudden change in the weather
Some of the symptoms of asthma are:
- Coughing (mostly during the night time)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness associated with pain
Depending on how acute the symptoms are the asthma attacks may occur a few times a day or in a week. Even though this disease can be caused at any age, the individual starts experiencing symptoms in early childhood.
The growing pollution and varieties of allergies have increased the disease up to 15% in the last decade. The best way to combat asthma is through avoiding coming in contact with the situations that may trigger the condition along with taking proper medication as prescribed by the healthcare expert.
You must be thinking how can cannabis replace the pharmaceutical drugs for treating asthma?
The Science Explained
To find out the link between cannabis and asthma, a group of researchers led by Dr. Donald Tashkin synthetically induced bronchial spasms in 8 asthma patients who were clinically stable.
During various sessions, the spasms were induced by methacholine inhalation or exercising (using an electric stationary bicycle or treadmill). The patients in the placebo were later administered with cannabis and 2% of THC. The effects of smoked marijuana among the placebo subjects showed recovery from bronchial spasms within 30 - 60 minutes. Those who were given 2% THC infused cannabis experienced immediate relief from spasms.
This was a 20-year-long study, which concluded that asthma patients who were moderately smoking cannabis had experienced a drastic improvement in their lung functioning without any damage.
The researchers segregated bronchi samples from 88 participants who were both the healthy subjects and the asthma patients. They were induced bronchial spasms through electrical stimulation and later administered THC along with other synthetic cannabinoids. This research found that cannabinoids such as THC excellently activate CB1 receptors while stopping spasms and dilating the organs. Moreover, the psychoactive substance found in cannabis expanded the airways, while easily allowing the air to pass into the lungs.
This study reminded us of the medical value of THC. Even though this study was conducted on animals, it was concluded that among the 6 different cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, CBC, CBG, CBD-A, and THC- V, only THC and THC-V inhibited contractions of the airways
This study has clearly stated that cannabinoids from cannabis can be beneficial for asthma. Even edibles can be an excellent way to overcome asthma.
The edibles infused with cannabinoids usually take time to enter the bloodstream. This kind of cannabis consumption may not stop the asthma attack. Those taking edibles on a regular basis might prevent an asthmatic attack in the future.