Clearing the Smoke: Medical Cannabis and Respiratory Conditions
A number of studies have been done on the efficacy of medical cannabis for COPD and related breathing disorders and diseases of the lungs and airways. In these studies, medical cannabis has come out as a favourable method of treatment in the management and control of spasms, coughing and restricted airways.
Jan 14, 2018
Recent studies have shown that medical cannabis and, in particular the cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), can effectively relieve and manage the symptoms of COPD and other chronic breathing disorders. What is of significant interest, is the efficacy of the delivery method. Danielle Piomelli, PhD, professor of pharmacology at the University of California at Irvine, told Reuters as far back as 2000, that by targeting the cannabinoid receptors in the upper airways, one can control coughs and spasms in a number of breathing conditions. This is important, as most treatments for breathing disorders act on the brain cough centre, a small region of the brain that is the target for codeine and other similar drugs.
Why Smoking is Less Effective: The Australian Centre for Policing Research have warned that people with respiratory diseases, such as Asthma, COPD, Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema, should not inhale the smoke from the marijuana plant, as this places them at greater risk. Rather, the suggested methods of delivery would be vaping, medical cannabis edibles, sprays and medical cannabis oil using tinctures.
The Efficacy of Medical Cannabis and Respiratory Ailments
A number of studies have been done on the efficacy of medical cannabis for COPD and related breathing disorders and diseases of the lungs and airways. In these studies, medical cannabis has come out as a favourable method of treatment in the management and control of spasms, coughing and restricted airways. Have you ever wondered why medical marijuana is so effective? Let’s take a look:
Targeting the Cannabinoid Receptors
Medical cannabis, particularly the cannabinoid known as CBD or cannabidiol, is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It also acts as a bronchodilator. A bronchodilator is a substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing the resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs. In addition to this, cannabis has also been reported to have anticholinergic properties. Meaning that it acts as an agent that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and peripheral nervous system. This effectively inhibits parasympathetic nerve impulses. The nerve fibres of the parasympathetic system are responsible for the involuntary movement of smooth muscles present in the lungs and other parts of the body, like the digestive tract. This is achieved by activating the CB1 receptor in both the brain and the upper airways.
In addition, cannabis contains the terpene Alpha-Pinene/Beta-Pinene, which has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a bronchodilator, especially when working in synergy with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and it has been reported to have broad-spectrum antibiotic properties. So next time you are in a pine forest, take a deep breath! Pinene has a pine aroma and is also found in pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley and dill!
In closing, a combination of THC and CBD, taken orally, can significantly decrease and manage the symptoms of breathing disorders.
- Medical Cannabis acts as a fast bronchodilator;
- Medical Cannabis has anti-spasmodic effects;
- Medical Cannabis has anti-mucosal properties;
- Medical Cannabis has anti-anxiety properties;
- Vaporizing, edibles and tinctures are the best methods of delivery;
- Effective treatment and relief with a combination of THC and CBD;
- Pinene acts as a bronchodilator and has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties;
- CBD and THC in synergy inhibit involuntary spasms of the smooth muscles in the lungs;
- People suffering from respiratory ailments should avoid smoking and make use of alternative delivery methods, such as medical cannabis tinctures.
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