Asthma is a very common condition, which includes the inflammation of air passage that connects the mouth or nose to the lungs, making it very difficult for the person to breathe. As of now, there’s no cure available for the condition. And the number of cases all around the world are on a rise. In the United States alone, more than 25 million people, which accounts for around 7.7 percent of total adults and 8.4 percent of children, are suffering from asthma. In a recent survey, it was found that around 11 million asthma patients have an asthma attack every year.
The condition can also prove quite deadly. The studies suggest that every year around 3500 people in the country lose their life to asthma. And the irony is that many of these lives can be saved by providing just the right care and treatment.
Though we have a few methods to manage the condition, in the past recent years, a few studies have been conducted to look into the effects of cannabis, too, on asthma. Strange, isn’t it? Well, it is. I mean, if you have asthma, you won’t be thinking of smoking a pot, obviously.
However, we do have other options, too, of consuming cannabis. So, should we consider them? Let’s discuss if it’s really a good idea to apply for a medical card in Fontana if you are suffering from asthma.
What Exactly is Asthma?
As already discussed, asthma is a condition in which the oxygen airways from the mouth or nose to the lungs get narrow due to being swollen. The condition is quite serious and accounts for more than 2 million people visiting hospitals every year in the US alone.
Three most common features of the condition include:
- Blockage of Airways
In normal breathing, the airways that transfer the oxygen to the lungs are very relaxed, due to which the air can pass through them very easily. But when a person has asthma, the muscles around their airways can tighten due to some trigger, such as allergy, cold etc. This makes it very difficult for the air to pass through them.
The bronchial tubes of the person having asthma are generally very swollen and red.
Asthma makes the airways of the person very sensitive, which may result in irritation due to even some small triggers, such as dust, fumes, pollen etc.
Asthma Symptoms and Triggers
Some of the symptoms of this condition include:
- Frequent coughing, especially while exercising or laughing.
- Pain in the chest.
- Less energy.
- Feeling of tiredness.
There are various ways in which asthma can trigger. And due to the sensitivity of airways, these triggers can make the symptoms even worse. Some of the conditions that may trigger asthma are:
- Sudden temperature change
- Crying, laughing or stress
- Smoke inhalation
- Certain medicines, such as aspirin
- Dust or pollen
- Cold or flu
Asthma attacks are also quite common in this condition. The symptoms of the attack may include:
- Worse coughing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Pain in chest
As we all know that asthma is a very long-term condition. And we, currently, don’t have any permanent cure for it. So, when we talk about its treatment, we, generally, focus on controlling the condition rather than curing it. It may include reducing the usage of quick-relief medicines, making it easier for the patient to sleep, and preventing chronic cough and serious asthma attacks.
Managing asthma is nothing but finding out what exactly triggers the condition, and then avoiding it altogether. Other than that, the patients may also use some inhalers sometimes.
Asthma and Marijuana
It is believed that in ancient times, marijuana was used by Egyptians to treat various different medical conditions, which includes asthma too. Also, you may have heard that Marcel Proust, a well-known French writer, also used to smoke weed in order to manage his asthma condition. He even called his joints anti-asthma cigarettes. Until the 1920s, many physicians all over the world also prescribed cannabis to treat cough.
But then, prohibition happened, and everything changed. Furthermore, when it was found that cigarettes can lead to lung cancer, all smoking forms, including cannabis, were labeled as dangerous.
Now, in modern times, we don’t have many studies particularly pointing towards the benefits of cannabis for asthma patients. However, we do know that THC, which is a prime component of cannabis, has bronchodilatory properties. Furthermore, you should also note that asthma is mainly caused by chronic inflammation, and marijuana, we all know, is very famous for its anti-inflammatory properties.
What Does the Research Say?
A study was conducted on the subject on around 5000 males and females, between the ages of 18 and 30, who smoked marijuana and tobacco for a span of around 29 years. The name of the study was CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults). During the duration, on an average, the marijuana consumer smoked around 3 times a month (heaviest smoker consuming 20+ times), while the tobacco consumer smoked around 8 cigarettes per day.
The study suggested that, while there was some deterioration in the lung functioning of tobacco users, the marijuana users who smoked close to the average number, surprisingly, had almost a similar lung functioning as a non-smoker. In fact, in some cases, it even improved. The experts involved in the study, therefore, suggested that low or moderate usage of cannabis won’t have any bad effects on your lung functioning.
Better Alternatives to Smoking
While we may have some information regarding the benefits of using cannabis to treat asthma, it still won’t be a good idea to just take a hit off a bong or light up a roll if you are suffering from asthma. In fact, whether it be weed or tobacco, combustion isn’t really good for your lungs.
If you have asthma, or know someone having this condition, you probably know that even a second-hand smoke can trigger an asthma attack. And therefore, I think you understand why smoking won’t be a very good idea if you have this condition. Some may suggest that vaporizers can be a more convenient and safer choice here. But we still don’t have any solid evidence to support this theory too.
On the other hand, edibles can be a much more suitable option of consuming cannabis if you have asthma. Edibles don’t hit your lungs, as they metabolise in your stomach. But the major problem with edibles is that, while you get to enjoy a nice, strong high, it’s very difficult to judge exactly how strong it’s gonna be.
To tackle this problem, some scientists are working on developing a thing called cannabis inhaler. This is an exciting product with a vaporizer attached to it. You can easily add a precise cannabis dose to it. However, it’s still not very clear if it will be a good product for asthma patients or not.
We have arguments in favor of using cannabis for asthma. And we have people against it too. While there is evidence available to support both sides, we still need to know a lot in order to claim if cannabis can really be used to treat asthma or not. However, we certainly don’t support any type of smoking if you are suffering from asthma.
Having said that, if you are still thinking of applying for a medical card in Fontana for your asthma, it’s better to consult your doctor, first.