Asthma and Marijuana: What You Need to Know
What if you could make your asthma symptoms go up in smoke? As tempting as the idea may sound, unfortunately there aren't any magic potions to make your symptoms disappear. But some people find that using medical marijuana (which can smoked or ingested) can be the next best thing. This approach helps by controlling their condition without causing them to experience the side effects that can be common with other asthma medications.
Putting Asthma and Marijuana Together
If you think that the concept of combining asthma and marijuana seems far-fetched, you're certainly not alone. The two things certainly do sound counter intuitive. Nonetheless, some researchers do see promise in the relationship and believe it's worth exploring more in depth.
The Facts about Asthma and Marijuana
Consider the facts. Medical marijuana has long been known for its ability to offer relief from a host of ailments, including easing the discomfort that comes along with chemotherapy and reducing the extensive pressure on the eye that occurs with glaucoma.
Over the past few decades, scientists have also been exploring the ability of this drug to control bronchial spasms that lead to coughing and other asthma symptoms. The advantage seems to come from the significant bronchodilator effect that marijuana can bring. Yet while some of the research has seemed very promising in this direction, other studies haven't found conclusive benefits to this method. Further, some asthmatics who try marijuana find that inhaling this substance into their lungs prompts a coughing attack.
In addition, a report released by the Institute of Medicine back in 1999 revealed that people who smoke marijuana are at increased risk for suffering from a respiratory illness than their counterparts, further complicating the situation.
Promise for Future Treatment
Despite the conflicting positive and negative effects association with marijuana and asthma, some researchers are committed to further exploration of how this substance can best make a difference. To this end, scientists from the Institute of Experimental Medicine of Budapest have tried to determine why marijuana use causes the lung muscles to constrict in some users, and yet doesn't have this affect on others. There's hope that such information can help guide future asthma control attempts.
Translating to Life
Do you wonder if this means that you should go out and smoke marijuana to head off an asthma attack? The answer is no, probably not just yet. Medical marijuana is currently legal in some states but is prohibited on the federal level as of the spring of 2010. But there's been increasing pressure to change this fact.
Keep in mind that if this happens, in the future marijuana (or treatments derived from it) may play an increasing role in preventing and treating your asthma symptoms and controlling the accompanying cough. Such benefits may also extend to people with a host of other respiratory conditions.
Institute of Medicine (Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base.)
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