Even though marijuana smoke contains some of the same chemicals and toxins cigarettes do, researchers haven’t conclusively linked it to the lung damage cigarettes produce. Even so, since cannabis does contain many of the same toxins, it’s not unreasonable to assume the herb’s smoke may also damage the lungs. Because of this, scientists have been investigating if smoking cannabis may cause COPD.
For around 40 years, scientists studied the interaction between the lungs and marijuana and if pot increases the risk of pulmonary disease. They also studied marijuana’s potential as a COPD treatment.
Several smaller studies suggested a link between cannabis and lung cancer, but the connection between them wasn’t conclusive — either because sample sizes were too small, or the scientists didn’t limit tobacco smoking as a control factor.
In fact, in the early 1970s, one researcher found smoking the herb helped dilate airways instead of constricting them, leading to a substantial amount of bronchodilation.
Other studies show marijuana for COPD may provide therapeutic benefits to help patients manage acute airway constriction attacks caused by inflammation and provide a preventive measure. Studies have long shown medical pot effectively reduces inflammation, suggesting it may help manage inflamed airways in patients who also have chronic bronchitis.
What Side Effects and Symptoms of COPD Can Medical Marijuana Treat?
Recent medical developments show weed effectively treats respiratory illness through its anti-inflammatory properties. The cannabinoids in marijuana provide this therapeutic benefit. They also help with other functions, such as:
- Possess antimicrobial properties
- Support the immune system
- Provide pain relief
- Reduce phlegm by acting as an expectorant
- Promote better sleep
Best Strains of Marijuana to Use for COPD Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects
The best cannabis and COPD strains include Indica-dominant hybrids.
Some recommended strains include:
- Lavender Kush
- Black Magic Kush
- Chem Dog
- Alien Trainwreck
- Mendocino Mist
- Purple Kush
All these strains may help relieve insomnia and inflammation. They are expectorants and have antimicrobial and analgesic characteristics. They may also help support your immune system, which is important for COPD patients. Because of these qualities, they make the best marijuana and COPD strains to use in your treatment.
Best Methods of Marijuana Treatment to Use to Treat Side Effects and Symptoms of COPD
Because you know smoking cigarettes is harmful and can lead to lung cancer or COPD, it may cause you to worry about smoking medical cannabis for COPD. Until you feel comfortable with smoking the herb or have talked to your physician about it, there are other alternative consumption methods available to you.
These days, cannabis may be:
- Used in teas
- Consumed through edibles
- Taken under your tongue
- Delivered through your skin
- Consumed by CBD oil (non-THC)
- Delivered rectally
Ingesting cannabis through highly condensed, potent oil extract has shown better results. In fact, many cannabis advocates are already making oil themselves, particularly in medical weed-friendly states.