marijuana for COPD
marijuana for COPD

Medical Marijuana and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Treatment

Does Cannabis Help with COPD?

Posted by:
christalcann on Monday Mar 9, 2020

Medical Marijuana and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Treatment

cannabis for copd

There is almost not a disease or illness that are not talked about in medical circles when it comes to the effect of cannabis as a treatment for thus said conditions. There is specific interest when it comes to a variety of chronic illnesses that could benefit from cannabis. Could medical marijuana also benefit Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease? And if it can, how would it work?


What is COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

COPD is a group of progressive lung diseases. One of the more common ones is emphysema. Chronic Bronchitis counts as another common disease that many suffer from. Often people have both these conditions. Emphysema destroys slowly all the air sacs in the lungs and interferes with outward airflow. Bronchitis causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes. During this process, mucus and fluids build up which makes breathing painful and difficult.

Most often, tobacco smoking is the cause of the condition. Some time, exposure to harmful chemical irritants also causes a problem. It normally takes a long time for the illness to develop and currently, there is no cure for the disease. There are ways to treat the symptoms to help to breathe. Untreated, other secondary diseases like heart trouble and respiratory diseases progress faster.

The World Health Organization claims that a person dies every ten seconds due to the effects of COPD. And even though smoking has a negative effect, researches find that not all inhaled smoke triggers the lungs similarly. A good example is with reference to cannabis. Cannabis smoke is not the same as cigarette smoke.


Can you smoke Cannabis when you suffer from COPD?

There is a study already going on for 20 years concerning smoking weed and COPD. The results will tell you that when cannabis is smoked occasionally, it would not cause chroming breathing issues. But when you dig deeper, you will find that medical marijuana might even help those struggling with this disease.


Let´s look at the symptoms

Emphysema – Because emphysema damages your air sacs, it causes them to expand and break. This makes it very hard to expel air from the lungs. Carbon dioxide builds up in the body as a result. Some of the symptoms include:

Constant long-term coughing

Shortness of breath

Severe fatigue

Long-term mucus production

Constant feeling of shortage of air



Chronic Bronchitis- With chronic bronchitis, there is a constant irritation and inflammation of the airways. As a result, there is a constant forming of focus. The mucus constructs the airways and makes it difficult to breathe. As a result, there is a constant cough up of phlegm or sputum. Symptoms include:

Spitting or coughing up clear mucus

Daily coughing. It could last from months to years.

Shortness of breath


Chest tightness or discomfort.


Why Cannabis Can Help

Yes, weed smoking does include some of the same chemicals and toxins tobacco cigarettes have. But scientists have concluded that it does not link to the same damage caused by smoking cigarettes. This does not mean that smoking cannabis could not lead to harming the lungs. Often cannabis smokers use unfiltered ways to smoke and some of the harmful substances could enter the lungs. Therefore, researchers decided to study the possibility of cannabis causing COPD. For more than 40 years now, scientists have been studying the interaction between cannabis and the lungs. On the flip side, they also studied the treatment of COPD with marijuana. In 1970, a researcher found that cannabis actually dilates airways that leads to bronchodilation.

Further studies show that cannabis could have therapeutic effects in the treatment of COPD. It is helpful in managing acute airway construction that causes inflammation and it also provides a preventive measure. Normally, cannabis smokers use cannabis flowers to smoke. The compounds in the flower bind to receptors in a different way than nicotine. The receptors that respond to nicotine found throughout the lungs and respiratory system do not respond to THC.

Cannabis smokers also inhale differently than cigarette smokers. Cannabis smokers inhale less smoke. A cigarette smoker can take up to 12 puffs from a single cigarette. On average, a pot smoker takes about 6 puffs from a bowl.


Symptoms Medical Marijuana Can Treat in COPD

The cannabinoids in cannabis have many medicinal benefits. It includes the following:

It has antimicrobial properties

It supports the immune system

It provides pain relief.

It reduces phlegm as it acts as an expectorant

Promotes better sleep.

A good way to use cannabis for COPD is by making teas or using it in edibles. It could also be used sublingually as a tincture or in an oil form. Vaporizing is also an option. Using highly condensed oils deliver the best results. Using oils sublingually can help a person to reduce prescribed medication after a few months.








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