Medical Cannabis and Emphysema
The two most prevalent forms of persistent respiratory obstruction disease (COPD) are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema occurs when the alveoli don’t fully expand and deflate, resulting in tissue damage and a reduction in blood oxygen delivery. As a result of air sac disruption, breathing difficulties develop.
More than 3,000,000 Americans are afflicted with emphysema, which starts gradually and is one of the most preventable respiratory illnesses, according to the National Lung Association. Smoking medical marijuana is not advised for persons with respiratory problems, but consuming it in edibles or via vapor aids in the relief of symptoms for people who have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), according to the Lung Institute. Certain cannabinoids’ mucus-reducing effects and anti-inflammatory, specifically when combined with THC, can assist the lungs to breathe better.
Emphysema Symptoms & Causes
Emphysema is a progressive disease that attacks the lungs and makes them unable to function properly. It is caused by smoking, aging, genetics, and long-term exposure to lung irritants, all of which result in unpleasant symptoms. Emphysema patients have continual coughing that produces thick mucus & also have trouble breathing, wheezing, and tightness in their chests.
MedlinePlus explains several therapies for emphysema, one of which is a recommendation to modify one’s lifestyle. The first two ways to prevent emphysema from developing are not smoking and limiting exposure to irritants in the lungs. Medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, and breathing treatments, which include nutrition counseling and education, all help with the condition.
The Effects of Cannabinoids on Emphysema
As researchers learn more about cannabis and its usage in COPD, additional delivery methods are emerging. In 2016, Cannabis Science announced the commercial release of inhaled medications for patients with COPD. According to Cannabis Science, CBD/THC is “very effective as a bronchodilator and in many cases superior to Albuterol or Ipratropium,” according to over a dozen studies that back up the claim.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, “French researchers discovered that THC might interfere with muscular contractions triggered by the signaling molecule acetylcholine.” Furthermore, a 1973 New England Journal of Medicine article claims, “After smoking marijuana, airways open in both asthmatic and healthy people”.
According to the Lung Institute, medical cannabis in pill form or via marijuana vaporizing has helped people with COPD. Tinctures and cannabis-infused fluids are additional methods of delivering medicine without smoking. More study and research on emphysema patients using medical cannabis is needed, providing much-needed hope for millions suffering from respiratory diseases worldwide.
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