How Medical Marijuana Helps Treat Asthma | MedCard

How Medical Marijuana Helps Treat Asthma

There is building evidence that medical marijuana is an effective treatment for asthma and even though it seems like a fairly new concept, many people have been using medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms of asthma over the years. When you have an asthma attack, the small airways in your lungs constrict, thereby causing shortness of breath and a painful tightness in the chest. Well, THC, one of the compounds in medical cannabis has been proven to be an effective bronchodilator, which relaxes and widens these airways, thereby allowing more oxygen to flow freely within them. This assertion can be explained by the fact that the airways in the lungs contain cannabinoid receptors, which react strongly and favorably to THC.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways. It’s quite common and affects an estimated 25 million people in the USA every year. It’s a condition in which the airways narrow, swell and produce mucus, thereby making breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammations of the air passages, which result in temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This condition could therefore result in chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, as well as shortness of breath. In cases of severe asthma, patients could suffer from decreased activity and the inability to talk.

The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person and some may have infrequent attacks, whereas others may experience symptoms only certain times like when they are exercising. Of course, people with more severe cases of asthma have symptoms all the times. Some of the most common symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, chest tightness/pain, a wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling, coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by respiratory viruses such as flu, as well as sleeping difficulties caused by shortness of breath.

The causes of asthma are known in some people while in some others, it isn’t clear why they suffer from this condition. That said, asthma is associated with a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Asthma triggers are also different from person to person and include airborne substances like pollen, dust mites, and mold spores, respiratory infections like cold, physical activities, air pollutants and irritants like smoke, cold air, stress, sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, and even gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

A number of factors are known to increase the risk of asthma and such factors include being overweight, being a smoker, exposure to secondhand smoke, exposure to exhaust fumes/other types of pollution, exposure to occupational triggers like chemicals used in farming, hairdressing and manufacturing and even having a blood relative with asthma. It is worthy to note that asthma has no cure even though prevention and long term control are key in stopping asthma attacks before they even start. The treatment of asthma usually involves learning to recognize the triggers and taking steps to avoid them. Certain medications are also available for the treatment of asthma.

Although several important studies have been conducted on the medicinal benefits of cannabis, one of the landmark studies was conducted in 1975. This study strongly suggests the sound medical evidence behind the use of medical marijuana for asthma sufferers. The study was conducted on 10 men and women with typical asthma symptoms. Asthma attacks were induced in the patients on a controlled basis, either through exercise or through psychological suggestions. Some members of the control group were given medical marijuana in joint, pill, or vaporized form, while others were given a marijuana placebo. The findings from this study revealed that the members who were given medical cannabis experienced near-immediate relief of airway constriction, and were ultimately more relaxed and calm. Moreover, this group didn’t only experience a profound relief from their symptoms, but the medicinal effects of marijuana lasted much longer than those of a typical asthma inhaler. On the other hand, the group members who were given the placebo experienced no relief at all.

It should also be noted that asthma is a powerful inflammation disease and medical marijuana is known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. According to a review that was published in the Journal of Pharmacological Research, the anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana are due to the fact that both THC and CBD are able to reduce the body’s inflammatory response through their interactions with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is known to regulate the immune system.

Moreover, it has been revealed that cannabis provide relief to asthma related pain. It is worthy to note that more than 75% of asthma patients experience chest pain during an asthma attack, and in some cases it can be so severe and debilitating. Well, it has been scientifically proven that medical marijuana acts a strong anti-pain relief.

Even though there exists scientific evidences that buttress the claims that medical marijuana can treat the symptoms of asthma, there is a need for more scientific investigations on the topic.


Mayo Clinic
Web MD

Marijuana strains reported to help with Asthma:


Charlotte’s Web
Girls Scout Cookies
Afghan Kush

How To Get Medical Marijuana


If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Asthma or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.

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