Marijuana is an extremely controversial substance, and many people support its legalization in all U.S. states. One reason for this push is the benefits marijuana may bring to patients suffering from chronic conditions like cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the relationship between marijuana and COPD is much more complicated than many people realize.
Smoking Marijuana May Increase Likelihood of COPD
COPD is a category of chronic lung disease that’s becoming increasingly common. Smoking cigarettes is a major cause of COPD. However, marijuana smoking has also been implicated in some medical studies.
Marijuana is a substance that can be used in several ways, but the way most people use this plant is by smoking it. The problem with this is that many of the same harmful substances found in cigarettes are also present when marijuana is smoked. Marijuana smokers also tend to hold the smoke in their lungs longer, and this can allow harmful compounds to penetrate further into the lung passages. It also may lead to more lung damage and a greater risk of developing COPD.
Compounds in Marijuana May Help COPD Symptoms
There are 2 compounds in marijuana that are being looked at by medical professionals. The first of these is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is more commonly known as THC.
THC is the substance in marijuana that creates the “high” users get. However, medical professionals are looking into this compound because it may offer several benefits for COPD patients. For one thing, it helps improve appetite, and this can help COPD patients who are struggling to maintain a healthy weight. THC has also been shown to benefit people by reducing inflammation.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second potentially beneficial chemical compounds found in marijuana. This compound may offer many of the same benefits as THC, but it doesn’t have the same mind-altering side effects.
Research Is Still Unclear About the Interaction Between Marijuana and COPD
While marijuana is being investigated for use in medical applications, researchers are still unsure of how it may affect patients with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. On the one hand, some studies have reported that smoking marijuana may be just as bad as smoking cigarettes. However, the chemical compounds in marijuana are also available in forms like oils that don’t require inhalation.
Research into marijuana and COPD is ongoing, and further studies will hopefully shed more light on the interaction between them. If you’re considering using medical marijuana to treat COPD, you should first make sure you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal. You should also talk to your doctor before adding medical marijuana or marijuana-based products to your COPD treatment regimen.
Lung Health Institute Can Help You Find Alternative COPD Treatments
At Lung Health Institute, we know alternative treatments can help treat COPD and other chronic lung diseases. This is why our team has developed several alternative treatment options designed to benefit chronic lung disease patients.
We offer 3 Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™ plans. These plans provide information about lung-healthy foods and recipes, exercising and helpful supplements. Using this program may help you boost your immune system naturally and may help train your body to use fats to fight inflammation.
Another alternative treatment we offer is cellular therapy. Cellular therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses concentrated platelets and cells from your body to target lung disease. These platelets release healing properties that, when combined with proteins, growth factors and other helpful cells, may promote healing in damaged tissue and reduce inﬂammation in your lungs.
Take the next step to find relief. Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.