As research into cannabis continues apace, researchers and scientists throughout the world are looking into the various ways in which medicinal marijuana can improve the lives of people suffering from long term conditions. One particularly startling headline I was greeted with recently was the belief that cannabis smoke can improve asthma, aswell as aiding lung functionality.
Any sort of smoking generates smoke which is inhaled into the lungs. It seems strange that some researchers seem to be encouraging people to smoke cannabis. It must be made clear, that if you are going to use cannabis, that vaping cannabis instead of smoking the substance is still, in my view, the best way to use medicinal cannabis. This is because vaping marijuana provides the medicinal benefits that cannabis exhibits, without adversely affecting the health of the lung by the contents of the smoke, which often contains carcinogenic substances.2
Many recent studies have shown that cannabis can be beneficial to asthma sufferers and improve lung functionality. It is able to do this by dilating the bronchus, rather than acting as a constrictor, which would limit functionality. In further cutting edge studies, more evidence has been gathered which seems to support the idea that cannabinoids are able to help the lungs.
THC and the potential benefits to lung functionality
The study mentioned above used a number of guinea pigs, and they attempted to measure the ability of cannabinoids to decrease constriction of the bronchus, after the bronchus was exposed to certain inflammatory substances. It was found that THC and THC-V, contained within cannabis, were the components of cannabis which seemed to prevent the constriction of the bronchus. It should be noted that the other cannabinoids didn’t have any effect. It could be reasonably assumed from this experiment that THC was acting as the anti-inflammatory property, by activating what are known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
THC-V also managed to exhibit the anti-inflammatory properties. This substance is closely related to THC, but it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects like THC does. THC-V is actually used in treatments for a wide range of conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease. The study also showed that, as we know, THC triggers these CB1 receptors, but THC-V seems to block these receptors, and thus prevents the patient from experiencing nausea.
What about CBD?
The findings of this study are really quite important, as CBD has been getting a lot of attention recently as the cannabinoid which can be a “lifesaver” for many conditions. It is important to note that THC is therapeutically essential for this effect to take place in the bronchus, which is something CBD cannot do.CBD has a more therapeutic effect than THC for other conditions, so it is important to note that both components need further research.