“Does Medical Marijuana Help COPD”
Or (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Let me just say it right up front here: I’m not a writer. Now, I love to teach; but my strong point has always been verbal delivery, with “show & tell” my most useful teaching aid. But, today Let’s Talk about “Does Medical Marijuana Help COPD” So, I will attempt to do my thing with only words,
So. . . let’s talk about that cough.
Everybody coughs sometimes. Allergies to dust, smoke, even fresh-cut grass can set some people off and we take Benadryl or Zyrtec & get away from whatever got us going & the cough improves & eventually goes away.
But what about that cough that doesn’t go away? If you or someone you care about has a
chronic cough — a cough with “phlegm “ — this should get your attention. Your body is an amazing creation & it doesn’t take kindly to foreign invaders. That cough is your body’s defense mechanism — well, duh! And that cough should also be your warning signal to do something different. If you had mold in your house you would clean up the mold; if you’re working with dust or sprays you could wear a mask or respirator when you are working in that environment; if you are a smoker you can quit — no, I didn’t say “cut back” — and something in your gut just said “Oh boy! Here we go; we’re really gonna go there? Is that what this is all about?” No, this is about “Does Medical Marijuana Help COPD.
So no; I’m not gonna preach.
But back to that cough.
That daily cough that frequently produces thick mucus is a classic symptom of chronic inflammation called “bronchitis “, & bronchitis comes under the umbrella of conditions known as COPD.
Now you don’t have COPD, do you? Probably thought, “it’s just a little cough, right?” ( After all, everybody coughs, right?) So let’s jump right in & look at what COPD really means.
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a collection of conditions which ultimately decrease the lungs’ ability to do the things that they were intended to do.
That is, moving air (oxygen) in & stale air ( carbon dioxide) out.
That cough puts pressure on the lungs & will eventually cause them to be less effective; the inflammation causes narrowing of the airways making it harder to breathe; the excess mucus requires more coughing & this vicious cycle continues.
Now let’s be fair; not everyone with COPD is a smoker; it’s actually something like 80 – 90%. So if you’re gonna smoke you should expect COPD at some point.
And the progression is fairly predictable with limitations in your physical activities (well, only those activities that require breathing), potential for hospitalization due to chronic bronchitis and pneumonia with hypoxia ( low oxygen level in the blood) often requiring aggressive medical treatment up to & including a visit to the Intensive Care unit for mechanical support of ventilation. For many in this predicament this is literally the end of the line.
So. . . what do you think about that cough now?
COPD has a way of becoming a part of everyday life. Inflammation gradually — & progressively — becomes permanent. That cough has been there so long you can’t remember when you didn’t cough every day. W
Now there have been many developments over the past few years in the area of “maintenance medicines” for COPD with a heavy focus on inflammation. These “anti-inflammatory “ drugs do what the name implies: they prevent inflammation from happening, or at least help keep it from getting worse. Sometimes paired with other things like bronchodilators, the anti-inflammatory part is commonly a steroid. Yes, steroids are associated with some unpleasant side-effects; & no, you really don’t get nearly enough steroid in the inhalation route, but you do create an opportunity for Thrush (never had it, but it looks painful — like shingles but inside your mouth!) That’s why we teach you to rinse your mouth after using your inhaler.
So now let’s get answers about “does medical marijuana help” the new kid on the block for treatment of inflammation, particularly in chronic bronchitis is found in the Marijuana plant.
How ironic, right? Ok, keep in mind that smoking marijuana is several times more harmful to the lungs than “conventional “ smoking. So you need another way to get your cannabis.
Do not consider taking any form of medical marijuana without first consulting you Physician. You Doctor should always know what you are taking. Your life could depend on it!
The “ vaping” method offers the rapid absorption of traditional smoking but at much lower temperatures than with combustion. This method obviously creates less new inflammation based on the lower degree of injury due to heat alone.
They have created a wide variety of “edibles” — who hasn’t heard of pot brownies? — and these are available legally in a growing number of states; This may be the route of choice for treatment of inflammation in part due to the way the body processes things that are absorbed by the digestive system. As a side note, the “ high” associated with ingesting these cannabis products is milder & lasts longer compared with the inhaled route.
We sorry to say haven’t had enough long- (term research on the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of inflammation in COPD,) but as more states recognize the benefits new research will tell the tale: About medical marijuana.
As that research comes in We will keep you informed.
Elaine and I being in Hospice for over 70 years combined.
We’ve seen first-hand patients who have been helped by different medicines. Some conventional some not. We are advocates of
Medical Marijuana because it does work. And for CBD oil which is readily available and legal for everyone. If you are interested in checking it out.