COPD and Medical Marijuana
In 1969, I was 15 years old.
And so, while I was not exactly, a “child of the 60’s,” (I was a little young for Woodstock!), I was pretty close – close enough so that the guys and gals I hung out with at that time were for all practical purposes – hippies!
The guys had shoulder-length hair and ponytails, and the girls wore bandanas and bell-bottom jeans.
But the thing we all had in common was – MARIJUANA.
That’s right – pot, hooch, weed – the names go on forever.
From the later years in high school, through college and grad school and beyond, we smoked a lot of pot.
It was fun, there was a shared comradery, and, in hindsight, it probably contributed greatly to my own COPD!
But that aside – marijuana was illegal and, as far as we were concerned, strictly for recreational purposes.
The clock jumps ahead 50 years and medical marijuana is being legalized across the country. It's qualities are being cited for positive effects on a variety of diseases.
In fact, in recent medical developments, it’s been found that medical marijuana has shown efficacy in treating respiratory illness.1 It has been linked to holding anti-inflammatory properties.2
The beneficial chemicals found in marijuana are called cannabinoids and are recognized as being able to support the body’s immune system, reduce phlegm, relieve pain and promote better sleep.
Most of that makes sense to me with the exception of phlegm reduction. If you’ve ever been with folks “getting high,” almost half of them with cough and expectorate (spitting sounded awful) phlegm.
The different ways to consume marijuana
But today, marijuana can be eaten through baked edibles, it can be “vaped” (vaporized) rather than consumed through smoke. It can also be consumed through non-THC reactive oils such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which can be taken orally as a drop.
Although medical marijuana can serve as a temporary method of treatment for symptom relief, in all cases of marijuana consumption aside from CBD oil (which removes the THC reactive chemical that gets you high), marijuana in any form will “get you high.”
Studies indicate that cannabis could potentially act as a means to mitigate acute attacks of airway constriction and may also act as a preventative measure for patients with COPD.
If that is so, that is wonderful news as many states across the country rapidly legalize its medical use.
How has your experience been navigating the healthcare system as someone with COPD?