Research Suggests Cannabis is an Effective Asthma Treatment

Recently we’ve been bringing you all sorts of news from the scientific and academic communities about new and exciting discoveries of the many applications of cannabis. The latest comes from Mediators of Inflammation where researchers have concluded through early stages of testing that cannabis can be used as an effective (and inexpensive) treatment for asthma. Though the paper argues that more investigation is required, the study highlights both the endless uses for cannabis and the need for public and private investment in research.

Cannabis is an Effective Asthma TreatmentThe end of prohibition of our plant, as suggested by this most recent paper, could lessen the suffering of millions worldwide, and especially children. Asthma is a “chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways” and affects over 25 million Americans, one quarter of whom are children, according to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute. In Canada, the Asthma Society of Canada reports that the disease affects nearly a tenth of the population, is “most common during childhood and affects at least 13% of Canadian children”, and is a major cause of hospitalization among children. As readers of Cannabis in Canada know, we have particular interest in children being affected by prohibition.

Asthma is a disease that is inflamed and affected by environmental concerns and in particular pollen. As sufferers of respiratory ailments in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States know, a “ferocious winter, delayed spring and even the beginnings of climate change have created a ‘pollen tsunami’ that is slamming allergy sufferers in the Northeast.” This means that not only are more people suffering from asthma, but those suffering are experiencing heightened and debilitating symptoms.

The Mediators of Inflammation paper contends that cannabis “seems to be a potential new drug to modulate inflammatory response in asthma.” Its most important findings are,

“… consistent with a recent study in which CBD was shown to have potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, we wonder whether CBD would be effective in controlling inflammation in a murine model of asthma as it has been reported in other models of inflammation. The protective effects of CBD upon lung inflammation were demonstrated in several different models. Ribeiro and collaborators showed that treatment with CBD in a model of acute lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) decreased total lung resistance and elastance and improved several markers of inflammation.”

Again, the scientific community is making important progress in the study of our medicine. What limits that progress is a lack of support, both financial and intellectual, on the part of governments and industry. Science and sufferers alike would celebrate the end of prohibition. Why would governments deny them the joy of effective and affordable treatments?