Can You Get Medical Marijuana for Asthma?

Everyone is talking about the changes in the laws surrounding the acquisition and use of marijuana. The use of medical marijuana is legalized in most states, while only ten states have legalized recreational marijuana use. There is a lot of curiosity about what it can treat, and several people want to know how beneficial it is for asthma relief.

Asthma is a medical condition that affects the lungs. Simply put, it is a lung disease of the chronic type. The airway becomes tighter or inflamed, making breathing difficult. An asthmatic person tends to cough a lot and wheeze while attempting to catch air when they have an attack. It is a lifelong condition that one cannot cure. Therefore, people with asthma can only try to avoid complications and manage the symptoms.

Most people take marijuana, whether medical or recreational, in two primary ways: smoking or vaping. Some users extract active ingredients to put in medications, but it is the primary use. 

Knowing the nature of asthma and how it affects the airway, can you get medical marijuana for asthma? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of medical marijuana for asthma. Therefore, it is not legal to get it.

However, promising research studies show the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC on the immune system. As a result, it may positively affect symptoms that flare up from having autoimmune diseases, to which asthma belongs. Asthma attacks usually happen when the immune system responds aggressively to external stimuli. So, suppressing the immune system may be beneficial in curbing attacks.

Medical marijuanaWhat Are the Risks of Using Medical Marijuana for Asthma?

Medical marijuana may mean the whole plant or just a part of it. If it is the entire plant, it means a user smokes it; that is the only way to get the benefits. However, smoking is dangerous for someone with asthma. Smoking marijuana has the same effect on the lungs as smoking a cigarette, which may trigger an asthmatic attack.

There is the option of vaping marijuana, but it is not much different from smoking it. Vaping is slang for vaporizing, a process where the user inhales the vapor formed from mixing the active ingredients in the plant but without inhaling the smoke. Vaping is less likely to cause extensive lung damage, but it has its dangers.

Nevertheless, there are options to use medical marijuana without smoking or vaping it. Some brands use it in creams and lotions; applying it affects your health. Also, the active ingredients, such as cannabidiol or CBD, can go into medications instead of directly taking them. In addition, you can add marijuana to your food or choose the extracts that you consume in food.

Neverheless, there is a disadvantage to using medical marijuana in these ways. It takes a long time to enter the body and become effective. The active compounds in the plant are quicker to enter the bloodstream and work when you smoke or vape the plant. That is why you find more people smoking it than using it any other way. If you use different methods of ingesting marijuana, do not be surprised that it takes longer to work on you than on someone who smokes it.

Other Risks

Unless you plan to use medical marijuana as part of your food, active ingredient in medications, or creams, it is best to avoid it. Smoking marijuana when you have asthma can lead to complications. It can irritate the lungs and trigger an attack or worsen it. If you begin to smoke marijuana, the immediate or short-term effects include breathing difficulty and chronic coughing. Others are chest tightness, an increase in the production of colored sputum, and a hoarse voice.

As for the long-term effects, they are more debilitating and life-threatening. You may develop bronchitis or even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is even the risk of getting the bullous lung disease with prolonged marijuana use. The lungs have air sacs called bullae, and smoking can inflame them. When inflamed, they may press the chest and lungs, increasing breathing difficulty.

Furthermore, the air sacs risk rupturing due to constant pressure. If they rupture, they reduce a lung’s capacity to function, leading to its collapse. A lung collapse is a life-threatening issue, especially if it does not receive medical attention when it happens.

Laws and Regulations

 Medical marijuanaThere is constant development and improvement regarding the laws on marijuana use. Obtaining medical marijuana is less complicated than it used to be, but it does not apply to recreational marijuana. Therefore, before getting and using any plant form, it is crucial to check the local laws.

CBD oil is a form of medical marijuana and is legal. However, there are some restrictions on usage, and you often need a prescription to get it. The good news is that it usually has FDA approval, so it is regulated and safe to take. 

Other forms without FDA approval are unregulated. The danger in using such products is that you cannot know what they contain. All you have are the words and claims of the manufacturer. The bottom line remains that the FDA is yet to approve medical marijuana for asthma. Therefore, obtaining and using it is illegal.

Speak with a Trained Professional

As with any medication or supplement, consult a doctor before starting any new treatments for asthma. A doctor is best positioned to determine whether or not the treatments are ideal and beneficial. They usually know medications that work best for specific health conditions and those to avoid.

It is even better to use your doctor if you have one. Your doctor already has your medical history and can prescribe new treatments for asthma if necessary. Apart from the legality of usage, the doctor knows if medical marijuana use is beneficial to you. People react to marijuana in different ways, and the progression of your asthma is a vital factor to consider.


Medical marijuana has its benefits in various fields, hence its legalization. However, it also has its downsides, sometimes more conspicuous than the benefits. Marijuana and its active compounds produce relief for chronic pain and anxiety and help sleep disorders in some cases. How about asthma? Can you get medical marijuana for asthma?

You cannot get medical marijuana for asthma because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to approve it. Thus, there is no regulation, and it is illegal to obtain and use it. Beyond that, there are risks in using marijuana for asthma. The primary way of using it is smoking, and smoking aggravates asthma.

Moreover, it can lead to other health complications apart from increasing coughing, sputum, and wheezing. You may develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or chronic bronchitis. Worse still, you may trigger the bullous lung disease, leading to lung collapse. The best option is to avoid it. If you must use any form of marijuana for asthma, speak with your doctor.

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