Marijuana And Asthma

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Nature, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, stated in an 11/02/00 article titled “Bidirectional Control of Airway Responsiveness by Endogenous Cannabinoids” by Calignano et al. (p.96-101):

“Smoking marijuana or administration of its main active constituent, THC, may exert potent dilating effects on human airways. But the physiological significance of this observation and its potential therapeutic value are obscured by the fact that some asthmatic patients respond to these compounds with a paradoxical bronchospasm [constriction of the air passages of the lung] .

The mechanisms underlying these contrasting responses remain unresolved. Here we show that endogenous cannabinoid anandamide exerts dual effects on bronchial responsiveness in rodents: it strongly inhibits bronchospasm and cough evoked by the chemical irritant, capsaicin, but causes bronchospasm when the constricting tone exerted by the vagus nerve is removed.”
(November 2, 2000) Nature

Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., a professor at the University of California at Irvine, told Reuters in 2000:

“We think that by targeting cannabinoid receptors in the upper airways we can control coughs in a number of conditions…That’s important because most treatments currently available basically act on the brain cough center, a small region of the brain that is the target for codeine and similar drugs .”
(2000) Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D.

The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine printed a 1975 (Volume 112) article by Donald P. Tashkin, M.D. titled “Effects of Smoked Marijuana in Experimentally Induced Asthma,” that stated:

” After exercise induced bronchospasm, [exercise-induced asthma] placebo marijuana and saline were followed by gradual recovery during 30 to 60 min, whereas 2.0 per cent marijuana…caused an immediate reversal of exercise-induced asthma and hyperinflation.”
(1975) American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

The New England Journal of Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal, published a 1973 study titled “Single-Dose Effect of Marihuana Smoke. Bronchial Dynamics and Respiratory-Center Sensitivity in Normal Subjects,” by L. Vachon et al., that stated:

“Marihuana smoke, unlike cigarette smoke, causes bronchodilatation [expansion of the air passages] rather than bronchoconstriction [narrowing of the air passages] and, unlike opiates, does not cause central respiratory depression.
(1973) New England Journal of Medicine

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