Could Cannabis Help People With Lung Diseases?

There is much talk in medical circles about the use of medical marijuana (or cannabis) for a variety of chronic illnesses, but could it also benefit those living with chronic lung disease?

MORE: 4 Breathing Mistakes You’re Probably Making.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 23 states in the U.S., as well as Washington, D.C., but its use is a contentious issue with as many people for it as are against it.

How could medical marijuana help those living with chronic lung diseases? According to the Lung Institute, medical marijuana has been found useful in reducing inflammation, improving sleep, easing pain, supporting the immune system, and reducing phlegm. However, one of the big issues when it comes to using cannabis if you have a pulmonary disease, is smoking.

Smoking cannabis is harmful to those with lung diseases as there is generally no filter on the “joint” and people tend to inhale deeper, leaving the smoke in the lungs for much longer than cigarettes or other tobacco products. The American Thoracic Society strongly argues against the smoking of marijuana, citing that it can cause large air sacs (bullae) to form in the lungs which could pop and cause lung collapse, ironically this is more likely to happen to marijuana smokers who are younger rather than older (under 45).

However, there are alternatives to smoking. Many people who don’t already smoke but want to get the benefits of medical marijuana choose to either ingest the product through edible items (such as cookies or brownies) or vapor (where the cannabis is heated at a lower temperature than burning which releases the active ingredients into a steam or vapor which can then be inhaled).

Some people may find that medical marijuana offers temporary relief from some of the symptoms of lung disease, but as it also comes with the side effect of getting high, there is a legal, moral and safety dilemma for many.

MORE: 6 Famous People Who Lost Their Battle With Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Lung Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.-


  1. Cindi says:

    I just started my first dose of medical marijuana OIL. I have COPD and do not smoke and haven’t smoked in over 6 years since my diagnosis. Marijuana oil was suggested to me by my doctor but I first seen it on Facebook. So far so good I have taken the oil for the past 5 days and like my specialist said it won’t hurt me can only help me so try it. At first I was very hesitant, and took me awhile to decide to try it. Went to doctor in Halifax NS, Canada had a long talk about pros and cons and decided to give it a try. There is nothing any scarier then not being able to breath I just got out of 23 days in ICU with no memory of those days and will not get my memory back for those lost days, how I scared myself was bad enough but my children and grandchildren and husband opened my eyes and helped me make my decision to try this OIL. If anyone has tried it and has any opinions on if it works or not pls let me know thanks

  2. Beth says:

    My mom is almost 80 and was just diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in March of 2018. She has shortness of breath pretty bad. Is there any benefits to medical marijuana/oils or cbd oil with her condition? She is scared and isn’t ready to go yet. Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated!

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