Scientific evidence: Cannabis and Asthma

Asthma is considered to be a chronic inflammatory condition, as persistent, low-level inflammation has been found to occur in the bronchi and bronchioles even during non-attack circumstances. During an attack, levels of inflammation increase, exacerbating the levels of constriction caused by muscular contractions of the bronchial tissue. Asthma-related inflammation is generally thought to be an immune response to the presence of allergens, although the immune response has not been definitively ascertained and may differ greatly between individuals. Cannabinoids are well-known for their anti-inflammatory effects, and while most studies thus far into cannabis and asthma have focused primarily on the bronchodilatory effect, some have also observed a reduction in bronchial inflammation. Furthermore, cannabis is currently being investigated for its ability to produce targeted therapies for immune-modulated inflammatory diseases. Cannabinoid receptors have been found in human lung tissue, although in relatively low concentrations, and are thought to play a vital role in the regulation of inflammation, muscular contractions and dilations, and various metabolic processes. However, research into the immune-modulated inflammatory response (and how cannabis may assist it) is in its infancy.

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