Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that leads to irreversible deterioration of lung tissue, causing shortness of breath and a hacking cough. It affects up to 100,000 people in the U.S. and is also a direct cause of lung cancer. While there are various treatments available for lung disease, medical cannabis has emerged as an alternative therapy that can help ease the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.
Causes and Symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis
According to the Mayo Clinic, pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by various factors such as exposure to toxins and pollutants, radiation therapy, certain drugs, and medical conditions. Symptoms vary from person to person, with some experiencing a rapid onset of severe disease while others have moderate symptoms that worsen over time. Common signs of the condition include shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, weight loss, muscle and joint pain, and widening of fingers and toes.
Current Treatments for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may be necessary in chronic pulmonary fibrosis cases. Radiation therapy and medication are also used to manage the disease. However, these interventions may not always be effective in relieving the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.
How Medical Cannabis Can Help
Medical cannabis has gained attention as an alternative therapy for lung disease because it has properties that can help ease inflammation and pain. A 2014 report published by Lung Health Institute highlights how medical cannabis can be ingested through edible items or vapor to provide relief for patients with pulmonary fibrosis.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, medical cannabis has been found to promote brain protection, digestive health, mood enhancement, pain relief, and a reduction in inflammation levels. Compared to opioids like morphine and codeine that carry a risk for addiction and withdrawal symptoms, medical cannabis is considered non-addictive and more efficient due to its longer-lasting effects when delivered through digestion.
Medical Cannabis as an Effective Treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis
With various lung disease organizations endorsing medical cannabis as a treatment for pulmonary fibrosis, the plant’s medicinal properties are becoming more widely recognized. As more research is conducted on medical cannabis, it is likely to emerge as a mainstream alternative therapy for patients suffering from various lung diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis.