Scientists have found through a new survey that almost half of those who reported uncontrolled asthma were found to be smoking cannabis.
The new survey in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, shows that of those who used cannabis, about half smoked it while a third vaped – both “inhalation routes” likely to affect one’s lungs. Scientists say that the findings are surprising and what’s more surprising is that people with asthma are not routinely being asked or advised by their physician about cannabis and how they are consuming it.
Eighty-eight (18%) of the 489 adults with allergy/asthma who completed the survey reported current cannabis use. The majority of those responding were younger than 50 years, female, and White. Among non-cannabis users, 2.5% reported an allergy to cannabis. Two-thirds of current cannabis users did so for medical or medical/recreational purposes. The anonymous survey, conducted in collaboration with Allergy & Asthma Network, was of those 18 years and older and looked at cannabis knowledge, attitudes, and patterns of use.
Positive effects of cannabis use (e.g., reduced pain, calm, improved sleep) were reported significantly more frequently than adverse effects (e.g., cough, increased appetite, anxiety). Of concern, about 20% of survey respondents reported coughing from cannabis, which was significantly related to smoking the cannabis. Almost 60% of the cannabis users in the survey reported current asthma, of whom 40% were uncontrolled by the Asthma Control Test.