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Sep-11-2012 17:44printcomments

Medical Marijuana: Good for Asthma

Philip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Marijuana physician and Toxicologist (Reprised from August 30th, 2007)

Medical marijuana

(PORTLAND, OR) - I was totally befuddled to read in the Oregonian newspaper August 1st, 2007, of a research study in New Zealand that smoking one joint of marijuana obstructs the flow of air (in the lungs) as much as five tobacco cigarettes.

The New Zealand Medical Research Institute further reports that long-time pot smokers can develop symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, obstruction of large airways and excessive lung inflation.

They seem to hedge their remarks by writing that the chronic lung disease, emphysema, (from tobacco smoking) was uncommon among marijuana smokers.

They further stated that only 1.3 percent of marijuana smokers had emphysema, while it was 16.3 percent with marijuana AND tobacco and 18.9 percent of tobacco only smokers.


I can’t figure how this news item got so screwed up. It sounds like “Reefer Madness” from Anslinger or the Hearst newspapers.

With my experience with more than 5,000 patients including many who have asthma, I was surprised when patients with asthma came in requesting marijuana permits.

This required considerable thought and consideration because I had heard for years that marijuana caused irritation of lung passages and coughing. It was time for some education for me by my patients.

Cannabinoids, the medicine in marijuana, cause smooth muscle relaxation and smooth muscles are the inside lining of the airways; therefore, marijuana should help asthma patients by enlarging the bore. IT DOES.

The answer is simple. Old marijuana, pre-circa 1980 was usually 5 percent or less medicine and burning it, as in smoking, caused the irritants and bronchitis. We call that “Ditch Weed”.

I have seen the hemp plantations in New Zealand. That’s “Ditch Weed” and no self-respected pothead would smoke it. This is obviously what these New Zealand guinea pigs were smoking.

For Heavens Sake: Give them some good grass, containing 15 percent THC!

I presume somebody down under is trying to frighten people from smoking marijuana. IT WON’T WORK!


“Beautiful. I’ve had asthma for the entirety of my nineteen year life, and since I started smoking pot when I was fifteen, my asthmatic problems have DRASTICALLY reduced, and I used to have to go to the hospital for asthma attacks every other weekend. I have recently had to stop smoking ( needed to get a job and haven’t gotten my ‘green car’ yet), and have noticed since I quit that my asthma has worsened again. My boyfriend and I both plan on acquiring our medical cannibis cards soon, and I cannot wait. Pot is a much safer way of controlling asthma than chemical inhalers or “asthma preventitives” that clearly state they can increase your risk of dying because of an asthma related death. Long live pot-smokers!!!!” – Hannah Bishop February 22nd, 2009


I have had asthma my whole life and have been hospitalized multiple times, I began smoking marijuana at age 13. I am 18 now and I have not had to go to the hospital for asthma since!!! It has gotten drastically better. The only thing that seems to bother my lings are blunts lol if you have asthma I recommend using a vaporizer or other ways of using marijuana other than smoking it I say volcano all the way!!!!!”

Chad October 27th, 2008


“Hi my name is Alison. I am a legal cannabis patient in Canada for the indication of chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis and an excruciating pain in my face twenty four hours a day associated with MS, called tic douloureux, the worst pain known to medicine. I have been on a regime of over 32 pills a day and up to two thousand milligrams of morphine for over fifteen years and found out something really interesting while using cannabis over the last many years. According to the many studies that I have read over the years, Cannibis is the world’s best Brochodilator.

“Thanks to Mechoulam and Schuel, someday soon there will be cannabinoid-based or anandamide-based medical treatments for those who can’t sleep, who have no appetite, who develop strokes or heart conditions, who suffer asthma or glaucoma, who are too restless or anxious, or who suffer any number of other maladies.”

I used to rely on three asthma inhalers three to four times a day just to feel some relief and be able to breath. These days I take no pharmaceutical medication for asthma, nor more than two-thirds of my total regime of pill, but DO take my prescribed 20-28 grams of cannabis a day. I eat it, smoke it and drink it in tea all day every day. ANYTHING is better than all those pills!

Legalize and regulate all illegal drugs to keep them off the streets, away from our children and into the hands of those who are sick an suffering and people who can control them. THAT – is the only answer. Drop by our website at: for more information. Sincerely, Alison Myrden Retired Law Enforcement Officer Speaker for LEAP Law Enforcement Against Prohibition” – Alison Myrden August 31st, 2007


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M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. September 12, 2012 8:41 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you so much for this article, Doc!! Two things of note... 1) A close childhood friend suffered severe asthma as we grew (I won't say just how many years ago). We noticed that whenever we had sub par pot he would cough and generally exhibit increased respiratory distress and increased use of inhaler and steroids and when we had that good stuff, he relaxed and was able to go without his meds for quite sometime...even demonstrating that he was actually quite good at baseball! Vaporizing, which has become more popular is very beneficial in avoiding any initial harsh effects. 2) I sincerely wish a host of over emotional and irrational individuals who frequent Salem-News articles about opioids would read, and reread, the comments of Alison Myrden from LEAP. I have been attempting to impress upon them that using marijuana would greatly reduce the need for higher doses of opioids, that marijuana, itself, greatly reduces pain, and that it contributes another layer of control and prevention for opioid dependence and addiction. Bravo, Alison Myrden and Bravo Doctor Leveque

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