Study: Marijuana can help treat severe lung disease

In Top Stories by David Silverberg

A new study found the compounds found in marijuana can help fight a severe lung disease known as acute lung injury, also called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The disease is a life-threatening condition caused by acute injuries or infections of the lung.

Researchers from Brazil and Germany were able to protect mice from acute lung injury by increasing levels of one of the body’s own cannabinoids, 2-AG (2-Arachidonoylglycerol), as LeafScience writes. Cannabinoids are naturally created in the human body but can also be found in abundance in marijuana.

Those cannabinoids produced “anti-inflammatory effects” in mice afflicted with ARDS, researchers wrote.

The researchers conducted the experiments using a chemical named JZL184, which slows the body’s breakdown of 2-AG, LeafScience adds;

While the results need to be confirmed in humans, the team concludes that targeting cannabinoid pathways of the body could be “a useful therapeutic tool for the treatment of inflammatory lung diseases.”

In related news, a July study found that smoking marijuana in low or medium quantities is unlikely to cause lung cancer. The study author went on to claim marijuana smoking may actually help fight lung cancer: Professor Donald P. Tashkin, emeritus professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, said “cellular studies and even some studies in animal models suggest that THC has antitumor properties, either by encouraging the death of genetically damaged cells that can become cancerous or by restricting the development of the blood supply that feeds tumors.”