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Medical Marijuana and Hyperventilation

Medical Marijuana and Hyperventilation Caused by Anxiety/Panic 

Treatment for hyperventilation is typically catered to the cause. For example, a person having a panic attack will be treated for panic attacks. If hyperventilation is not deemed a medical emergency, it can be treated with breathing exercises, one of which being the stereotypical bag breathing for panic attacks. Medical marijuana can treat the underlying cause in some cases. However, smoking anything while having breathing difficulties is not advisable. It is best to keep the lungs and breathing passages clear and unobstructed. If a doctor deems medical marijuana appropriate to treat the underlying cause, he or she will determine the best times to use the medication. It may not coincide with the hyperventilation, but rather act as a preventative. It may also be given in pill or edible form so the medication does not interfere with breathing. 

Both research and anecdotal evidence show that medical marijuana can both alleviate and exacerbate anxiety. The evidence available thusfar suggests that this has to do with individual tolerance, individual reaction, dosage of marijuana and type of medical marijuana. If a person is using medical marijuana for the first time to treat anxiety and reduce/eliminate attacks with hyperventilation, he or she should be monitored by a physician to ensure that the medicine is working. If it worsens anxiety, it can be very uncomfortable for the sufferer. However, it will not cause a medical emergency or cause hyperventilation due to anxiety to become a medical emergency. In some cases, hyperventilation is an emergency, but panic attacks typically are not. Nonetheless, they are very uncomfortable, even debilitating. 

Medical Marijuana and Hyperventilation Caused by Other Medications 

Some medications, particularly aspirin and stimulants, can cause hyperventilation. While marijuana is unlikely to combat side effects of these medications or drugs while they are occurring, it can replace those drugs in people who react by hyperventilating, in some cases. The right dose of medical marijuana can certainly replace aspirin as a pain reliever in people who tolerate it. Some studies have even shown that marijuana can cause a significant reduction in cocaine intake in addicted lab animals. Therefore, drug addicted individuals may be able to turn to medical marijuana to reduce or relieve their addiction and any hyperventilation it causes. 

Medical Marijuana and Hyperventilation Caused by Lung Disease 

There is some evidence that medical marijuana acts as a bronchodilator. This means that medical marijuana can open up the small airways and make breathing easier. In cases where hyperventilation is caused by lung disease, this may prevent attacks of hyperventilation. However, medical marijuana in its smoked form is not a safe medication for lung issues as smoke irritates the lungs. In other forms, such as vaporized medical marijuana, it could provide a safe medication for individuals with lung diseases such as emphysema.

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