Medical Marijuana for Sinusitis


marijuana and sinusitis

  1. What Is Sinusitis?
    1. History of Sinusitis
  2. Symptoms of Sinusitis
    1. Acute Sinusitis Symptoms
    2. Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
  3. Effects of Sinusitis
  4. Sinusitis Statistics
  5. Current Treatment Options Available for Sinusitis and Their Side Effects
  6. Why Look for Alternatives to Corticosteroids
  7. How/Why Marijuana Is an Effective Treatment for Sinusitis
  8. What Symptoms of Sinusitis Can Marijuana Treat?
    1. Medical Marijuana and Sinusitis Congestion
    2. Medical Marijuana and Headache Associated With Sinusitis
    3. Medical Marijuana and Sinus Pain From Sinusitis
    4. Medical Marijuana and Reduction of Inflammation in Sinusitis
  9. Best Strains of Marijuana to Use for Sinusitis
  10. What’s the Best Way to Take Medical Marijuana for Sinusitis?
  11. Let Marijuana Doctors Help You Find Sinusitis Symptom Relief Through Cannabis

Sinusitis is a painful condition that can either be acute or chronic. You may have been unknowingly suffering from sinusitis if you’ve ever felt as though you’ve had a cold that just wouldn’t go away. In this article, we look at what sinusitis is, the symptoms to expect, the current treatments, and their side effects. We also take a look at how medical marijuana can help you if you have a sinusitis diagnosis.

What Is Sinusitis?

Your sinuses are hollow spaces behind your nose, around your eyes, and inside your cheekbones. They contain the mucus that supports your body to filter, warm, and moisten the air you breathe. You can end up with a sinus infection if something blocks this mucus from draining effectively.

If you have sinusitis, you experience thick nasal discharge, nasal congestion, cough, and facial pressure. These symptoms can be painful and difficult to get respite from. Additionally, you may feel groggy, and breathing through your nose can be difficult.

There are several different types of the condition, but acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis are the most common.

  • Acute Sinusitis: Your symptoms last less than four weeks when you have acute sinusitis. Most cases start as common colds and progress on to the condition. Symptoms typically dissipate within a week to ten days. However, some people go on to develop a bacterial infection.
  • Chronic Sinusitis: Chronic sinusitis is sometimes called chronic rhinosinusitis. If your symptoms have been going on for more than 12 weeks, your doctor may diagnose you with the condition. If you have already received a diagnosis of asthma or allergic rhinitis, you have an increased likelihood of getting chronic sinusitis. When you have either of these two conditions, your airways have an increased likelihood of becoming inflamed.

An immune system deficiency, infection, nasal polyps, a fungus, or a deviated nasal septum can lead to sinusitis.

History of Sinusitis

There is no recorded history of the first person to ever suffer from the condition. Much like the common cold, sinusitis has been found in humans likely since our time on earth began.

sinusitis stats

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Look out for the following if you suspect you have sinusitis:

Acute Sinusitis Symptoms

  • Loss of smell
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure
  • Facial pain
  • Sinus headache
  • Runny nose

You may also experience:

  • Dental pain
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

You might have acute sinusitis if you present with at least two or more of the above symptoms or if you have thick yellow or green nasal discharge.

Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

You may have the following symptoms for at least 12 weeks or more:

  • Fever
  • A nasal blockage or obstruction
  • Discolored postnasal drainage or a runny nose
  • A feeling of fullness or congestion in your face

You may also have dental pain, headaches, and bad breath. Feeling abnormally tired is also a sign of chronic sinusitis. Remember, though, some many illnesses and conditions have similar symptoms. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Effects of Sinusitis

Sinusitis can cause you a great deal of facial discomfort. You may have sore eyes, ears, and a painful sinus headache you just can’t seem to shake. The pain can make it hard to get a good night’s rest. So, on top of the tiredness you feel already from being ill, you feel even more exhausted.

If you have chronic sinusitis, you might have to stay off work for weeks or even months, which could then lead to isolation and financial stress. You feel weary and lethargic, which can cause depression. If you have other allergies, this may exacerbate those problems.

  • A study in the American Journal of Rhinology reports that individuals with both chronic sinusitis and depression experience worse sinus pain than those who aren’t depressed.
  • Another study in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology indicated that in individuals with chronic sinusitis, depression is associated with more doctor visits, increased missed workdays, and more antibiotic use.
  • According to a study published in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology: Official Journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS): Affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, in people with chronic sinusitis, scores on anxiety and depression scales are closely associated with scores on the SNOT-22 questionnaire. SNOT-22 includes general quality-of-life questions as well as disease-specific ones.

If you’re suffering from sinusitis and feel conventional treatments are not as effective as you need them to be, medical marijuana for sinusitis could help.

Sinusitis Statistics

sinusitis effects

Current Treatment Options Available for Sinusitis and Their Side Effects

The overall goals of treating sinusitis are to:

  • Reduce sinus inflammation
  • Reduce the number of flare-ups
  • Keep nasal passages draining
  • Eliminate any underlying causes

There are a few ways to reach the goals of treating sinusitis:

Symptom-Relieving Treatments: There are quite a few common options to help relieve sinusitis symptoms, but they don’t necessarily heal an infection. These include:

  • Nasal corticosteroids. These are sprays that treat and prevent inflammation.
  • Saline nasal irrigation. You can do this with solutions, nasal sprays, or a neti pot.
  • Injected or oral corticosteroids. Using oral corticosteroids is not recommended long-term as the side effects can be serious. Because of this, corticosteroids are typically only used when your symptoms are severe.
  • Aspirin desensitization treatments. If your sinusitis is caused by a reaction to this drug, you’re given increasingly larger doses under medical supervision to increase your tolerance.

Antibiotics: A course of antibiotics may be necessary if you have a bacterial infection. Unfortunately, these medications aren’t always powerful enough to get rid of sinusitis. You could also develop a resistance to them over time. Another negative is that antibiotics often produce side effects such as rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach upsets.

Immunotherapy: You may be advised to have immunotherapy (allergy shots) if your sinusitis is brought on by allergies. Doing this should help reduce your reaction to specific allergens. It’s hoped that your condition will then improve.

Surgery: You may be offered endoscopic sinus surgery if your case of sinusitis is severe and resistant to medications and treatments. A doctor explores your sinus passages with an endoscope. If they find an obstruction, they may use instruments to remove it or to shave away any nasal blockages such as polyps. They could also elect to enlarge your sinus openings for better drainage.

Medical marijuana: Cannabis can be used to help improve breathing, relieve headaches, and reduce the pain associated with sinusitis.

Why Look for Alternatives to Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids may help treat your sinusitis. However, as we mentioned earlier, these drugs come with a variety of potentially adverse side effects. Oral corticosteroids are particularly worrisome as they affect your whole body rather than targeting one particular location.

Potential Side Effects of Corticosteroids Include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated pressure in your eyes (glaucoma)
  • Problems with behavior, mood, memory, and other psychological effects
  • Swelling in your lower legs caused by fluid retention
  • Weight gain, including fat deposits in your face, abdomen, and the back of your neck

Long-Term Effects of Taking Oral Corticosteroids Include:

  • Fractures and thinning bones (osteoporosis)
  • Cataracts
  • Increased risk of infections
  • High blood sugar (that can bring on or worsen diabetes)
  • Slower wound healing, thin skin, and bruising
  • Suppressed adrenal gland hormone production

Side Effects of Inhaled Corticosteroids

When you inhale corticosteroids, a little of the drug may stay in your throat and mouth rather than reach your lungs, potentially resulting in:

  • Hoarseness
  • Oral thrush

Side Effects of Injected Corticosteroids

You may find you experience temporary side effects after a corticosteroid injection, including:

  • Elevated blood sugar
  • Facial flushing
  • Skin thinning
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of color in your skin

The side effects above may make you leery of taking corticosteroids for sinusitis, whether they are in the injected or inhaled form. Read on to find out more about how medical cannabis for sinusitis can help relieve your symptoms naturally.

How/Why Marijuana Is an Effective Treatment for Sinusitis

Marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. Thankfully, the stigma associated with cannabis is now diminishing as many states legalize medical cannabis for qualifying conditions.

Research has shown cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are extremely effective and powerful antibiotics. They could be the key to halting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, like those found in chronic sinusitis, in their tracks. This is an exciting concept that could eventually mean by using medical marijuana, you can go on to live a normal life free from medications and their side effects.

marijuana cbd

The cannabinoids found in marijuana may have anti-microbial properties and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Smoking cannabis is not the best route if you have sinusitis as your breathing is already affected, so edibles, tinctures, and other non-smokable products like CBD (cannabidiol) may be more appropriate. Speak to your medical marijuana doctor as to which form is best for you.

What Symptoms of Sinusitis Can Marijuana Treat?

If you’re looking for a natural way of managing sinusitis, you can use marijuana safely without worrying about the harmful side effects associated with many medications. Cannabis can help to:

  • Open airways: As a bronchodilator, cannabis makes breathing easier, breaks up congestion, and opens sinus passages.
  • Deaden pain in the sinuses: Cannabis can be an effective painkiller.
  • Treat inflammation: Cannabis is useful for reducing inflammation.

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Medical Marijuana and Sinusitis Congestion

When it comes to congestion, expectorants are the favored medication. Thus far, medical marijuana has not been found to serve as an expectorant. However, medical marijuana has been shown to be a bronchodilator, which can help individuals who have sinus problems breathe a little easier. The buildup of mucus, sore throat, and postnasal drip can make it hard to breathe.

Of course, you should not smoke medical marijuana if you’re having difficulty breathing. A physician can suggest a better method of ingestion such as eating the medication or using a vaporizer.

Medical Marijuana and Headache Associated With Sinusitis

Medical marijuana can have a similar effect as codeine in that it can relieve as much pain as codeine in cancer patients, according to one study. Many pain relievers are not successful in relieving headaches, but that is not the case for marijuana. Individuals with some of the most painful headaches possible — migraines and cluster headaches — have had positive results using medical marijuana to relieve their headache pain.

As mentioned above, medical marijuana is an analgesic. It can relieve nerve pain, headache pain, muscle pain, and more. Trials have shown it can reduce dependency on opiates by replacing their pain-relieving effects. It relieves pain in chronic pain sufferers, and it can even provide relief for treatment-resistant pain. Sinusitis can cause pain in the nose, face, throat, ears, and head, which medical marijuana can help with.

It bears repeating that alternative methods to inhalation should be discussed with a doctor to reduce the risk of further irritating the throat and sinuses.

Medical Marijuana and Reduction of Inflammation in Sinusitis

One area of study right now in medical marijuana research regards medical marijuana and inflammation, particularly in Crohn’s Disease. There is evidence medical marijuana can relieve inflammation in individuals with digestive disorders.

There is also testimony by marijuana users that it can relieve skin inflammations and other related ailments. Since inflammation accounts for some of the pain and discomfort associated with sinusitis, relief of that inflammation with medical marijuana can help relieve the other symptoms.

Best Strains of Marijuana to Use for Sinusitis

So, now you know more about marijuana and sinusitis, but you may wonder what strains would best help. It’s a good idea to talk to your marijuana doctor or a knowledgeable budtender for advice. To help you get started in the meantime, we’ve compiled this list of strains of cannabis for sinusitis that could help.

Bronchodilator Effects

The following strains are excellent for helping open up your airways:

  • Dance World: Dance World, a medicinal strain, is great all around. Not only is it useful for helping you breathe more easily, but it also boasts anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-spasm, and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Royal Medic: Royal Medic is a new hybrid of two Spanish strains: Critical, known for its large yields, and the medicinal Juanita la Lagrimosa. This strain can provide you with pain relief as well as having a bronchodilation effect.

Painkilling Effects

Suitable strains for treating pain include:

  • Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel is a strain that provides an uplifting effect and is excellent for treating the depression that’s often associated with chronic sinusitis and other illnesses or conditions.
  • White Widow: White Widow is a popular strain for pain relief. It provides an energetic and euphoric feeling. Like Sour Diesel, it’s also good for depression and low moods.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Using cannabis to treat sinus inflammation is both natural and effective. Some strains for treating inflammation are:

  • Cannatonic: Cannatonic is commonly used to treat pain, seizures, epilepsy, and inflammation by people suffering from chronic illnesses. It’s fast-acting, but its pain-killing effects are short-lived. Therefore, you may need to medicate several times a day.
  • Harlequin: Harlequin is a Sativa strain that’s useful for reducing pain and helping you remain clear-headed. You feel relaxed but not sedated when you use it.

What’s the Best Way to Take Medical Marijuana for Sinusitis?

To make an educated decision about how to consume medical cannabis, it helps to be aware of the various methods of delivery.

  • Smoking: Smoking is probably not a good idea when you have sinusitis, as it will likely further irritate your sinuses. We do not recommend this method of delivery until you recover.
  • Vaping: Vaping may also irritate your sinuses due to the smoke released during the process. However, if it appeals to you, this method of delivery is less harsh on your lungs than smoking and gives you instant relief. Start small, inhale lightly, and exhale immediately. Wait for a few minutes to give the cannabis time to work. If you need more, take another hit.

marijuana edibles

  • Edibles: You can buy all sorts of edibles, or you can have a go at making your own. Cannabis-laced foods are an excellent choice if you don’t like inhaling. You can also carry these around with you to eat whenever you need to. A slight downside is that it can take longer to feel their effects than it does when you consume via smoking or vaping.
  • Sub-Lingual Sprays and Tinctures: You usually spray or squirt these under your tongue and wait for the solution to take effect.

Let Marijuana Doctors Help You Find Sinusitis Symptom Relief Through Cannabis

If you’re battling with chronic or ongoing sinusitis, ask your medical marijuana doctor for more advice on how cannabis may be able to help alleviate the symptoms.

You may have tried a host of different medications and treatments for sinusitis to no avail. If your sinusitis is not responding well to conventional antibiotic treatments and you believe you can benefit from the use of cannabis, we will help you find relief for your sinusitis. Search for a medical marijuana dispensary or doctor today to find natural symptom relief from sinusitis. It’s time to take back control of your health.

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The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.