Have you ever felt healthy and on track and then caught a cold, virus or infection? This has probably happened to almost all of us, and in that moment we wish we could feel healthy again. A common infection that can spread after a cold or the flu is pneumonia. Though there is more than 30 causes of pneumonia, in most cases, pneumonia occurs as a result of the flu or other illness. When this infection sets in, different traditional treatment methods are available. However, many traditional methods do not relieve all symptoms causing pneumonia which can negatively impact quality of life. What if there was another treatment method that could help relieve the severity and pain of pneumonia naturally? Luckily for us, a natural method to relieve the symptoms of pneumonia is medical cannabis and its many cannabinoids.
What to know about pneumonia
Pneumonia is known as a Pulmonary infection which can be caused by a virus, fungus or bacteria. This infection can affect one or both lungs and in most cases pneumonia is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, breathing and/or touching. How does pneumonia affect the body? It begins when germs and bacteria enter the lungs, and once the germs that cause pneumonia enter the lungs, inflammation occurs in the air sacs of the lungs. At this point, fluid fills up in the lungs, which can lead to difficulty breathing, coughing, fever, and chills.
In addition, thousands of people die each year from pneumonia, and even more are hospitalized due to this infection. How can pneumonia diagnoses lead to deaths? According to American Lung Association, pneumonia deaths occur after oxygen struggles to reach the blood. When the blood lacks oxygen, the body’s cells struggle to function properly. From there, the risk of spreading pneumonia increases, which could then lead to death. Although pneumonia can be life-threatening, in most cases it is only temporarily life-changing.
The increasing prevalence of pneumonia
Despite increasing medical advances in the United States and other countries, diagnoses of pneumonia are quite common. However, since 1999, the pneumonia death rates down nearly 4%. Despite this decrease, pneumonia is still prevalent to this day. In particular, according to the American Thoracic Society, a huge one million American adults are hospitalized each year for pneumonia. Of these, approximately 50,000 of those affected die of pneumonia.
Although anyone can develop pneumonia, some people are more at risk than others. These people include infants, young children, and adults 65 and older. With regard to children, however, those under the age of five fall into the category of 120 million cases of pneumonia per year. Unfortunately, more than ten percent of these cases become serious. Also, people with chronic conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more likely to develop pneumonia.
Common symptoms and side effects of pneumonia
Also, the symptoms of pneumonia vary, but they can range from mild to extremely severe. Typically, the symptoms of the infection can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially for those who have never had pneumonia before, have weakened immune systems, and/or struggle with other medical issues. It is important to know that there is four types of pneumonia that can develop, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and mycoplasma pneumonia. These four types correspond to a classification based on the cause of the infection, the place of transmission of the infection and the way in which the pneumonia developed.
It is possible to develop community-acquired pneumonia, meaning the infection was acquired somewhere outside of a medical setting. However, nosocomial pneumonia can also develop, which is a bacterial form that can be contracted during a hospital stay. Normally, the symptoms of pneumonia resemble those of a cold or the flu. However, the symptoms of pneumonia last much longer than those of a traditional cold. The most common signs of pneumonia include the following:
- Breathing difficulties
- Tiredness or weakness
- Diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting
- Regular coughing up of phlegm
- Fever, body tremors, sweating and chills
- Chest pain when breathing and/or coughing
- Changes in mental awareness or confusion (more common in adults age 65 or older)
- Abnormally low body temperature
Although most pneumonia-causing symptoms go away after a few weeks, in some cases they can last for a month or more. In addition, people with pneumonia are close to twice as likely to develop depression or another mental health problem
Traditional and non-traditional treatment options for pneumonia
The cause of pneumonia, the severity of its symptoms, age, and current medical condition all determine the most appropriate method of treatment. The primary intention of treating pneumonia is to cure it and prevent further complications from occurring. Cases of severe pneumonia often require hospitalization, while other cases require taking antibiotics and resting until the infection is killed. The most common treatment methods for curing pneumonia include antibiotics and other medications that relieve fever, reduce pain, and suppress cough.
Besides these treatment options, medical cannabis and CBD are alternative forms of medicine that can help relieve many symptoms and side effects of pneumonia. In most cases, medical cannabis can help relieve many symptoms caused by pneumonia, including the following: anxiety, depression, fatigue, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, and chest pain from coughing. So far, various studies, clinical trials, and anecdotal evidence support the ability of cannabis to help treat the unwanted health conditions listed above while having pneumonia.
Additionally, cannabidiol (CBD) has been found to contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties. One of the main symptoms of pneumonia is inflammation, which occurs in the small air sacs in our lungs. Therefore, since cannabis and CBD are anti-inflammatory agents, this medical benefit could be very useful for people with pneumonia. In addition, cannabis and CBD are known to be effective analgesic, anti-nausea and anti-emetics, which can significantly help patients with pneumonia. In addition to this, different studies have been published regarding cannabis anti stress and anti-depressant properties. Although cannabis cannot cure pneumonia, it can certainly help relieve and reduce many symptoms of the infection.
Best Practices and Marijuana Strains to Relieve Symptoms of Pneumonia
Finally, since smoking cannabis can irritate our lungs and cause inflammation, it is highly recommended not to smoke if you suffer from pneumonia. If you are having lung problems, it is advisable not to smoke completely. Luckily, vaping is a much healthier option that doesn’t take a toll on our lungs. Other methods of cannabis consumption for pneumonia include: oral ingestion via infused edibles, sublingual administration via sprays, suppositories and/or topicals depending on where relief is necessary.
Several cannabis strains that can be used to treat pneumonia symptoms include ACDC, Cannatonic, Harlequin, Charlotte’s Web, and Sour Tsunami. Consuming CBD-rich strains is suggested to reap the many medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the cannabinoid, especially when one has pneumonia and their immune system is weaker than usual.
Overall, even though pneumonia is a treatable infection, it can still be life-threatening and people can die if pneumonia goes undiagnosed or untreated for too long. If you have reason to believe you have pneumonia, seek immediate medical attention. In the meantime, consider consuming different cannabis products to help relieve many symptoms of pneumonia while improving your quality of life during this difficult time.