Cannabis Science

Does Weed Smoke Affect Asthma Attacks?

asthma inhalers

Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects about 25 million people in the United States. If you’re not familiar, asthma causes swelling of the airways that carry air from the nose to the lungs. Asthma has many symptoms and some of them are difficulty breathing and wheezing. Unfortunately, asthma is both chronic and deadly. 

Weed, while it has many healing properties, can negatively affect your respiratory system. That’s one of the reasons why weed wasn’t recommended during the heights of the coronavirus pandemic. However, if you’re a stoner who has asthma, you may be wondering does weed smoke affect asthma attacks? Here’s what we know about weed and asthma. 

Photo: Unsplash

Can Weed Smoke Trigger an Asthma Attack?

Yes. According to Medical News Today, smoking weed can trigger an asthma attack. Apparently, some, marijuana or otherwise, can irritate lung tissue. Medical News Today, “ Lung irritants can trigger or worsen asthma attacks in some people.”

That’s not surprising since we know that weed can irritate the respiratory tract. 

According to a 2016 review, weed can cause, “cough, sputum production, and wheezing in the general population”. However, the review admits that there has to be more research done between weed and asthma. The review also said that using weed and tobacco together could further worsen respiratory symptoms. Finally, the study says that pending further research, patients with asthma should avoid weed. 

In addition to that, smoking weed during an asthma attack is a no-no. Medical News Today says, “Smoking marijuana during an asthma attack could further irritate the lungs, worsen coughing, and increase health risks.”

Can I Smoke Weed With Asthma?

It’s not recommended. According to a study, people who have asthma should, “avoid using marijuana and be oriented about individual health risks, possible dangers of second-hand smoke exposure, underage use, safe storage, and the over-smoking of marijuana.”

The truth is, there needs to be more research done. However, the general consensus is that since we don’t really know, people with asthma may want to avoid weed. 

It makes sense since weed can cause negative effects on your respiratory system. If you have asthma you probably don’t want to deal with coughing associated with smoking weed. However, you may be able to use weed in other ways that don’t affect your respiratory system such as edibles. 

Interestingly, according to a study, adolescents who have asthma used weed more than those who didn’t. The results stated, “In 2017, the most frequent use of cigarettes, cigars, and marijuana was among those with asthma than without.”

It would be interesting to see how the weed use affected their asthma symptoms. 

Can Weed Help Asthma?

Medical News Today says that weed and its components may have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Those properties could technically help asthma. For example, asthma causes inflammation of the airways. Therefore if weed reduces inflammation, there’s a chance it could do that for asthma patients.

The problem is we don’t have many studies on whether or not weed can help asthma patients. However, there is one animal study that’s interesting to look at. 

An animal study, says CBD could help asthma symptoms. The study concluded, “CBD seems to be a potential new drug to modulate inflammatory response in asthma.”

Marijana is not currently approved for asthma treatment.

Can Smoking Weed Cause Asthma?

There’s a possibility. Medical News Today, “For people who begin smoking marijuana early, there appears to be a higher risk of asthma later in life.” This is supported by a study done 

However, a review says that more research is necessary surrounding weed and asthma. That doesn’t mean weed can’t cause asthma, we’re just not sure. 

What we do know is that asthma has many risk factors. Besides things you can control such as family history and genetics, there are certain things in our day-to-day life that can affect asthma. According to WebMD, cigarette smoking is linked with an increased risk of developing asthma. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with marijuana smoke. Well, both types of smoke have similar compounds in them. According to, “Smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.”

Therefore, we can’t say with certainty that weed smoke doesn’t cause asthma. 


Does weed smoke affect asthma attacks? It could. All types of smoke, such as weed smoke, tend to be harsh for the respiratory system. Therefore if you’re a stoner who wants to use weed, it’s probably safer to explore other options outside of smoking it. However, the main takeaway is that more research is necessary to examine the relationship between asthma and weed.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].