Without your lungs, you couldn’t breathe, and without breath, you cease to exist. The lungs are part of the respiratory system, working with other organs and tissues to help you breathe. Every cell in the body needs oxygen to live, and the lungs are what move oxygen into the bloodstream where it’s carried throughout the body when you inhale. Lung health is important. The lungs are a vital set of organs that play an important role in a healthy human body. Cannabis and the lungs have often been associated because of smoking. Whereas cannabis is benign and potentially even a lung expectorant, smoking cannabis still produces carcinogens. Although not nearly as harmful as tobacco, smoking anything can have an adverse effect on the lungs.
There are many things that you can do to keep your lungs functioning properly. Simple lifestyle changes, dietary changes and healthy habits can be highly beneficial for your lungs.
If you still want the smoking experience without all the carcinogens, try vaporizing. Vaporizing allows the user to enjoy both flower and concentrates, does not have an overbearing odor, and is easy to use on the go. Cannabis mitigates the damage to your lungs from tobacco. But rather than rolling a Flaming Back Flip, inhale the essential oil**. It’s just a bronchodilator, officer.
2. Consume edibles
Another way to improve lung health and also use cannabis is to reduce smoking and use edibles. Different dosages offer varying effects so start small (5-10mg THC) and adjust accordingly. Consuming edibles offers a longer and more bioabsorbable effect. Just remember, unlike smoking, it takes time to kick in (30-60 min), so don’t overindulge if you don’t feel anything right away
3. Transdermal Patches
Another exciting option is to use transdermal patches, salves, or lotions. The skin is actually the most efficient way to ingest cannabis, and is especially great for CBD infused products. Go ahead and rub some on your lungs.
4. Supplement with herbs
Many herbs have adaptogenic properties that help support the immune system and the lungs. There are many formulas that combine herbs and roots such as Fresh Mullein leaf, Horehound herb, Elecampane root, Echinacea, and Yerba Santa leaf.
5. Eat a lung-friendly diet
Eating healthy coincides with healthy lungs as the body’s systems work synergistically. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein offer minerals, essential acids, and antioxidants that support lung health. Fresh produce is always best. As a rule of thumb, eat raw and organic foods that fit the color spectrum of the rainbow.
6. Stay hydrated
For optimal lung health, the lungs should be kept as clear as possible, and water plays a big role in that (as well as our health in general). Water keeps the blood flowing to and from the lungs, as well as keeping mucous flowing and the lungs hydrated. Staying hydrated can also help you improve oxygen levels as water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Drinking plenty of water keeps you hydrated while also increasing oxygen in the blood.
7. Start getting your Vitamin D
Studies have shown that those with higher levels of vitamin D have better lung functioning. Experts believe that the vitamin helps to reduce inflammation, which in turn boosts lung health. The recommended daily allowance of the vitamin in the U.S. is 600 IU daily for adults up to age 70 (800 for those over 70). In addition to supplements, be sure to get outside in the sun for 15 minutes a day in order for your skin to produce its own vitamin D naturally – there’s a reason it’s called the sunshine vitamin.
There are so many simple ways to improve your lung health and the long term benefits to your health are immeasurable. Consider making a simple life change towards healthier lungs.