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Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018 Oct;15(10):1146-1158. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201803-198OC.

Effect of Vaporized Cannabis on Exertional Breathlessness and Exercise Endurance in Advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Abdallah SJ1, Smith BM2,3,4,5,6,7,8, Ware MA9,10,11, Moore M1, Li PZ3, Bourbeau J2,3,4,5,6,7,8, Jensen D1,2,3,4,5,7,8.

Author information

1
1 Clinical Exercise and Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and.
2
2 Respiratory Division, Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
3
3 Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit, Montreal Chest Institute, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
4
4 Meakins-Christie Laboratories, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC).
5
5 McConnell Centre for Innovative Medicine, RI-MUHC.
6
6 Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, RI-MUHC, and.
7
7 Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program, RI-MUHC, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
8
8 Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health.
9
9 Department of Family Medicine, and.
10
10 Department of Anesthesia, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and.
11
11 Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

A series of studies conducted approximately 40 years ago demonstrated an acute bronchodilator effect of smoked cannabis in healthy adults and adults with asthma. However, the acute effects of vaporized cannabis on airway function in adults with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remain unknown.

OBJECTIVES:

To test the hypothesis that inhaled vaporized cannabis would alleviate exertional breathlessness and improve exercise endurance by enhancing static and dynamic airway function in COPD.

METHODS:

In a randomized controlled trial of 16 adults with advanced COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1], mean ± SD: 36 ± 11% predicted), we compared the acute effect of 35 mg of inhaled vaporized cannabis (18.2% Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, <0.1% cannabidiol) versus 35 mg of a placebo control cannabis (CTRL; 0.33% Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, <0.99% cannabidiol) on physiological and perceptual responses during cardiopulmonary cycle endurance exercise testing; spirometry and impulse oscillometry at rest; and cognitive function, psychoactivity, and mood.

RESULTS:

Compared with CTRL, cannabis had no effect on breathlessness intensity ratings during exercise at isotime (cannabis, 2.7 ± 1.2 Borg units vs. CTRL, 2.6 ± 1.3 Borg units); exercise endurance time (cannabis, 3.8 ± 1.9 min vs. CTRL, 4.2 ± 1.9 min); cardiac, metabolic, gas exchange, ventilatory, breathing pattern, and/or operating lung volume parameters at rest and during exercise; spirometry and impulse oscillometry-derived pulmonary function test parameters at rest; and cognitive function, psychoactivity, and mood.

CONCLUSIONS:

Single-dose inhalation of vaporized cannabis had no clinically meaningful positive or negative effect on airway function, exertional breathlessness, and exercise endurance in adults with advanced COPD. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03060993).

KEYWORDS:

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; dyspnea; functional capacity; marijuana

PMID:
30049223
DOI:
10.1513/AnnalsATS.201803-198OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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