Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather
Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather

Opposition Leader Marc Bean kicked off a firestorm when he publicly stated he used ganja tea to cure his daughter’s asthma when she was three years old.

We reported on Wednesday that medical experts from both sides of the Atlantic  stated such an assertion is wrong and not grounded in medical science.

Not everyone in the international medical community, however, agrees.

Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather is the president of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians who is currently following around 30 patients who have asthma as a primary complaint. 

“For those using cannabis for asthma, I like to think of it as an adjunct to conventional therapy,” he said. “Some continue to use inhaled steroids or bronchodilators, but many are able to use these medicines for rescuing a flare-up of asthma and use the cannabis as effective treatment day to day.” He added: “It is very helpful for asthmatics, both for its soothing, anti-anxiety qualities as well as the bronchodilating and anti-inflammatory effects.”

Cannabis tea, he said, requires a creamer to be most effective. A creamer captures “the oily active ingredients... Without the creamer, the cannabinoids end up plating out over the surfaces of the pot and spoon, markedly reducing the ingested dose,” he said.

Robert Melamede, a  biology professor at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, had similar thoughts: “Marijuana has profound health benefits,” he said. “Anybody who does not support medical marijuana is ignorant of the facts, it’s as simple as that.”

He said Mr Bean was  correct in his statement that one could treat asthma with ganja tea, adding: “In fact, a tea would probably not extract the THC, meaning the tea would work [for the asthma] but he wouldn’t get the kid stoned,” he said.