I'm not an expert on asbestos, I only know that it's serious stuff and your better off not messing with it. You could paint it, priming it first with an alkyd primer (prefferably one that dries fast, as popcorn absorbs lots of primer and can take several days to dry. Do no use BIN primer) If your going to remove it. Use a garden type "Compression sprayer". Wet an area only large enough for you to scrape and clean before it soaks the drywall underneath. If Asbestos is a concern, be certain to use a respirator that is suitable for that purpose. A dust mask is not suitable to stop the ingestion of asbestos.
Again, I'm not the expert, but I've always heard that asbestos causes problems when people mess with it. If your concerned, have it tested.