Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis-sourced compound that may be a promising treatment for various health conditions. While CBD brands claim several health benefits, it is critical to determine their validity.
One possible use of CBD is relieving or reducing the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. When considering CBD for COPD, it is critical to know CBD basics and CBD’s possible benefits for people with lung disease.
Severe symptoms can accompany COPD and asthma. Relieving them through alternative treatments may improve one’s wellness.
Studies show that CBD may help alleviate symptoms of various health conditions, such as COPD and asthma.
CBD and Lung Health
CBD is only one of the more than a hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that originate from cannabis plants. However, unlike the cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not cause people to feel “high.”
Research shows that cannabidiol may provide various health benefits, including for the lungs.
A recent animal study showed that CBD helped improve lung function and decreased inflammation among mice with lung damage.
However, longitudinal research is needed to determine whether CBD can provide the same health benefits among human subjects with lung conditions.
COPD is among the chronic lung diseases and causes blocked airflow from a person’s lungs. Symptoms include breathing problems, coughing, and wheezing.
COPD often results from gases or airborne particles, such as cigarette smoke. This lung disease may lead to health conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease.
Meanwhile, asthma is a lung condition that causes airways to become narrower and swollen. This condition may also cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
People can have both COPD and asthma, called asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS). Although not all symptoms can be severe, ACOS can be deadly.
Those with ACOS often realize they have this condition only in the later stage. Misdiagnosis sometimes occurs because the symptoms of one disease mimic the symptoms of the other.
When you have ACOS, each condition (COPD and asthma) should be treated, says the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI).
Potential CBD Benefits for COPD and Asthma
A pilot study published in the Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology journal studied the effects of CBD on breathing and breathlessness.
Breathlessness is a symptom of COPD, while shortness of breath is a symptom of asthma.
The study’s subjects included four COPD patients. Researchers hypothesized that cannabinoids would relieve breathlessness while not reducing breathing function.
The study’s results showed that CBD reduced breathlessness more than the placebo (fake treatment).
Meanwhile, in the mouse study mentioned above, researchers reported that CBD reduced inflammation resulting from acute lung injury (ALI).
The researchers noted that CBD increased lung resistance, reduced lung inflammation, and improved lung function among the animal subjects.
They also reported that CBD may have the potential to provide therapeutic benefits for inflammatory lung disease. Both COPD and asthma are among such diseases.
In COPD, particles or gases result in lung inflammation, while asthma causes inflamed airways.
A 2020 review published in the Antioxidants journal examined the potential anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol.
The researchers reported that CBD may have anti-inflammatory properties to help the body combat inflammation.
They noted that CBD has possible therapeutic benefits. One main factor is CBD’s ability to avoid the unwanted effects of THC.
How to Use CBD for COPD or Asthma
You have several ways to take CBD products. However, when treating health conditions like COPD or asthma, certain options are more practical than others.
Keep in mind that researchers have conducted no studies on how long CBD takes to work for specific conditions like lung diseases. You may start experiencing CBD’s biological effects within two hours.
This application method involves using a dropper or spray to place drops of CBD tinctures under the tongue. After holding it there for one minute, you then swallow the oil.
One key benefit of using a dropper is it provides a more consistent CBD dosage. The product label should indicate the dose of cannabinoids per milliliter for droppers or spray.
The sublingual method allows the bloodstream to absorb the CBD. Then, the blood distributes the cannabinoid throughout the body evenly.
You may start feeling the effects of CBD within 30 minutes after using it.
Edibles, Tablets, and Capsules
Examples of edibles include CBD gummies, CBD brownies, and CBD cookies.
These CBD products are absorbed via the gut and then modified within the liver. Afterward, the cannabidiol is distributed relatively evenly throughout the human body.
Edibles, capsules, and tablets produce longer-lasting effects compared to other types of CBD administration. They may be a more practical option for several chronic conditions.
You may start feeling the effects of CBD edibles, capsules, and tablets within one or two hours.
Topicals and Transdermals
CBD topicals are applied to the skin. Options include CBD lotions, CBD creams, CBD balms, and CBD salves. You may feel localized effects, but topicals are not absorbed into the bloodstream.
Meanwhile, you can also apply CBD transdermal products to the skin. However, they provide different results than topicals.
CBD brands design transdermal patches to release cannabinoids into a person’s bloodstream at a steady rate.
You may have a somewhat similar experience with transdermals as sublingual applications.
However, before purchasing a particular CBD transdermal product, check if the company has provided online data about how well the body absorbs the patch’s cannabinoids.
CBD Risks and Side Effects
Before using CBD products for lung disease and conditions, it is imperative to note that CBD may involve various risks.
Researchers are currently evaluating the safety and effectiveness of CBD for various health conditions. More research is warranted on its effectiveness for various conditions like COPD and asthma.
While CBD is generally well tolerated, it also may produce specific risks and side effects. So make sure to research the purity and dosage of particular CBD products.
In addition, compare product labels with a certificate of analysis (COA) from independent third-party labs.
Another possible issue is drug interactions between CBD and prescription medications. Consult with your doctor before starting to use CBD products to learn about possible interactions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, potential side effects from using CBD products include:
- Dry mouth
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Reduced appetite
Where to Purchase CBD Products
You can find cannabidiol products at various online retailers. These CBD products may help relieve and reduce the symptoms of diseases like asthma and COPD. However, more research is needed on CBD’s effectiveness.
Individuals should consult with their doctor before starting CBD products. A doctor can provide information about the proper usage, dosage, and side effects.