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Discover the Benefits of CBD for Asthma and Lung Health

October 22, 2020

mayo clinic on cbd oil for copd

Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the respiratory system causing the airways to contract both spontaneously and in response to a wide range of endogenous stimuli and environmental factors resulting in some cases, very severe asthma attacks. This can lead to some people feeling anxiety about when the next attack will come. Although more than 300 million people worldwide are affected, elders and children are most under threat by asthma, but it can affect anyone of any age with varying levels of symptoms ranging from mild to life threatening. The airways result in a type of hyper responsiveness that brings with it inflammation (something that cannabinoids like CBD are very effective at reducing) [1] The current conventional medical treatment options for asthma remain very problematic and often involves using a variety of drugs with varying side effects. 

Research has revealed that both the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system are present in the bronchial tissue and are involved in protecting the lungs. When the CB1 receptors are activated on nerve endings in the lungs, this creates a bronchodilator effect by acting on the airways smooth muscle (in much the same way some antihistamines or decongestant nasal sprays work), with research suggesting that this may be a beneficial approach in assisting with airway hyperreactivity and asthma. [2] Multiple studies, dating back to the 1979s, suggest that targeting cannabinoid receptors could be a unique therapeutic solution for asthmatic patients. [3]

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS), is considered to be the most important system of physiology inside the body, responsible for maintaining order and balance across all major bodily systems, from the immune and reproductive system, to the lymphatic and respiratory. When the ECS becomes overwhelmed or overstressed from physical, mental or environmental stressors, it can become dysfunctional, leading to states of chronic autoimmunity or a lack of (immunity), leaving us open to a range of disorders and diseases. The body produces its own endocannabinoids through the ECS, and plants make their own phytocannabinoids, which, when consumed, can assist in supplementing the ECS with enough cannabis compounds to restore balance and homeostasis in the body. This is why the hemp variety of cannabis is so important to human health and the health of the ECS

There is mounting evidence that asthma may be triggered by viral or bacterial infections, such as Streptococcus, in early childhood that leaves the immune system more vulnerable to allergens. This has resulted in the development of a variety of treatment strategies utilizing antibiotics, however, this has alarmingly led to the rise of antibiotic-resistant super-bugs such as MRSA (Staph) that can prove fatal if left untreated. Luckily, CBD has shown promise in possessing broad-spectrum antibacterial properties that can fight these super-bugs.

cbd for asthma

Does CBD help with shortness of breath?

Because the airways narrow and contract during an asthma attack, the antispasmodic action of cannabinoids could also play a potential role in bronchodilation. In the last few years, cannabinoid inhaler systems entered the market as these cannabis treatments for asthma become better researched and recognized. For more information on how hemp works for respiratory diseases such as COPD, view our article here.

Benefits of CBD Oil

The information contained in this article on the benefits of CBD products is for information purposes only and does not constitute medical advice for any particular condition. It is recommended that readers work directly with a doctor who has experience in prescribing varieties of medical marijuana or CBD so the dose and delivery method can be fine tuned to the individual. As always, prior to making any changes to your lifestyle or treatment plan, consult with a licenced medical professional. If you are experiencing long term pain related conditions or having difficulty taking in air, contact your health care practitioner as soon as possible. At the same time, those who have taken the time to educate themselves can become their own aware and highly informed health consultants.

Does CBD help lungs?

For immediate relief of asthma symptoms, many find that oromucosal sprays or sublingual drops work well, along with vaporising with a high-CBD concentrated oil without any additives (so as not to aggravate the airways). This approach tends to last one to three hours, whereas in the case of ingestible products, these can take longer to take effect (roughly one to three hours), yet last longer in the body (six to eight hours). The most effective types of inhalers and vaporizers utilize a cartridge filled with a CO2 concentrate. Sublinguals also absorb quickly and last longer than inhaled products.

cbd lung benefits

Best Science on CBD Oils

The Cannabis Health Index is a scoring system for cannabis based on the current available evidence in the medical literature. Using this measuring system and based on some eleven plus studies, cannabis rate in the possible-to-probably range of efficacy for asthma.

There were a variety of studies completed in the 1970s that showed the bronchodilatory results of cannabis compared to other drugs commonly utilized for asthma. [4] [5] A study from 1978 found that THC created bronchodilation in asthmatic patients and that the rate of onset, magnitude, and duration of the bronchodilator effect was dose-related. [6] In a study from 2015, researchers found that the side effects of CBD are very few, and represent a “potential new drug to modulate inflammatory response in asthma.” [7] An additional study from 2015 had researchers find that CBD, may in future, become a useful therapeutic tool for treating a range of inflammatory respiratory diseases. [8]

In 2020, research was published studying the use of medical marijuana in asthma patients with researchers concluding that, “cannabis has a bronchodilator effect on the airways and might have an anti-inflammatory effect on asthmatic patients. However, harmful effects on the lungs are mainly attributed to smoking and include airway irritation and the development of chronic bronchitis symptoms.” [9] This is why we mentioned earlier that it’s important to use the right delivery method when it comes to respiratory diseases, such as sublingual, oromucosal sprays, or vaporizers with no additives, smoking cannabis should be avoided. [10] [11]

In 2019, a study was published showing the involvement of the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors in allergic asthma, with researchers stating that compounds (like cannabinoids) that have the ability to make adjustments to the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) “may be rational candidates for the treatment of airway diseases because of their anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory effects,” and that, “the ability of cannabinoids to induce bronchodilation and modify inflammation indicates their importance for airway physiology and pathologies.” [12]

In another study from 2019, researchers found that, “CBD treatment decreased the inflammatory and remodelling processes in the model of allergic asthma.” Another positive result with cannabidiol (CBD) use in asthma. [13] [14]

As mentioned earlier, you can find more information on how hemp can help with respiratory conditions in this article, and you can visit our blog to discover the latest news on all things related to the ECS, CBD and Hemp.

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1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19199042/
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22420307/
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4514116/
4. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJM197305102881902
5. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1164/arrd.1974.109.4.420
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1429361/
7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26101464/
8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25356537/
9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32286026/
10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390535/
11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28921405/
12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6943521/
13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30481497/
14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458548/