CBD and Asthma: Does CBD Oil Help People with Asthma?
CBD may help with asthma, but the evidence we have is less than ideal, to say the least. But that doesn’t change the fact that asthma continues to affect millions of people in the U.S.
Conventional treatments are available, with different degrees of success. However, not everyone reacts well and might want an alternative option.
Although CBD and asthma are loosely connected, there’s a chance it may help with the difficult and potentially dangerous complications associated with the condition.
So does CBD oil work for asthma? If so, what are its benefits and limitations for using CBD for asthma? How do you even begin using CBD? We’ll discuss those questions and more.
Does CBD Oil Help with Asthma?
CBD oil may help with asthma, as it addresses some of the reactions – like inflammation – associated with many different conditions. However, research is pretty sparse on which (if any) types of asthma are controllable or treatable using CBD.
According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology , there are six types of asthma:
- Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
- Asthma-COPD overlap
- Adult-onset asthma
Again, we have little research to work with. From what we know so far, CBD seems to impact some kinds of asthma. Studies don’t cover all six asthma types. Allergic and non-allergic categories received the most attention, so we’ll focus on them.
Research on CBD and Allergic Asthma
As the name implies, allergic asthma symptoms start when triggered by allergens. This could range from pollen to cockroaches, according to the Cleveland Clinic .
CBD may support the treatment of allergic asthma – at least if you’re a mouse. A 2019 study in the European Journal of Pharmacology looked at allergic asthma in mice. They found that CBD helped reduce “airway hyperresponsiveness” through its indirect link with the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. Through these pathways, CBD helps alert the body to create an anti-inflammatory response.
There’s now evidence this experimental treatment works on humans. Naturally, we need more animal and human trials.
Research on CBD and Non-Allergic Asthma
Research into cannabinoids as bronchodilators in non-allergic asthma dates back several decades. A 1984 experiment published in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics saw results with delta-9 and delta-8 THC but noticed no change with CBD.
However, the CBD dose was a massive 1200 mg – far above the necessary amount for a new consumer. Given cannabidiol’s biphasic behavior, such a serving might not have been necessary. “Biphasic” means CBD’s potency isn’t linear. Once you exceed your ideal dose, the benefits start to drop.
Below is an image showing a visual of what the Biphasic Effect is:
The researchers likely didn’t know or fully acknowledge this issue. It begs the question as to whether gradually introducing CBD might have yielded different results.
Could CBD have worked otherwise? Only full clinical human trials can answer that question.
What Does Asthma Do to Your Body?
Although asthma is well-defined, there’s no “textbook case.” In other words, every patient experiences different severities and triggers. Treatment responses may also differ.
But regardless of what you deal with, asthma’s inflammatory response constricts the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Inevitably, the reaction leads to things like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Universally, it’s a condition that can be limiting or potentially deadly in the case of severe asthma. Oral and inhaled medications are available for treatment and prevention, but there’s no cure.
This may not be news to you as an asthma patient, but you might be surprised at how CBD oil may improve your quality of life.
We all know asthma is a potentially deadly respiratory condition, but how does it work? According to the American Lung Association , asthma puts the lining of your airways into a “hypersensitive state.” Airways become red and swollen, much like how our skin reacts to sunburns.
Some known asthma triggers include:
- Weather changes
While a trigger doesn’t necessarily lead to a life-threatening emergency, it likely will cause a “flare-up” or “asthma attack.”
While the airways inflame and constrict, surrounding muscles also tighten. In some cases, this can fully obstruct breathing. At this point, you’ll need urgent medical care.
Could CBD help with coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath during an asthma attack? Theoretically, yes, it could. There’s a lot of supporting evidence for CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation is the driving mechanism during a flare-up, there’s a chance CBD may work.
But – not to sound like a broken record – we need more research.
If treated, patients can live fairly normal lives. However, if you fail to address the problem, asthma could cause a condition called “airway remodeling.”
According to the American Lung Association, ignoring asthma eventually leads to long-term or permanent damage. Eventually, these scars worsen and reduce the effectiveness of asthma medications.
How is Asthma Treated?
Fortunately for patients, there are many treatment options. The American Lung Association tells us medications available for both long-term preventative solutions and short-term immediate relief.
One option is an anti-inflammatory medication. Again, this function brings us back to CBD and its reported potential to reduce swelling.
Preventing Asthma Attacks
Since there’s no cure for asthma, your only options are treatment and prevention. Remember that ignoring it is the worst thing you can do, so don’t wait.
Prevention is the best treatment. Prescription medicines can be very effective, but avoiding triggers is also an excellent way to avoid flare-ups.
What Asthma Patients Say About CBD for Asthma
Not only are there success stories, but many are quite old. This shows CBD and asthma were on a lot of people’s minds.
For instance, a Reddit post four years ago by “DoxyRuby” says:
“Within 2 days [of vaping CBD], I went down to using my rescue inhaler once or twice a day. For the last three weeks, I’ve used it a total of 4 times – once when I went out into the cold winter air, and three times when I went somewhere that was dusty and had dogs (which I’m allergic to).”
Similarly, an unnamed Reddit user was surprised by the effectiveness of CBD capsules, saying:
“I was experimenting with CBD capsules (also targeting other aches and pains) and it seemed to reduce the frequency and intensity of flare-ups. So was ok on a lower dose preventative.”
Are There any Side Effects of Taking CBD for Asthma?
Yes, CBD has some commonly-known side effects, but they’re mild and often temporary. A 2017 study in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research noticed the following CBD side effects:
- Appetite changes
- Weight loss or weight gain
CBD also interacts with certain medications, which could trigger other side effects. It’s important to verify with a doctor first, as the interference could be dangerous.
We’ll get into that next.
Can CBD Interfere with Any Asthma Medications?
Yes, CBD could interfere with some asthma medications, but we don’t have a full list.
As for asthma, the District of Colombia Department of Health mentions just one medication so far. They advise that smoking cannabis reduces the levels of theophylline. The drug prevents asthma flare-ups by relaxing the airways.
We have no information about whether CBD oil or any ingested CBD interacts with theophylline. Along with asthma, the drug treats lung illnesses like chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The issue stems from CBD’s presence in the liver, which metabolizes CBD using the P450 liver enzyme family. Unfortunately, many medications do the same.
When forced to “share” the enzyme, CBD dilutes or increases the medication’s blood concentration. This problem could theoretically reduce or increase the effects of oral asthma medications.
Consequently, this can weaken the medicine’s benefits or trigger side effects. In a worst-case scenario, the contradiction could impact lung function.
How to Use CBD Oil for Asthma
It’s easy to use CBD oil for asthma. Dosing is a matter of slow titration, while you can easily measure your intake using a marked dropper.
Just hold the tincture under your tongue for 60-90 seconds (or as indicated on the label) and swallow.
But before you try cannabis oil for asthma, there’s some crucial information to keep in mind, including side effects, safety concerns, consumption methods, and dosing.
Do CBD Inhalers Help with Asthma?
Yes, it’s likely CBD inhalers help with asthma. Unsurprisingly, there don’t appear to be any human trials in something so specific. But the 2019 study mentioned earlier used inhalable CBD mist.
Again, the mist yielded promising results as a bronchodilator.
Is it Safe to Vape CBD with Asthma?
No, it’s not safe to vape CBD with asthma unless you fully understand your triggers. Some people immediately notice their airways relax from vaping CBD. However, if smoke exacerbates your asthma symptoms, inhaling CBD could cause a reaction.
It’s important to mention that cannabinoids vaporized in oil or e-liquid don’t generate smoke but rather a vapor aerosol. This could impact whether or not the CBD products trigger flare-ups.
Regardless, asthma patients shouldn’t vape or start using CBD until they speak with a doctor.
How much CBD to Take For Asthma
There’s no exact answer for a proper CBD dose for asthma. However, a 2017 study in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that participants could consume up to 1,500 mg of CBD.
Unfortunately, we’re just as blind as they are in that area. We know that suddenly giving new users 1,500 mg of CBD isn’t the best approach. Again, CBD is biphasic, so it’s possible starting so high could hamstring cannabidiol’s effects.
Many factors influence dose, including:
- Symptom severity
Make sure to read our blog post on CBD dosing to understand how CBD dosing works and how you can maximize your results.
Type of CBD
The CBD products you choose also influence dosing. There are three categories to choose from:
- Full-spectrum : retains all cannabinoids and terpenes
- Isolate: no cannabinoids or terpenes other than pure (up to 99%) CBD
- Broad-spectrum : middle ground where only THC is filtered out
Isolate isn’t the best choice because it contains pure CBD without the other cannabinoids and terpenes to improve or focus the therapeutic effects. If you decide to use isolate, odds are you’ll need a lot more than its counterparts.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum are reportedly better than isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil doesn’t deliberately filter out other compounds. Consequently, it could contain up to 0.3% THC.
Broad-spectrum manages to retain everything else while completely removing THC.
Using CBD for asthma is difficult since we know so little about its benefits or side effects. Vaping is fast-acting, but there are concerns about how it may trigger an asthma attack.
Oral CBD products are preferable, such as CBD oil or CBD gummies. They’re easier to dose than vaping, but you risk potential drug interactions.
How to Find Your Optimal CBD Dosage
You find your optimal CBD dosage through slow, steady increases. There’s some flexibility, but it’s best to use the lowest dose possible for the first few days, then gradually increasing as needed.
This “start low and go slow” method is meant to avoid taking too much CBD. Cannabidiol is biphasic, meaning it reaches a peak where additional CBD will reduce the effectiveness. Starting gradually not only prevents you from overshooting the “sweet spot,” but it also helps your body gradually adjust to CBD.
For more information, check out this dosage guide from Colorado Botanicals , including a handy dosage calculator to help pinpoint your dose in seconds.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Asthma
CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects on asthma need way more research. Theoretically, there could be potential. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely CBD for asthma will be at the forefront of medical research.
Hopefully, in time, we’ll discover enough information to help improve the lives of asthma patients everywhere.
CBD and Asthma: Benefits of Cannabis Oil for Asthma Patients
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 339 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. Asthma is definitely one of the most prevalent chronic diseases that could use natural, safe, and effective treatment.
CBD is becoming more and more popular, so it’s no wonder some asthmatics have decided to choose it as an alternative to conventional remedies. However, many people are still concerned about using CBD for asthma, mostly when it comes to the right form of administration.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the two major cannabinoids found within cannabis plants. It can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana, but the majority of CBD oils available for sale are derived from hemp due to its legal status.
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal in all 50 states. Economists from around the world refer to CBD as the modern gold rush — and for a good reason.
The “why” behind CBD’s popularity stems from its high versatility and excellent safety profile. Unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high.
But can you actually use CBD oil to relieve asthma and associated symptoms?
Let’s shed more light on it!
What You Need to Know About Asthma
Asthma is a common chronic respiratory illness that starts in the lung airways as a result of inflammation and swelling. As these airways become constricted, they get filled with mucus, making it difficult to breathe properly.
Asthma is categorized into several different types.
For example, a person may have allergic asthma, which involves an overactive immune system that causes respiratory problems upon being exposed to the allergen. Common allergens are responsible for causing asthma include dust mite, mold, cold, germ-ridden dirt, pollen, and pet dander.
According to various estimates, Asthmatics make for roughly 8% of the U.S. general population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 10 Americans are diagnosed with asthma every day.
The symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain and/or tightness in the chest
- Difficulty falling asleep
The symptoms may vary from person to person. They can also manifest at different events, such as during cold weather, when exercising, or being exposed to allergens.
Not all patients have severe asthma; for many people, this is a mild condition. However, others may have serious problems, such as severe asthma attacks, which can be life-threatening.
An asthma attack involves an immediate deterioration of symptoms. Often described as asthma flare-ups, they contribute to around 2 million emergency room visits per year and can have a negative impact on the person’s quality of life. Without proper treatment and immediate medical care, an asthma attack can result in death.
Can CBD Oil Help with Asthma?
As mentioned, some people find it very difficult to manage the symptoms of asthma. The treatment calls for taking a multi-angle approach to your lungs’ health. While you can use certain prescription medications to relieve the symptoms and stave off asthma flare-ups, many of these drugs have dangerous side effects.
Preventive inhalers can lead to a sore throat, tatty voice, and oral fungal infections when used regularly.
Other medications — leukotriene modifiers like zileuton — may sometimes increase the risk of depression, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.
There’s a growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of CBD in respiratory conditions, including asthma. Preclinical findings suggest that CBD can relieve the symptoms of asthma and reduce the frequency and severity of the flare-ups.
Studies on CBD and Asthma
Although CBD isn’t a cure for asthma, it can effectively help in the management of its symptoms. The science behind these effects is pretty simple but requires some elaboration. Let’s have a look at the most vivid benefits of CBD for asthma.
CBD Oil vs Inflammation
Inflammation in the lungs is the main trigger of asthma flare-ups. When a patient gets exposed to irritants, such as allergens, the immune system brings an inflammatory response.
Inflamed airways may cause muscle spasms and cause the lungs to secrete too much mucus. As a result, the respiratory airways get clogged, making breathing in and out extremely difficult.
This is where CBD could help.
Researchers believe that CBD can produce remarkable anti-inflammatory effects through its interaction with the CB2 cannabinoid receptors within the endocannabinoid system. The activation of this receptor helps lower the concentration of pro-inflammatory cells such as C fibers.
In a 2019 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology, the authors found that CBD may curb inflammatory responses and speed up the recovery of lung function in patients with allergy-driven asthma (1).
Similar findings were reported by an earlier study, where the research team concluded that CBD and other cannabinoids can be used to help people deal with respiratory conditions, inflammatory pain, and ischemic stroke (2)
CBD Oil vs Spasms
An asthma attack causes individuals to experience spasms that can impact the bronchi and bronchioles as a result of the muscle contraction in the lungs, which causes breathing difficulties and wheezing.
The latest research has shown that CBD has antispasmodic properties. As CBD reduces muscle spasms, it can help open the airways in the respiratory tract, relieving asthma symptoms. This property has also been highlighted in the studies designed to determine the therapeutic potential of CBD for epileptic seizures.
A 2015 study investigated the efficacy of Sativex — an oral spray containing a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC — on patients with multiple sclerosis. The research team reported significant improvements in muscle spasticity and patients’ mobility (3).
Although more longitudinal trials are needed to prove the preclinically established benefits of CBD for asthma, the compound offers potential benefits for people who experience muscle spasms. There’s a chance that CBD may also help relax the muscles in the lungs, making it easier for asthma sufferers to breathe.
If you believe that CBD could help you manage the symptoms of asthma, consult a doctor prior to making a purchase for professional advice.
CBD Oil vs Asthma Drug-Induced Anxiety
Earlier in the article, we’ve mentioned that conventional anti-asthma medications can trigger anxiety in patients. Chronic anxiety can seriously impact a person’s daily life and is a risk factor for a wide range of mental disorders, including depression, panic disorder, phobias, bipolar disorder, and more.
CBD has demonstrated strong anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties in several experimental studies, so there’s a chance you can benefit from using CBD oil in conjunction with your prescribed medication to prevent anxiety (4).
However, since CBD interacts with about 80% of prescription medications, we suggest once again that you visit a doctor before buying CBD oil for asthma.
How to Use CBD for Asthma
CBD for asthma is available in a plethora of forms, including oils, capsules, edibles, vapes, and topicals. The choice of your go-to format depends on the preferred route of administration as well as on your lifestyle. Below we cover the most popular types of CBD products along with their pros and cons.
CBD oil is the most popular form of CBD. It is sold in dark, glass bottles with a dropper attached for accurate dosing. CBD oil contains a hemp extract infuse into a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil.
CBD oil comes in a wide range of concentrations and flavors. You can take it under the tongue and hold it there for 60 seconds before swallowing — or mix it with food and drinks to mask the strong taste of CBD oil (when taking full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD).
When you take CBD oil under the tongue, it absorbs through the many tiny blood vessels, avoiding the first-pass metabolism in the liver. As a result, the first effects are noticeable within 15–30 minutes after consumption.
CBD oil is good for people who can afford the time to take measurements and want their dose to be as accurate as possible. If you have a busy lifestyle, you may want to consider pills or edibles.
Capsules are the standard form of most health supplements, including CBD oil. This form of CBD is useful for consistent supplementation with fixed amounts of CBD per serving. However, CBD capsules are subject to the first-pass metabolism in the liver, which lowers its bioavailability. Only 1/5th of the ingested content will enter the bloodstream.
Since capsules need to be processed in the liver, it will usually take up to 90 minutes before you can experience their effects. But on the other hand, they will have a longer duration than oils — even 8–10 hours.
CBD edibles have become the next trend on the market. They offer a tasty, discrete, and portable way to consume CBD throughout the day. CBD edibles range from gummies to cookies, truffles, lollipops, protein bars, and chocolates.
Gummies are the most popular edible format. They look and taste just like regular gummy bears, with 5 mg to 50 mg of CBD per piece. Similar to capsules, edibles must pass through the liver before entering the bloodstream, so you may have to wait a bit for the effects to show up.
Capsules and edibles are good if you want to use CBD for prevention. However, if you need immediate relief from your symptoms, they are not the best option out there.
How to Inhale CBD Asthma Inhaler
For asthma sufferers, CBD vapes may act as asthma inhalers. If you want to inhale CBD, you’ll need a vape pen and some CBD e-liquid, also known as CBD juice.
A vape pen is a device that heats the CBD liquid to the point where it creates CBD-rich vapor. This vapor can be inhaled through the pen’s mouthpiece right into the lungs.
Many people confuse CBD oil with CBD vape oil or juice, but these are two different products. CBD vape oil is thinned with vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol (or a mix of both) so it can pass through the vaporizer’s chamber. Regular CBD oil is too thick to be vaped. If you tried using CBD oil in a CBD vape pen, you’d probably end up with a clogged device.
Vaping CBD is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is fill the cartridge of your vape pen with CBD liquid. Once done, turn on the pen and wait until it reaches the desired temperature. Most digital pens use a haptic signal (vibrations) to indicate that they’re ready for use.
The rest is simple: inhale and exhale, just as you would with an e-cig or CBD joint.
Is It Safe to Vape CBD with Asthma?
Although CBD is generally considered safe for asthma, vaping CBD oil raises some concerns about the safety of this particular method. When you vaporize CBD, you usually inhale cannabidiol along with the aforementioned thinners, which can further irritate your lungs and cause a flare-up. If you are sensitive to these additives (or flavorings), we recommend choosing a different form of CBD. The fastest way to experience relief from your symptoms will be through CBD oil.
How Much CBD to Take for Asthma
Now that we’ve established that the best type of CBD for asthma is CBD oil, let’s discuss the dosage.
This is the most difficult part of taking CBD for any condition.
There is no one-size-fits-all dosage because everybody reacts differently to CBD. Choosing the right dosage involves several factors, including:
- Unique body chemistry
- Previous experience with CBD
- The type of your asthma symptoms
- Medications for asthma you might be taking
An effective dosage may range from 5 to 300 mg of CBD. Experts in the field recommend starting low and gradually increasing your dose until you experience relief from your symptoms. It’s important that you consult your plans to incorporate CBD into your routine with your doctor. A doctor experienced in cannabis may help you establish the right dosage and avoid potential interactions with other medications.
Another thing to consider when trying to figure out how much CBD you should take for asthma is the cannabinoid spectrum of your product.
There are three types of cannabinoid spectra:
- Full-Spectrum CBD: full-spectrum products are extracted using the whole hemp plant. They contain CBD on top of other cannabinoids (including traces of THC), terpenes, flavonoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. These compounds work together synergistically to enhance the effects of CBD. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect and explains why full-spectrum CBD oil is the desired option among consumers.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD: this type of CBD oil is much like its full-spectrum counterpart but without any THC inside. The THC has been removed during the later stages of extraction. Broad-spectrum CBD oil evokes some of the entourage effects and is recommended for people who are regularly tested for THC at work.
- CBD Isolate: true to its name, CBD isolate is just pure CBD that has been separated from other hemp compounds. The end product takes the form of white crystals or powder and has no odor or flavor. The advantage of isolate-based CBD products is their versatility and a high dose of CBD per servings. However, such products lack the entourage effect because there are no other cannabinoids and terpenes to support the effects of CBD.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Asthma
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that — when left neglected — can pose a real threat to one’s life. Common symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest.
Asthma doesn’t have a cure, meaning you’ll need to aim your treatment at the effective management of your symptoms and prevention of flare-ups. With inhalers, pills, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), it’s possible to live a normal life.
However, regular use of conventional medications has side effects, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts on top of physical reactions including a sore throat and tatty voice from using asthma inhalers.
A growing number of people with asthma take CBD as a safe and effective alternative for dealing with symptoms without the aforementioned side effects. Some patients have experienced decent results of combining asthma medication with CBD oil.
A recent report from the WHO states that CBD is a safe and well-tolerated compound in humans.
Although no studies have been performed specifically on the use of CBD for asthma, there is evidence that CBD has a bronchodilatory effect, which can help relax the lungs and ease muscle spasms. Taking full-spectrum CBD oil may result in improved lung function and easier breathing.
If you’re planning to include CBD oil into your routine, we encourage you to make an appointment with your doctor in order to figure out the best dosage for your situation and avoid potential interactions with your anti-asthma medications.
Remember that smoking or vaping CBD isn’t recommended for asthma patients, as both methods entail a risk of deteriorating their symptoms.
- Vuolo, Francieli et al. “Cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma.” European journal of pharmacology vol. 843 (2019): 251-259. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.11.029
- Pini, Alessandro et al. “The role of cannabinoids in inflammatory modulation of allergic respiratory disorders, inflammatory pain and ischemic stroke.” Current drug targets vol. 13,7 (2012): 984-93. doi:10.2174/138945012800675786
- Russo, M., Calabro, R.S. and Bramanti, P. “Sativex in the Management of Multiple Sclerosis-Related Spasticity: Role of the Corticospinal Modulation.” Neural Plast (2015).
- Shannon, S. et al. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.” The Permanente Journal (2019), 23: 18–041.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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Is CBD beneficial for people with asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the lungs and hypersensitivity in the airways. At present, there is no medical treatment or cure for asthma. Very disabling in daily life, this condition can cause sudden and intense allergic reactions due to a failure of the immune system. Faced with the lack of effectiveness of medical treatments, more and more asthmatics are turning to new natural alternatives such as cannabidiol (CBD).
As early as 1970, scientific studies emphasized the enormous potential of therapeutic cannabis to treat certain respiratory diseases such as asthma. Indeed, it seems that the cannabinoids naturally present in hemp plants are particularly beneficial in relieving asthma symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, cannabis can be a valuable aid for people with respiratory disorders. Although the use of CBD is becoming more and more popular in the context of diseases such as anxiety, depression, diabetes, or epilepsy, it is still little known in the world of respiratory pathologies. So, how does CBD act on asthma? What are its benefits? What is its mode of action? And above all, how can people with asthma consume CBD in a totally healthy way, without any risk to their health? This is what you will discover through this article dedicated to asthma and CBD.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that manifests itself by an inflammation of the lungs and a narrowing of the airways. In addition, asthma stimulates the production of mucus, which can also cause coughing fits and shortness of breath. All these symptoms usually only occur during asthma attacks. Outside of these attacks, people with asthma have almost no symptoms. They are simply more fragile and sometimes experience great difficulty in carrying out simple physical activities such as running, which requires good breathing.
The effects of CBD on asthma
According to the results of a Brazilian study conducted in 2019, CBD causes immunomodulatory effects that activate CB1 and CB2 receptors located in the central nervous system and in immune cells. This study conducted on mice does not yet allow us to say that CBD could remodel the airways and permanently cure people with this pathology. On the other hand, it reveals the impact of CBD on the reduction of inflammation, and therefore, the frequency of asthma attacks.
In the 1970s, American researchers had already emphasized the bronchodilator effect of cannabis, and more particularly of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although it is illegal, THC could dilate the airways, according to these first scientific studies. Today, it is the virtues of cannabidiol (CBD) that interest us.
The advantages of CBD compared to a classic treatment
Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma to date. That’s why drug treatments aim to reduce the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks, but cannot stop them. In addition to medication, therapy consists mainly of maintaining the patient’s lung function by means of breathing exercises.
During an asthma attack, the patient can inhale so-called beta-2 sympathomimetics with a spray. These active substances allow the airways to expand rapidly in the event of a very intense attack. In the long term, people with asthma also take anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids to limit the production of mucus and the swelling of the airways.
The problem with these medications is that they often cause severe side effects such as heart problems, agitation, tremors, stomach problems, and sleep disturbances. To counteract these harmful side effects, some people with asthma resort to the alternative of CBD.
The bronchodilator effect
As previously explained, American studies revealed several decades ago, the usefulness of cannabis to dilate the airways. At the time, scientists focused on the THC molecule to support their claims. But now, studies show that CBD has the same ability. It is important to note that the bronchodilator effect of hemp is weaker than that of conventional drugs, but that they are long lasting.
The anti-inflammatory effect
CBD also reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines in the immune system. Generally speaking, it regulates the receptors of the endocannabinoid system responsible for the perception of pain. Well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD soothes the lungs and limits the occurrence and severity of asthma attacks.
The antispasmodic effect
CBD also has the ability to soothe muscle spasms. This is particularly useful during asthma attacks, as the airways contract and narrow in an involuntary and uncontrollable way.
If consumed in a healthy way, therapeutic cannabis is said to have expectorant and decongestant effects. These effects are still controversial, as scientific studies on this subject are quite rare. However, some Asian countries such as India and China have been using hemp for several millennia for its anti-mucosal effect.
How can asthmatics consume CBD?
Obviously, it is not recommended to smoke CBD, let alone for people with asthma. It could develop bronchitis, and simply worsen some symptoms. But rest assured, there are many healthy ways to consume CBD.
The easiest way is to use CBD oil. You can use it sublingually, by pouring a few drops directly under your tongue. You can also ingest it orally, by putting a few drops in your food and drinks.
CBD flowers and resins
Crumbled, the flowers and resins can also be consumed through your culinary preparations. Generally, they are used in herbal teas. To make a CBD-based infusion, simply add a fatty substance to the boiling water to facilitate the dissolution of the cannabinoids. Alternatively, you can use a CBD vaporizer. Indeed, most asthmatics are used to inhalers, so using a vaporizer can be very effective in combating asthma attacks, without any adverse effect on the throat or lungs.
Could CBD cure asthma?
CBD is not a medicine, and it cannot cure any disease. Nevertheless, the use of CBD oil, flowers or resins can bring many benefits to asthmatics looking for a natural alternative to their medication. As a reminder, even drug treatments cannot cure asthma permanently, but they can help reduce the frequency and intensity of attacks.
Can CBD be taken in addition to asthma treatment?
Before taking CBD alongside any other medication, it is always best to seek the advice of your doctor. In any case, CBD is a natural substance that generally does not cause any problems when mixed with other substances. On the contrary, CBD can relieve many symptoms, limit the onset of attacks, and offer a better quality of life to asthmatics.
The content of our website is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice. We recommend that you seek the advice of a medical specialist before consuming any CBD product featured on our website.