Last Updated on January 19, 2021 by Maxwell Harris

Researchers have in recent years taken an interest in the relationship that exists between CBD and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – COPD. In fact, more studies are also underway to ascertain how CBD can be used in COPD treatment. After all, it has been established that it can be helpful in the treatment of inflammations, management of chronic pain and the treatment of depression. Although studies are still being conducted, there is not enough evidence to indicate that CBD may hold the answer to COPD treatment. In this article, we will tell you all about CBD’s use in the treatment of COPD.

What is COPD?

As mentioned, COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a condition that causes the inflammation of the pulmonary systems, including the lung. The disease makes it difficult for these patients to breathe, which gravely affects their quality of life and productivity. In severe cases, the condition is known to cause death, especially if it is not managed effectively.

Besides causing inflammation on the airwaves, COPD also causes the airwaves to produce excessive mucus that blocks the air passage. The excessive mucus further reduces the COPD patient’s ability to breathe since it ends up blocking the airways. This reduces the oxygen amount that is supplied to the body organs, thus making life difficult for anyone suffering from this condition.

COPD is caused by irritants that damage the airwaves and the lung. Smoke is known to be the leading cause of COPD putting smokers at the highest risk of contracting COPD. Emphysema and bronchitis are among the common illnesses that are linked to this condition.

The American Thoracic Society states that heavy smoking (including cannabis smoking) is likely to cause lung damage. This subsequently could increase the likelihood of developing COPD.

There is still no known cure for COPD. Medics treat COPD by managing the symptoms and helping to lessen the discomfort that they cause. In fact, various reports indicate that it is one of the primary causes of death in the world.

What are the common symptoms of COPD?

Symptoms of COPD are similar to those of asthma and bronchitis. They include mucus build-up, chronic coughing, wheezing, and tightness of the chest, mainly caused by strong inflammation of the lungs. The affected person could also complain of fatigue, have blue lips (cyanosis) and suffer from shortness of breath.

Conducting a lung test is the best way to ascertain if the patient has COPD. This test is known as spirometry. It measures the amount of air that a patient is breathing in and how much he or she is breathing out.

Who is at risk from developing COPD?

In addition to smoking, there are other risk factors that promote the development of COPD:

  • People over the age of 40 are more likely to develop COPD
  • People exposed to big amount of pollution in the workplace (e.g. during welding work, in mining and grain loading)
  • People with frequent respiratory infections
  • Genetic predisposition is also a factor

Where to seek treatment for COPD?

In the case of COPD, treatment should be initiated by a pulmonologist. The specialist has the equipment necessary for the most accurate diagnosis. It thus ensures the appropriate treatment of COPD, which in some cases may include CBD.

After an individual therapy plan has been drawn up by a pulmonologist, the family doctor will take over further care. However, people suffering from COPD should visit their pulmonologist for check-ups once or twice a year.

After an individual therapy plan has been drawn up by a pulmonologist, the family doctor will take over further care. However, people suffering from COPD should visit their pulmonologist for check-ups once or twice a year.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a cannabinoid extract from cannabis that experts are finding increasingly helpful in tackling various health conditions including pain and inflammations. Experts have found that cannabis has several cannabinoids with medical benefits.

Most people associate cannabis with the psychoactive effects it has on users. This is because there are more than 500 chemicals cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The two most well known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. The main difference between both is that THC has psychoactive properties, usually described as“high” but CBD doesn’t and is generally considered safe. CBD is usually derived from hemp and can be sold legally in most of the world, including the United States. It is worth mentioning that THC has also been shown to have medical benefits if it is used in the right doses.

CBD is incorporated in many products as CBD oils, CBD capsules and CBD creams. These are the forms that experts are using to treat COPD and other lung condition and diseases.

Does CBD Work for treating COPD?

The truth is that doctors don’t know for sure if CBD can fully relieve symptoms of COPD or any other form of lung disease. As of now, there aren’t any studies or research wich confidently states that CBD or CBD oil are 100% effective for COPD. The topic is, however, very frequently explored, as there is evidence of the therapeutic effects CBD can offer to patients, suffering from respiratory conditions.

How Can CBD oil Benefit COPD patients?

By opening the airways

People with COPD suffer more when the respiratory canal narrows down or become clogged, reducing the amount of oxygen that they allow to pass through. CBD may benefit asthma and COPD patients, as it can be used to dilate the airwaves.  A study from 2015 showed that CBD can help dilate bronchial passages, thus helping COPD patients to breathe more easily and minimise the risk of low blood oxygen levels and other complications.

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD

First thing’s first. What is inflammation? Inflammation is brought by the immune system’s response to an infection. It is your body’s way of telling the immune system to start the process of healing and repairing of damaged body tissue.

COPD treatment using CBD is focusing on the ability of CBD to reduce inflammation. A study in 2020, published in the Journal of Cannabis Research found that cannabis oil (which contained CBD and THC) appeared to act as an anti-inflammatory when exposed to human lung cells in a laboratory. Older research on CBD oil and inflammation has yielded great results with people who are suffering from inflammation and pain

COPD is known to the respiratory system to become inflamed. Using CBD reverses this effect in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

When the lung’s inflammation reduces, the lung can perform its function well and ensure that oxygenated blood is distributed throughout the body. This is good for people with COPD as they experience less severe symptoms and side effects arising from the disease.

CBD as a Pain Reliever

When the airwaves and lungs are inflamed and obstructed, they can cause considerable chest pains on patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. CBD has been shown to lessen this pain, making life more bearable for these patients.

CBD as an antidepressant

One of the effects of COPD is depression and anxiety. This happens when the patient’s quality of life depreciates, causing most to drop from their income-generating activities and probably begin to depend on family and friends for upkeep and medical care.

They also become anxious, not knowing for how long they will survive with the condition. The good news is that CBD is showing promising results in helping them overcome their depression and anxiety.

How are CBD and CBD oil used to treat COPD?

If you decide to try CBD for COPD, seek medical advice, before administering any dosage.

As stated, smoking and vaping can be life-threatening for people with COPD and any other pulmonary and lung disease. To benefit from CBD, you can take it in the form of capsules. Capsules are good for you as they do not interfere with the airwave and the lungs. Moreover, CBD capsules provide an exact dosage with every intake. They are a taste-neutral option, in case you don’t like the earthy taste of CBD oil.

Alternatively, you can take CBD oil to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other lung conditions. CBD oil comes in different concentrations, so make sure you read the label and speak to a customer service rep from your chosen brand to get advice.

The correct and most effective way to use CBD oil is to put a few drops under your tongue and leave them there for about 30 seconds before swallowing them. This way the CBD is absorbed by the oral mucosa and delivered into your bloodstream. Taking CBD oil does not interfere with the airways, making it safe for people with COPD or other lung conditions, such as asthma.

Dosage of CBD oil for COPD

Seek medical advice if you decide to use CBD as a way of managing COPD symptoms. The appropriate cannabidiol dosage can be a bit tricky to find. It is generally recommended to start low and increase the dosage gradually until the desired effect is achieved. An average of 10mg to 100mg of CBD/dose/day is the recommended dose for inflammatory lung conditions

This dose is achievable with CBD oils containing  1500mg or 2500mg of CBD per bottle. While this calculation may differ from brand to brand, usually 1 drop of 1500mg CBD oil contains 6mg of CBD and 1 drop of the 2500mg oil contains 6,7mg of CBD.

Example dosage for respiratory  conditions may look something like this:

  • 3 drops 3 times per day = 54mg CBD from 1500mg CBD oil
  • 3 drops 3 times per day = 60mg of CBD from 2500mg oil

References

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