Can CBD help with asthma, and how?
Asthma is a respiratory disorder in which a person’s airways become inflamed and narrowed, causing coughing and chest pain, which, in severe cases, can make breathing difficult.
The typical treatment for asthma is to open up the airways using an inhaler that sprays drugs. These medications provide short-term relief, while other steroid-based inhalers provide long-term comfort.
CBD oil may be able to help avoid and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks with its potent anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic (suppresses muscle spasms) properties, making patients able to manage their symptoms.
Asthma can be an allergy, a workplace issue, or something more severe. It cannot be cured, but some victims can avoid the factors that trigger the symptoms.
Many asthma patients have been treating with CBD for some time, making experts explore the connection between CBD and asthma.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA),
- Asthma is more common in children than adults, more common in boys than girls, and more common in adult women than adult men.
- Over 25 million Americans have asthma, and the number has been increasing since the early 1980s across all sex, age, and racial groups.
- Each day, 10 Americans die from asthma. Most of these deaths are avoidable with proper treatment and care.
How CBD Can Help with Asthma
CBD may interact with the endocannabinoid system to reduce mucus production, as one review indicates.
CBD functions as an immune modulator and some allergy sufferers may find improvement in their condition, according to Dr. Karyemaître Aliffe, a physician who focuses on cannabis-based healthcare options.
Cannabis activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors, reducing airway sensitivity in people who have asthma. However, this activity would be more related to full-spectrum, THC-rich products than with a CBD isolate.
Dr. Philip Blair, an endocannabinologist, believes that full-spectrum CBD is more effective due to the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is a phenomenon that shows synergy among cannabinoids. It results when the many components within the cannabis plant interact with the cannabinoids in the human body to create a stronger impact than any one of those components alone.
Whole plant-derived CBD also performs better and more consistently with reduced adverse effects than isolate, at significantly lower quantities of CBD.
Dr. Blair recommends taking CBD oil orally, or by using a vape pen. He said asthma responds well to oral CBD.
In his experience, liposomal products are effective in immediately improving several aspects of this disorder.
Dr. Blair adds, “Vaporization of CBD is helpful but not as complete as oral or sublingual use.”
CBD oil is anti-inflammatory.
Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease, causes patients to experience persistent low-level inflammation of their bronchial tubes, even when symptoms are not apparent. During an asthma attack, inflammation is exacerbated, which constricts airways and makes breathing challenging.
Researchers in a 2015 study examined the role of CBD in treating asthma. In this study, which used animal subjects, the authors concluded that CBD appeared to be a possible new drug to moderate the inflammatory response in asthma.
In another study, scientists found that CBD helped to reduce airway inflammation and fibrosis in animal subjects that were experiencing an allergic asthmatic response.
CBD oil is an antispasmodic.
During an asthma attack, spasms impact the bronchi and bronchioles by contracting the muscles in the lungs, which then makes breathing difficult.
Research demonstrates that CBD can provide relief from muscle spasms, and this characteristic is proven by its use in treating epilepsy.
Experts continue to examine the efficacy of CBD oil in treating asthma.
However, while laboratory studies exhibit CBD’s potential benefits to asthma patients, consulting with a doctor first before beginning a CBD regimen is the best course of action.
Patients may also consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor specializing in using CBD to treat medical conditions.