Over 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)(1). It is the third-leading cause of death in the US, not to mention causing a decreased quality of life. To date, COPD has no cure.
While there are several forms of treatment for the disease, doctors and scientists are always looking for new, better ways to treat the symptoms, which include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, a chronic cough, frequent respiratory infections, wheezing, and lack of energy. Studies in recent years have shown CBD(2), a non-intoxicating derivative of the cannabis plant, could have great therapeutic use for COPD.
COPD is a progressive lung disease leading to increased difficulty breathing as time passes. COPD causes consistent lung inflammation so that over time, the lungs thicken. COPD also causes compromised airflow through the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe.
Typically, COPD is caused by persistent exposure to chemicals of toxins that harm a person’s airways and lungs. For instance, tobacco smokers have a much higher risk of developing COPD than non-smokers. Still, excessive exposure to secondhand smoke, radiation, and air pollution put people at risk as well.
CBD Could Help People With COPD
Current treatment options for the symptoms of COPD include medications like bronchodilators, steroid or combination inhalers, oral steroids, and antibiotics. Lung therapies are also available for those who suffer from moderate to severe COPD. However, many COPD patients don’t find relief in those methods.
For this reason, the development of other treatment options is urgent. Mounting research indicates that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, it has been researched for its effectiveness and safety as a bronchodilator. The results of these studies have shown that CBD has potential for relieving COPD symptoms.
As a bronchodilator, CBD has been shown to(3) dilate respiratory pathways to promote better airflow to and from the lungs. CBD was being studied for its potential benefits for treating asthma. Since there is an overlap in asthma and COPD symptoms, it could provide similar relief of shortness of breath and low oxygen levels, in turn slowing the disease’s progression.
Many studies, mostly within the last decade, have provided evidence of CBD as a powerful anti-inflammatory(4). Other animal studies(5) have shown CBD improving lung function and reducing inflammation. Furthermore, a 2020 pharmacological analysis(6) supported the use of CBD as a natural anti-inflammatory product. As COPD causes lung inflammation, CBD could be an effective treatment by reducing it.
How To Use CBD For COPD
CBD can be consumed in several forms. It can be ingested orally, consumed sublingually, or inhaled through a vape. For obvious reasons, those with COPD should avoid inhaling CBD. Consuming it sublingually, or under the tongue, will provide fast-acting results and more bioavailability so that the by can absorb more of its medicinal properties at lower dosages. Consuming CBD orally, by way of a capsule or edibles, provides longer-lasting effects, though the bioavailability isn’t as high.
The dosage depends on the individual. Things like weight, metabolism, other medications, and severity of symptoms should be considered. CBD has not yet been approved by the FDA, so there are no formal dosage guidelines available. Most experts recommend starting with a low dose until the lowest effective dosage is found through a gradual increase.
Starting with between one and six mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight seems to be the consensus for how much to take. Be sure to consult your doctor before using CBD for COPD.
FDA Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or prior to using any CBD products.