CBD and Asthma
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD suggest that it’s a great way to treat asthma symptoms.
Many asthma sufferers have reported relief from their symptoms by taking CBD.
Asthma is a multifaceted disease affecting hundreds of millions of people a year. While incurable, there are several remedies for the different variants of asthma. One such substance, Cannabidiol (CBD), is becoming increasingly popular as a new way for people to find asthma symptom relief.
Many people who have asthma face a dizzying array of potential remedies ranging from inhalers to lung surgery. Some of the adverse effects that traditional asthma remedies induce are almost as bad as the disease itself.
Anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests that asthma patients can find a solution in CBD with minimal adverse effects.
So how does CBD, a non-psychoactive compound derived from cannabis plants, help with such a disease?
What is asthma?
It helps to know the causes of asthma before learning how CBD can treat it. As mentioned before, it is a multifaceted disease requiring different treatments for its distinct variants.
In short, asthma is caused by the shrinking of the airways and mucus build-up, resulting in difficulty breathing. Severity can range from annoyance to life-threatening.
Common symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing and wheezing
- Chest pain
- Difficulty sleeping (due to the above symptoms)
Furthermore, there are two main classifications of asthma: Allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma.
Allergic asthma goes hand-in-hand with common allergies in that it involves the body releasing chemicals in response to foreign substances entering the body. On the other hand, exercise, stress, weather, and many other causes can induce non-allergic asthma.
A person may have an asthma attack or experience asthma symptoms when a given trigger causes a flare-up. This results in swollen or constricted airways connected to the lungs. Inflammation is a common form of flare-up that asthmatic people experience.
Treating asthma the usual way.
To treat asthma, a patient needs a way to open up their respiratory passageways by reducing swelling, constriction, or mucus build-up. Some treatments include inhalers, oral medications, or surgery.
Inhalers work by releasing chemicals — often referred to as bronchodilators — in a mist that enters straight into the lungs to relax muscles. Slightly more severe cases may require nebulizers, which are larger versions of inhalers that fit around the nose and mouth region and steadily release symptom-relieving chemicals.
Another option for asthma patients is to have bronchial thermoplasty surgery. With heating tools, surgeons can reduce layers of muscle in the airways to reduce blockage. Typically, patients experiencing severe asthma will undergo this operation.
Side effects of asthma treatment
Unfortunately, many of these treatments cause a wide range of side effects that can create other problems for asthmatic people.
Some side effects include:
- Weight gain
- Bone loss
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
Inhalers alone tend to cause dry or sore mouth and throat, fungal infections, or coughing.
For these reasons, alternatives to traditional asthma treatments are very sought after.
CBD and asthma
Recent legislation has allowed CBD to be better researched in terms of its medicinal properties. Incredibly, CBD has been shown to alleviate asthma symptoms as well as the side effects of traditional asthma medications.
As mentioned previously, one leading cause of asthma flare-ups is inflammation in the lungs and airways. CBD is known to be a very effective anti-inflammatory.
Additionally, inhaling smoke from CBD hemp strains has been known to act as a bronchodilator, expanding the airways just like traditional asthma medicine does. But patients may prefer consuming CBD through tinctures, topicals, or edibles instead.
Working side-by-side with traditional asthma medications, CBD can reduce some of their side effects, such as anxiety, headaches, and insomnia.
How does CBD treat asthma?
CBD’s medicinal properties occur when they bind to specific receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. There, CBD acts as a modulator to the body’s nervous system and immune responses, which scientists are still trying to understand.
A study published in 2019 in the National Library of Medicine found that CBD reduced airway inflammation in mice with allergic asthma. And these effects were seen at varying levels of dosage. The CBD bound with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system of these mice.
The bottom line on CBD for asthma.
While there is still no cure, it is good to know that most people can sufficiently treat their asthma in a variety of ways. What’s more, there is now a natural alternative to traditional asthma medications by way of CBD.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is quickly complementing — and sometimes replacing — asthma treatments such as inhalers and other medications.
Mounting data is proving CBD’s effectiveness in treating many illnesses. Still, researchers are trying to understand how exactly CBD interacts with the body to produce these effects.
Depending on the severity of your asthma symptoms, consider implementing CBD into your treatment regimen after consulting with professionals.