CBD Being Used to Treat COPD – Does it Work?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the lesser discussed medical diseases that can lead to death, yet 11 million people suffer from it in the United States alone, and it’s the third leading cause of death by disease in the country. While it’s often linked to heart disease, it’s actually its own specific illness that has its own causes, symptoms and risks.
While COPD can be terminal, more and more medical researchers are searching for ways to treat the condition. Now, evidence shows that CBD might have the potential to alleviate symptoms of COPD. This has to do with the unique way in which CBD seems to interact with the respiratory system as well as its effects on inflammation within the body.
So, could CBD actually help COPD sufferers? While we can’t make any certain claims, we can provide you with research that shows the potential that this cannabinoid has to offer. However, first, we must examine COPD in order to understand what it is, how it works and why it happens so that we can fully grasp the way in which CBD seems to impact this disease.
It affects the tissues of the lungs. Those who have COPD experience chronic inflammation of the lung tissue, which causes an obstruction of the passageways. This interferes with a person’s ability to breathe.
What’re the Symptoms of COPD?
Those who have COPD will experience trouble breathing as their airways are obstructed. They may also experience coughing, wheezing, fatigue, and chronic congestion. More advanced stages of COPD can present symptoms such as swelling of the ankles, blueness of the lips and fingernails and weight loss as all of these symptoms result from a severe difficulty receiving adequate oxygen throughout the day.
The problem with COPD is that symptoms tend to not show themselves until the disease has advanced quite a bit. That’s why being vigilant is crucial as early detection has a lot to do with the prognosis of the illness.
Is COPD Curable?
As of now, there is no known cure for COPD. However, with the right treatment, many patients can manage the symptoms and live for a longer period of time than expected.
How Does a Person Develop COPD?
COPD, as we said, results from inflammation of the lung tissue, and this causes the airways to become smaller. This inflammation takes place because of exposure to certain particles or gases that irritate the tissue of the lungs. When this tissue becomes irritated enough, inflammation occurs which causes swelling. However, with COPD patients, that swelling never goes away but only gets worse over time.
Common causes of COPD are cigarette smoking and spending a lot of time in a heavily polluted environment such as a factory that produces materials that are known to irritate the lung tissue when inhaled in large quantities.
Bronchitis and emphysema are two conditions that can largely contribute to the development of COPD.
Treatment Options for Someone Suffering from COPD
COPD is usually managed with one of several medications formulated to reduce inflammation of the lung tissue and enhance breathing abilities. More severe cases of COPD may require a lung transplant or lung surgery.
Risks Associated with COPD
COPD can lead to death as the airways eventually become so restricted that a person can no longer breathe. COPD can also lead to heart disease due to the enormous strain that this condition puts on the cardiovascular system.
Could CBD Help Treat COPD?
New studies show that CBD might be able to help manage symptoms associated with COPD. This has to do with the cannabinoid’s unique effects on the respiratory system as well as its potent amount of anti-inflammatory properties.
The Endocannabinoid System May Hold the Key
Everybody contains an endocannabinoid system, which produces endocannabinoids that attach themselves to cannabinoid receptors located in all of the major bodily systems. When endocannabinoids attach to these receptors, the bodily systems become regulated which promotes homeostasis throughout the body. However, many people fail to produce enough endocannabinoids, which means that homeostasis is unattainable.
Meanwhile, CBD acts as a Phyto cannabinoid, which is a cannabinoid that’s derived from plant material. When the body consumes CBD, it treats it as an endocannabinoid, sending it to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body in order to improve overall health.
Unsurprisingly, the respiratory system contains many cannabinoid receptors. It appears that when CBD is consumed, it attaches to these receptors in the respiratory system in order to improve its overall function.
Studies Relating to CBD and COPD
In addition to working with the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD is rich in anti-inflammatory activity, meaning it has the potential to lower high amounts of inflammation. COPD is an inflammatory condition, which means that CBD may help. In fact, one study found that CBD has a direct positive effect on inflammation of the airways, meaning that this cannabinoid may indeed play a big role in the treatment of COPD. When the subjects consumed CBD, their airways were less obstructed.
Comorbidities of COPD
People with COPD are also often wracked with chronic pain. CBD can provide safe, organic pain relief that can be a great alternative to addictive prescription painkillers. COPD is often comorbid with depression, anxiety, and insomnia as well, which can be alleviated through CBD therapy.
How to Use CBD to Potentially Help with COPD
Now that you know that CBD has the potential to help with managing COPD symptoms, it’s time to learn how to use it properly in order to experience the best results possible.
Purchase the Right Quality and Concentration
First, it’s crucial that you know how to purchase CBD. There are a lot of low-potency, cheap CBD products on the market that won’t actually be effective because they’re not strong enough.
Look for a company that produces high-quality, potent and pure CBD oil. Any reputable company will provide third-party lab results that verify that the product is capable of being effective. For COPD sufferers, we recommend a CBD concentration of 1500mg or higher as this will be potent enough to potentially reduce inflammation of that level.
Be Consistent with Your Dosing
CBD needs to accumulate in the endocannabinoid system in order to be fully effective. This means that if you’re using it to manage COPD, you shouldn’t take it on an as-needed basis. Instead, CBD should be taken daily in the same amount. This consistency will aid in its effectiveness.
Avoid Vaping CBD Oil
Because COPD is caused by irritation of the lung tissue, we don’t suggest vaping CBD oil, but rather consuming it in the form of a tincture, edible or other application.
CBD can be taken in a number of different ways, but the best method for those with COPD is oral administration. This simple method is a discreet and convenient way to take your daily CBD serving. While CBD oil can be taken via tinctures, if you’re not a fan of the taste, you have the option to mask the taste by adding several drops of CBD oil to your favorite food or beverage. Or it can be taken through CBD-infused edibles, such as gummies, chocolate, mints, and more.
COPD For Now Can’t Be Cured, But It Can Be Managed
If you’re looking for a new treatment option, consider adding CBD to your other methods. And, of course, always speak with your doctor before trying to treat your COPD with a new method.
CBD Oil for COPD: How to Use This Cannabinoid Oil & Dosage
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may not be the most familiar sounding name for a health condition. And yet, it’s the third most common cause of death by disease in the United States.
More than 15.3 million Americans suffer from COPD, a disease that often leads to a lowered quality of life and shortened lifespan.
While doctors admit there’s no cure for COPD, researchers are investigating an array of treatment methods that can help patients manage symptoms and deal with the lifestyle changes caused by the disease.
In recent years, CBD has gained a lot of attention as a highly versatile compound capable of alleviating many health problems. In this article, we discuss the current state of scientific research on the link between CBD and COPD.
Before that, I’d like you to take a look at my recommendations for the best CBD oil brands as of right now.
Then we’ll dig deeper into the potential benefits of CBD oil for COPD.
What is COPD?
COPD is an acronym for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is a progressive lung disease that makes breathing increasingly difficult for patients over time.
COPD causes inflammation in the lungs, leading to their thickening. It also compromises the oxygen exchange in the tissue. This results in reduced airflow in and out of the lungs, delivering less oxygen to the lung tissues and causing problems with removing carbon dioxide.
Breathing difficulties are one of the most common symptoms of COPD. They can make it challenging for sufferers to stay active, work efficiently, and live a normal life.
Excessive exposure to irritants that harm the lungs and airways is the leading cause of COPD. Smoking is the most common type of irritant, so tobacco smokers are exposed to a higher risk of developing COPD.
However, nonsmokers can suffer from this disease, too. There are additional triggers coming into play, such as secondhand smoke, toxins, or other contaminants in the workplace, radiation, air pollution, and a rare genetic mutation called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Untreated COPD can have serious side effects, including lung infections resulting from low levels of oxygen in the blood.
How is COPD Diagnosed?
Overall, there are several symptoms indicating that you may have COPD.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should follow-up with a doctor:
- Chronic cough
- Mucus buildup that you cough up for at least three months
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Swelling in feet, legs, or ankles
- The blueness of the lips (cyanosis)
Another way to determine if a person has COPD is to go through lung function tests.
Lung function testing is called spirometry. This is a simple breathing test that may be able to tell if you have COPD and define its stage.
You take a deep breath and blow hard into a tube, which is attached to a machine called a spirometer. Then you inhale medicine that opens your airways — and blow the tube again.
The test will show you:
- Your forced vital capacity (FVC), i.e. how much air you breathe out
- Forced expiratory volume (FEV), i.e. how much of that air came out in the first second
The doctor will use these results to create a third number that tells you how your lungs are functioning. If the number is below 70%, you have COPD.
There are also several other tests that look deeper into different types and stages of this condition:
- Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt) deficiency test
- Chest X-ray or CT
- 6-minute walk test
- Tests that check the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood
How Could CBD Benefit People With COPD?
If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, treatment will be a long and progressive process based on individual factors. Many people use oxygen therapy during the early stages of COPD to slow down the progress of the disease. More severe cases may call for surgical interventions, such as lung transplants.
Doctors and researchers are constantly searching for new options to treat this complex condition. If you’re a COPD patient and haven’t found relief in traditional treatment options, you might be wondering about new alternatives — like a COPD treatment with CBD oil.
CBD has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects and its efficacy as a bronchodilator. Both of these effects indicate that CBD may alleviate some of the symptoms of COPD.
1. CBD as a Bronchodilator
Several recent studies have shown CBD to exhibit significant bronchodilatory properties. Scientists believe that CBD can dilate the respiratory airways, lowering resistance, and creating better airflow into the lungs.
These properties have been explored when researchers were searching for new treatments for asthma. However, the bronchodilatory effects of CBD could bring similar relief to patients experiencing acute COPD symptoms.
By improving airflow, CBD could help COPD patients avoid low levels of oxygen in the blood and the shortness of breath they struggle with. This, in turn, could slow the progress of the disease and diminish the harshness of its side effects.
2. CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory
Medical researchers have been exploring the potent anti-inflammatory properties of CBD since 2009. Recently, a 2014 trial showed that CBD could improve lung function and reduce inflammation in animal models.
Scientists in the 2014 study stated that “The present and previous data suggest that in the future, cannabidiol might become a useful therapeutic tool for the attenuation and treatment of inflammatory lung diseases,” suggesting that CBD could be an effective treatment for COPD.
What’s the Best CBD Dosage for COPD?
There’s no one-size-fits-all dosage for CBD, and you’ll likely have to go through some trial and error until you find the dose that works for you. Despite the many suggested health benefits of CBD, the FDA doesn’t recognize it as a treatment for other illnesses than epilepsy as of this writing.
Given this, there are no specific dosage guidelines when it comes to using CBD oil for COPD.
So how do you find an effective dose for your symptoms?
This depends on several factors.
For one, you’ll need to mind the consumption method, as different forms of CBD have different absorption rates and bioavailability levels, meaning a CBD capsule will ultimately deliver different amounts of CBD to your system than tinctures.
Along with the right product, you’ll need to consider your weight, metabolism, age, body chemistry, lifestyle, and the severity of your symptoms. They all play an important role in figuring out the best dosage for your needs.
As with any substance you introduce to your body, it’s best to start low and slow to avoid the possible side effects. The most common unwanted reactions to CBD oil include dry mouth, lower blood pressure, sedation, and lightheadedness.
Many experts recommend starting with 1–6 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. A lot of CBD brands include their daily dosage recommendations on the packaging, which can also be a good point of reference for most adult consumers.
Before you start taking any CBD product, discuss the use of CBD with your doctor. This will help you find the right dose and ensure there is no risk of complications with other health conditions or medications you may be taking.
How Are People Using CBD Oil for COPD?
CBD oil comes in many forms. Most commonly, people use this supplement as sublingual drops, capsules, or E-liquids. When you have COPD, you’ll need to ditch one of these options due to the nature of this condition.
I’m talking about vaping.
There haven’t been many studies investigating the impact of vaporization on lung health. The vast majority of these studies have investigated the safety of vaping versus smoked cannabis when it comes to lung cancer and other heart-related problems including the pumping power of the heart muscle, but none of them looked specifically at vaping and the risk of COPD. Given this, it’s better to err on the side of caution and abstain from vaporizing CBD liquids when you have this condition.
You can choose between sublingual CBD drops and capsules. If you don’t mind the distinct taste of CBD oil, drops will be your best choice because they offer higher bioavailability than capsules. Bioavailability is measured by the amount of CBD that reaches your bloodstream upon ingestion.
Oral forms of CBD such as capsules need to pass through the digestive system and thus are less bioavailable than sublingual products — they also have a slower onset of effects because of that.
CBD capsules are better for those who dislike the taste of CBD oil or don’t have time for measurements in their regime. Capsules have no odor and flavor, and each piece carries a fixed dose of CBD.
Best CBD Oils for COPD
The hemp industry is a booming market and many companies are jumping in to get their share of CBD pie. The abundance of different brands and products can be overwhelming, so you need to make sure you source your CBD oil from a trusted manufacturer. As with any health supplement, quality is paramount for it to be effective.
Most reputable companies, extract the CBD with pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2), use organic hemp plants, and publish certificates of analysis (CoA) from 3rd-party laboratories for each batch of product.
I have three brands I trust when it comes to buying CBD oil. Each of these companies specializes in manufacturing premium CBD products from high-quality ingredients and are transparent about their potential benefits.
1. Royal CBD
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
- Royal CBD uses locally-grown organic hemp
- The company uses supercritical CO2 extraction
- Their product selection includes full-spectrum CBD oils, capsules, and isolate-based gummies
- The oil is available in 3 potency options: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg
- Contains up to 83.3 mg of CBD in each mL of oil
- The hemp extract is suspended in MCT oil
- Each batch of product has been tested in a 3rd-party laboratory
- Royal CBD products are more expensive than other brands, although it’s well justified by the quality of ingredients
My Thoughts on Royal CBD:
Royal CBD is a newcomer to the hemp scene. The company first launched in 2018 by a group of health-conscious cannabis advocates who decided to raise the quality standards on the market with a line of, premium products.
Royal CBD offers full-spectrum CBD oil in two basic forms — sublingual drops and capsules. The oil comes in four different potency options:
The 2500 mg bottle was recently introduced by Royal CBD for people needing higher doses of cannabidiol in their lives. Unlike many other full-spectrum products, this oil has a nice, natural taste spiced up by nutty undertones that provide a smooth flavor.
However, if you dislike the taste of natural or mint-flavored CBD oil, or you don’t have time to take measurements and need an easier way to take CBD, you may try Royal CBD capsules. They come as easy-to-ingest softgels; each capsule carries 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD, allowing for convenient dosing and easy use on the go.
- CBDPure products are made with Colorado-grown organic hemp
- The company makes its extracts with supercritical CO2
- All products are tested for potency and purity in a 3rd-party laboratory
- CBDPure offers a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program — you get a full refund for your product is you send it back within 90 days.
- Lower potency than Royal CBD
- Narrow product range
My Thoughts on CBDPure:
Based in Colorado, CBDPure is another premium brand that manufactures high-quality CBD oils from organic hemp.
Having been in the business for over 3 years, the company has mastered its line of CBD oils and capsules. CBDPure doesn’t have the most impressive product range out there, but it makes up for that with the quality of ingredients it uses in its extracts. All CBDPure products are extracted with supercritical CO2 and tested in a certified laboratory to prove their potency and safety.
However, if you’re looking for high-potency CBD oil, I suggest that you go with Royal CBD. CBDPure offers products that are better suited for preventative supplementation or mild symptom relief.
Alternatively, you may want to try their softgel capsules — they boas 25 mg of full-spectrum cannabidiol in each serving.
If you’re not satisfied with how the product works, you can send it back within 90 days for a full refund as part of CBDPure’s 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program.
- CBDistillery uses locally-grown hemp
- The company offers both full-spectrum CBD and pure CBD oil (THC-free)
- Each batch of product is tested in a 3rd-party lab for content analysis
- Up to 5000 mg of total CBD
- CBDistillery is one of the most affordable brands on the market
- CBDistillery doesn’t use organic hemp
- No flavored options available
My Thoughts on CBDistillery:
CBDistillery is a company that underlines the importance of education on top of selling affordable CBD oil from high-quality ingredients. The company caters to all types of CBD consumers out there — their products are available in a wide potency range from 250 mg to 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. The company’s CBD oil is available as ‘full-spectrum’ or ‘THC-free’.
CBDistillery also sells CBD capsules, gummies, vapes, and isolate slab — all of these products have a valid certificate of analysis as proof of their quality. The company publishes the lab results on its website so you can see what’s in the product before buying it.
The only disadvantage I’ve noticed is that CBDistillery’s products aren’t made with organic hemp. Therefore, the quality of the end product is lower than the other brands in this ranking. Nevertheless, it’s a really small cost considering how CBDistillery prices its products. This brand may not sell the best CBD oil on the market, but it’s definitely the best CBD oil for this price.
Final Thoughts: Using CBD Oil for COPD
COPD is a serious chronic condition, and if left untreated, can lead to a series of dangerous complications, severely compromising the quality of one’s life.
The exact effects of CBD on COPD haven’t been examined yet, although numerous studies indicate this cannabinoid has potent anti-inflammatory and bronchodilating effects. Experts argue that CBD oil could help in the management of COPD symptoms and slow the progression of this condition.
If you want to try CBD oil for COPD, make sure to consult with your doctor first. A qualified medical professional should be able to tell if CBD oil can support your current COPD treatment and how much CBD you should take to feel the difference.
- Makwana, R., Venkatasamy, R., Spina, D., Page, C. (2015). The Effect of Phytocannabinoids on Airway Hyper-Responsiveness, Airway Inflammation, Cough. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 353(1), 159–180.
- Grassin-Delyle, S. et al. (2014). Cannabinoids Inhibit Cholinergic Contraction in Human Airways Through Prejunctional CB1 Receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology, 171(11), 2767–2777.
- Burstein, S. H., & Zurier, R. B. (2009). Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids, and Related Analogs in Inflammation. The AAPS Journal, 11(1), 109–119.
- Ribeiro A. et al. (2015). Cannabidiol Improves Lung Function and Inflammation in Mice Submitted to LPS-induced Acute Lung Injury. Immunopharmacology & Immunotoxicology, 37(1), 35–41.
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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Vaping Cannabis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
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