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.
As always please consult with a medical professional.