Asthma is one of the medical conditions that we should not take for granted. Over the years, the number of Asthma-affected patients has risen veritably.
The Global Asthma Report 2018 mentions a concerning fact stating approximately 100 people die per day due to complications created by Asthma.
More so, it affects around 339 people every year. While this number is increasing unprecedentedly, so are its solutions.
Although there are many things available as a cure for this terrible problem, for some reason, they do not satisfy the needs of the patients.
There was still an effective solution missing from the toolbox of Asthma cures.
This is when researchers started to explore the potential of CBD as a cure for Asthma. So, in this article, we will review the claims about CBD with the help of studies.
To understand how CBD works to cure asthma, we have many scientific reports and studies to refer to. These studies explain some properties that CBD possesses which help with many symptoms of asthma.
CBD relieves the inflammation and stops mucus production clogging the airways and resulting in shortness of breath.
It also works effectively as a preventive component to shield the lungs from asthmatic triggers. CBD is also famous for being an effective bronchodilator.
Unlike other medicines for asthma, CBD does not create feelings of anxiety in the users and also helps in reducing the chest pains. It reduces the frequency of asthma attacks and minimizes the discomfort that comes with the symptoms.
CBD is way better than steroid-based asthma drugs that come loaded with side effects.
What is Asthma?
We know the basics about Asthma that it is a condition affecting the breathing process. But before we dive further into the details, it is imperative to know a little more about the condition.
It is a long-term chronic disease that hampers the airways in the lungs (tubes that help the air travel in and out of your lungs and body). What happens in this condition is that the airways suffer from inflammation and become narrow.
What’s interesting is this condition is not age-bound. It can affect an individual from as early as childhood or may manifest later in the adult years.
People suffering from Asthma have to be mindful of triggers such as the cold wind that worsens the condition.
Types of Asthma
- Childhood asthma (5 to 14 years of children are prone to asthma)
- Adult-onset asthma (factors for this asthma are hormones, stress, smoking, respiratory illness)
- Occupational asthma (factors are allergic rhinitis, environmental allergy)
- Seasonal asthma
- Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
- Nonallergic asthma
- Allergic asthma
Symptoms of Asthma
If you are facing these problems, then chances are you may have contracted any type of asthma. You should, in this case, consult a doctor.
- Pain and tightness in the chest
- Making a wheezing sound while exhaling is a common symptom in children
- Sleeplessness because of shortness of breath
- Wheezing and coughing getting worse due to cold or flu
Is CBD Effective For Treating Asthma?
As we know, the need for finding better alternatives for treating asthma was a result of a lack of effectiveness in the available solutions.
For example, corticosteroids are a steroid-based asthma medicine that is infamous for its side effects. They include mood swings, becoming prone to bruises, problems in eyes, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
Moreover, using inhalers is not the most ideal option anymore. It leaves the patient with a hoarse voice, oral fungal infections, and sore throat, to name a few.
Also, leukotriene modifiers like zileuton that have been in use for curing asthma are said to develop depression. It may even lead to having suicidal thoughts and hallucinations.
So, although all these methods have been working for years now, it was time to modify the means of curing the veritably increasing number of asthma patients and casualties every year.
CBD is a natural component that comes from the hemp or cannabis plant. You may also know it as a Marijuana plant. Now, the concern that follows this plant generally is its toxic properties.
This concern ripples down to another one that is if asthma patients should consume CBD or not. Now, let us clear a few things about CBD.
One of the principal reasons CBD is in the constant spotlight as a potential drug for many conditions, hence gaining the title of medical marijuana, is because it is not intoxicating.
The cannabis plant has two principal components – Cannabidiol and THC. It is the latter component for imparting the “high” feeling, not CBD.
According to this report by the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD has been assessed for many medical conditions such as anxiolytic, analgesic, antitumor properties, neuroprotective, and anti-asthmatic.
There are many reasons why CBD has been on the radar of researchers. A few of the factors include that CBD is not psychoactive, CBD is an effective bronchodilator, it is legal in most parts of the USA and other countries, entails almost no side effects on its own.
It is these characteristics of CBD and the first-hand experience by the users which has given birth to the trend of 89% seniors recommending CBD to others, according to this study.
How does CBD work to cure Asthma?
The study published on HHS Public Access in 2010 talks about the fact that cannabinoids are potent in suppressing allergic asthma triggers. This is possible mainly with the help of Th2 cytokines (molecules that send signals to regulate and mediate immunity, hematopoiesis, and inflammation).
In asthma, Bronchospasms are the standard symptom. This leads to the narrowing of lungs, which ripples down to breathlessness.
Thus, CBD comes to save the day. One dose of CBD oil eases and reduces muscle spasticity and opens up the airways easing the breathing process.
A report published in 2015 tested the effects of Sativex. It is an oral mixture of CBD and THC in the half-and-half ration. In the study, this concoction was used on many patients of sclerosis.
The results were nothing but promising. The mixture worked well and helped patients experience relief from muscle spasticity. Another study conducted in 2014 showed more or less the same results.
Where THC is psychoactive and increases anxiety, CBD seems to be an ideal way to win with asthma.
Benefits Of Using CBD For Asthma
So far, we know CBD works for asthma in many ways. Now, let’s move on to the benefits it offers.
CBD is Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is a classic sign of asthma. Whenever a patient comes in asthma triggers such as irritants, allergens, etc., their immune system acts up and inflammation begins.
Consequently, the airways get inflamed and muscle spasm begins while mucus is secreted. All this makes breathing a troublesome task.
Here, according to the study, CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory features. According to a few researchers, this property is owed to its reaction with endocannabinoid receptor CB2.
This receptor significantly reduces pro-inflammatory mediators such as C fibers. This is something another study highly supports.
Decreases Asthma-related Drug Anxiety
In the pre-CBD era, asthma medicines like inhalers were in use widely. Although effective, they contain stimulants that cause anxiety, despite being good bronchodilators.
It is why CBD is the better alternative. It has anti-anxiety properties (anxiolytic) that calm the nerves and mind without hyping anxiety feelings in the patients, according to this report.
People tend to use CBD with their inhalers to keep the anxiety at bay, all the while enjoying the goodness of the inhaler and CBD.
Eliminates Production of Mucus
Just like we talked above, inflammation and narrow airways give birth to mucus production in the body which further complicates the breathing process.
This all happens because of the production of cytokines. To be specific, the protein cytokines IL-13 is the cause of mucus production. Nevertheless, CBD reduces the level of this protein in the body and hence, reduces asthma symptoms.
More so, patients can also eject the mucus out of the body by coughing to provide a smooth airway for breathing.
Works Great as a Preventative
We all know that prevention is better than a cure. So, why not use CBD as a preventative rather than the cure as well?
A report in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics supports the fact that CBD has the potential to safeguard the lungs from the symptoms of asthma.
Moreover, this prevention is only with the help of cannabinoid receptors. How? You ask.
Well, when these receptors get activated, they are capable of protecting the lungs from inflammation when the patients come in contact with any trigger. Thus, patients do not experience any disturbing and painful asthmatic symptoms.
Furthermore, other characteristics of CBD such as the reduction in the production of cytokine and an increase in levels of anandamide in the bronchial fluid also obstruct symptoms from showing.
Helps In Reducing Chest Pains
Chest pains are the worst for asthmatic patients. Though this is not a primary symptom, it nevertheless affects almost 76% of asthma patients. Thus, it makes it a concerning problem caused during the attack.
The chest pains ripple down to shortness of breath and other troublesome symptoms agonizing patients during violent attacks. Thus CBD works as analgesics to subdue the pain, according to this study.
It happens by binding the ECS to certain nociceptors (pain-sensing nerves) which trigger the analgesic response.
Are There Side Effects For Using CBD?
Speaking of using CBD products all by themselves pose no threat to the health of the users. CBD is natural, thus it has no toxic chemicals that may harm the body.
Nevertheless, some users have complained of a few side effects they experienced after taking a dosage of CBD. Now, this does not necessarily concern CBD itself.
Sometimes, people may not know they have an allergy to certain components, which by chance, might be present in the CBD. So the side effects they experience are the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
But every individual is, and so is their body. Thus, one body may react in a different way than the other. So, the side effects, however less, differ from person to person.
Coming to the side effects of CBD for asthma, there is not enough research talking particularly about this at the moment. So, little is known of the downside of CBD for asthma.
Nevertheless, there is one concern that surfaced over time – vaping CBD.
Though vaping is one of the most effective ways to consume CBD if you want immediate results, this might not be the best way for asthma patients.
Smoking works as a trigger for asthma, promoting inflammation in the airways.
Certain studies show that smoking increases the risk of attacks. Patients may also develop bullae from smoking marijuana under the age of 45, as mentioned here. This may even create a life-threatening situation for the user.
Some of the side effects you may experience right after using CBD vape are –
- Formation of Phlegm
- Wheezing sound from mouth while breathing
- Respiratory infections
- Development of pneumothorax ( in rare cases)
A study published in 2015 also explored the effects of vaping on human as well as mice lung cells. The results showed vaping increased oxidation, toxicity, and inflammation – all are the hallmark triggers for asthma.
Note: Always consult your physician or doctor before you start using CBD. Especially, when you are an expecting or pregnant mother or someone with any medical condition other than asthma.
What CBD Product Is Ideal For Asthma?
Now that vaping and smoking are out of the list of options, we need to find better alternatives.
In order to determine the best way to consume CBD for treating asthma depends on certain factors. They are – the type of asthma you have contracted, metabolism, body weight, sensitivity to THC, frequency, and intensity of symptoms, and ongoing medications.
Now to start, there are two types of CBD – full-spectrum (contains all components of cannabinoids) and broad-spectrum (same as full-spectrum but with the exception of THC).
There is a third option to choose from as well – CBD Isolate. It only contains CBD in the purest form.
So, here are how you can administer CBD –
Tincture – You can consume tinctures orally and sublingually. You can put a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue for rapid absorption. It is because this area is full of blood capillaries. The effects last up to 8 hours with one dose.
Edibles – This is one of the most popular and travel-friendly ways to try CBD. You can try CBD gummies, cookies, chocolates, powders, etc.
Topical – It includes CBD products such as salve, lotions, creams, roll-one, ointments, etc. Just apply the CBD oil and cream to your forehead for a relaxing effect or around your nose for inhaling naturally.
Tablets – CBD tablets and capsules are also available. However, you may experience the effect after 2 to 4 hours of consumption.
What is the Dosage of CBD for Asthma?
To experience the magic of CBD, it is crucial to get the dosage right. Overdose will lead to some health complications, even though CBD is mostly side-effects free. It is because the excess of anything is bad.
Nevertheless, if you go for underdose, you will not be able to enjoy the benefits CBD has to offer for asthma treatment. How is one to decide the right amount of dosage then?
Since there are not many reports available online debating the ideal dosage for asthma, it is better to consult your doctor for this purpose.
You can start with a dose of 6 to 8mg or 5 to 7 drops at once to see positive results.
So to tie everything in a neat bow, CBD is worth it.
Many pieces of research back the claim of CBD becoming a sought-after and effective way of treating asthma and its inconvenient symptoms.
What boosts the adoption of CBD as an amazing alternative to the traditional methods for curing asthma is that it is side-effects free.
CBD is a natural component found in the cannabis plant and thus is free of toxic chemicals. To add another jewel to its crown, it is a non-psychoactive compound meaning it does not intoxicate like THC.
Could we have asked for a better product to combat the condition of asthma?
There are so many ways to consume CBD that everyone can easily find the best-suited method to administer CBD.