Cannabidiol (CBD) has become more and more popular as a way to treat several health conditions. Have you ever wondered if CBD can manage your asthma symptoms?
As with other cannabinoids, CBD comes from the cannabis plant. But unlike cannabis (AKA marijuana), CBD does not give hallucinogenic effects due to its low tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC for short) content (less than 0.3 percent).
Marijuana and CBD can be used to treat pain, under the supervision of your physician. But did you know that CBD oil may also be able to treat inflammation?
Asthma, a chronic lung disease, is caused by inflammation of the airways. It comes with frequent flare-ups that can result in coughing, wheezing, and other breathing problems.
Although it may play a role in airway inflammation, we want to explore whether CBD oil can really treat asthma or not. Let’s go over what the research reveals, and when you should explore this option with your doctor.
CBD: Can it ease asthma symptoms?
CBD is getting more popular due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Some research says it could give even more neuroprotective benefits than vitamins E and C.
CBD oil could lower hyperresponsiveness in the airways, making lungs less sensitive to asthma triggers. This results in fewer flare-ups and symptoms like coughing.
A 2019 study revealed that CBD lowered airway inflammation as well as hyperresponsiveness in mice that had allergic asthma. But more research must be done in humans to see whether or not CBD oil could effectively treat allergy-induced asthma.
How can you use CBD oil as a treatment for asthma?
You take CBD oil orally by placing drops in your mouth and then swallowing them.
While researchers have utilized mist versions of CBD oil when doing their animal studies, vaping or smoking CBD oil is not recommended for humans due to the possible irritation that could happen to the airways.
There are not many clinical studies regarding asthma and CBD oil in humans, which means no one’s sure what the ideal dosage for asthma is.
Research so far shows a maximum of 1,500 milligrams (mg) of CBD a day is safe for human consumption.
If your doctor tells you that you should try CBD oil as a way to treat asthma, ask them what dosage they suggest.
The right dosage will depend on many factors, such as the type of product you choose as well as your body weight. Your doctor could make adjustments to your dosage depending on how well you respond to it.
Are there side effects of consuming CBD for asthma?
While there are many potential benefits of CBD oil as a treatment for asthma, there could be side effects. Some have been reported in animal and in vitro studies, and they include:
- skin rashes
- sleepiness or insomnia
- decreased appetite
- abnormal liver function
Long-term human studies must be done to determine if CBD is safe for the treatment of asthma and what side effects there may be. The only CBD studies in humans to date are small and only focus on short-term use.
Can CBD interact with my other asthma medications?
It’s unknown if this is true or not. Do not stop taking your existing asthma medications or make any modifications unless you speak to your doctor.
CBD can interact with other medications due to how it affects enzymes your body utilizes to metabolize asthma medications. Speak to your doctor prior to using CBD oil if you are on any of the following meds:
- diclofenac (Flector, Cambia), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (also known as NSAID for short) used to treat arthritis, migraines, and other forms of chronic pain
- omeprazole (or OTC Prilosec), a proton-pump inhibitor used for the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux
- rifampicin (AKA Rifampin), an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis
- risperidone (AKA Risperdal), an antipsychotic for treating bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia
- Theophylline, used to treat asthma symptoms and other lung conditions like chronic bronchitis or emphysema
- warfarin (Jantoven, Coumadin), a blood thinner that prevents and treats blood clots
Are there CBD products (or strains of CBD) that can be recommended for asthma?
Due to the high number of CBD products out there today, selecting the right CBD oil may seem daunting. But in general, you should choose a product made in the United States as well as one that has been third-party tested.
Hemp-based oils are probably best because they have trace amounts of THC, yet not as much as marijuana.
You want to buy a brand of CBD oil that is both pure and organic. Microorganisms and pesticides have been found in some CBD products.
Right now, just one prescription form of CBD was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and that is Epidiolex. Derived from CBD, this is used in the treatment of seizures brought on by Dravet syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Can CBD treat COPD symptoms?
Just as with asthma, more research must be done to determine if CBD is an effective way to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
There have been some animal studies done that show CBD’s role in lowering lung inflammation and better lung function; however, human studies must be done now to determine both safety and efficacy.
Talk with your doctor
Talk with your doctor if you would like to learn more about CBD oil as a way to treat asthma.
If the current medications you are on are working, you may not want to switch to CBD. But speak with your doctor if you still have symptoms and flare-ups while taking your current asthma medication.
Consuming CBD without supervision from a doctor could increase the risk of side effects or decrease the effectiveness. Your doctor will tell you the right dosage to take and will also monitor side effects while keeping an eye on lung function.
CBD oil is just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes conventional asthma medications. Do not stop taking your prescription medications without talking to your doctor first.
The best CBD oil may have anti-inflammatory effects within clinical settings – giving hope to the future of asthma treatments.
However, until more human studies can be done, there is no definitive evidence that CBD oil should take the place of a traditional asthma treatment plan.
Speak with your doctor about your asthma symptoms, and ask whether CBD oil is right for you. Your doctor can guide you as to dosage while monitoring potential side effects.
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