CBD And Asthma 2021: Does It Help & How To Use?

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

CBD And Asthma

CBD oil and other CBD product use are growing lately to treat symptoms associated with many health conditions, including bipolar disorder, chronic pain syndrome, high blood pressure, and asthma. 

Asthma[1] is a chronic lung disease that can result in airway inflammation caused by the immune system when asthma triggers such as stress, or allergen exposures occur. Once airways are inflamed, muscle spasms and mucus secretion occur, leading to breathing difficulties, wheezing, and breathlessness. CBD oil or other CBD products may help relieve asthma symptoms by affecting muscle spasticity and reducing symptoms associated with the disease.

CBD oil is a relatively new option to treat asthma as more people are turning to natural treatment options for health conditions.

This article will explore the positive benefits of CBD oil and asthma to treat asthmatic symptoms, ways to use it as an effective treatment option, and the risks associated with using CBD oil.

Top 5 Best CBD Oil For Asthma & Chronic Lung Disease

CBD For Asthma: Does it Help?

For asthma patients, managing symptoms associated with asthma attacks can be very difficult. Providers may order several prescription medications for treatment during or before attacks. These drugs are also known as rescue drugs. Still, most if not all of them have unwanted side effects[2]

Fortunately, there have been many studies on how cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and its anti-inflammatory effects to treat symptoms associated with asthma. 

According to a study[3] from 2019 by the European Journal of Pharmacology, CBD consumption decreased inflammation and improved lung function in mice with experimental allergic asthma.

Can I use CBD to Relieve COPD Symptoms?

Like CBD oil for asthma treatment, there should be more research to verify the effectiveness of CBD for COPD symptoms.

However, research appears promising. The results of clinical studies[4] have shown a positive relationship between intraperitoneal CBD use and its anti-inflammatory for those with inflammatory lung disease.

How To Use CBD Oil For Asthma?

Types of CBD Oil

CBD oil is one of the more common ways to take CBD and typically involves putting the recommended dosage or drops under the tongue for quick absorption. It is crucial to choose a high-quality CBD oil to get the best results.

All CBD products are not equal. CBD sells in a variety of different forms based on its ingredient composition. Here are three types of CBD oil you may find.

Full-spectrum CBD Oil

As the name implies, full-spectrum CBD oil contains all of the naturally occurring compounds[5] of the cannabis plant, including traces of THC, which produces the “high” effect of cannabis use. 

For the product to be legal[6] on a federal level, it must contain less than 0.3% THC.

Taking CBD with all of the naturally occurring compounds of the hemp plant, such as terpenes and THC, may enhance benefits. This is known as the entourage effect[7].

According to a review[7] from 2011, taking terpenes in combination with phytocannabinoids supports the evidence behind the entourage effect and may reduce the inflammatory response among asthmatic patients.

Broad-spectrum CBD Oil

Broad-spectrum CBD oil has a very similar composition to full-spectrum CBD oil and contains many naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant but has little to no THC.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate does not contain any of the other compounds in the cannabis plant except CBD.

Vaping

Vaping CBD oil may result in faster relief of symptoms, but there is currently a lot of conflicting information about its safeness. 

One study[8] showed the link between vaping CBD and lung injury. Though most did not have life-threatening complications, several cases resulted in hospitalization. 

Until additional studies are complete, it may be a good idea to avoid vaping CBD oil.

Dosage

Few clinical studies show proper cannabidiol treatment for asthma, so the adequate dosage for treating asthma-associated symptoms is unknown. 

Optimal CBD oil dosage can depend on body weight, the quality of the CBD product, and the type of CBD product used.

So, if there are no peer-reviewed studies on CBD dosage for asthma, how much CBD should one take?

One study[9] found oral CBD dosages up to 1,500 mg to be safe, but it is always a good idea to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed until symptoms are relieved.

Though there is no research-backed recommended amount, most products will have dosage guidelines on the label. 

If your healthcare provider is on board with you taking CBD oils to treat an asthma attack, they may be able to guide you in the right direction for proper dosage.

It is crucial to speak with a healthcare provider qualified to provide medical advice before treating symptoms of asthma with CBD oil in addition to other asthma medications.

How CBD Can Help with Asthma Symptoms?

To reduce symptoms, conventional treatments[10] for severe asthma include long-term control medications such as preventive inhalers to prevent airway narrowing, short-term oral medications such as corticosteroids, rescue inhalers, and immunotherapy.

Unfortunately, many of these standard treatment options come with adverse effects. For instance, the use of preventative inhalers can lead to oral fungal infections and a sore throat.

In addition, conventional asthma medications may lead to increased anxiety, increased heart rate, and nervousness[11].

As mentioned earlier, people are looking for natural remedies to treat allergic asthma.

 CBD use is becoming increasingly popular for its effect on the immune system and its anti-inflammatory properties. 

CBD oil also acts as a bronchodilator[12] which may benefit those with asthma symptoms by dilating the respiratory airways.

In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may also decrease hyperresponsiveness[4] in your respiratory airway by reducing sensitivity to triggers that may cause an asthma attack. 

Some patients with severe asthma and difficulty breathing may require a combination of medication and natural remedies to treat symptoms, making it essential to seek medical expertise before adding or changing your medication regimen.

Risk & Side Effects

At this time, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved a medication containing an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat asthma attacks.

 They have, however, approved the first drug derived from cannabidiol to treat seizures.

Epidiolex[13] is a prescription medication used to treat rare forms of Epilepsy and lower the risk for seizures. Your health provider must order this medication.

While CBD may be a natural solution to treating symptoms of asthma, using CBD is not risk-free.

Although CBD is relatively safe and tolerated by most people, some have reported minor symptoms.  According to one review[9], the most common side effects associated with CBD use are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight changes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue

According to a review[14] by the World Health Organization in 2017, CBD oil is generally safe for most people.

CBD, like grapefruit,  is known to interact with enzymes belonging to the cytochrome p450 family and may lead to the altered metabolism of certain medications.

It is best to seek medical care to discuss CBD and asthma treatment’s potential risks and side effects.

Conclusion

While CBD is currently not federally approved to treat symptoms associated with asthma attacks, research appears promising. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may decrease hyperresponsiveness[8] in your airways, leading to better management of symptoms related to asthma and decreased flare-ups. 

While research supports the idea of CBD oil for the treatment of asthma, it is essential to discuss adding CBD oil to your current medication regimen before purchasing.

Although more research is needed, the evidence is pretty clear to support the use of CBD in managing symptoms associated with asthma and other chronic lung diseases. 

Keep in mind, any product that contains traces of THC may result in a failed drug test. If you are concerned or plan to be drug tested, it may be a good idea to avoid CBD products altogether.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is medical marijuana better than CBD to treat symptoms of asthma?

While individuals use both medical marijuana and CBD to treat asthma symptoms, CBD may be classified as a better option. CBD is less likely to cause addiction and does not result in hallucinations. There is also a question of whether medical marijuana may harm the lungs.

Do CBD capsules work the same as CBD oil?

Before choosing between CBD capsules compared to CBD oil, there are several things you should take into consideration. The first being the composition. If you prefer to take pills, capsules may be a convenient option for you.  Because CBD oil usually goes under the tongue, it may be absorbed quicker and provide faster symptom relief.

Can I take CBD oil with other medications?

While there is a possibility that you can add CBD oil to your medication regimen to treat symptoms associated with asthma, it is always essential to ask your doctor before starting or stopping medications. Many people think they do not have to discuss natural supplements with a medical provider. Contrary to popular belief, natural compounds can cause side effects and potential adverse reactions when combined with certain drugs.

What dosage of CBD oil do I need to see benefits?

If you search online, you will likely see a wide range of dosages that help people with symptom relief from asthma. Most products that you buy will have general dosing guidelines on the back to help you get started. It is best to start low and gradually increase the dosage until you get symptom relief. As mentioned above, CBD oil has is studied[9] to be safe in oral doses up to 1,200mg.

What is CBD?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the two main active ingredients in cannabis or marijuana. It is derived straight from the hemp plant and does not cause the “high effect” associated with marijuana use. It has become increasingly popular to treat a variety of health conditions. As of now, the FDA  has only approved one drug comprised of CBD to treat epilepsy.


+ 14 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

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Medically reviewed by:

Lindsey DeSoto is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based out of Coastal Mississippi. She earned her BSc in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Alabama. Lindsey has a passion for helping others live their healthiest life by translating the latest evidence-based research into easy-to-digest, approachable content.

Medically reviewed by:

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
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