CBD and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

CBD and COPD

When a friend of mine first introduced me to CBD, I had no idea the profound impact that it would one day have on my life. At the time, I was suffering from a wide range of health issues, one of which was a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Upon further research, I discovered that there was a strong link between CBD and COPD. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of the topic. If you suffer from COPD, you may want to look into CBD as a potential solution.

What is COPD?

According to the COPD Foundation, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma.” No matter the cause of the disease, the symptoms are all the same. COPD restricts airflow to the lungs. The Mayo Clinic provides a list of tell-tale COPD symptoms, which include:

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing

If not treated correctly, COPD could lead to a host of other health complications, including lung cancer and heart disease. There is a wide array of reasons why COPD could arise, but some of the most common include long-term exposure to irritants, such as dust or gasses. Exposure to elements like cigarette smoke also appears to cause COPD.

According to Lung.org, approximately 11 million people in the United States have received a COPD diagnosis from a doctor. The site also indicates that millions of people could be living with the disease without knowing so. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Those diagnosed likely must go on medication to combat the issue. Standard treatments include the prescription of bronchodilators and corticosteroids. Unfortunately, these treatments can have rather nasty side effects. For instance, bronchodilators could cause:

  • Insomnia
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeats
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Insomnia

Corticosteroids are no better, as they could create things such as osteoporosis, hypertension, thinning and bruising of the skin, abnormal facial hair growth, high blood pressure, weight gain from fluid retention, and muscle weakness. Doctors may have to put patients on these prescriptions for extended periods to help combat the symptoms of COPD.

What is CBD, and How Can it Benefit Me?

CBD is a compound that occurs naturally in the resin of a cannabis plant. There are two strains of cannabis, hemp, and marijuana. Manufacturers can extract CBD from both plants. When doing so, the extracts are highly-concentrated, potentially up to 75 times more potent than dried herbs.

CBD products should not get you “high” or give you a sense of euphoria. That’s because the CBD chemical compound is not responsible for these sensations. We can attribute those sensations to THC, a chemical found only in the marijuana plant.

If manufacturers source CBD products from the hemp plant, there’s a slim chance of there being any THC. Typically, manufacturers find that CBD from hemp contains less than .3 percent THC. If manufacturers source CBD products from the marijuana plant, there is an increased likelihood of THC contamination.

CBD often has a negative stigma because it is so closely related to marijuana. However, CBD is entirely safe and natural. So long as manufacturers extract the substance correctly, it is very close to 100 percent pure. Perhaps most important is the fact that CBD is now legal in all 50 states, so long as it comes from the hemp plant.

That’s because, in December 2018, the United States Congress passed the Farm Bill. One of the provisions in the Farm Bill was that the government change the classification of hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural product. The government now views and subsidizes hemp the same way they do products such as:

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Barley

Scientists are beginning to scratch the surface discovering the potential health benefits that CBD can offer. Scientists know that the substance works in conjunction with our endocannabinoid system. Our endocannabinoid system is closely related to our central nervous system.

It appears that when we take CBD, we stimulate our endocannabinoid system.

Initial studies have found that CBD could potentially be useful for pain relief. Researchers discovered that the substance provided significant assistance to patients receiving surgery. They also found that CBD could give comfort to those with sciatic nerve pain. Researchers now believe that the content could also reduce the pain associated with chronic inflammation, such as arthritis.

Studies have also found that CBD could reduce the effects of anxiety and depression. It could also provide pain relief to people with cancer. Lastly, there is evidence that CBD could drastically improve our cardiovascular systems and reverse heart damage.

CBD and COPD

If a doctor has diagnosed you with COPD, you’ve likely spent a lot of time on medication, potentially suffering from harsh side effects. However, you may want to look into trying a natural substance such as CBD. Although there hasn’t been much scientific research that analyzes CBD and COPD, there have been a few cases indicating that the material could be useful.

For instance, consider the case of one North Dakota man whose doctors had diagnosed him with end-stage COPD, Walter Rodlund. After a stint in the hospital, his daughter introduced him to CBD oil. The man said that within a few days, his breathing had improved considerably and that he found it easier to move around the house.

The man’s doctor said that before taking CBD, his lung capacity as around 92 percent. After taking CBD, his lung capacity returns to levels ranging between 98 and 100 percent. CBD helped extend the man’s life, allowing him to return to performing his normal activities in the yard and playing with his grandchildren.

Rodlund told reporters, “It’s been two years now, and I’ve gone from more or less invalid, to going where I want to go and doing what I want to do. I credit CBD oil for that. I can finally get out in the yard in the sunshine and see the country.”

One of the most common misconceptions about CBD is that you must smoke the drug, which would likely cause COPD symptoms to worsen. However, this is not the case. Manufacturers now produce an array of products that would make it easy for you to dose CBD to treat your COPD. Potential ways in which you could receive your dose of CBD include:

  • Edibles
  • Oils and tinctures
  • Inhalers

The reason CBD could be useful to help treat COPD is because of its anti-inflammatory effects. For instance, one study found that CBD helped treat the inflammation associated with acute lung injuries. The research surrounding CBD and COPD is anecdotal, but it appears promising that the natural compounds in the plant could help your systems improve.

Using CBD for COPD

Thanks to the Farm Bill, you can now purchase CBD online or at a local store, so long as manufacturers sourced the product from the hemp plant. If manufacturers sourced the CBD product from a marijuana plant, it could contain THC.

Recreational THC use is available in ten states in the United States. Medical use is possible in 46 states.

If you wish to purchase CBD, I recommend that you talk to your product manufacturer and ask to see the Certificate of Analysis. There is a considerable lack of regulation in the United States after the legalization of hemp products, and manufacturers are not required to test for what is in their products.

However, some manufacturers seek independent, third-party testing to help verify what’s in their CBD products. These manufacturers are not required to do so, but elect to do so for their consumer’s benefit. COA testing should indicate how much CBD and THC is in a particular product.

If a manufacturer cannot or will not provide you with a COA, I recommend looking for your products elsewhere.

The other critical thing to consider is that, even though CBD is generally safe, it may not interact well with certain medications. The lack of interactions also is because of the way your liver processes CBD and the pharmaceuticals prescribed by your doctor. These could have potentially serious complications.

If you wish to begin taking CBD for COPD, I highly recommend that you first talk to your doctor. Your doctor could potentially alter your COPD medication so that it is safe for you to take CBD. There’s also a chance that your doctor could provide you with a CBD prescription. Last year, a CBD-based pharmaceutical to treat seizures hit the market.

Is CBD Right for You?

It could be well worth your time to research CBD and COPD. Doing so could potentially help you heal without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals. The results appear promising, so it’s at least worth mentioning to your doctor.

Hopefully, in the coming years, scientists conduct more research into whether there is a direct link between CBD and COPD. Because CBD does not exhibit many side effects, it could be a much safer choice to help treat COPD than pharmaceuticals that exist today.