CBD Oil for Asthma
Despite affecting nearly 1/10 of the US population, Asthma is often referred to as a “hidden” or “invisible” disability. This is because it has no symptoms that are obvious to a third party, and there’s no way to know just from looking at someone that they have asthma. Despite this, people with asthma have to deal with the illness every day of their lives, and for many, it’s a struggle. Thanks to modern treatment options, asthma does not have to get in the way of someone living a perfectly normal life, but it’s still important to manage the illness carefully.
Is CBD Good for Asthma?
Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways, which can lead to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s only natural that people would wonder if CBD is good for asthma.
Because CBD is such a relatively new treatment, we still aren’t completely sure how it works, but we do understand some things about it, and we are learning more all the time. So far, we know that the beneficial effects of CBD are a result of its interactions with the endocannabinoid system within the body. By binding to endocannabinoid receptors, CBD influences many processes, including pain, inflammation, and immune response. These processes are involved in many common illnesses, including asthma, and it stands to reason that CBD could be used to treat at least the symptoms of these illnesses.
So far, CBD has not been officially approved as a treatment for asthma, but the research that does exist shows that it could be very effective. By reducing inflammation in the airways and preventing muscle spasms in the lungs, CBD may be able to reduce the severity and frequency of attacks in individuals with asthma.
Best CBD for Asthma
There are many different types of CBD available on the market, including:
Unlike some other illnesses, asthma is not necessarily best treated with any one type of CBD; the best type of CBD for asthma depends on you, your personal experience, and how you plan to use CBD treatment.
CBD oil, which is typically used by placing it in the mouth or under the tongue with a dropper, is one of the faster-acting types of CBD. This makes it useful for treating asthma symptoms as you feel them coming on; if you are in an environment that is starting to cause symptoms, you can use CBD oil to stop them pretty quickly.
On the other hand, forms of CBD like capsules and edibles take longer to start working, but they also provide effects that last much longer. This makes them better for prevention, since they don’t work quickly enough to stop symptoms after they arise. If you plan to take CBD every day as a preventative, then capsules or edibles can be a more convenient and longer-lasting solution. Using CBD vapes for asthma is a tricky thing. It might seem that this would be the most effective thing to do, since conventional asthma treatments are typically inhaled. However, some CBD vapes contain ingredients that are added to change the flavor or texture of the oil, and these ingredients may irritate the lungs. For many people, vaping CBD is harmless and can alleviate their asthma symptoms, but it can be dangerous for others. We recommend being very careful if you are considering using CBD vapes as your primary form of CBD treatment.
CBD Dosage for Asthma
Since CBD is not an officially recognized treatment for asthma, there is also no official dosage that is both safe and effective. This means that you’ll have to figure out the best CBD dosage for asthma on your own. Some factors that can affect the right CBD dosage for you include:
- Type of asthma
- Asthma symptoms
- CBD tolerance
- Other asthma treatments
In general, as with other medications, you require a larger dose of CBD the more you weigh; males also tend to need a higher dose than females. Additionally, your body’s metabolism and tolerance for CBD can determine your appropriate dosage, since a higher tolerance or faster metabolism of CBD may mean that you require a larger dose to achieve the same effects.
However, it is always best to start with a small dose, even if you think you will end up needing a fairly large one. This allows you to work up incrementally until you find the right dosage for you, without consuming an unhealthy amount of CBD right away or wasting your CBD product by using too much. CBD isn’t dangerous, and you can’t “overdose” by using too much of it, but using a large dose after never having used it before may cause unpleasant symptoms like an upset stomach, so it’s best to go slow.
CBD oil can be a very effective treatment for asthma, thanks in large part to its anti-inflammatory properties. The best type of CBD to use and the appropriate dosage will be different for everybody, so you may need to experiment a bit to find your perfect treatment. We hope that this article has answered all of your questions about using CBD oil for asthma; now you can check out our product reviews to find the best products on the market and choose one that is right for you.
CBD and Asthma: Does CBD Oil Help People with Asthma?
CBD may help with asthma, but the evidence we have is less than ideal, to say the least. But that doesn’t change the fact that asthma continues to affect millions of people in the U.S.
Conventional treatments are available, with different degrees of success. However, not everyone reacts well and might want an alternative option.
Although CBD and asthma are loosely connected, there’s a chance it may help with the difficult and potentially dangerous complications associated with the condition.
So does CBD oil work for asthma? If so, what are its benefits and limitations for using CBD for asthma? How do you even begin using CBD? We’ll discuss those questions and more.
Does CBD Oil Help with Asthma?
CBD oil may help with asthma, as it addresses some of the reactions – like inflammation – associated with many different conditions. However, research is pretty sparse on which (if any) types of asthma are controllable or treatable using CBD.
According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology , there are six types of asthma:
- Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
- Asthma-COPD overlap
- Adult-onset asthma
Again, we have little research to work with. From what we know so far, CBD seems to impact some kinds of asthma. Studies don’t cover all six asthma types. Allergic and non-allergic categories received the most attention, so we’ll focus on them.
Research on CBD and Allergic Asthma
As the name implies, allergic asthma symptoms start when triggered by allergens. This could range from pollen to cockroaches, according to the Cleveland Clinic .
CBD may support the treatment of allergic asthma – at least if you’re a mouse. A 2019 study in the European Journal of Pharmacology looked at allergic asthma in mice. They found that CBD helped reduce “airway hyperresponsiveness” through its indirect link with the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. Through these pathways, CBD helps alert the body to create an anti-inflammatory response.
There’s now evidence this experimental treatment works on humans. Naturally, we need more animal and human trials.
Research on CBD and Non-Allergic Asthma
Research into cannabinoids as bronchodilators in non-allergic asthma dates back several decades. A 1984 experiment published in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics saw results with delta-9 and delta-8 THC but noticed no change with CBD.
However, the CBD dose was a massive 1200 mg – far above the necessary amount for a new consumer. Given cannabidiol’s biphasic behavior, such a serving might not have been necessary. “Biphasic” means CBD’s potency isn’t linear. Once you exceed your ideal dose, the benefits start to drop.
Below is an image showing a visual of what the Biphasic Effect is:
The researchers likely didn’t know or fully acknowledge this issue. It begs the question as to whether gradually introducing CBD might have yielded different results.
Could CBD have worked otherwise? Only full clinical human trials can answer that question.
What Does Asthma Do to Your Body?
Although asthma is well-defined, there’s no “textbook case.” In other words, every patient experiences different severities and triggers. Treatment responses may also differ.
But regardless of what you deal with, asthma’s inflammatory response constricts the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Inevitably, the reaction leads to things like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Universally, it’s a condition that can be limiting or potentially deadly in the case of severe asthma. Oral and inhaled medications are available for treatment and prevention, but there’s no cure.
This may not be news to you as an asthma patient, but you might be surprised at how CBD oil may improve your quality of life.
We all know asthma is a potentially deadly respiratory condition, but how does it work? According to the American Lung Association , asthma puts the lining of your airways into a “hypersensitive state.” Airways become red and swollen, much like how our skin reacts to sunburns.
Some known asthma triggers include:
- Weather changes
While a trigger doesn’t necessarily lead to a life-threatening emergency, it likely will cause a “flare-up” or “asthma attack.”
While the airways inflame and constrict, surrounding muscles also tighten. In some cases, this can fully obstruct breathing. At this point, you’ll need urgent medical care.
Could CBD help with coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath during an asthma attack? Theoretically, yes, it could. There’s a lot of supporting evidence for CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation is the driving mechanism during a flare-up, there’s a chance CBD may work.
But – not to sound like a broken record – we need more research.
If treated, patients can live fairly normal lives. However, if you fail to address the problem, asthma could cause a condition called “airway remodeling.”
According to the American Lung Association, ignoring asthma eventually leads to long-term or permanent damage. Eventually, these scars worsen and reduce the effectiveness of asthma medications.
How is Asthma Treated?
Fortunately for patients, there are many treatment options. The American Lung Association tells us medications available for both long-term preventative solutions and short-term immediate relief.
One option is an anti-inflammatory medication. Again, this function brings us back to CBD and its reported potential to reduce swelling.
Preventing Asthma Attacks
Since there’s no cure for asthma, your only options are treatment and prevention. Remember that ignoring it is the worst thing you can do, so don’t wait.
Prevention is the best treatment. Prescription medicines can be very effective, but avoiding triggers is also an excellent way to avoid flare-ups.
What Asthma Patients Say About CBD for Asthma
Not only are there success stories, but many are quite old. This shows CBD and asthma were on a lot of people’s minds.
“Within 2 days [of vaping CBD], I went down to using my rescue inhaler once or twice a day. For the last three weeks, I’ve used it a total of 4 times – once when I went out into the cold winter air, and three times when I went somewhere that was dusty and had dogs (which I’m allergic to).”
Similarly, an unnamed Reddit user was surprised by the effectiveness of CBD capsules, saying:
“I was experimenting with CBD capsules (also targeting other aches and pains) and it seemed to reduce the frequency and intensity of flare-ups. So was ok on a lower dose preventative.”
Are There any Side Effects of Taking CBD for Asthma?
Yes, CBD has some commonly-known side effects, but they’re mild and often temporary. A 2017 study in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research noticed the following CBD side effects:
- Appetite changes
- Weight loss or weight gain
CBD also interacts with certain medications, which could trigger other side effects. It’s important to verify with a doctor first, as the interference could be dangerous.
We’ll get into that next.
Can CBD Interfere with Any Asthma Medications?
Yes, CBD could interfere with some asthma medications, but we don’t have a full list.
As for asthma, the District of Colombia Department of Health mentions just one medication so far. They advise that smoking cannabis reduces the levels of theophylline. The drug prevents asthma flare-ups by relaxing the airways.
We have no information about whether CBD oil or any ingested CBD interacts with theophylline. Along with asthma, the drug treats lung illnesses like chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The issue stems from CBD’s presence in the liver, which metabolizes CBD using the P450 liver enzyme family. Unfortunately, many medications do the same.
When forced to “share” the enzyme, CBD dilutes or increases the medication’s blood concentration. This problem could theoretically reduce or increase the effects of oral asthma medications.
Consequently, this can weaken the medicine’s benefits or trigger side effects. In a worst-case scenario, the contradiction could impact lung function.
How to Use CBD Oil for Asthma
It’s easy to use CBD oil for asthma. Dosing is a matter of slow titration, while you can easily measure your intake using a marked dropper.
Just hold the tincture under your tongue for 60-90 seconds (or as indicated on the label) and swallow.
But before you try cannabis oil for asthma, there’s some crucial information to keep in mind, including side effects, safety concerns, consumption methods, and dosing.
Do CBD Inhalers Help with Asthma?
Yes, it’s likely CBD inhalers help with asthma. Unsurprisingly, there don’t appear to be any human trials in something so specific. But the 2019 study mentioned earlier used inhalable CBD mist.
Again, the mist yielded promising results as a bronchodilator.
Is it Safe to Vape CBD with Asthma?
No, it’s not safe to vape CBD with asthma unless you fully understand your triggers. Some people immediately notice their airways relax from vaping CBD. However, if smoke exacerbates your asthma symptoms, inhaling CBD could cause a reaction.
It’s important to mention that cannabinoids vaporized in oil or e-liquid don’t generate smoke but rather a vapor aerosol. This could impact whether or not the CBD products trigger flare-ups.
Regardless, asthma patients shouldn’t vape or start using CBD until they speak with a doctor.
How much CBD to Take For Asthma
There’s no exact answer for a proper CBD dose for asthma. However, a 2017 study in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that participants could consume up to 1,500 mg of CBD.
Unfortunately, we’re just as blind as they are in that area. We know that suddenly giving new users 1,500 mg of CBD isn’t the best approach. Again, CBD is biphasic, so it’s possible starting so high could hamstring cannabidiol’s effects.
Many factors influence dose, including:
- Symptom severity
Make sure to read our blog post on CBD dosing to understand how CBD dosing works and how you can maximize your results.
Type of CBD
The CBD products you choose also influence dosing. There are three categories to choose from:
- Full-spectrum : retains all cannabinoids and terpenes
- Isolate: no cannabinoids or terpenes other than pure (up to 99%) CBD
- Broad-spectrum : middle ground where only THC is filtered out
Isolate isn’t the best choice because it contains pure CBD without the other cannabinoids and terpenes to improve or focus the therapeutic effects. If you decide to use isolate, odds are you’ll need a lot more than its counterparts.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum are reportedly better than isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil doesn’t deliberately filter out other compounds. Consequently, it could contain up to 0.3% THC.
Broad-spectrum manages to retain everything else while completely removing THC.
Using CBD for asthma is difficult since we know so little about its benefits or side effects. Vaping is fast-acting, but there are concerns about how it may trigger an asthma attack.
Oral CBD products are preferable, such as CBD oil or CBD gummies. They’re easier to dose than vaping, but you risk potential drug interactions.
How to Find Your Optimal CBD Dosage
You find your optimal CBD dosage through slow, steady increases. There’s some flexibility, but it’s best to use the lowest dose possible for the first few days, then gradually increasing as needed.
This “start low and go slow” method is meant to avoid taking too much CBD. Cannabidiol is biphasic, meaning it reaches a peak where additional CBD will reduce the effectiveness. Starting gradually not only prevents you from overshooting the “sweet spot,” but it also helps your body gradually adjust to CBD.
For more information, check out this dosage guide from Colorado Botanicals , including a handy dosage calculator to help pinpoint your dose in seconds.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Asthma
CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects on asthma need way more research. Theoretically, there could be potential. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely CBD for asthma will be at the forefront of medical research.
Hopefully, in time, we’ll discover enough information to help improve the lives of asthma patients everywhere.