Over recent years, there has been growing evidence pointing to CBD’s multiple medicinal benefits. This non-psychoactive derivative of the marijuana plant has been proven to have a positive impact on various symptoms and conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, and more.
With CBD being federally legal and readily obtainable, an increasing number of asthma patients are becoming more curious about the link between CBD and asthma. Can CBD’s therapeutic potential also prove beneficial in managing asthmatic symptoms?
Asthma is a respiratory illness that is characterized by the presence of mucus and inflammation in a person’s respiratory airways. The present inflammation and mucus choke, constrict, and narrow the respiratory airways, leading to breathing difficulties.
There are different types of asthma, with the most common one being allergic asthma, where a person’s airways tighten due to their immune system over-reacting to the presence of allergens. Common allergens that could cause such a reaction include the cold, mold spores, pollen, germ-ridden dirt, and pet dander.
Regardless of the type of asthma a person might be suffering from, some of the common symptoms include:
The symptoms and their severity vary from one person to another. Some might also suffer from asthma attacks, episodes occurring when the above symptoms suddenly and quickly worsen. Without proper and immediate medical care, such attacks can be life-threatening.
Unfortunately, asthma currently has no cure. The only treatment options available are aimed at keeping the symptoms under control to avoid complications. This involves monitoring lung function and understanding underlying triggers, putting in place measures to prevent them.
In most cases, a patient’s physician will develop a care plan based on the patient’s age, triggers, and the type of asthma they have. Here are some of the more common treatments used to manage asthma:
There are different types of medications an asthma patient can use. They include:
These are medications an asthma patient repeatedly takes over a long period. Some patients often partner long-term medications with the use of an inhaler as a way of further effectively managing their symptoms. Some of the long-term medication options are:
Commonly referred to as LTRAs, Leukotriene receptor antagonists are oral medications that a patient can get in powder, syrup, or tablet form. These medications help curb asthmatic symptoms for up to 24 hours.
These are pills that an asthma patient takes daily. They are bronchodilators that relax lung muscles and open the airways.
Also called inhaled corticosteroids, preventive inhalers are anti-inflammatory medications that a person inhales. They include ciclesonide, fluticasone, and mometasone, among others.
When preventive inhalers are no longer effective, there is the option of using combined inhalers. These types of inhalers combine the effects of preventive and rescue inhalers to provide patients with a long-acting beta-agonist to relax their muscles and corticosteroids to help with inflammation.
Patients whose asthma is triggered by allergies can take allergy medications to help stop some of the symptoms and prevent asthma attacks.
Patients use these types of medications in the event of an asthma attack. They offer fast relief and quickly restore normal lung function. Because some of them can have significant side-effects, patients use them on a need-only basis.
Patients who have severe asthma can significantly benefit from having regular injections. However, injections are not suitable for all asthma patients and should only be prescribed by a specialist. The most commonly used injections include Omalizumab, Reslizumab, and Benralizumab.
These are often used in combination with other forms of treatment to help prevent symptoms from intensifying. They should be used sparingly, depending on how severe a patient’s symptoms are. They include:
A patient can rub mustard oil on their skin to help open their lung’s airways, reducing the chances of experiencing asthma attacks.
Essential oils such as eucalyptus vapor, chamomile, lavender, camphor, and basil can act as decongestants or natural bronchodilators. Keep in mind that some essential oils can release pungent smells and chemicals that can be harmful.
Other home remedy treatment options include acupuncture, breathing exercises, chiropractic care, and homeopathy, though most of these methods are not yet proven to relieve asthmatic symptoms.
Managing asthmatic symptoms can be a daunting endeavor. While medical prescriptions go a long way in helping patients alleviate their symptoms and prevent asthma attacks, most medications have some off-putting side-effects.
Long-term use of corticosteroids can lead to mood changes, eye problems, osteoporosis, weight gain resulting from an elevated appetite, and high blood pressure.
Daily use of preventive inhalers can quickly leave a patient with oral fungal infections, a sore throat, and a hoarse voice. Zileuton, a leukotriene modifier, can, at times, play a role in the development of depression, suicidal thoughts, and in some cases, hallucinations.
With these and more side effects in mind, there is an increasing amount of research focusing on the relationship between CBD and asthma. Experts are trying to look at CBD’s potential as an alternative treatment option. Some of this early research has shown that CBD could be of significant benefits to asthma patients.
Can CBD help patients manage their asthmatic symptoms? From its non-psychoactive nature to the fact that it is readily available, legal, and can be used in tandem with other treatment methods, CBD does have some features that show its great potential in helping asthma patients.
Some of the main factors that are pointing towards CBD being a healthy option for managing asthmatic symptoms are:
Inflammations are a significant contributor to asthma attacks. When a patient who has asthma is exposed to specific triggers like irritants and allergens, their immune system creates an inflammatory reaction.
Once their airways become inflamed, it leads to muscle spasms and the secretion of a lot of mucus. These further clog and narrow their airways, making it hard for the patient to breathe. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate such a reaction.
Scientists speculate that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are a result of its impact on the endocannabinoids receptor CB2. This, in turn, helps reduce the levels of C fibers and mast cells, which are pro-inflammatory mediators.
Bronchospasms are rapid, involuntary squeezing or contractions of the lung muscles and have become synonymous with asthma attacks. If left uncontrolled, Bronchospasms can congest or narrow a person’s airways, causing wheezing and other breathing difficulties.
According to recent studies, one way CBD can help manage asthmatic symptoms is by how they affect muscle spasticity. CBD can calm muscle spasms down, helping to open a patient’s airways and ease asthma symptoms. CBD could also possibly help to relax bronchial muscles, easing breathing.
Unfortunately, several prescription medications used to manage asthmatic symptoms are filled with stimulants, which can either cause or heighten a patient’s anxiety. This can further have devastating impacts on their well-being, especially their mental health.
CBD’s anti-anxiety properties are no secret. It can be possible to use CBD to stave off anxiety, allowing patients to consume their prescribed medications without fear of increased anxiety.
Possible Safety Concerns around CBD and Asthma
Like any treatment option, it is best to always proceed with caution, seeking advice from your physician on how to safely use CBD.
Though the excitement around CBD and asthma is favorable for patients looking for alternative options for managing their asthmatic symptoms, the possible safety concerns are still largely unclear.
For instance, scientists are unsure about the right CBD doses to use and how long to use it. Also, not much research has been done on how CBD could interact with other types of medications. With all these uncertainties, there is a safety concern around CBD and asthma, especially regarding patients who plan to vape or smoke it.
Lungs tend to be sensitive organs, and smoke can easily cause inflammation that would make a patient’s symptoms much worse. Furthermore, vaping or smoking CBD could cause the growth of bullae.
Bullae are large air sacs that grow in a person’s airway and other lung cavities. If not promptly addressed, bullae will continue to grow and eventually could become so large that they obstruct the person’s airway further, causing significant breathing disruption.
Short-term effects of bullae include:
If the bullae continue to grow, they could rupture the person’s lungs causing the lung to collapse.
When it comes to using CBD to manage your asthmatic symptoms, the goal is to ensure that you do not do more harm than good. To help with this, it is crucial you choose the right method and dosage of consumption.
Factors that will help you determine what the right amount and consumption method are, include:
Another factor to consider is the type of CBD you are consuming. Currently, there are isolates, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum CBD products.
Isolates are CBD products that do not have any other cannabinoids. On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD has every natural cannabinoid contained in a hemp plant, including CBN, THC, and others.
The presence of several cannabinoids has been known to enhance CBD’s therapeutic effects, a phenomenon referred to as the ‘entourage effect.’ Furthermore, depending on the plant, the CBD may contain protein, essential vitamins, and antioxidants.
The difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products is the lack of THC in broad-spectrum products. This makes broad-spectrum CBD products perfect for asthma patients who are sensitive to THC.
When it comes to consuming CBD, these are the ideal methods you can choose from:
Whether you prefer cookies, chocolates, or truffles, there are numerous options to choose from when it comes to edibles. CBD gummies tend to be more commonly used among asthma patients.
However, with all edibles, you will have to wait for up to two hours before you will feel its effects. Though this can be less than ideal for some, if you are looking for a discreet way of consuming your CBD, then edibles are perfect for you. They are cheap, discreet, portable, and tasty.
With CBD topicals, you apply them directly to your skin, allowing your bloodstream to absorb it transdermally. Some topicals also include soothing ingredients such as menthol, lavender, and peppermint.
Topicals are designed to offer relief in a particular localized area of your body. For instance, as an asthma patient, you could rub them on your chest area to help open your airways, relieving some of the symptoms.
Some of the most commonly sold topicals include creams, ointments, lotions, and roll-ons. You can find them in your local pharmacy, grocery shop, or a reputable online store.
Tinctures are herbal extracts infused in 60 to 70% alcohol, which you can take sublingually or orally. The region underneath your tongue is filled with tissues and blood capillaries that quickly absorb CBD, making tinctures the ideal option for those looking for quicker results.
Currently, some manufacturers are using glycerin, MCT oil, and other carrier oils. Tinctures have different potency levels, allowing you to pick the right product with suitable potency for your condition. Furthermore, most CBD tinctures can offer you relief that will last for up to eight hours.
While it’s still in the early days of research, the relationship between CBD and asthma is already promising to be a beneficial one, providing different asthma patients with a natural and effective way of managing their symptoms. However, you must get your CBD products from a reputable source.
At SUPA Natural, we offer you a wide range of life-changing CBD products that will enable you to lead a SUPA life.