CBD for Asthma: Research, Benefits and Usage

Asthma is a medical condition in which your airways narrow and swell and sometimes produce extra mucus. This can make your breathing difficult and can lead to coughing, wheezing (a whistling sound) when you breathe out and also shortness of breath. Asthma affects people of all ages and often starts during childhood. Asthma symptoms can range from mild to severe and can happen every day or every once in a while. Asthma can be triggered by a lot of things, including cold air, smoke, dust. Cleaning, and pet hairs. Some medicines for asthma include Albuterol, Levalbuterol, and Metaproterenol, but most medicines are taken using an inhaler or nebulizer. CBD intake is becoming a popular way of treating a lot of illnesses and is known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

CBD for Asthma

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound extracted from a hemp plant. It is known to help treat a wide variety of health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and even epilepsy. Unlike THC, which is a psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis plants, CBD is not psychoactive and will not cause you to feel high. The dosing of CBD typically ranges from 5 mg to 25 mg and may increase depending on your doctor’s suggestion and what you want to treat. You should consult with your doctor first before taking CBD as it may cause some side effects when taken the wrong way. 

Can CBD Help Ease Symptoms of Asthma?

Yes. CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator and antioxidant effects. CBD decreases hyperresponsiveness in your airways which means that lungs will be less sensitive to your asthma triggers. This means fewer symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Some studies also suggest that CBD has more neuroprotective benefits than vitamins C and E.

What are the Researches about CBD Effects on Asthma?

An animal study in 2015 suggested that CBD benefits people with asthma due to its anti-inflammatory action. Another study in 2019 on mice found that CBD decreases airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness that were induced with allergic asthma. There are three types of CBD: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains not more than 0.3% THC which makes it federally legal, broad-spectrum CBD contains most CBD compounds but not all, while CBD isolate contains CBD only. Research has found that THC can help suppress the immune system, this means that for asthma, full-spectrum CBD may be the most effective CBD type to use. More research is needed in humans to determine whether CBD really is an effective treatment for asthma.

What are the Benefits of CBD for Asthma?

1. Inflammation effects of CBD

Inflammation occurs when your immune system sends out cells to fight bacteria or heal an injury. The four signs of inflammation can include heat, pain, redness, and swelling. CBD is known to be an anti-inflammatory. It works as an anti-inflammatory by reducing the levels of inflammatory cytokines, inhibits T cell proliferation, induces T cell apoptosis and reduces migration and adhesion of immune cells.

2. Spasms and effects of CBD

Muscle spasms are usually caused by involuntary contractions when you over-exercise, are stressed, and also when you are dehydrated. They can become an issue if they cannot be relaxed naturally. Muscle spasms usually occur on the thighs, claws, arms, hands, and feet and pain can range from mild to severe. Many people use CBD to relieve pain and is a great muscle relaxant. CBD helps with spasms by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system to relieve muscle spasms and pain associated with it.

3. CBD and Asthma Drug-Induced Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also cause asthma. It can make inflammation worse and can trigger shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. A person who is stressed may experience certain emotions, such as anger and irritation. CBD helps asthma drug-induced anxiety by altering serotonin levels. Serotonin levels are responsible for regulating mood, happiness, and anxiety. 

How should You use CBD to Treat Asthma?

There are a lot of ways to consume CBD: inhalation, sublingual, ingestion, and topical. The best consumption method depends on your preference and what you want to treat. Below are the best ways to use CBD to treat asthma.

  • Inhalation. Inhaling CBD is the quickest way to absorb CBD into your bloodstream if you’re struggling with asthma and need fast relief. Using a CBD inhaler will take effect within 10 to 15 minutes after use.
  • Sublingual. Everyday use of inhalers can leave you with a hoarse voice, sore throat and oral infections. Using CBD oil sublingually is also another way to use CBD for asthma. Put your doctor’s recommended number of drops under your tongue for at least 90 seconds before swallowing them. Effects will be felt within 15 minutes after use.
  • Ingestion. Ingesting CBD gummies is the easiest way to consume CBD. Swallowing CBD gummies will take at least 25 minutes to 3 hours before you feel it taking effect as it needs to pass through your digestive tract.

How Much CBD to Take for Asthma

The dosing of CBD depends on a lot of factors including your biology, your gender, your body weight, and what you want to treat. Doctors usually recommend patients to start at the lowest possible dosage which is 5 mg and may increase depending on their suggestion. Consult with your doctor first before taking CBD. Here is the standard recommended CBD dosing based on a person’s body weight.

Weight Low Dosage Medium DosageHigh Dosage
25 lbs2 mg4 mg6 mg
50 lbs5 mg10 mg15 mg
100 lbs10 mg20 mg30 mg
150 lbs15 mg30 mg45 mg
200 lbs20 mg40 mg60 mg

When to Take CBD for Asthma

When having an asthma attack, it’s best to use CBD inhalers as soon as you can as it can relieve your asthma attack within 15 minutes. You can also use CBD tincture and put a few drops under your tongue for at least 90 seconds before swallowing for maximum effect. CBD can be taken as supplements but you should consult with your doctor first before taking CBD as it can carry some risks as well.

What types of CBD products are the best for Asthma?

Here are some of the CBD products that are best for asthma.

  1. CBD Inhaler

CBD inhalers contain the purest and cleanest type of CBD. If you use CBD using an inhaler, you won’t need to worry about absorbing the negative effects that you can normally get with smoking. They don’t create any pollutants that will damage the lungs. CBD inhalers are used by pumping the inhaler through the propellant. Breathe in deeply and breathe out completely to empty out your lungs. Take 1 puff every 30 to 60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs.

  1. CBD Oil

There’s limited research on the use of CBD for asthma, but there are some pieces of evidence that CBD has a bronchodilatory effect, which can help relax the lungs and ease muscle spams. CBD. CBD oils can be put into capsules and taken orally or can be taken using a CBD tincture.

  1. CBD Gummies

Taking CBD gummies are the most popular and convenient way to take CBD. CBD gummies are the easiest to buy as they are available in online shops. While the FDA does not approve them yet, evidence suggests that CBD gummies are a great way to experiment with CBD for the first time as they are easy to dose and don’t have the aftertaste of the other CBD products. 

Is It Safe to Vape CBD with Asthma?

No. Although CBD is generally considered safe for asthma, vaping CBD oil is not the most recommended method. When you vaporise CBD, you usually inhale cannabidiol along with thinners, which can further irritate your lungs and cause a flare-up.

Are There Any Side Effects of CBD for Asthma?

Yes. Despite the potential benefits of CBD for asthma, side effects have been reported especially when taken the wrong way, including nausea, diarrhoea, skin rashes, insomnia and decreased appetite. Talk to your doctor first before taking any CBD products to not experience these side effects.

Can CBD Interact with Asthma Medications?

Yes. CBD is known to interact with other medications because of the way it affects the enzymes that your body uses to metabolise these medications. CBD can alter the effects of other drugs such as warfarin (a blood thinner), diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), risperidone (an antipsychotic), and omeprazole, (a proton-pump inhibitor). CBD may interfere with these enzymes, leading to too much or not enough drugs in the body. This may lead to the medication not working or increased risk of side effects.

Does CBD work for Pet Asthma?

Yes. Pet asthma is similar to humans and is considered a chronic inflammation of a smaller passageway in the lungs. Some of the symptoms include wheezing, blue lips and gums, coughing, and rapid breathing. Pet asthma is commonly caused by parasites, stress, heart condition, obesity, and allergens. Treatments for asthma can be in oral, inhaled, or injectable form. Studies suggest that CBD also interacts with your pet’s CBD receptors. CBD helps your pet’s immune system. CBD is completely safe, non-toxic and does not cause any serious side effects.