Can CBD Help Treat Coronary Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Its Symptoms?
What is COPD and what does it stand for? COPD is short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It can affect anyone, but especially middle-aged long-time smokers. Oftentimes, COPD is categorized by rapid breathlessness and a persistent cough. Unfortunately, millions of people are diagnosed with COPD yearly. Specifically, roughly 12 million Americans struggle with this disease. Another 11 million or so Americans likely have COPD. However, they have not received a proper diagnosis of it. Although there are various treatment methods available, COPD is not curable at this time. On the bright side, certain forms of treatment can help alleviate many of the disease’s painful symptoms. One alternative form of medicine that can help treat COPD and its symptoms is Cannabidiol (CBD).
Important Information About COPD For Beginners and Experts
As mentioned above, COPD is known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is an umbrella term that describes progressive lung diseases. This includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. There are four stages of this disease such as very mild, moderate, severe, and very severe. The disease impacts each person differently. However, there are numerous signs that indicate a COPD diagnosis. Some of these signs and symptoms include the following: wheezing, chest tightness, increased breathlessness, increased shortness of breath, and recurrent coughing (with or without mucus).
In addition, it is possible for COPD to progressively get worse over the years. It is also possible for people to not take their symptoms seriously, especially if there is no sign of shortness of breath. However, if an individual has COPD and any of the conditions listed below, the disease can be negatively impacted.
-Preexisting heart disease
-High blood pressure
Ways to Determine If You Have COPD or Its Symptoms
Overall, there are several questions individuals can ask themselves to help them determine if they have COPD. These questions can also help them understand if they should follow-up with a doctor. Then, if one has COPD, these questions may help them figure out which type of COPD they have.
- Do you have a cough?
- If so, do you cough up mucus on most days for at least three months in a period of at least two years? If yes, it is possible the individual has COPD in the form of chronic bronchitis
- Are your lungs stretched out and larger than normal? If so, this could be a sign of COPD in the form of emphysema
Another way to determine if one has COPD or some of its symptoms is to get lung function tests done. Also, scans can be performed if one thinks they are past stage one of COPD.
Top Causes of COPD
On the same note, there are several causes of COPD. The main causes include smoking, genetic factors, and environmental factors. Out of all COPD causes though, the majority of cases are due to inhaled pollutants. These pollutants consist of tobacco smoking via cigarettes, pipes, and cigars as well as second-hand smoke. Whereas, regarding environmental factors, the most common ones include chemicals, fumes, and accumulated dust in various work settings. Genetic factors play a large part in the development and progression of COPD too.
With this being said, if you smoke or have smoked before, you are at a potential risk of developing COPD. Similarly, if you are regularly exposed to various environmental pollutants at work, you are at a high risk of developing this disease. There are no guarantees though. Some people who smoke do not get diagnosed with COPD. However, an interesting finding was discovered about this link.
Specifically, it was found that around 90 percent of people with COPD have smoked at some point in their life (regularly or not). It was also discovered that roughly 1 in 5 smokers end up developing significant COPD. Surprisingly, it is still possible for non-smoking individuals and those not exposed to environmental pollutants to develop COPD. Thus, it is believed that there are various genetic predispositions to the development of the disease.
Treatment Methods for COPD and Its Main Symptoms
Moreover, based on the type of COPD one has, their body may respond differently to various treatment methods. It is also common for COPD’s symptoms to vary. This disease may even have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. Fortunately, it is possible for people with COPD to live several years with a positive quality of life. However, COPD is a progressive and incurable disease that can be serious. On the plus side, there are certain treatments available that can help reduce COPD’s symptoms. Various methods can also help individuals breathe better thus improving their overall well-being.
In recent years, the concept of consuming cannabis and CBD as COPD treatment methods have floated around among doctors and researchers. Thus far, numerous studies have suggested that cannabinoids like CBD could provide therapeutic benefits. In particular, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could be very useful. This cannabinoid may also be effective as a preventative measure by COPD patients. Furthermore, it is possible for CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties to help control inflamed airways in cases of chronic bronchitis.
Additionally, when the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated, it has been found that airway inflammation can be lessened. Then, one animal study discovered that CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits could improve lung function. This finding suggests that CBD could be used as a therapeutic treatment method. Specifically, it could be used to help treat inflammatory lung diseases. Based on these findings and others, it has been indicated that CBD could help treat COPD and many of its symptoms.
CBD Can Help Treat COPD and Its Symptoms—Medical Evidence
Over the years, numerous medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids have been reported. In particular, the Lung Institute discovered cannabinoids’ usefulness in these areas: alleviation of inflammation of pain, supporting the immune system, helping improve sleep, and lessening the amount of phlegm and mucus one has.
Additionally, one study suggests that CBD could be used as a therapeutic medicine for treating inflammatory lung disease. This may apply to COPD as well. Another study demonstrated cannabis’s and CBD’s efficacy in treating inflammation. Then, certain findings have surfaced regarding cannabinoids’ bronchodilator effects. These effects could wok to reduce resistance within the body’s respiratory airway. As a result, an increase in airflow to the lungs can occur.
Although CBD is extremely beneficial, THC has its own slew of benefits too. For example, thus far, THC and CBD have shown their efficacy in activating the body’s cannabinoid receptors to help lessen airway inflammation. These two cannabinoids can also help reduce allergic and asthmatic inflammation. From these noteworthy findings, it is believed that CBD can help treat COPD and its symptoms, but THC could help too.
Reasons to Avoid Smoking If You Have COPD Or Some of Its Symptoms
Although various cannabinoids especially CBD can help treat COPD and its symptoms, smoking is not recommended. For COPD patients, it is best to prevent future lung damage and irritants from entering the lungs. Therefore, it is advised to refrain from combusting cannabis. Instead, it is suggested to consume cannabis and CBD via infused edibles, drinks, oils, and tinctures. However, if individuals wish to inhale cannabinoids, vaping is the healthy way to go.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, cannabis smoke is quite harmful. Specifically, it has been found to possess over 700 chemicals. Cannabis smoke also accumulates close to four times as much tar in the body’s lungs as cigarette smoke. Therefore, if you are already experiencing breathing problems, mucus and phlegm build-up, and/or chronic coughs, smoking is strongly unadvised.
Even though cannabis and CBD cannot cure COPD, it can significantly help lessen many of its symptoms. This medicine could also help improve COPD patients’ quality of life and overall well-being. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? To feel better, healthier, and have the best quality of life possible. Let us know in the comments below if you would try CBD to help treat COPD and its symptoms.