Our lungs are one of the most important organs we need to survive which helps us in breathing. It helps our cardiovascular system get oxygen to fulfill the oxygen demand of the cells and spills out the excess CO2. Therefore, if our lungs stop working, then there would be no way for us to breath, our brain won’t get any oxygen and we’ll collapse in a minute.
And COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a medical condition that damages our lungs’ essential parts and blocks the airway. In the US alone, almost 16.4 million people are suffering from this life-threatening disease. And it’s one of the top three major reasons for the death of the American people.
But as the cannabis is being legalized by more and more US states, people are starting to take CBD as a supplementary medicine to treat COPD. But the question is, does it really work.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what COPD is and how CBD might help us prevent COPD and keep our lungs healthy.
What Is COPD?
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a medical condition where the patient’s lungs’ airways become thick and inflamed and the oxygen exchanging tissues of our lungs are destroyed. As a result, our lungs become unable to maintain normal airflow. And for this, our blood and whole body don’t get the right amount of oxygen to function in a healthy way.
When our body cells don’t get enough oxygen, getting rid of carbon-di-oxide becomes harder. Then our body becomes unable to function at its peak performance. And if the patient doesn’t get timely treatment, soon he’ll suffer from shortness of breath. This, in turn, further stimulates lung damage.
As its name suggests, COPD is a life-long disease and has no chance of curing right now if you don’t take preventive measures. You’ll be unable to lead a healthy and normal life. You’ll suffer from shortness of breath even if you walk for a while. You can’t run, do heavy activities, or climb stairs safely. Once you get caught in it, you’ll have to suffer from a life-long disability and probably die a lot early too.
Why COPD Happens?
If someone smokes for a long time or breaths air with a lot of pollution for a long time, then they might develop COPD. Here are the three most common reasons why someone may develop COPD:
- The doctors aren’t saying smoking is dangerous without a good reason. In fact, if you smoke a lot of cigarettes for a long time, you have just as greater chances of developing COPD than lung cancer. And the same thing applies to other forms of smoking such as cigar and pipe. Also, if you live in an environment where you are exposed to a lot of secondary smoke, then you might develop COPD too.
- Just like smoking, if you live in a place where the air is heavily polluted, then your lungs may suffer COPD.
- Also, a fraction of COPD patients developed the disease because of genetic reasons. This type of patient has a little deformity in their DNA. As a result, their body becomes unable to create the right amount of necessary protective protein to keep the lungs safe. Therefore, their lungs suffer from damage and the patients develop COPD.
How COPD Affects Your Lungs?
To understand how COPD affects your lungs, you have to understand how your respiratory organs work. If you look at your lung at a microscopic level, you’ll find a lot of alveoli there. The alveoli are basically microscopic air sacs which store and pass on the oxygen from the air you inhale to your blood. And at the same time, it takes the CO2-rich air from your blood and throws it outside of your body.
So, if someone has COPD, it means his alveoli are severely damaged and aren’t working efficiently. The tiny walls that separate two alveoli break down and mucus start blocking your airways. And this puts a lot of strain on your lungs as it becomes unable to throw out the excess CO2-rich air.
Therefore, your body will not get enough oxygen and you’ll start suffering from the shortness of breath. However, as the damage to your lungs’ air sacs happens at a very slow rate. So, most of the people who are suffering from COPD will have no idea about their conditions.
Signs Your Lungs Are Suffering From COPD
Now, you already know how COPD impacts your lungs. And you also know how important it’s to identify and start the treatment of this disease immediately. But to do that, you have to notice its early symptoms and work accordingly.
At first, the effects of this disease might not seem like much. But soon it can develop into a deadly condition and exert multiple symptoms. Here are some of the common symptoms that you have COPD:
- Frequent cough which is more or less similar to cough causes for smoking.
- Tightness in your chest.
- Shortness of breath, especially when you do any physically demanding task.
- The lips and the fingernails might turn a bit blue.
If you notice 2-3 of the above symptoms in someone, immediately take them to the doctor and explain your situation so the doctor can appropriately diagnose your lung health.
Using CBD For COPD Treatment
It’s true that CBD might not treat COPD directly, but its other properties make it a worthy supplementary medicine. The ability to reduce or wipe out inflammation is one of the main properties of CBD. And one of the main symptoms of COPD is the inflammation of the airways inside our lungs that leads to the shortness in breath. So, can CBD reduce the inflammation of our lungs’ airways?
Well, of course, it can. In fact, studies on CBD has proven to be quite helpful in reducing the airway inflammation in COPD patients. Moreover, other studies have found that CBD is a great alternative medicine to stop the shortness of breath from being more acute.
One of the main ways CBD is able to do it is by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of our endocannabinoid system. Once the CBD gets into our bloodstream, it immediately interacts with our ECS and cannabis receptors. After that, the binding of CBD molecules and cannabis receptors causes a chain of chemical reactions. And that creates an effective anti-inflammatory substance that reduces the inflammation in our lungs’ airways.
However, you must be careful and talk to your doctor first if you’re following medicines from a past prescription. CBD interacts with different medicines, it’s always better to consult a cannabis expert before you start taking CBD.
Benefits Of Using CBD For Treating COPD
While you might prefer to go with the conventional treatment for COPD, using CBD as a supplementary medicine will make you live a lot better. The medicines doctors use to treat COPD may have some adverse effects. If you use CBD as a supplement, you can greatly reduce those sides effects and make the treatment as smooth as possible.
Here are some ways CBD might benefit people with COPD:
- CBD will help you prevent or reduce airway inflammation. As a result, it’ll be able to stop the shortness of breath from being worse.
- It will reduce anxiety and help you have a nice and sound sleep.
- It will reduce the mucus production in our lungs and slow down the rapid blockage of airways.
- CBD will improve our appetite which will help us fight COPD.
- It can reduce the feeling of tightness in your chest and the chest pain caused by it.
How To Take CBD To Protect Your Lungs
While there are multiple ways to take CBD to treat COPD, it works best if the CBD reaches directly into your bloodstream. So, methods like topicals that involves using CBD by infusing them into body lotions and creams won’t work well. Also, as you’re suffering from a lung-related disease, you must not take CBD using smoking or vaping. Because while they can send CBD to your bloodstream, it won’t be healthy for your lungs. In fact, smoking CBD will actually make your COPD even worse.
Here are some of the safest and most effective ways to take CBD to treat COPD:
- You can mix your CBD oil with your juice or other beverages. Once the CBD oil goes down to your stomach with the rest of the food, it gets absorbed by your intestines. And from there it mixes to your bloodstream.
- If you’re suffering from COPD and want to control exactly how much CBD you’re taking, then you can take CBD oil which is available in capsule form. It mixes with your bloodstream in a similar way edible CBD does.
- Nowadays, CBD is also available in inhaler form. And you can use it just like any other inhaler. In this way, CBD reaches your bloodstream directly through the lungs.
- You may also take CBD in tincture form. Just place a few drops of CBD oil at the back of your tongue and keep it that way for one minute. The nearest blood vessels will absorb the CBD from the oil and the CBD will reach your bloodstream.
Conclusion: Keep Your Lungs Healthy
CBD has proven itself to be great supplementary medicine to treat the COPD and keep your lungs healthy. It can soothe the chest pain, help reduce the mucus formation to prevent further damage, and reduce airway inflammation.
However, before jumping in and start using CBD right away, make sure you consult your doctor or a cannabis expert to make sure it’s safe for you. CBD may interfere with your current medicines so you gotta be cautious. Once you get permission, get your CBD product, start using it, and keep your lungs healthy.
Disclaimer: The information above should not be considered a medical recommendation. The content is written to enrich the reader’s knowledge. Any use of materials and content mentioned in this article should be first consulted about by a physician.