Can CBD help with asthma, and how?
Asthma is a respiratory disorder in which a person’s airways become inflamed and narrowed, causing coughing and chest pain, which, in severe cases, can make breathing difficult.
The typical treatment for asthma is to open up the airways using an inhaler that sprays drugs. These medications provide short-term relief, while other steroid-based inhalers provide long-term comfort.
CBD oil may be able to help avoid and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks with its potent anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic (suppresses muscle spasms) properties, making patients able to manage their symptoms.
Asthma can be an allergy, a workplace issue, or something more severe. It cannot be cured, but some victims can avoid the factors that trigger the symptoms.
Many asthma patients have been treating with CBD for some time, making experts explore the connection between CBD and asthma.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA),
Asthma is more common in children than adults, more common in boys than girls, and more common in adult women than adult men.
Over 25 million Americans have asthma, and the number has been increasing since the early 1980s across all sex, age, and racial groups.
Each day, 10 Americans die from asthma. Most of these deaths are avoidable with proper treatment and care.
How CBD Can Help with Asthma
CBD may interact with the endocannabinoid system to reduce mucus production, as one review indicates.
CBD functions as an immune modulator and some allergy sufferers may find improvement in their condition, according to Dr. Karyemaître Aliffe, a physician who focuses on cannabis-based healthcare options.
Cannabis activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors, reducing airway sensitivity in people who have asthma. However, this activity would be more related to full-spectrum, THC-rich products than with a CBD isolate.
Dr. Philip Blair, an endocannabinologist, believes that full-spectrum CBD is more effective due to the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is a phenomenon that shows synergy among cannabinoids. It results when the many components within the cannabis plant interact with the cannabinoids in the human body to create a stronger impact than any one of those components alone.
Whole plant-derived CBD also performs better and more consistently with reduced adverse effects than isolate, at significantly lower quantities of CBD.
Dr. Blair recommends taking CBD oil orally, or by using a vape pen. He said asthma responds well to oral CBD.
In his experience, liposomal products are effective in immediately improving several aspects of this disorder.
Dr. Blair adds, “Vaporization of CBD is helpful but not as complete as oral or sublingual use.”
CBD oil is anti-inflammatory.
Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease, causes patients to experience persistent low-level inflammation of their bronchial tubes, even when symptoms are not apparent. During an asthma attack, inflammation is exacerbated, which constricts airways and makes breathing challenging.
Researchers in a 2015 study examined the role of CBD in treating asthma. In this study, which used animal subjects, the authors concluded that CBD appeared to be a possible new drug to moderate the inflammatory response in asthma.
In another study, scientists found that CBD helped to reduce airway inflammation and fibrosis in animal subjects that were experiencing an allergic asthmatic response.
CBD oil is an antispasmodic.
During an asthma attack, spasms impact the bronchi and bronchioles by contracting the muscles in the lungs, which then makes breathing difficult.
Research demonstrates that CBD can provide relief from muscle spasms, and this characteristic is proven by its use in treating epilepsy.
CBD oil has also gained popularity for helping treat many conditions that involve spasms or tremors, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Experts continue to examine the efficacy of CBD oil in treating asthma.
However, while laboratory studies exhibit CBD’s potential benefits to asthma patients, consulting with a doctor first before beginning a CBD regimen is the best course of action.
Patients may also consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor specializing in using CBD to treat medical conditions.
PULMONARY ASPIRATION DEFINITION Entry of gastric contents or other foreign substances into the respiratory tract. This in turn may produce obstruction of the airways and/or chemical inflammation of the lung. TOXIC CAUSES Any agent causing loss of protective airway reflexes, in particular those resulting in central nervous system depression or seizures. Pulmonary aspiration of certain hydrocarbons can occur without significant depression of the level of consciousness and may result in hydrocarbon pneumonitis. NON-TOXIC CAUSES Anaesthesia (general or local pharyngeal) Cerebrovascular accidents Gastroesophageal reflux Nasogastric tube feeding Neuromuscular diseases Seizures or post-ictal states CLINICAL FEATURES The clinical signs and symptoms are typically those of a chemical pneumonitis and develop rapidly, usually within two hours, following the aspiration. These symptoms/signs include dyspnoea, cough, fever, wheeze and cyanosis. These signs and symptoms may be partially or completely obscured by the clinical features (especially CNS depression) of the precipitating intoxication. The diagnosis may be confirmed by the presence of an infiltrate on chest x-ray and/or relative hypoxaemia, or by bronchoscopy. Severe cases may progress to severe hypoxaemia (PaO2 < 50 mmHg), apnoea and shock. DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS Non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema Pneumonia of infectious origin Pulmonary emboli Respiratory Distress Syndromes (e.g. ARDS) RELEVANT INVESTIGATIONS Chest x-ray: Typically shows diffuse bilateral infiltrates (massive aspiration) or densities in dependent lung segments (posterior segments of upper lobes, superior segments of lower lobes and basilar segments of lower lobes). However, any distribution of x-ray infiltrate in the clinical setting should suggest the diagnosis. Arterial blood gas analysis: Hypoxaemia and respiratory acidosis. Alveolar-arterial O2 gradient correlates with severity of pneumonitis. Bronchoscopy TREATMENT Initial management is supportive and includes: Establishment of airway patency Ensuring adequate ventilation Administration of supplemental oxygen Vigorous airway suctioning to remove any residual aspirated material Nebulised bronchodilators Fluid therapy to maintain normovolaemic state Prophylactic antibiotic therapy is not indicated. Antibiotics should only be given to treat bacterial superinfection (see below). Antibiotic selection is empiric in the first instance but may subsequently be modified on the basis of culture results. A suitable regimen covering the usual oral anaerobes is: Benzylpenicillin 600 mg intravenously every 4 to 6 hours for 1 to 2 days for a total of 10 days (may switch to amoxicillin-clavulinic acid when oral therapy appropriate) plus Metronidazole 500 mg intravenously every 12 hours for 1 to 2 days followed by 400 mg orally every 12 hours for a total of 10 days or as a single agent Clindamycin 600 mg intravenously slowly (over 30 minutes) every 8 hours for 1 to 2 days followed by 300mg orally every 6 hours for a total of 10 days. Aerobic gram-negative bacilli are likely in alcoholic or chronically hospitalised patients and is this situation, replace benzyl penicillin with Cefotaxime 1g intravenously every 8 hours or Ceftriaxone 1g intravenously daily. Corticosteroids are of no benefit and may be detrimental. Bronchoscopy is useful in those patients suspected to have aspirated large particles that might be retrieved from the airway (suggested by persistent atelectasis). CLINICAL COURSE AND MONITORING Mortality is dependent on the extent of the initial aspiration and correlates with both the extent of the radiologic infiltrate and the arterial-to-alveolar oxygen tension ratio. Most patients improve rapidly. The chest x-ray infiltrates usually resolve within two weeks. Clinical deterioration occurring at about 48 hours following the aspiration indicates likely bacterial superinfection. This deterioration is marked by recurrent fever, leucocytosis, development of purulent sputum and a new or extending pulmonary infiltrate on xray. LONG-TERM COMPLICATIONS Pulmonary recovery is usually complete in those patients surviving the acute phase. AUTHOR(S)/REVIEWERS Author: Lindsay Murray, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Perth, Australia. Peer Review: Rio de Janeiro 9/97: J.N. Bernstein, E. Birtanov, R. Fernando, H. Hentschel, T.J. Meredith, Y. Ostapenko, P. Pelclova, C.P. Snook, J. Szajewski London 3/98: T. Della Puppa, T.J. Meredith, L. Murray, A. Nantel.
Reversible constriction of the small air passages of the lower
Beta adrenergic blocking drugs
Irritant gases: Ammonia
Hydrochloric acid fumes
Metal fumes ("metal fume fever")
Dyspnoea, wheezing, cyanosis and cough are the presenting features.
The patient may also be too breathless to speak. There may be a
'silent' chest. There is usually a tachycardia. In severe cases,
"pulsus paradoxus" may be evident.
Airways obstruction due to increased bronchial secretions
Chronic obstructive airways disease
Left ventricular failure (cardiac asthma)
Respiratory compensation for metabolic acidosis
Upper airway obstruction
Arterial blood gases (in severely ill patients)
Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR)
Forced Expiratory volume in one second (FEV1).
Administer supplemental oxygen.
In the first instance, give a beta-adrenergic agonist such as
salbutamol as an aerosol using a nebulizer (2ml of 0.5% salbutamol
respirator solution contains 10mg of salbutamol). The dose may be
repeated at 20 minute intervals or even continuously. Salbutamol
may also be given intravenously, starting with an infusion of a
solution containing 5 mg in 500 ml (10 mcg/mL) at a rate of 3 to 20
If there is no satisfactory response to 2 to 3 administered doses of
salbutamol, give hydrocortisone 300mg, intravenously stat and 200mg
intravenously every four hours thereafter until the patient is better.
Oral prednisolone 40mg/day may be started at the same time as
In severe cases, aminophylline may be added (a loading dose of
5 mg/kg infused over 60 minutes, and 0.5 to 0.9 mg/kg each hour
thereafter, aiming to obtain a serum concentration between 8 and
If the patient's clinical condition and arterial blood gases
deteriorate despite the above measures, intermittent positive pressure
ventilation (IPPV) may be necessary. Ventilation however is rarely
necessary for bronchospasm following toxic exposures.
CLINICAL COURSE AND MONITORING
Unless the patient is an asthmatic, improvement is generally rapid.
Fatalities are rare. The patient should be carefully monitored until
None from the bronchospasm itself.
Sensitization to a toxic substance may result in reactive airways
Author: Dr Ravindra Fernando
National Poisons Information Centre
Faculty of Medicine
Tel: +94 1 686142
Fax: +94 1 691581
Reviewers: Rio de Janeiro 9/97: J.N. Bernstein, E. Birtanov,
R. Fernando, H. Hentschel, T.J. Meredith, Y. Ostapenko,
P. Pelclova, C.P. Snook, J. Szajewski.
London 3/98: T. Della Puppa, T.J. Meredith, L. Murray,