CBD and Asthma
First off, what is asthma and how does it affect someone?
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects 300 million people worldwide and it is on a steady increase since the 80’s…but why?
There are a few reasons for the increase in rates (which we will save the others for another discussion), but the one we will focus on now is diet. Asthma rates are also on the rise within our pediatric population and diet plays a huge role. Children are fed highly processed foods that contain little fruit and veggies, highly processed foods, artificial ingredients and dyes, and sugar, all which cause an inflammatory immune response from the body (1). The chronic inflammation caused by a poor diet was shown to directly affect the bronchioles and respiratory health, which increased the likelihood of being diagnosed with asthma (1).
The Western diet or the Standard American Diet (SAD) is linked to many chronic health conditions, with Asthma being on that list (1). The SAD consists of low fruit and vegetable intake, while having a high amount of fat and salt intake, which negatively impacts our overall health, starting within the digestive tract. This diet leads to chronic inflammatory states, and it also impacts us right where you think, the respiratory tract. Prevention through diet is important because a proper diet that includes higher amounts of fruits and vegetables not only helps with weight management, but fruits and veggies are full of powerful antioxidants. Much like CBD, fruits and veggies also help control cytokine release (immune response) and reduce free radical damage (antioxidant) (1).
But how could cannabidiol (CBD) help someone with asthma?
It all starts with understanding the underlying characteristics of asthma, which include immune response, chronic lung inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness (something that causes the airways to constrict) (2).
Since CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory and has immune modulating properties, CBD was put to the test to see if it would help those that suffer from asthmatic conditions in hopes to explore CBD’s therapeutic potential… and the results are amazing!
According to Elsevier, an international peer reviewed medical journal, CBD was shown to reduce airway inflammation and improve airway remodeling by reducing fibrosis or the formation of scar tissue within the lungs (2).
CBD can do this because of the CB1 and CB2 receptors (the catcher's mitt for CBD and where CBD acts) that are located within our immune cells and central nervous system (2).
CBD was shown to control cytokine release (what causes inflammation), reduce airway hyperresponsiveness, and can prevent our immune system from overacting, which makes this very useful for those that have asthma.
The great thing about CBD is that it is an immune modulator, meaning it can control our immune system by bringing up the immune system when needed and also decrease an overreacting immune system that is seen in asthma (as well as autoimmune conditions) (2).
The study also stated that CBD is well tolerated without significant side effects, even when used chronically or over long periods of time, another huge plus of cannabis (pharmaceutical companies can't say the same) (2).
These beneficial properties that CBD has makes it a fantastic option to improve how those that suffer from chronic lung inflammation and fibrosis, both which are seen in those that suffer from asthma (2).
This is just 1 of the seemingly endless benefits that CBD has to offer. The potential that these plant compounds hold in terms of health and wellness for mankind seem limitless. Cheers to this safe and effective medicinal plant.
*This information is for educational purposes only and simply sharing of the information from these studies. No medical advice or claims are being made.
- Alwarith, J., Kahleova, H., Crosby, L., Brooks, A., Brandon, L., Levin, S. M., & Barnard, N. D. (2020). The role of nutrition in asthma prevention and treatment. Nutrition reviews, 78(11), 928–938. https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuaa005
- Vuolo, F., Abreu, S. C., Michels, M., Xisto, D. G., Blanco, N. G., Hallak, J. E., Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Reis, C., Bahl, M., Pizzichinni, E., Maurici, R., Pizzichinni, M., Rocco, P., & Dal-Pizzol, F. (2019). Cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma. European journal of pharmacology, 843, 251–259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.11.029