CBD for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

7 min.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is one of the leading chronic diseases in the United States of America. The disease affects the lungs of the person, causing them to have difficulty breathing. In a recent study,1 CBD has been identified as a viable option for COPD treatment. This article will help you understand the connection between CBD and COPD.

What is COPD?

First of all, let’s understand what COPD is, its causes, the symptoms around it and its general effect on a person’s life.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a general term given to diseases that progressively affect the lungs. The diseases include emphysema, long-term bronchitis, and non-reversible asthma. As the disease advances in stages, the more the patient feels out of breath. Some patients have either emphysema or bronchitis while others have both emphysema and bronchitis plus asthma.

The main cause of COPD is smoking although it is likely for one to smoke for a long time and never contract COPD. However, the more one is exposed to smoking, whether by being an active or passive smoker, the more is at risk of contracting the disease. The lack of protein alpha-1 for a non-smoker is also a good chance for such a person to get emphysema. Exposure to dangerous gases when working at a factory or cooking with gas fire where else the house is not properly ventilated can also be a cause of COPD.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of COPD may vary from individual to individual. Some of the common ones include:

  • wheezing
  • congestion of the chest
  • frequent cases of breathlessness
  • coughing with or without mucus
  • shortness of breath

These symptoms vary with different types of COPD.

For patients with COPD, it is highly recommended that they keep off places where there are chances of coming into contact with smoke. This, unfortunately, often limits one’s freedom of movement.

An introduction to CBD

CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol which is a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. The compound is used to make CBD oil, which has recently gained a lot of popularity for its medical advantages. This has led to a lot of medical research centers being opened in different states with researchers trying to take advantage of the cannabinoid is every medical way possible.

CBD receptors were first looked into in the 1990s opening research on the inflammatory response of human and animal tissues to see how CBD and COPD interacts. The research led to the discovery of exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids which have proven to be a great remedy for lung inflammation.

Why CBD can be an effective treatment for COPD

Given that there are people who take in CBD by vaping, is it really a viable option for COPD patients? The answer to this question is yes because there are other forms of using CDD.  As of now, there is no proven cure for COPD, and so COPD treatment is mainly focused on treating the signs and symptoms. This is where CBD oil for COPD comes in.

The relationship between COPD and CBD oil is mainly for therapeutic purposes. CBD is an anti-inflammatory, which is what COPD patients mostly need, given that the disease’s main symptom is lung inflammation. Using CBD for COPD will reduce inflammation making the patient have a more comfortable sleep and also reduce the production of mucus.

Using CBD oil for COPD also relieves the effects of bronchodilation for a COPD patient and eases lung and chest pains. CBD is an anxiety and depression remedy which are some of the emotional effects experienced by COPD patients.

What does Medical Reseach have to say about CBD for COPD

There is a lot of research around CBD that has proven that CBD could be a good option for therapeutic purposes to COPD patients. A study on guinea-pigs shows that CBD manages the acute attack on airway structures because of the inflammatory characteristic of COPD effects2. This makes it quite effective for people who have chronic bronchitis.

CBD comes into contact with the endocannabinoid system which had cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, helping the body to balance its homeostasis. Once the two receptors are activated, inflammation is reduced. A similar study concluded that CBD was a quite effective therapeutic treatment given its anti-inflammatory characteristic which also makes lungs function better3.

Furthermore, a study on acute lung injury also supports these above-mentioned findings, indicating that CBD can be used for a broad list of respiratory diseases4

How to use CBD to treat COPD

As noted before, the only way to treat COPD is by reducing the symptoms, particularly by taking anti-inflammatory drugs. As we look into the best way to take CBD for COPD, it is critical to remember that one should keep away from smoking. This will not only do more harm to a COPD patient but can also put the people around them at risk of contracting COPD. The smoke once taken in clogs respiratory pipes causing inflammation and weakens the lungs of both the victim and passive smokers.

If you are in a lot of pain as an effect of COPD, taking CBD sublingually by using a dropper is a fast way of dealing with the pain. CBD drops are placed under the tongue for about 30 seconds and then swallowed. Absorption of CBD in the body’s system takes a rather short time, bringing relief to the patient within 30 minutes.

An alternative method of taking CBD for COPD would be in the form of capsules. These can be taken daily and are also suitable for people suffering from respiratory conditions, as the capsules do not in any way interact with the lungs.

To find out more ways to use CBD, read our usage guide.

Bottom Line

With CBD oil treatment for COPD becoming more popular, this is good news to COPD patients. However, to make sure you choose a method suitable for you.


  1. Demosthenes Bouros, Joanna Floros, Stelios Loukidis, Ioannis Pneumatikos und Argiris Tzouvelekis. „Use of Medical Cannabis for Respiratory Diseases“ Official Journal of the Hellenic Thoracic Society (2018) []
  2. A.Dudášová, S.D.Keir, M.E.Parsons, A.Molleman und C.P.Page. „The effects of cannabidiol on the antigen-induced contraction of airways smooth muscle in the guinea-pig“ Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2013) []
  3. AlisonRibeiro, VivianeFerraz-de-Paula, Milena L.Pinheiro, Luana B.Vitoretti, Domenica P.Mariano-Souza, Wanderley M.Quinteiro-Filho, Adriana T.Akamine, Vinícius I.Almeida, JoãoQuevedo, FelipeDal-Pizzol, Jaime E.Hallak, Antônio W.Zuardi, José A.Crippa und JoãoPalermo-Neto. „Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: Role for the adenosine A2A receptor“ European Journal of Pharmacology (2012) []
  4. Ribeiro, A., Ferraz-de-Paula, V., Pinheiro, M., Vitoretti, L., Mariano-Souza, D., Quinteiro-Filho, W., Akamine, A., Almeida, V., Quevedo, J., Dal-Pizzol, F., Hallak, J., Zuardi, A., Crippa, J. and Palermo-Neto, J. (2012). Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: Role for the adenosine A2A receptorEuropean Journal of Pharmacology, 678(1-3), pp.78-85. []

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