• Cannabidiol, which comes from cannabis plants, has anti-inflammatory effects.
  • People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have inflammation in their lungs and airways.
  • There is limited evidence that CBD can help with inflammation.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many different compounds that comes from cannabis plants. Researchers have been investigating CBD for potential health benefits, from pain relief to heart health.

CBD products are quickly growing in popularity. CBD oils are made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and adding it to a carrier oil. Currently, CBD oil is legal in all states if it comes from hemp, which is legally defined as a cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent THC.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another compound that comes from cannabis. THC is well-known for causing the intoxicating effects of cannabis.

CBD shares some of the benefits as THC but without the intoxicating effects. Some people use CBD oil to reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation.

CBD oil made for medical use typically comes from hemp plants. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that has only tiny amounts of THC. The CBD oil from these plants does not contain enough THC to cause a high and is regulated differently than plants with THC amounts greater than 0.3 percent. CBD oil may also come from other cannabis plants with a higher THC content. Depending on where you live, these products may or may not be legal.

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It’s possible that CBD may be helpful for other health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), though more research is needed.

Here’s what we know so far about the use of CBD oil for COPD.

COPD is a collection of diseases that cause inflammation and limit airflow in your lungs. Inflammation causes chest tightness and breathing difficulties.

Treatments for COPD may include:

  • giving up smoking, if you smoke
  • using inhalers to open up your airways and make it easier to breathe
  • taking medications to reduce inflammation in your airways
  • taking medications to reduce and thin mucus
  • using supplemental oxygen if your lungs aren’t able to bring in enough oxygen
  • following pulmonary rehabilitation programs to strengthen your lungs

CBD is shown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. However, more research is needed to determine if CBD oil has the potential to become a part of COPD management.

A 2015 study on mice showed that CBD can reduce lung inflammation. Less inflammation makes it easier to breathe.

There is also evidence that cannabis oil regulates human airway cell genes involved in inflammation. The formulation of cannabis oil in this study contained CBD and cannabidiolic acid, as well as THC and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. The study did not differentiate the effects of THC and CBD.

THC has been shown to dilate the airways in multiple studies, but is not found in significant amounts in CBD oil.

There’s not enough evidence yet to use CBD with or in place of prescribed COPD medications. More research is needed.

Managing your COPD will typically involve a treatment plan. Even if CBD oil is helpful to manage some of your symptoms, it will not replace all of your COPD medications.

There has been early research done to explore if CBD may be helpful for people who are trying to quit smoking. In a small 2013 study, people who used CBD as needed ended up smoking 40 percent fewer cigarettes than people taking a placebo.

There’s not enough evidence to recommend a type or dose of CBD oil for COPD. CBD oil is generally considered safe, but it may not be right for everyone.

The product label will tell you the amount of CBD in each dose. Because CBD oil is not considered a medication, there is not a standard dose.

As with any treatment or medication, people respond differently to CBD. If you decide to try CBD oil, you will need to experiment until you find a dose that is helpful for you. Typically, there will be some dosage guidelines on the package, but labeling can be inaccurate. The certificate of analysis (COA) on a CBD product, which looks like a QR code, will tell you what the product contains according to an independent lab test.

Talk with a doctor before you start any type of treatment. If you decide to try CBD, start with a low dose and monitor how you feel. Keep in mind that it may take days or weeks before you start to feel any effects.

Even when it comes from a natural source, a treatment like CBD can still interact with other medications. In particular, CBD can interact with medications that carry a grapefruit warning since CBD and grapefruit can have similar impacts on certain medications. Some people also notice side effects such as feeling sleepy or digestive upset.

CBD comes in different forms and people take CBD for a range of conditions. It’s available as an oil or tincture, edible, or capsule.

CBD can also be inhaled with a vaping device. There is no consensus on whether vaping CBD is safe for someone with COPD. There may be toxins or chemicals mixed with the CBD that can lead to further lung damage.

The amount and concentration of CBD will vary in each product. To make CBD oil, CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and added to a base oil. The base oil helps your body absorb the CBD.

You can take CBD oil as an oral capsule, via a dropper that puts the oil under your tongue, or through a vaporizer. CBD oil enters the bloodstream faster when absorbed through the capillaries under your tongue, compared to swallowing a capsule.

CBD works on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system impacts signaling in the central nervous system. This affects many parts of your body’s function, including:

  • mood
  • appetite
  • energy
  • memory
  • sleep
  • digestion
  • heart function

People may use CBD oil for different reasons. It may help with anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep. Some early research suggests CBD may reduce lung inflammation.

More research is needed before CBD is recommended as part of COPD management.

In the United States, products containing CBD are not regulated by the FDA. They are not prescription medications and aren’t covered by insurance.

You can expect to pay around 10 to 20 cents per milligram of CBD. This means that a bottle of CBD oil can cost $50 to $100 or more. The range in price may be due to the quality, other ingredients, and if the product is organic.

Look for a certificate of analysis (COA). This analysis will tell you if the CBD content on the label is accurate. It will also note if there are any harmful ingredients in the product.

There are many different strategies used as part of COPD management. Medications can help open up airways and reduce inflammation. It’s possible that CBD oil may be helpful for COPD, but there is not enough research currently.

Early research suggests it may reduce lung inflammation and be helpful in quitting smoking. More studies are needed before it can be recommended as part of COPD treatment.