What is Asthma?
As an Asthma suffer I can tell you that coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness is not fun. My childhood consisted of carrying my inhaler everywhere and do not get me started on school sports days.
One out of twelve individuals suffer from asthma, a chronic disease of the airways that can cause difficult breathing. If not managed correctly asthma can be fatal and attacks can be triggered by simple everyday activities such as exercise and allergies.
Whilst most people with asthma get by with little to no hassle, the condition was linked to over 3,000 deaths in 2010.
The Science Behind Asthma and CBD
CBD has been shown to act as a bronchodilator meaning it can widen the airways. A recent study by The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics has also shown that CBD may be able to protect the lungs. Throughout this study researchers used guinea pigs to measure the ability of cannabinoids in inhibiting constriction of the airways.
During an asthma attack the bronchioles (air passages in the nose and mouth) become constricted and as a result, the flow of oxygen is severely restricted. The study’s results have essentially shown that CBD can help to reopen these airways.
Considering that bronchoconstriction is one of the biggest problems facing asthma sufferers, the results are somewhat astonishing.
CBD’s Anti-inflammatory Properties
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease and the inflammation causes a temporary narrowing of the lungs, reducing the amount of oxygen which can be carried around this body. This makes normal breathing somewhat difficult.
Not only is this the case for asthma sufferers during an attack but it is also the case whilst resting. Low levels of inflammation are always present and simply tend to increase during a asthma attack. By reacting with the bodies’ cannabinoids CBD may reduce inflammation and this would include the lungs.
CBD May Reduce Muscle Spasticity
Bronchial spasms are a sudden constriction of the lung muscles and can cause difficulties in a mild to severe form. They are a hallmark symptom of Asthma and CBD may be effective in reducing and eliminating these. By relaxing the muscles in the lungs, CBD could potentially help to expand the airways and ultimately increase airflow.
Relief from Pain
Pain is not one of the primary symptoms associated with the respiratory condition, however chest pain can often follow an asthma attack. Although there are no pain receptors in the lungs, during interrupted airflow stress is place on the accessory muscles.
This is often followed my pain due to the fact that these muscles are rarely (if ever) used for normal breathing. Similar to the muscle pain you would feel during a tough workout.