Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may not be the most familiar sounding name for a health condition. And yet, it’s the third most common cause of death by disease in the United States.
More than 15.3 million Americans suffer from COPD, a disease that often leads to a lowered quality of life and shortened lifespan.
While doctors admit there’s no cure for COPD, researchers are investigating an array of treatment methods that can help patients manage symptoms and deal with the lifestyle changes caused by the disease.
In recent years, CBD has gained a lot of attention as a highly versatile compound capable of alleviating many health problems. In this article, we discuss the current state of scientific research on the link between CBD and COPD.
Before that, I’d like you to take a look at my recommendations for the best CBD oil brands as of right now.
Then we’ll dig deeper into potential benefits of CBD oil for COPD.
What is COPD?
COPD is an acronym for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is a progressive lung disease that makes breathing increasingly difficult for patients over time.
COPD causes inflammation in the lungs, leading to their thickening. It also compromises the oxygen exchange in the tissue. This results in the reduced airflow in and out of the lungs, delivering less oxygen to the lung tissues and causing problems with removing carbon dioxide.
Breathing difficulties are one of the most common symptoms of COPD. They can make it challenging for sufferers to stay active, work efficiently, and live a normal life.
Excessive exposure to irritants that harm the lungs and airways is the leading cause of COPD. Smoking is the most common type of irritant, so tobacco smokers are exposed to a higher risk of developing COPD.
However, nonsmokers can suffer from this disease, too. There are additional triggers coming into play, such as secondhand smoke, toxins or other contaminants in the workplace, radiation, air pollution, and a rare genetic mutation called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Untreated COPD can have serious side effects, including lung infections resulting from low levels of oxygen in the blood.
How is COPD Diagnosed?
Overall, there are several symptoms indicating that you may have COPD.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should follow-up with a doctor:
- Chronic cough
- Mucus buildup that you cough up for at least three months
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Swelling in feet, legs, or ankles
- Blueness of the lips (cyanosis)
Another way to determine if a person has COPD is to go through lung function tests.
Lung function testing is called spirometry. This is a simple breathing test that may be able to tell if you have COPD and define its stage.
You take a deep breath and blow hard into a tube, which is attached to a machine called a spirometer. Then you inhale medicine that opens your airways — and blow the tube again.
The test will show you:
- Your forced vital capacity (FVC), i.e. how much air you breathe out
- Forced expiratory volume (FEV), i.e. how much of that air came out in the first second
The doctor will use these results to create a third number that tells you how your lungs are functioning. If the number is below 70%, you have COPD.
There are also several other tests that look deeper into different types and stages of this condition:
- Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt) deficiency test
- Chest X-ray or CT
- 6-minute walk test
- Tests that check the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood
How Could CBD Benefit People With COPD?
If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, treatment will be a long and progressive process based on individual factors. Many people use oxygen therapy during the early stages of COPD to slow down the progress of the disease. More severe cases may call for surgical interventions, such as lung transplants.
Doctors and researchers are constantly searching for new options to treat this complex condition. If you’re a COPD patient and haven’t found relief in traditional treatment options, you might be wondering about new alternatives — like a COPD treatment with CBD oil.
CBD has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects and its efficacy as a bronchodilator. Both of these effects indicate that CBD may alleviate some of the symptoms of COPD.
1. CBD as a Bronchodilator
Several recent studies have shown CBD to exhibit significant bronchodilatory properties. Scientists believe that CBD can dilate the respiratory airways, lowering resistance and creating better airflow into the lungs.
These properties have been explored when researchers were searching for new treatments for asthma. However, the bronchodilatory effects of CBD could bring similar relief to patients experiencing acute COPD symptoms.
By improving airflow, CBD could help COPD patients avoid low levels of oxygen in the blood and the shortness of breath they struggle with. This, in turn, could slow the progress of the disease and diminish the harshness of its side effects.
2. CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory
Medical researchers have been exploring potent anti-inflammatory properties of CBD since 2009. Recently, a 2014 trial showed that CBD could improve lung function and reduce inflammation in animal models.
Scientists in the 2014 study stated that “The present and previous data suggest that in the future, cannabidiol might become a useful therapeutic tool for the attenuation and treatment of inflammatory lung diseases,” suggesting that CBD could be an effective treatment for COPD.
What’s the Best CBD Dosage for COPD?
There’s no one-size-fits-all dosage for CBD, and you’ll likely have to go through some trial and error until you find the dose that works for you. Despite the many suggested health benefits of CBD, the FDA doesn’t recognize it as a treatment for other illnesses than epilepsy as of this writing.
Given this, there are no specific dosage guidelines when it comes to using CBD oil for COPD.
So how do you find an effective dose for your symptoms?
This depends on several factors.
For one, you’ll need to mind the consumption method, as different forms of CBD have different absorption rates and bioavailability levels, meaning a CBD capsule will ultimately deliver different amounts of CBD to your system than tinctures.
Along with the right product, you’ll need to consider your weight, metabolism, age, body chemistry, lifestyle, and the severity of your symptoms. They all play an important role in figuring out the best dosage for your needs.
As with any substance you introduce to your body, it’s best to start low and slow to avoid the possible side effects. The most common unwanted reactions to CBD oil include dry mouth, lower blood pressure, sedation, and lightheadedness.
Many experts recommend starting with 1–6 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. A lot of CBD brands include their daily dosage recommendations on the packaging, which can also be a good point of reference for most adult consumers.
Before you start taking any CBD product, discuss the use of CBD with your doctor. This will help you find the right dose and ensure there is no risk of complications with other health conditions or medications you may be taking.
How Are People Using CBD Oil for COPD?
CBD oil comes in many forms. Most commonly, people use this supplement as sublingual drops, capsules, or E-liquids. When you have COPD, you’ll need to ditch one of these options due to the nature of this condition.
I’m talking about vaping.
There haven’t been many studies investigating the impact of vaporization on lung health. The vast majority of these studies have investigated the safety of vaped versus smoked cannabis when it comes to lung cancer and heart disease, but none of them looked specifically at vaping and the risk of COPD. Given this, it’s better to err on the side of caution and abstain from vaporizing CBD liquids when you have this condition.
You can choose between sublingual CBD drops and capsules. If you don’t mind the distinct taste of CBD oil, drops will be your best choice because they offer higher bioavailability than capsules. Bioavailability is measured by the amount of CBD that reaches your bloodstream upon ingestion.
Oral forms of CBD such as capsules need to pass through the digestive system and thus are less bioavailable than sublingual products — they also have a slower onset of effects because of that.
CBD capsules are better for those who dislike the taste of CBD oil or don’t have time for measurements in their regime. Capsules have no odor and flavor, and each piece carries a fixed dose of CBD.
Best CBD Oils for COPD
The hemp industry is a booming market and many companies are jumping in to get their share of CBD pie. The abundance of different brands and products can be overwhelming, so you need to make sure you source your CBD oil from a trusted manufacturer. As with any health supplement, quality is paramount for it to be effective.
Most reputable companies, extract the CBD with pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2), use organic hemp plants, and publish certificates of analysis (CoA) from 3rd-party laboratories for each batch of product.
I have three brands I trust when it comes to buying CBD oil. Each of these companies specializes in manufacturing premium CBD products from high-quality ingredients and are transparent about their potential benefits.
1. Royal CBD
- Royal CBD uses locally-grown organic hemp
- The company uses supercritical CO2 extraction
- Their product selection includes full-spectrum CBD oils, capsules, and isolate-based gummies
- The oil is available in 3 potency options: 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg
- Contains up to 33.3 mg of CBD in each mL of oil
- The hemp extract is suspended in MCT oil
- Each batch of product has been tested in a 3rd-party laboratory
- Royal CBD products are more expensive than other brands, although it’s well justified by the quality of ingredients
My Thoughts on Royal CBD:
Royal CBD is a newcomer to the hemp scene. The company first launched in 2018 by a group of health-conscious cannabis advocates who decided to raise the quality standards on the market with a line of, premium products.
Royal CBD offers full-spectrum CBD oil in two basic forms — sublingual drops and capsules. The oil comes in three different potency options:
- 250 mg
- 500 mg
- 1000 mg
The 1000 mg bottle was recently introduced by Royal CBD for people needing higher doses of cannabidiol in their lives. Unlike many other full-spectrum products, this oil has a nice, natural taste spiced up by nutty undertones that provide a smooth flavor.
However, if you dislike the taste of natural or mint-flavored CBD oil, or you don’t have time to take measurements and need an easier way to take CBD, you may try Royal CBD capsules. They come as easy-to-ingest softgels; each capsule carries 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD, allowing for convenient dosing and easy use on the go.
- CBDPure products are made with Colorado-grown organic hemp
- The company makes its extracts with supercritical CO2
- All products are tested for potency and purity in a 3rd-party laboratory
- CBDPure offers a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program — you get a full refund for your product is you send it back within 90 days.
- Lower potency than Royal CBD
- Narrow product range
My Thoughts on CBDPure:
Based in Colorado, CBDPure is another premium brand that manufactures high-quality CBD oils from organic hemp.
Having been in the business for over 3 years, the company has mastered its line of CBD oils and capsules. CBDPure doesn’t have the most impressive product range out there, but it makes up for that with the quality of ingredients it uses in its extracts. All CBDPure products are extracted with supercritical CO2 and tested in a certified laboratory to prove their potency and safety.
However, if you’re looking for high-potency CBD oil, I suggest that you go with Royal CBD. CBDPure offers products that are better suited for preventative supplementation or mild symptom relief.
Alternatively, you may want to try their softgel capsules — they boas 25 mg of full-spectrum cannabidiol in each serving.
If you’re not satisfied with how the product works, you can send it back within 90 days for a full refund as part of CBDPure’s 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program.
- CBDistillery uses locally-grown hemp
- The company offers both full-spectrum CBD and pure CBD oil (THC-free)
- Each batch of product is tested in a 3rd-party lab for content analysis
- Up to 5000 mg of total CBD
- CBDistillery is one of the most affordable brands on the market
- CBDistillery doesn’t use organic hemp
- No flavored options available
My Thoughts on CBDistillery:
CBDistillery is a company that underlines the importance of education on top of selling affordable CBD oil from high-quality ingredients. The company caters to all types of CBD consumers out there — their products are available in a wide potency range from 250 mg to 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. The company’s CBD oil is available as ‘full-spectrum’ or ‘THC-free’.
CBDistillery also sells CBD capsules, gummies, vapes, and isolate slab — all of these products have a valid certificate of analysis as proof of their quality. The company publishes the lab results on its website so you can see what’s in the product before buying it.
The only disadvantage I’ve noticed is that CBDistillery’s products aren’t made with organic hemp. Therefore, the quality of the end product is lower than the other brands in this ranking. Nevertheless, it’s a really small cost considering how CBDistillery prices its products. This brand may not sell the best CBD oil on the market, but it’s definitely the best CBD oil for this price.
Final Thoughts: Using CBD Oil for COPD
COPD is a serious chronic condition, and if left untreated, can lead to a series of dangerous complications, severely compromising the quality of one’s life.
The exact effects of CBD on COPD haven’t been examined yet, although numerous studies indicate this cannabinoid has potent anti-inflammatory and bronchodilating effects. Experts argue that CBD oil could help in the management of COPD symptoms and slow the progression of this condition.
If you want to try CBD oil for COPD, make sure to consult with your doctor first. A qualified medical professional should be able to tell if CBD oil can support your current COPD treatment and how much CBD you should take to feel the difference.
- Makwana, R., Venkatasamy, R., Spina, D., Page, C. (2015). The Effect of Phytocannabinoids on Airway Hyper-Responsiveness, Airway Inflammation, Cough. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 353(1), 159–180.
- Grassin-Delyle, S. et al. (2014). Cannabinoids Inhibit Cholinergic Contraction in Human Airways Through Prejunctional CB1 Receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology, 171(11), 2767–2777.
- Burstein, S. H., & Zurier, R. B. (2009). Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids, and Related Analogs in Inflammation. The AAPS Journal, 11(1), 109–119.
- Ribeiro A. et al. (2015). Cannabidiol Improves Lung Function and Inflammation in Mice Submitted to LPS-induced Acute Lung Injury. Immunopharmacology & Immunotoxicology, 37(1), 35–41.