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Cannabis Oil for COPD

Lydia K. RN
COPD, cannabis, medical cannabis, recreational cannabis, legalization, prohibition, cannabinoids, CBD, THC

We need more research into the promise of cannabis oil for COPD. Patients report improvement of symptoms.

Medical cannabis research is a hot topic around the globe, but we still don’t know enough about the link between cannabis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers are digging deep into the science of cannabis oil for COPD to find the role that the herb could play in the stopping the development and progression of this terrible disease.

The COPD foundation defines COPD as: “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases. including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.” Common symptoms include: wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, and pain in the chest.

COPD is progressive and there is currently no cure. However, a patient can take a number of measures to control symptoms, slow progression and live a more comfortable life.

Elderly woman walking with mask and oxygen tank

Do People Need To Worry About Cannabis Smoke Damaging Lungs?

In the US, medical cannabis is legal in several states and patients use it in the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer and HIV/AIDS symptoms among others. However, there is also a rising concern over the effects of smoking cannabis on patients with pulmonary disease. Does cannabis improve or exacerbate symptoms?

THC is known to be a powerful bronchodilator and is effective in the treatment of lung disease, such as asthma.  It also reduces the symptoms associated with COPD. Smoking it, though? Not recommended. While cannabis and tobacco smoke are not equally carcinogenic, combusting any organic material results in the production of  oxidized hydrocarbons, which can be damaging to delicate lung tissues. Many experts have cautioned against smoking cannabis, especially for people already suffering from COPD.

A study conducted by David Geffen School of Medicine indeed concluded that “smoking cannabis by itself can lead to respiratory symptoms because of injurious effects of the smoke on larger airways.” It also found, however, that smoking cannabis does not lead to the development of COPD.

COPD, cannabis, medical cannabis, recreational cannabis, legalization, prohibition, cannabinoids, CBD, THC

Is Cannabis Able to Treat COPD?

Managing COPD calls for symptom control and preserving lung function. The symptoms of COPD usually come from airway inflammation and swelling that makes breathing difficult. Conventional, FDA-approved, treatment for COPD includes the use of corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory agents.

As much as these medications are effective, patients using them may have to grapple with severe side effects. These can include weight gain, blood sugar imbalance, tolerance, and a decline in sex drive.

Recently, medical research has zeroed in on cannabis as an effective anti inflammatory agent. The compounds in cannabis responsible for these therapeutic benefits are cannabinoids, specifically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids can also boost the immune system, providing anti microbial action, pain relief and phlegm reduction, all which will be beneficial for COPD patients.

COPD, cannabis, medical cannabis, recreational cannabis, lung health, chest pain, cannabinoids, CBD, THC, research

How Should You Take Cannabis Medicine When You Have COPD?

The good news about cannabis medicine is that there are many ways of getting your medicine. You can try a THC inhaler for acute symptoms of inflammation and cannabis oil to help with daily symptom relief. Alternatively, edibles can be a delicious way to heal, including cookies, gummies, hard candies, and suckers.

Speak to your physician about how cannabis can support your current COPD treatments.

Lydia Kariuki

RN, Expert medical writer who is passionate about cannabis!

1 Comment
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    Peter Sayers

    I have had COPD now for over 19 years and been in hospital so many times and the side effect of all the drugs and inhaler have put on so much weight now and am hoping and praying that cannabis oil can help. Regards Peter Sayers

    June 8, 2019 at 9:34 pm Reply

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