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COPD is the third most common cause of death by disease in the United States. What’s the connection between COPD and CBD oil? Can it alleviate the symptoms? COPD makes it hard to breathe. Can CBD help people with this condition? CBD products abound, in all kinds of forms. Despite marketing claims, there’s no proof they’ll help lung disease. Learn the facts on CBD and where research stands.

CBD Oil for COPD: How to Use This Cannabinoid Oil & Dosage

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 the 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 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
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Swelling in feet, legs, or ankles
  • The 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 the 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.

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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 vaping versus smoked cannabis when it comes to lung cancer and other heart-related problems including the pumping power of the heart muscle, 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 the 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

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Pros:

  • 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, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg
  • Contains up to 83.3 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

Cons:

  • 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 four different potency options:

The 2500 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.

2. Gold Bee

  • Sourced from organic, non-GMO hemp
  • Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products
  • Up to 2400 mg of total CBD
  • Made from high-terpene strains
  • Infused with superfoods
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Limited potency options
  • Made in small batches (can sometimes be out of stock)

Gold Bee is a company with remarkable expertise in the superfoods industry. After changing its direction to CBD extracts, the company has maintained its health-conscious philosophy by infusing these products with organic MCT oil and raw honey from Brazilian rainforests.

Gold Bee offers a wide range of CBD supplements, from tinctures to capsules, gummies, honey sticks, topicals, and pet products.

The Gold Bee CBD oil is a full-spectrum extract, meaning it contains the whole package of beneficial phytonutrients from hemp, such as minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. It comes in two concentrations — 1200 mg and 2400 mg — both of which are available in two flavors: Kiwi and Lychee.

These extracts are sweetened with organic stevia extract and honey, so the pleasant flavor doesn’t come at the cost of extra calories. They’re one of the healthiest and best-tasting CBD products on the market.

Similar to Royal CBD, Gold Bee provides extensive third-party lab reports for every batch of its extracts. The lab analysis includes results for pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and mycotoxins.

3. CBDPure

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

4. CBDistillery

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

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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.

References:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Burstein, S. H., & Zurier, R. B. (2009). Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids, and Related Analogs in Inflammation. The AAPS Journal, 11(1), 109–119.
  4. 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.
Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

COPD: Can CBD Help?

If you have COPD, you may have been asked a surprising suggestion recently: Have you considered CBD? CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a chemical found in marijuana and other forms of the cannabis plant that’s now available in a wide variety of products, including tincture drops, capsules, candy, cookies, and even coffee. CBD is also sold in liquids that are warmed and inhaled with a special device (known as “vaping”).

Research shows that CBD appears to have various medicinal properties. Now some proponents are touting CBD’s potential to ease symptoms of COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that affects your airways, making it hard to breathe normally. Can CBD help you catch your breath? As products laced with this cannabis extract pop up in convenience stores and pharmacies in many states (though a few prohibit or place tight restrictions on sales of CBD), you might be tempted to give one a try. Here’s what you should know before you buy.

What Is CBD?

There are about 540 chemicals in cannabis, but the two you may have heard of are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, which are known as cannabinoids. THC is the stuff in pot that makes you feel “high.” CBD doesn’t have that effect and is generally considered safe.

You can also find CBD in hemp, a related cannabis plant that has very little THC. While you can buy marijuana legally in many states, the federal government still considers it an illicit drug. But CBD derived from hemp can be sold legally in most of the United States, with some exceptions. (Hemp seed oil is also available. It contains some CBD but little THC.)

The FDA has approved a prescription drug made with CBD, Epidiolex, to treat some forms of epilepsy and a condition called tuberous sclerosis complex, which causes growth of benign (noncancerous) tumors. But many people use CBD to self-treat a variety of conditions, including pain, insomnia, anxiety, and others. There isn’t much research on whether CBD helps with these health problems, though some evidence is beginning to build. For example, a handful of early studies in both animals and humans suggests that CBD could help ease anxiety, though more research is needed.

Does CBD Work for COPD?

Doctors don’t know if CBD can relieve symptoms of COPD or any other form of lung disease. “There’s not any research that says CBD is effective for COPD,” says April Hatch, a nurse at Cannabis Care Team in Kansas City, MO. She works with patients interested in cannabis-based therapies.

The belief that CBD might ease COPD symptoms may have sprung from research done decades ago, which showed that smoking pot actually relaxed the airways and improved breathing in healthy people and people with asthma. But that benefit was short-lived, and routine pot smoking is known to promote breathing problems, like coughing and wheezing.

Some lab studies have offered early signs that CBD could alter certain biological changes that cause COPD. With COPD. Your lungs become highly inflamed. The inflammation doesn’t go away and leads to irreversible blockages in your airways. CBD does seem to fight inflammation, at least in studies on animals. And a 2020 study in the Journal of Cannabis Research found that cannabis oil (which contained CBD and THC) appeared to act as an anti-inflammatory when exposed to human lung cells in a laboratory.

“The problem with these kinds of studies is that they only offer hints that CBD might help relieve breathing problems,” says pulmonologist Andrew Martin, MD, chair of pulmonary medicine at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, NJ. Unfortunately, he says, some experimental medicines that look promising in the lab end up having no effect when given to real people.

And that’s just what seems to have happened when scientists have tested whether CBD improves breathing in people with and without COPD. In a 1984 study, large doses of CBD given to healthy men failed to relax and widen their airways. In a very small 2011 study that included just four people with COPD, treatment with a drug called Sativex, which has THC and CBD, didn’t improve scores on a test that measures breathing. Interestingly, though, after treatment with the medication, they reported being less out of breath.

In another small study from 2018, researchers had people with advanced COPD inhale vaporized cannabis to see if it gave them more lung power when pedaling exercise cycles. It didn’t help, though in fairness the strain of pot used in the study contained only a very small amount of CBD. Once again, the people who inhaled cannabis said they felt less anxious, though that came at a cost, since they also felt high.

If You Decide to Try CBD

If you’re still thinking of giving CBD a try for your COPD symptoms or any other reason, talk to your doctor first. You might be surprised by their response.

“I have no objections to the use of cannabinoids,” says Martin, who doesn’t think they’ll help, but probably won’t hurt — if you use the right products. “As a lung physician, I cannot recommend that you smoke cannabis to get your CBD,” he says. That includes inhaling cannabis or CBD oil with a vaping device, which he worries could be harmful to the lungs.

“If taking CBD makes you feel better and decreases your anxiety,” he says, “use the edible version.”

Hatch suggests you only buy CBD products from a retailer that can provide a document known as a certificate of analysis. This shows the product has been tested in a lab, is free of contaminants, and contains the amount of CBD listed on the label.

Chances are, your local convenience store can’t or won’t provide those documents, so if possible purchase CBD at a medical marijuana dispensary, Hatch says. Research shows that taking 10 milligrams three times a day is an appropriate starting dose, she says, adding that it may take weeks or even months to notice a benefit. If you feel CBD isn’t helping, ask your doctor what you can do to improve your symptoms.

Show Sources

Lung Health Institute: “Can CBD Cure My Lung Disease?”

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research: “A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users,” “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.”

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CDC: “What is COPD?”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know.”

ProCon.org: “States with Legal Cannabidiol (CBD).”

Iranian Journal of Psychiatry: “Chemistry, Metabolism, and Toxicology of Cannabis: Clinical Implications.”

Biomolecules: “Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders.”

National Conference of State Legislatures: “State Medical Marijuana Laws.”

FDA: “FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD).”

Congressional Research Service: “Defining Hemp: A Fact Sheet.”

April Hatch, RN, Cannabis Care Team, Kansas City, MO.

Annals of American Thoracic Society: “Effect of Vaporized Cannabis on Exertional Breathlessness and

Exercise Endurance in Advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

Archives of Internal Medicine: “Effects of Marijuana Smoking on Pulmonary Function and Respiratory Complications: A Systematic Review.”

Clinical And Translational Medicine: “Inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and its role in cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.”

Cell Death & Disease: “Cannabidiol (CBD): a killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts.”

Journal of Cannabis Research: “ Effects of cannabis oil extract on immune response gene expression in human small airway epithelial cells (HSAEpC): implications for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”

Andrew Martin, MD, chair of pulmonary medicine, Deborah Heart and Lung Center, Browns Mills, NJ.

Chronic Respiratory Disease: “Cannabinoid effects on ventilation and breathlessness: A pilot study of efficacy and safety.”

CBD Oil and Lung Disease

You’ve likely noticed that CBD products crowd the alternative-remedy market these days. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that comes in all kinds of forms, from tablets to tea. Many of these products make claims of health benefits that can’t be shown to be true.

So, what, if anything, can CBD do for lung disease?

Claims Not Backed or Debunked by Science

David Mannino, MD, a pulmonologist in Lexington, KY, and the medical director and co-founder of the COPD Foundation, says the question is common. The answer is not that easy.

“These are questions we get a lot,” Mannino says. “There’s a whole cottage industry around CBD, not dissimilar from snake oil, purported to do everything with very little evidence.” Like dietary supplements, these products can pretty much claim anything. But studies haven’t shown results on humans that CBD can help lung disease.

But there’s nothing out there yet to say CBD doesn’t help, either, Mannino says.

CBD has, at most, a trace amount — no more than .03% — of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance in marijuana that triggers the “high” and other brain responses. Lots of products boast CBD as an active ingredient: over-the-counter pills and capsules; oils and tinctures (meaning it’s dissolved in alcohol instead of oil); foods and drinks; oil for vaping; and even topical types you put on your skin, nails, and even in your hair. Right now, it’s illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement. Some online stores try anyway.

At the same time, pure hemp seed oil, which comes from a different part of the hemp plant, and other hemp products don’t have CBD or THC. The FDA says they’re safe. But CBD/hemp oil combos exist and blur the lines even more.

Animal Testing Shows Some Positive Results

Because CBD comes from hemp, researchers might be able to study its possible benefits more widely. Few studies have been done to date. Of that small number, not enough of them researched humans to say if it can help lung disease or not.

Some positive results have come from animal studies. A 2015 study on guinea pigs showed CBD helped open up the bronchial passages. Some researchers believe it’s possible it could help people with COPD breathe easier and keep blood oxygen levels from falling, too. And a 2014 study on mice with damaged lungs showed CBD helped lower inflammation and improved lung function.

One of the few reports on CBD involving a person is a case report of an 81-year-old man with lung cancer whose tumor shrunk greatly when he regularly took CBD oil drops for a short time. Meanwhile, a 2020 pilot study using human cells and CBD oil to test possible COPD connections confirmed earlier studies that showed CBD might support your body’s anti-inflammatory and immune responses.

For now, the limited CBD research means there’s no info either about its long-term effects on the body or how it works with other drugs, and there is reason to be cautious with some medications, such as blood thinners.

Labels Don’t Tell the Whole Story

The hemp plant itself is legal from a federal standpoint. To date, though, the FDA has only approved one cannabidiol product, an oral prescription drug called Epidiolex to treat seizures caused by two rare, serious forms of epilepsy. Because CBD safety guidelines haven’t been decided for other uses, the FDA stresses taking the substance can be risky.

The strength levels of CBD in OTC products can change from product to product even throughout the same brand. Some don’t have any CBD in them at all. And sometimes they really do have THC, which brings its own risk and possible side effects as with marijuana, especially if the user doesn’t know they’ve taken it. These include anxiety, aggression, and paranoia.

CBD doesn’t usually cause a lot of side effects at first. But it’s possible you’ll have diarrhea, low appetite, sleepiness, and fatigue. So check with your doctor before adding CBD to your treatment.

Since CBD product quality is unknown and unregulated, it can be hard to tell what’s legit. A Penn Medicine study of 84 “CBD oil” products from 31 different online companies found nearly 70% were mislabeled. Some said they had more CBD than they advertised, while others had less. There also have been reports that cannabinoid products like CBD have been tainted with microbes, pesticides, or other foreign substances.

Still, it’s possible that one day CBD will be found to have science-proven benefits for people with lung disease.

“There are a lot of people who use CBD and swear by it, in the absence of evidence,” Mannino says. “However, if they believe it helps, then perhaps it can. There’s fully no data that’s clear that it doesn’t do anything.”

Show Sources

David Mannino, MD, director, Pulmonary Epidemiology Research Laboratory, University of Kentucky, Lexington; medical director, COPD Foundation.

Lung Health Institute: “Can CBD Cure My Lung Disease?”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know.”

FDA: “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD,” “Hemp Ingredients /Dietary Supplements/ Conventional Food,” “FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils,” “What Are the Benefits of CBD — and is it Safe To Use?”

The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics: “The Effect of Phytocannabinoids on Airway Hyper-Responsiveness, Airway Inflammation, and Cough.”

Sage Open Medical Case Reports: “Striking lung cancer response to self-administration of cannabidiol: A case report and literature review.”

Journal of Cannabis Research: “Effects of cannabis oil extract on immune response gene expression in human small airway epithelial cells (HSAEpC): implications for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”

Journal of Clinical Medicine Research: “The Impact of Cannabidiol on Psychiatric and Medical Conditions.”

Penn Medicine: “Penn Study Shows Nearly 70 Percent of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online Are Mislabeled.”

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