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Gene Hughes (MD)
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Gene Hughes (MD)   My Press Releases

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and CBD

Published on 1/30/2019
For additional information  Click Here

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

The third leading cause of death in the United States, COPD is a group of lung diseases that block airflow, and make it difficult to breath. Research indicates that cannabis can help patients manage the pulmonary diseases by reducing airway inflammation and causing bronchodilation.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow to the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. In the United States, COPD is most commonly associated with the development of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

When a person has COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways because either they lose their elastic quality or make more mucus than usual, causing clogging. In chronic bronchitis, the walls of the bronchial tubes become thick and inflamed. In emphysema, the walls between the air sacs can be destroyed, reducing airflow.

Emphysema damages your lung’s air sacs and causes them to expand and burst. When there’s damage to this area, you find it difficult to expel air from your lungs, leading to a carbon dioxide buildup in your body and a whole array of other emphysema symptoms, including:

  • Long-term cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Continuous fatigue
  • Long-term production of mucus
  • Ongoing feeling of not getting enough air
  • Wheezing

To put into perspective what it feels like to a person with COPD, it was put to me like this...Place a pillow over your face and breathe...when you feel like you want to take the pillow away, continue to hold it there. Now when you feel the "suffocation alarm" kick in for the need for air...keep that pillow in place.

I watched my Dad suffer from this disease, and let me say this...it is a terrible way for anyone to die.  

Chronic bronchitis as mentioned above, causes airway irritation and inflammation. Your airways are the tubes in your lungs where the air flows through. When these tubes become irritated and inflamed, thick mucus begins to form.

As time passes, this mucus plugs up your airways and makes it difficult to breathe. You then cough up mucus excretions, known as phlegm or sputum.

The symptoms of chronic bronchitis include:

  • Spitting or coughing up white or clear mucus
  • Daily coughing, lasting from a few months to a couple of years in a row
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Chest tightness or discomfort

COPD is caused by long-term exposure to irritating particulate matter or gases. The number one cause of COPD is cigarette smoking, but other irritants like secondhand smoke, air pollution and workplace exposure to dust and smoke can also pose problems. The disease develops slowly and symptoms get worse over time until even the most basic physical activities, like walking or cooking, became too difficult.

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Symptoms of COPD

You don’t usually experience COPD symptoms until you have significant damage to your lungs. Symptoms tend to get worse, especially if you still have exposure to smoking. Symptoms of COPD may include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath, especially while performing physical activities
  • Lack of energy
  • Chest tightness
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Swelling of legs, ankles and feet
  • Blueness in fingernail beds or lips
  • Unintended weight loss
  • A chronic cough, possibly producing a white, clear, greenish or yellow mucus
  • Needing to clear your throat upon waking up each morning because of lung mucus

Mental Effects of COPD

As with any chronic disease, having COPD can leave you feeling hopeless and depressed. Sleepiness, fatigue and other COPD symptoms are related to depression, and eating problems, the need for supplemental oxygen and other effects of the disorder can also make you experience the blues.

Also, you’re more susceptible to anxiety when you have COPD. Having a hard time breathing and not being able to catch your breath can be incredibly anxiety-provoking. Therefore, as a COPD patient, you may always worry about having an episode with shortness of breath.

If your breathing becomes an issue due to the air quality you breathe or a similar problem, your brain may set off an internal “suffocation alarm” that causes a wave of fearsome distress and panic.

Current Treatments Available for COPD and Their Side Effects

You inhale most COPD medications, and they go directly to your lungs to help you breathe easier. Your doctor will show you how to use your inhaler correctly.

Some medications your doctor may prescribe include:

Bronchodilators

These are typically inhaler medications designed to relax your airway muscles. They help relieve shortness of breath and coughing, making it easier to breathe.

You may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat

Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor (Daliresp)

Daliresp is a newer type of medicine for individuals with severe COPD who also have chronic bronchitis. It relaxes your airways, since it decreases inflammation. Side effects may include weight loss and diarrhea.

Inhaled steroids

These are inhaled corticosteroid medicines to help prevent exacerbations and reduce inflammation in your airways. Side effects may include oral infections, bruising or hoarseness.

Oral steroids

When you have a severe acute exacerbation, your doctor may prescribe short courses of oral corticosteroids to help prevent your COPD from getting worse. You shouldn’t use oral steroids long-term, since they can have harmful side effects like osteoporosis, diabetes, increased risk of infection, cataracts and weight gain.

Theophylline

An inexpensive medicine, theophylline may help prevent exacerbations and improve your breathing. Side effects may include a headache, nausea, tremor and fast heartbeat.

Effects of Cannabinoids and CBD on COPD

Studies indicate that cannabis could potentially be therapeutically beneficial for managing acute attacks of airway constriction due to inflammation, thereby acting as a preventative measure for patients with COPD. Cannabis has been shown through numerous studies to have efficacy for reducing inflammation, suggesting it could be effective for helping manage inflamed airways in those with chronic bronchitis.

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) to help the body maintain homeostasis. The activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors has shown to reduce airway inflammation.

An animal study concluded that CBD has a potent anti-inflammatory effect and also improves lung function, suggesting it could be a useful therapeutic tool for the treatment of inflammatory lung diseases.

In another study, CBD was shown to have anti-inflammatory effects following acute lung injury. Studies have also found that terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in cannabis, show anti-inflammatory benefits.

Some research has also shown that the cannabinoids found in cannabis can have bronchodilatory effects, thereby decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs. One study found that cannabinoids’ activation of the CB1 receptor inhibits contraction of the smooth muscle surrounding the lungs to dilate the bronchial tubes and further open up the airways.

Recent Studies on Cannabinoids and CBD’s Effect on COPD

CBD has a potent anti-inflammatory effect and also improves lung function, suggesting it could be a useful therapeutic tool for the treatment of inflammatory lung diseases.
Cannabidiol improves lung function and inflammation in mice submitted to LPS-induced acute lung injury. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25356537)

Cannabis has shown to be effective for treating inflammation.
Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and related analogs in inflammation.
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664885/)

If you’re on the fence about using cannabis for your COPD, you should sit down with a qualified doctor who can help educate you about the risks and benefits. Then, you’ll have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on whether you should include the herb in your COPD treatment plan.

FYI - Not all Doctors are up to date on CBD...so locate one that is!

 

 

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. CTFO assumes no responsibility for the improper use of and self-diagnosis and/or treatment using these products. Our products should not be confused with prescription medicine and they should not be used as a substitute for medically supervised therapy. If you suspect you suffer from clinical deficiencies, consult a licensed, qualified medical doctor. You must be at least 18 years old to visit our website and make product purchases. We do not make any health claims about our products at CTFO. Before taking our products, it’s wise to check with your physician or medical doctor. It is especially important for people who are: pregnant, chronically ill, elderly, under 18, taking prescription or over the counter medicines. None of the information on our website is intended to be an enticement to purchase and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. The use of any of our products for any reason, other than to increase general health and wellness, is neither, implied nor advocated by CTFO.

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