Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Is CBD the Answer?
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Legalization of CBD opens the door for new research
After many years of arguments and many battles, marijuana is now legalized for recreational and medical purposes. This allows researchers to pursue investigations into whether marijuana will be able to provide a viable treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There are already millions of people making use of marijuana to help them to cope with chronic pain. Researchers are very interested to investigate how marijuana can be used to treat various types of cancer and also things such as epilepsy. There are some people who are now concerned that when marijuana is used for recreational purposes it can actually increase their risk of developing something such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also known as COPD.
What exactly is COPD?
COPD is a term which is used when referring to a group of lung diseases which includes conditions such as emphysema and also bronchitis. People suffering from these diseases will know that they can cause inflammation. This can restrict the airflow which enters and exits the lungs resulting in extreme difficulty when breathing. The problem with COPD is that it becomes worse over time. According to research tobacco smoke is one of the primary causes of COPD. The symptoms include things such as low oxygen levels, wheezing, unintentional weight loss, shortness of breath, fatigue and tightness in the chest. The severity of the symptoms can vary considerably. There are also some concerns that the smoking of marijuana could actually cause COPD. One of the reasons for this assumption is because it is well-known that as much as 90% of COPD is directly related to tobacco smoking. This might be true for tobacco smoke but it is not yet certain if this statistic could be applied to marijuana. There have been contradicting research results. There seems to be evidence that a lot will depend on how a person uses marijuana and also how frequently it is used. It was discovered in 2014 that a person who is only smoking small amounts of marijuana is unlikely to suffer any harm. But when a lot of smoking is done there may be damage to lung tissue and there might also be obstruction of the airways.
Researchers are still undecided
At this point in time, there is simply no scientific evidence that a person’s risk of COPD can be increased when they are smoking marijuana. For those who are smoking a lot of marijuana, there is a general consensus that such a habit will lead to lung damage. This could also increase an individual’s risk of having problems with COPD. It simply cannot be denied that many of the volatile and harmful chemicals which are present in tobacco smoke can also be found in marijuana. There can be no doubt that things such as heat, ash, and smoke can damage the lungs and can cause many problems. This evidence seems to suggest that smoking marijuana could be causing COPD. It will also depend on exactly how the smoking of marijuana is done because this can also potentially increase the risk of lung damage. It is a well-known fact that people who are inhaling marijuana is keeping that smoke in the lungs for a longer time and they will also be inhaling that smoke deeper than they will do with normal tobacco smoke. Other factors which are important is how long a person has been using marijuana because this can also increase the risk of developing COPD.
Can COPD be treated with marijuana
Scientific evidence has clearly proven that smoking of any kind can never be of any value to people with lung disease. However, other types of marijuana might still be able to provide people suffering from COPD with certain benefits. At this point, there is no scientific evidence that marijuana can be used to successfully treat COPD. There are many factors which have to be considered when performing complicated clinical studies. This can make research very difficult. Another important consideration is the fact that certain strains of marijuana is stronger than others and could, therefore, yield widely varying results. A lot of the research which has been done into marijuana smoking have included subjects which are also smoking cigarettes. This can complicate the process and make it very difficult to obtain verifiable results.
There may be certain therapeutic benefits
When it comes to managing acute attacks of airway constriction because of inflammation there may be certain therapeutic benefits when using cannabis. CBD will, therefore, act as a preventive measure for all of those patients suffering from COPD. It was already discovered that cannabis is very effective in reducing inflammation. Therefore, there is no reason why it could not be used to manage inflamed airways especially in people suffering from chronic bronchitis. Both the THC and CBD content in cannabis is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Both of these can interact with the CB one and CB two receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This will help to maintain homeostasis in the human body. Whenever the CB one and CB two receptors are activated the body was better able to deal with airway inflammation. The same results were also obtained from animal studies. CBD not only has a very strong anti-inflammatory effect but it has also been found to significantly improve lung function. There is, therefore, a possibility that it could be useful to treat inflammatory lung diseases.
More things are discovered every day
Many of the cannabinoids present in cannabis can also have bronchodilatory effects. This can help to decrease resistance in the respiratory airway. In doing so airflow to the lungs can be improved. Also when the CB two receptor is activated by cannabinoids this can help to inhibit contraction of the smooth muscle which is sounding the lungs. Therefore, the bronchial tubes will not be dilated thereby ensuring the airways is unrestricted.
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