Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

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Cannabis and CBD for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic pulmonary inflammatory illness causing obstructed pulmonary airflow. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, cough, mucus (sputum) and wheezing.

The risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions is increased in people with COPD, mainly through exposure to irritating gases and particulate matter, most of which are caused by cigarette smoke. COPD is caused primarily by smoking. The more a person smokes, the greater the probability of COPD developing. However, for years some people smoke and never get COPD.

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term pulmonary condition that makes it difficult for you to breathe.

The most common cause of long-term exposure to things that irritate your lungs is cigarette, pipe, or other types of tobacco smoke in the United States.

Hanging around and taking in a huge amount of smoke may also play a role. If you smoke, your chances will also rise. It tends to get worse quickly when you smoke and have COPD. If you have been exposed to things such as dust, air pollution, and certain chemicals for many years, you might also develop this condition. The two most common conditions contributing to COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the pipe lining that brings air from and to the pulmonary bags (alveoli). The cough and mucus (sputum) production are distinguished by daily production.

Emphysema is a condition that causes harmful exposure to cigarette smoke and other unpleasant gases and specific matter at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs.

COPD can be treated. Many people with COPD can achieve good symptom control and quality of life, as well as a lower risk of other underlying disorders, with proper management.

Your age can also increase the likelihood of COPD. This progresses slowly over the years, so when symptoms start, most people are at least 40 years old.

It’s rare, but you may be at risk of COPD from your genes. You may be more likely to get it if you skip a protein called alpha 1 antitrypsin (AAT).

Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

You may not have any symptoms at first. But as the disease gets worse, these common COPD signs might be observed:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away
  • Coughing up lots of mucus
  • Shortness of breath, especially when you’re physically active
  • Wheezing or squeaking when you breathe
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Frequent colds or flu
  • Blue fingernails
  • Low energy
  • Losing weight without trying (in later stages)
  • Swollen ankles, feet, or legs

How Cannabis Can Help Relieve the Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 23 states in the U.S. and Washington, D.C., but its use is a contentious issue with as many people as opposed to it.

How can medical cannabis help COPD people? Medical cannabis has been found to be useful to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, relieve pain, support the immune system, and reduce phlegm, according to the Lung Institute. However, if you have a pulmonary disease, one of the big issues is smoking. Cannabis smoking is harmful to those who have pulmonary diseases, as no filter is generally available on the “joint” and people tend to breathe deeper, allowing smoke to remain in their lungs for a long time (as cigarettes).

Most people who do not smoke but want the benefits of medical marijuana choose to take the product with their foods (for example cookies or brownies) or with steam (where cannabis is burned at a lower temperature than blaze, which then discharges the active ingredient into a steam or vapor that can be inhaled).

Medical Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

The advantage of cannabis is the flexibility of the form, compared with other typical treatment options.

Today, marijuana can be ingested via baked foods, boils and stretched into teas, sprayed or consumed by means of non-THC reactive oils such as cannabidiol (CBD) orally, like a drop.

While cannabis may be a temporary way of treating symptoms for relief, it does not involve CBD oil in all cases of cannabis consumption. One additional factor is that while some form of legalization has occurred in 26 states, marijuana law remains an issue at the federal level.

Anyone with COPD who wants to use cannabis in ways such as edibles or oils should first consult a doctor. Cannabis products contain many chemicals, some of which may be harmful to people with COPD.

Personalized Cannabis Consultations

Whether you are new to cannabis and need to learn the basics, or are simply trying to achieve more positive cannabis experiences, Veriheal’s coaches are here to help. You have the opportunity to become informed about this wonderful plant. Book an appointment today with one of our compassionate coaches to have a private discussion about your cannabis journey.

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Data Last Updated 03/16/2020