Cannabidiol’s (CBD) Effect on Allergic Asthma

Asthma is a condition that involves chronic lung inflammation and an increased response to stimuli.  With all the medications on the market and attention paid to the condition, there remains very little to nothing that can reverse the damage to the airway that is caused by the condition.  This is not to say that medications are not successful at treating asthmatic attacks and there are medications that are used daily (corticosteroids) to help control the condition.  However, the topic of healing the damage that occurs due to Asthma is a fascinating area of study.

A new study (January 2019) published in The Journal of European Pharmacology, titled ‘Cannabidiol Reduces Airway Inflammation and Fibrosis in Experimental Allergic Asthma’ by Vuolo et. al covers the topic of how CBD helps reverse airway remodeling.

What exactly did they find?  Well, I’ll make it very easy!  If you have asthma, it is very likely that
CBD can help with the condition.  On the scientific side, to prove this, they found that ‘CBD treatment, regardless of dosage, decreased airway hyperresponsiveness.’ They went on to mention that with high doses of CBD, static lung elastin energy was reduced.

I have been harping on the ability of CBD to influence CB1 receptors as well as CB2 receptors.  For those just starting to read my blogs (please read them all!), CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain, CNS, and organs.  CB2 receptors modulate pain and inflammation through the immune system.  CBD mainly works by reducing the levels of two especially nasty enzymes, called FAAH and MAGL.  When these enzyme levels are reduced, our body’s endocannabinoids, or neurotransmitters, called Anandamide and 2-AG, are able to interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.  By doing so, we improve the function of the endocannabinoid system (ECS or eCB).

Now back to the study…

Vuolo and team found that CBD treatment decreases the inflammatory and remodeling processes of allergic asthma. This is important as it demonstrates that CBD helps to reverse the damage to the airway caused by the asthmatic condition.  There does appear to be a receptor mediated effect of CBD (this makes sense). The authors did acknowledge that the process is complex and there is likely more going on than just the receptor effects. Another important piece of information to point out is that the study was done with mice, not humans.  This research, however, does pave the way for eventual human studies.  Afterall, if there are great benefits and no side effects, human studies should be quite easy to perform.