Asthma is a respiratory disease that affects more than 300 million people worldwide. Its main features are marked inflammation and obstruction of the respiratory airways, which then cause symptoms like cough, sputum, wheezing, chest tightness, and breathlessness.
This respiratory condition has no cure, only treatments that can attenuate the symptoms. Current treatments for asthma include the regular use of inhalers, steroid medications, injections, or even surgery.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis component that can be applied as a treatment and co-treatment for many types of conditions, including asthma. It has very effective anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve asthma symptoms and damage to the respiratory system.
In fact, a recent study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology revealed that cannabinoid receptors (CB) 1 and 2 (which are a part of the endocannabinoid system that also exists in humans) can be found in the sputum of mice with allergic asthma.
Scientists believe that these high levels of CB1 and CB2 may be directly linked to a decrease in the respiratory and lung functions of the animals, which are similar in all allergic asthma patients.
This correlation, besides telling us that CB1 and CB2 levels may be used in the future to help detect these conditions, also presents an opportunity: the fact that there are cannabinoid receptors in the sputum of asthmatic mice means that cannabinoids may be used to activate the receptors and treat this condition.
Following this idea, scientists treated the mice with CBD preparations. Regardless of the dosage, CBD was able to bind to the CB receptors and reduce the inflammation and allergy symptoms in all of the mice.
This is a very interesting step towards the use of CBD in respiratory conditions, and researchers believe this technique may be applicable to humans, although further studies are needed.
The positive impact of CBD in respiratory conditions like asthma may help develop new, less expensive, and more accessible treatments for every asthmatic patient worldwide.