Cannabidiol (CBD) as an Asthma TreatmentIn the world where one in 10 people are suffering from asthma and the situation deteriorates further in Low and medium Income countries, surely asthma has emerged as one of the biggest threats to world of medicine and health. Even with so many advancements in medicine and technology Asthma still remains incurable and can only be managed with lifestyle alterations. However, some recent studies, which involve use of cannabidiol (CBD), have brought a ray of hope.

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

CBD is one of the 85 compounds found in cannabis (marijuana). It is non-psychoactive compound which means it does not cause a high. It counteracts the ill effects of THC, other compound found in marijuana, such as memory impairment and paranoia. It has a wide array of medical benefits and can be used to treat many diseases ranging from meagre depression to mighty cancers but cannabis still remains illegal in most countries of the world.

Asthma and CBD Research at Brazil’s Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense

Research suggests that CBD is an effective treatment for reducing inflammation experienced by most asthma patients. Research conducted on lab breed rats that were subjected to a 12 hour cycle and were provided with ample food and water substantiated positive results. Experiment involved division of rats in three groups – control group, asthma group and an asthma treatment group. 10 μg OVA injections in 100 µL of aluminium hydroxide (alum) or alum alone were injected to asthma and asthma treatment groups. This induces Tp and Th2 responses in the subjects. After 14 days a secondary dose of OVA or aluminium hydroxide was given. A week later rats were subjected to an aerosol challenge using saline solution.  In addition to this asthma treatment group were also subjected to solution of CBD suspended in 2% of polyoxyethylenesorbitan monooleate (Tween 80) and were administered once a day with dosage of 5mg/Kg .The solution was prepared immediately before use and precaution such as exposure to sunlight were maintained at all times.

Result

The study revealed that CBD treated control group rats displayed lower levels of cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins (5–20 kDa) that are vital for cell signalling and interaction. Six cytokines’ level which are implicated in asthma, Th1 (TNF-α and IL-6) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-13, IL-10, and IL-5), portrait significant reduction in level of all cytokines. These finding were also consistent with that of the Ribero experiment and concurs with CBD’s immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. This study suggests that CBD is actually effective in reducing stimuli of mucus hyper secretion which is one of the notable symptoms in asthma patients.

Limitations

CBD studies have provided many new insights in treating asthma but a number of important aspects still need to be analysed before any large scale cannabidiol based treatment can be carried out:

  • CBD effects on airway inflammation remain still unknown since analysis about bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cytokines still remains unclear.
  •  Though rat and mice studies of CBD have been quite successful no human trials have been conducted. Hence, its effects and side effects on human are still unknown.
  • CBD and Lung function have still not analysed, Air flow and air obstruction in lung remains one of the crucial difficulties suffered by asthma patients and CBD effects on Air flow is still unknown.
  • CBD major source cannabis is still illegal in many countries in the world. This fact has hindered the study and progress about cannabiodiol for decades. Hence, its legalization is an important aspect for acceleration in CBD research.

Although CBD studies have an arduous path forward but its recent development and promising results has magnetized many researchers towards CBD studies and research. If Improvement in technologies and research continues asthma patients will soon be able to live a normal life without large scale lifestyle changes.