A cough can be super annoying, especially when it won't go away. If you have a chronic cough, you might try cannabidiol (CBD) oil to help you get relief. CBD can reduce inflammation in your respiratory system, so it may help you breathe… If you've heard about the benefits of using CBD oil for congestion, you're probably wondering: does it really work? And how do you use it? We answer all of these questions and more, right here. CBD products abound, in all kinds of forms. Despite marketing claims, there’s no proof they’ll help lung disease. Learn the facts on CBD and where research stands.
How to Take CBD Oil for Cough
This article was co-authored by Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. Dr. Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH is the founder and Medical Director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education. Dr. Corroon is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and clinical researcher. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Corroon advises dietary supplement and cannabis companies regarding science, regulation, and product development. He is well published in the peer-review literature, with recent publications that investigate the clinical and public health implications of the broadening acceptance of cannabis in society. He earned a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. He also earned a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Bastyr University, subsequently completed two years of residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, and is a former adjunct professor at Bastyr University California.
There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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A cough can be super annoying, especially when it won’t go away. If you have a chronic cough, you might try cannabidiol (CBD) oil to help you get relief. CBD can reduce inflammation in your respiratory system, so it may help you breathe easier.  X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source Additionally, it might relax your muscles, which can help you stop coughing, and may help you fall asleep easier.  X Research source If you want to use CBD oil to treat your cough, choose your preferred delivery method to administer it. Additionally, incorporate other natural treatments for cough to increase the effectiveness of the CBD. However, check with your doctor first and get a proper diagnosis before treating yourself.
Here’s What We Know About Using CBD For Nasal Congestion
A stuffed-up nose can sideline anyone, so you’re in good company if you’re seeking a quick solution to clear your sinuses. Can you use CBD oil for nasal congestion?
This natural plant extract is considered a wonder compound for combating dozens of ailments, so it’s logical to consider it for soothing a stuffy nose as well.
Let’s go through the evidence of using CBD for congestion so you can determine whether it’s worth trying the next time you get stuffed up.
What Is Nasal Congestion?
Nasal congestion (known as sinusitis ) occurs when your sinuses become swollen and inflamed. This can happen when allergies trigger an inflammatory reaction or your system succumbs to an infection like the flu.
When your sinuses are healthy, mucus drains through your nose without issue. Swelling from congestion blocks this drainage and leaves you stuffed up, making the space under your eyes swollen and tender.
You’ll know you’re dealing with nasal congestion if you have thick discharge coming out of your nose, drainage down your throat, difficulty breathing through your nose, facial pain and tenderness or a reduced sense of taste and smell.
Conventional Treatment Methods for Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion is common, and there are dozens of ways to combat the worst symptoms. Here are some approaches:
- Antibiotics: If you’re dealing with a bacterial infection, antibiotics can help your system fight it off to relieve congestion symptoms.
- OTC Medications: Medicine like Sudafed or Mucinex temporarily relieves sinus congestion by thinning the mucus or narrowing the blood vessels in your nasal passages so you can breathe more easily.
- Nasal Sprays: Decongestant sprays work by shrinking blood vessels throughout your nose to relieve pressure and open your airways.
- Neti Pot : This innovative device lets you pour a saline solution through your sinuses to thin mucus for a cleansing effect.
- Surgery: Sometimes chronic nasal congestion results from structural problems with your nose, such as too narrow sinus openings. Surgery can reshape these passages to increase airflow and reduce congestion.
These treatments are proven to combat nasal congestion, but they often include unpleasant side effects like drowsiness or diarrhea and may even increase your risk of developing antibiotic resistance.
Is CBD a better choice? Let’s look at the facts.
Can CBD be Effective in Treating Nasal Congestion?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant family, which includes both hemp and marijuana. Don’t confuse it with the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most common cannabinoid in marijuana and the one responsible for making you high.
Full-Spectrum CBD, in contrast, comes from hemp plants with a 0.3 percent or lower concentration of THC. It’s not psychoactive but instead valued as a natural remedy for a wide range of health problems like chronic pain, body discomforts, and insomnia, and more.
Broad-Spectrum CBD offers the same benefits, but it undergoes a purification process that removes all THC without affecting its synergistic components or overall effectiveness.
CBD, Congestion, and the Endocannabinoid System
What does this mean for congestion? The first step is understanding the connection between CBD and your endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in keeping you in a state of general wellbeing. It has what’s known as CB2 receptors over your whole body that trigger different antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties when it senses things are getting out of balance.
Nasal congestion is an indicator that your endocannabinoid system isn’t working as it should. CBD can act as a regulatory agent to activate the CB2 receptors and put you back into homeostasis. For example, one study found that activating these receptors leads to a direct decrease in the inflammation caused by asthma and sinusitis.
When you use CBD for your sinuses, it can reduce the number of bacteria and viruses that reproduce within inflamed tissue. This targets the source of your congestion and makes it easier to breathe through your nose while also addressing other common symptoms of sinusitis like headaches/migraines, body aches, feelings of fatigue, and disrupted sleep.
Put another way, CBD pushes your endocannabinoid system to boost immune system functioning while also helping your body fight off the pathogens directly responsible for the congestion. It gives your system the tools it needs to cure itself—all without the risk of antibiotic resistance or unpleasant side effects.
Can You Put CBD Oil in Your Nose?
Most CBD is sold as an oil or a topical spray. However, the best way to use CBD for congestion is through a device that gets the vapors directly into your nose, such as a nasal inhaler. BoomBoom offers the world’s first CBD nasal inhaler for an effective, 100% natural remedy.
This inhaler consists of a custom-blend of menthol and therapeutic-grade essential oils, as well as 50mg of active cannabinoids from broad-spectrum CBD oil (so no THC). The CBD it contains is cultivated in Colorado following organic farming practices and manufactured in accordance with regulations from the Colorado Department of Public Health.
In fact, taking CBD through a nasal spray is considered safer than vaping or smoking. CBD’s active compounds are much better absorbed into your bloodstream through the sensitive skin of your nose than through a pill or topical cream. This means you can take smaller doses for the same healing effects.
The BoomBoom Nasal Inhaler also gives you a convenient way to benefit from all that CBD offers, including a calmer mind and less body discomforts. Even better, the emollients within the spray help maintain moisture in your nasal passages to prevent blockage and reduce congestion.
Consensus: Does CBD Treat Nasal Congestion?
CBD products offers a natural way to control sinus inflammation and combat nasal congestion symptoms.
It’s not an acute treatment—meaning you can’t expect to take a dose and experience immediate relief from your stuffed-up nose. However, using a CBD nasal inhaler like BoomBoom regularly may help prevent inflammation and reduce your chance of suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis in the first place.
If you’re looking for an all-natural way to start breathing better, consider a nasal inhaler with CBD to power up your endocannabinoid system for long-term relief. It’s an excellent treatment to pair with conventional treatments for an extra boost of protection against that unwanted mucus.
CBD Oil and Lung Disease
You’ve likely noticed that CBD products crowd the alternative-remedy market these days. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that comes in all kinds of forms, from tablets to tea. Many of these products make claims of health benefits that can’t be shown to be true.
So, what, if anything, can CBD do for lung disease?
Claims Not Backed or Debunked by Science
David Mannino, MD, a pulmonologist in Lexington, KY, and the medical director and co-founder of the COPD Foundation, says the question is common. The answer is not that easy.
“These are questions we get a lot,” Mannino says. “There’s a whole cottage industry around CBD, not dissimilar from snake oil, purported to do everything with very little evidence.” Like dietary supplements, these products can pretty much claim anything. But studies haven’t shown results on humans that CBD can help lung disease.
But there’s nothing out there yet to say CBD doesn’t help, either, Mannino says.
CBD has, at most, a trace amount — no more than .03% — of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance in marijuana that triggers the “high” and other brain responses. Lots of products boast CBD as an active ingredient: over-the-counter pills and capsules; oils and tinctures (meaning it’s dissolved in alcohol instead of oil); foods and drinks; oil for vaping; and even topical types you put on your skin, nails, and even in your hair. Right now, it’s illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement. Some online stores try anyway.
At the same time, pure hemp seed oil, which comes from a different part of the hemp plant, and other hemp products don’t have CBD or THC. The FDA says they’re safe. But CBD/hemp oil combos exist and blur the lines even more.
Animal Testing Shows Some Positive Results
Because CBD comes from hemp, researchers might be able to study its possible benefits more widely. Few studies have been done to date. Of that small number, not enough of them researched humans to say if it can help lung disease or not.
Some positive results have come from animal studies. A 2015 study on guinea pigs showed CBD helped open up the bronchial passages. Some researchers believe it’s possible it could help people with COPD breathe easier and keep blood oxygen levels from falling, too. And a 2014 study on mice with damaged lungs showed CBD helped lower inflammation and improved lung function.
One of the few reports on CBD involving a person is a case report of an 81-year-old man with lung cancer whose tumor shrunk greatly when he regularly took CBD oil drops for a short time. Meanwhile, a 2020 pilot study using human cells and CBD oil to test possible COPD connections confirmed earlier studies that showed CBD might support your body’s anti-inflammatory and immune responses.
For now, the limited CBD research means there’s no info either about its long-term effects on the body or how it works with other drugs, and there is reason to be cautious with some medications, such as blood thinners.
Labels Don’t Tell the Whole Story
The hemp plant itself is legal from a federal standpoint. To date, though, the FDA has only approved one cannabidiol product, an oral prescription drug called Epidiolex to treat seizures caused by two rare, serious forms of epilepsy. Because CBD safety guidelines haven’t been decided for other uses, the FDA stresses taking the substance can be risky.
The strength levels of CBD in OTC products can change from product to product even throughout the same brand. Some don’t have any CBD in them at all. And sometimes they really do have THC, which brings its own risk and possible side effects as with marijuana, especially if the user doesn’t know they’ve taken it. These include anxiety, aggression, and paranoia.
CBD doesn’t usually cause a lot of side effects at first. But it’s possible you’ll have diarrhea, low appetite, sleepiness, and fatigue. So check with your doctor before adding CBD to your treatment.
Since CBD product quality is unknown and unregulated, it can be hard to tell what’s legit. A Penn Medicine study of 84 “CBD oil” products from 31 different online companies found nearly 70% were mislabeled. Some said they had more CBD than they advertised, while others had less. There also have been reports that cannabinoid products like CBD have been tainted with microbes, pesticides, or other foreign substances.
Still, it’s possible that one day CBD will be found to have science-proven benefits for people with lung disease.
“There are a lot of people who use CBD and swear by it, in the absence of evidence,” Mannino says. “However, if they believe it helps, then perhaps it can. There’s fully no data that’s clear that it doesn’t do anything.”
David Mannino, MD, director, Pulmonary Epidemiology Research Laboratory, University of Kentucky, Lexington; medical director, COPD Foundation.
Lung Health Institute: “Can CBD Cure My Lung Disease?”
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know.”
FDA: “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD,” “Hemp Ingredients /Dietary Supplements/ Conventional Food,” “FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy.”
Mayo Clinic: “Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils,” “What Are the Benefits of CBD — and is it Safe To Use?”
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics: “The Effect of Phytocannabinoids on Airway Hyper-Responsiveness, Airway Inflammation, and Cough.”
Sage Open Medical Case Reports: “Striking lung cancer response to self-administration of cannabidiol: A case report and literature review.”
Journal of Cannabis Research: “Effects of cannabis oil extract on immune response gene expression in human small airway epithelial cells (HSAEpC): implications for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”
Journal of Clinical Medicine Research: “The Impact of Cannabidiol on Psychiatric and Medical Conditions.”
Penn Medicine: “Penn Study Shows Nearly 70 Percent of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online Are Mislabeled.”