Cystic Fibrosis & CBD


Patients with cystic fibrosis can use cannabidiol (CBD) to reduce some of their symptoms. Uncover the healing properties of CBD for people who have this condition.

What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis causes your mucus, sweat and digestive fluids to have an abnormal consistency — these secretions become thicker and stickier than usual. They can block passageways in your body necessary for daily function, including your lungs, nose and digestive system.

People who have cystic fibrosis deal with respiratory and digestive symptoms that can cause further complications. They can have difficulty breathing, a stuffy nose, sinus pain and other sinus and lung issues. The digestive problems caused by cystic fibrosis include abdominal pain, nausea and a lack of appetite. A person with this condition can have a higher risk of diabetes, osteoporosis and low blood pressure.

Doctors have no cure for cystic fibrosis, but people who have the condition can live as long as 50 years or more. You can make this genetic condition more comfortable to deal with using CBD.

Cystic Fibrosis and the Endocannabinoid System

Cystic fibrosis has a link to many of our body’s systems, including the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS makes and uses cannabinoids to manage our functions, including digestion and the immune response. Its benefits trigger when a cannabinoid attaches to one of the system’s CB1 or CB2 receptors. These receptors can bind to endocannabinoids, the cannabinoids our bodies make, or phytocannabinoids, which are the compounds that come from marijuana.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors appear throughout the body in places such as immune cells and the gut. When a cannabinoid activates one of these receptors, the surrounding tissue and nerves get benefits. CB1 receptors appear in the vagus nerve to transmit signals between the brain and gut. They also have a role to play in triggering inflammation and other immune functions.

Using CBD to Enhance the Endocannabinoid System in Cystic Fibrosis

When you take CBD, you boost the ECS’s ability to regulate your body’s functions. CBD is unique in that it does not bind to the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it helps the ECS complete its job. This cannabinoid blocks FAAH, a fatty acid that breaks down the endocannabinoid anandamide. Anandamide lets your body regulate the tissue affected by cystic fibrosis.

CBD relieves the digestive issues caused by the mucus and inflammation in the gut. It helps your body increase its anandamide levels, which it then uses to reduce inflammation. As a result, your intestines have less irritation that triggers diarrhea. Your gut will also self-regulate these symptoms through CBD’s ability to decrease motility. If you also experience nausea, CBD also impacts the areas of the brain responsible for feeling nauseous.

Taking CBD medicine also reduces lung inflammation caused by cystic fibrosis. Inflammation happens as a protective measure when you have damaged or irritated tissue. While inflammation has the purpose of isolating germs and other invaders, it can cause problems when you have too much of it. CBD reduces your immune cells’ ability to spread, regulating the inflammatory response.

Finding the Right CBD Treatment

When looking for a medical CBD product, you’ll see you have numerous options. CBD oil comes in many formulas and brands, so you have a wide selection even in areas without a medical marijuana program. Remember to look at a CBD oil’s label and brand reputation before buying. If you live in a state without recreational marijuana, joining the medical marijuana program gives you access to medical-grade CBD.

Taking your medicine in a way that allows it to travel to the affected area will give you the most relief possible. Inhalers and vaporizers soothe inflamed lungs. Meanwhile, suppositories and ingested medicine reduce digestive symptoms. You can use multiple types of products to achieve the effect you need.

CBD medication that also contains THC can give you added relief. THC works with CBD to create the entourage effect, a phenomenon where they improve each other’s benefits. Taking CBD with THC reduces THC’s psychoactive effects, lessening the “high” it causes. You can find medicine that contains THC at your local medical dispensary.

For more help choosing a CBD product, we recommend getting advice from a marijuana-certified doctor. They understand how cannabinoids work for different conditions. A physician with cannabis training can help you even if you don’t plan on joining a medical marijuana program.

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