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CBD for inflammation of the lungs: Can cannabidiol treat inflamed lungs?

Inflamed lungs or pneumonitis is an inflammation of lung tissue that causes breathing difficulties and a dry cough. Using CBD for inflammation of the lungs is beneficial in that the non-psychoactive compound can relieve pain and swelling -with little to no risk of suffering adverse side effects.

Medical studies suggest that CBD, when ingested, can open inflamed airways, improving breathing. There is also evidence that CBD can improve brain and lung function. However, the FDA is yet to approve CBD as a treatment for pneumonitis. Consequently, you should use CBD to complement treatment or to lower the risk. 

Quick take CBD for inflammation: Is cannabidiol good for pulmonary issues?

  • CBD may open airways and improve breathing.
  • There is evidence that CBD may be useful in the treatment of covid. 
  • Avoid smoking or inhaling tobacco or cannabis products if you have pulmonary issues.
  • CBD may treat or prevent conditions that cause coughing.
  • To experience the full effects of CBD, some lifestyle changes may be necessary. 

CBD for inflammation: Can cannabidiol help with lung inflammation?

CBD, short for cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive extract of cannabis/marijuana. Legally, the compound is legal to possess countrywide if it contains 0.3% THC or lower. Why? Products that contain above 0.3% THC constitute marijuana on the federal level, and thus you may get into trouble with the law if you transport or expose it to minors depending on state law.

That said. 

Clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD can help relieve pain and inflammation anywhere in or on the body, including the lungs. 

What causes lung inflammation, and how can CBD help?

Although pneumonitis is different from pneumonia, pneumonia can cause inflammation in the lungs. The difference is pneumonia is a viral infection that affects air sacs, while pneumonitis refers to inflammation of the lungs. Pneumonitis occurs when an irritant comes into contact with alveoli/air sacs resulting in inflammation.

When inflamed, it becomes difficult for air to pass through the lungs. 

If you have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy, your risk of contracting pneumonitis is higher.

The causes of the condition include:

  • Medicines, including antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and aspirin.
  • Exposure to mold and bacteria (farmers and persons who work outdoors are at elevated risk).
  • Exposure to bird excrement.
  • Radiation therapy.

Hot tubs, humidifiers, close contact with birds, or pesticides increase the risk.

CBD for inflammation: How does cannabidiol relieve inflamed lungs?

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that:

  • CBD can decrease total lung resistance and elastance in mice with induced inflamed lungs.
  • CBD can improve lung function and has an anti-inflammatory effect. 

According to the researchers, quote:

Present and previous data suggest that in the future cannabidiol might become a useful therapeutic tool for the attenuation and treatment of inflammatory lung diseases.”

The study’s findings are supported by multiple clinical and animal trials.

But if you are on medication for inflamed lungs. It is advisable to consult with a physician before using CBD or another supplement. 

What are the symptoms of inflamed lungs, and how can CBD help?

If you develop pneumonitis, you may exhibit symptoms including:

  • Dry/ productive cough.
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained tiredness or fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath. 
  • Chest pain.
  • Chest tightness or discomfort.

Can CBD prevent weight loss?

THC is a psychoactive component of marijuana that can help maintain a healthy weight. Dronabinol is a synthetic version of THC that is currently in use as a treatment for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. 

Dronabinol is also in use as a treatment for loss of appetite or weight loss in persons living with AIDS. 

A combination of THC and CBD may help prevent or reverse weight loss. But, for it to work, it is important to verify the underlying cause of weight loss. That entails consulting with a physician.

What to remember

  • If you lose at least 5% of your weight within six months or a year without making any changes to your habits or diet, it may be a sign of an underlying condition.

Can CBD help prevent shortness of breath?

By repairing the lungs and opening airways, CBD can prevent or treat shortness of breath. An animal study on cannabidiol’s effect on inflammatory lung damage found that:

  • CBD reduces historical lung damage -improving gas exchange and blood pressure.
  • The test subjects did not exhibit significant side effects. Thus, compared to other medicines, CBD is safer. 

How long does it take to treat pneumonitis?

It depends on the underlying condition. In most instances, inflamed lungs caused by say a cold or flu will go away once the infection subsides. But the following complications may occur. 


As mentioned, pneumonia is a viral infection that causes lung inflammation. Using CBD for inflammation caused by pneumonia is beneficial in that:

  • CBD can help relieve chronic pain and inflammation by helping regulate immune cell response.
  • CBD is a bronchodilator and can thus prevent shortness of breath.

Warning: sublingual placement or ingestion is the safest way to consume CBD if you have pneumonia or other lung issues. The problem with smoking or vaping is that it increases irritation and the risk of developing or exacerbating pneumonia. 

What happens if pneumonitis goes untreated?

It is worth noting that pneumonitis may not cause symptoms in some and if left untreated it may escalate into pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis refers to damaged or scarred lungs, a potentially fatal condition if left untreated.

CBD for inflammation: Can cannabidiol help with pulmonary fibrosis?

A study on the potential use of marijuana in tissue fibrosis found that, quote:

“Based on reports presented in this review, we propose that single cannabinoids and components of cannabis extracts can positively interact with the key profibrotic factors and pathways. In comparison with modern antifibrotic medications, cannabinoids have fewer negative effects on patient’s health.”

More studies are needed, but what we do know is:

  • Using CBD for pain relief is safer than prescribed opioids -typically prescribed to persons living with pulmonary fibrosis.
  • CBD has anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anxiolytic properties. 
  • THC has anti-inflammatory properties and can also relieve pain. A combination may be of benefit to persons who have pulmonary fibrosis if not smoked or inhaled. We recommend CBD tea, gummies, oil, or other consumables.

CBD for inflammation: what are the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis, and how can CBD help?

Pulmonary fibrosis, depending on the stage, may cause symptoms including:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dry cough.
  • Pain in muscles and joints.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Clubbing/rounding at the tips of fingers or toes.

CBD can help manage symptoms in a similar manner as pneumonitis.

Will lung inflammation go away?

If the underlying condition is treated or managed, inflammation of the lungs will subside. However, the longer the underlying condition exists, the higher the risk of lung damage.

That said.

 CBD consumption coupled with the following may help reduce the risk of lung inflammation.

Cleanse your lungs with CBD tea.

CBD tea offers drinkers antioxidants that may help relieve or prevent lung inflammation. We recommend teas and consumables because inhalation increases the risk of irritation or lung damage.

What is CBD tea?

CBD tea is tea infused with cannabidiol. There are versions in the market, but one may add a few drops of CBD in green tea, or other tea of choice. 

Cleanse your lungs through exercise and deep breathing

It is estimated that almost half of the population does not practice ‘good breathing.’ Shallow breath and bad posture -are also an issue. 

By working on your breathing and getting enough exercise, you may improve lung function and cleanse the organ. 

Remember, when exercising, your breathing rate and circulation increase, thus helping the body get rid of harmful toxins. Also, your body adapts to exercise and learns how to use oxygen efficiently.

Tip: CBD is a stimulant at low doses and a mild sedative at high doses. Thus, you may use it before or after exercise. 

Chest percussion/physiotherapy

The conditions above are likely to cause phlegm to build up in the lungs. To improve function and breathing, chest percussion exercises may be of benefit. 

You may also inhale steam to help drain the lungs.

What is the difference between Pneumonia and pneumonitis, and how can CBD help?

As mentioned, pneumonia is a viral infection of the lungs that causes inflammation, and pneumonitis is inflammation of the lungs. According to a recent study, cannabidiol reduces lung damage caused by covid-19.

Covid 19 is a combination of acute respiratory disorder (ARDS) and pneumonia. Suggesting that CBD may have uses in the treatment or management of pneumonia. 

How does a person get viral pneumonia, and how can CBD help?

Viruses and bacteria in the air you breathe can cause pneumonia. Consequently, a cough, sneeze, or close/intimate contact with a person who has pneumonia may lead to infection. There are different types of pneumonia based on the bacteria, viruses, or fungi that cause it. 

Bacterial pneumonia may occur on its own during or after a cold or flu. 

If you have a weakened immune system, you are at higher risk of fungi pneumonia. The fungi responsible are usually present in bird droppings and the soil. Children below 5 are at elevated risk of viral pneumonia, and a Covid -19 infection may also cause it. 

The risk factors for pneumonia include:

  • Hospitalization/close contact with infected persons or contaminated items including ventilators.
  • Smoking.
  • Persons undergoing chemotherapy, living with HIV/AIDS, or recipients of organ transplants. 

CBD for inflammation: Is CBD good for pneumonia?

if you have pneumonia, CBD usage may benefit you in that the compound (1) clears the airways of mucous. (2) exposure relieves pain and inflammation, and there is evidence that cannabidiol can speed up recovery. 

Remember, pneumonia is a viral infection, and according to some studies, CBD shows antiviral activity. That is not to say that CBD is a treatment for pneumonia, it shows potential as an antiviral agent, but more research is needed to establish the long-term side effects. Instead, it is a complementary or alternative medicine that can help manage the symptoms. 

You may use it to avoid the use of damaging pain relievers such as opioids. 

Symptom prevention and relief.

Pneumonia patients exhibit symptoms including:

  • Inflammation of the lungs
  • Fatigue (CBD is a mild stimulant at low doses that also improves sleep patterns).
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Cough with or without phlegm
  • Confusion in elder patients (CBD is neuroprotective).
  • Chest pain.

As explained, CBD can help manage these symptoms. 

What does the research say?

  • Inhaling or smoking is bad for your lungs.
  • Animal studies suggest that CBD can open bronchial passages. 
  • CBD can lower inflammation and improve lung function

CBD for inflammation: how does it work?

Human studies on how CBD reduces inflammation are few. But according to existing studies, CBD reduces inflammation through interactions with the endocannabinoid system. In covid patients, one study suggests that CBD may reduce lung inflammation and cytokine storm. 

Can CBD help with coughing?

Some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD relieves or prevents bacterial and viral infections that may cause coughing. According to one study, CBD shows promising antibacterial properties against salmonella Typhimurium, a condition that causes symptoms including chills, cough, and weakness. 

How can you avoid getting pneumonia?

There are several measures to prevent pneumonia (1) you may get a vaccine. (2) eat healthily. (3) remove or avoid environmental factors.

For farmers and persons who work outdoors, a face mask may be of benefit when handling potentially contaminated material, including soil or bird poop.

Is CBD a cure for viral pneumonia?

Pneumonia treatment depends on the trigger. Traditionally, your doctor may recommend antibiotics or antiviral medication.

 For children, the World Health Organization Recommends:

  • Improve indoor air quality.
  • Adequate nutrition.

CBD for inflammation: are there any risks?

The FDA recommends not using cannabis and its extracts if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because CBD is fat-soluble and may thus transfer to infants. The long-term effects of CBD on infants are still under scrutiny. 

That said.

CBD’s side effects are mild and go away when you cease consumption. 

One may experience drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth.

CBD for inflammation bottom line: is it okay to use CBD if you have pneumonia or pneumonitis?

Although human studies on the effects of CBD on pulmonary health are limited, what we do know is (1) CBD can relieve pain and inflammation anywhere in or on the body through interactions with the endocannabinoid system. (2) CBD aids sleep and, by extension, immunity. (3) CBD is an anxiolytic, meaning it promotes relaxation and eases anxiety. 

In short, CBD is best used as a preventative measure or as an alternative to harmful painkillers. If you are on medication, do not abandon treatment without consulting with a physician. 

Remember, if left untreated, pneumonia and pneumonitis may escalate into a life-threatening condition.