Asthma is a well-known respiratory condition that makes it hard to breathe due to narrow, inflamed airways congested with mucus; symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest pains and breathing difficulties. Asthma ranges from minor episodes to life-threatening attacks; people living with asthma typically have a variety of inhalers available to help manage, treat, or prevent symptoms and also steroids to keep airways open.
Airway Responsiveness From Endocannabinoid System
Research indicates that endogenous cannabinoids help regulate airway receptivity; the activation of CB1 receptors from released anandamide plays a significant role in controlling bronchial contractility. Furthermore, studies found CB1 receptors primarily in the axon terminals of airway nerves suggesting endocannabinoid management of smooth, bronchial muscle tone. Other noted effects described aerosolized cannabinoids significantly increasing bronchodilatation with minimal side effects and decreasing allergic asthma caused by particular cytokines.
With experiments using mammalian models with induced bronchospasm, results showed cannabinoids causing immediate improvements of the bronchospasm and hyperinflation. In human trials, data implied mild, inconstant bronchodilatory action with cannabinoid use; however, concerns emphasized on methods that wouldn’t increase functional lung impairment. In more recent events, a biotech startup in the United Kingdom has authorized a new study on the effectiveness of CBD for asthma led by a world-renowned expert of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids.