Can CBD Cause Shortness of Breath?

Human beings are generally resilient to several health issues; however, there will be no life without oxygen circulating in our system. Shortness of breath is the most dangerous experience that can be life-threatening if something is not done about it. The problem results when there is an inability to get enough oxygen, causing the individual to struggle to breathe. But the main concern is what can cause breathing problems. And regarding marijuana fanatics, can CBD cause shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath is not gender, age, or race inclined. Anyone can experience the problem; hence the cause may vary based on the symptoms. Any form of smoking, including e-cigarettes, can cause shortness of breath, especially when you already have a pre-existing breathing condition such as asthma. 

CBD is such a unique compound used to make different products. You can consume these products sublingually, eat gummies, and use vapes or topicals. Of course, vaping has effects that can automatically lead to lung problems and thus shortness of breath. Could there be an element in CBD that causes shortness of breath regardless of whichever form you consume them? Let’s find out in this article. But first, what are the effects of CBD on the respiratory system?

Functions of CBD in the Respiratory System

cbdThe respiratory system includes the entire breathing system, including the lungs. So, good care of the lungs is vital since any minor failure can cause breathing difficulties and other havoc such as death. 

Primarily, we get CBD from cannabis plants. Studies have shown that CBD has pronounced bronchodilation side effects due to THC elements. The presence of CBD elements in the hemp products we consume has been found to have various bronchodilatory functions. According to research, CBD can help to increase airflow and improve circulation in the lungs by widening airways. 

Further, CBD is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Animal studies have shown that CBD may enhance lung functions and reduce inflammations. A similar study in 2014 showed cannabinoids could be a reliable therapeutic drug for treating and healing lung issues. This means that CBD can be applicable even in curing acute COPD in the future. Besides the various respiratory benefits of CBD, let’s now see if it can negatively impact the system by causing breathing difficulties.

Can CBD Cause Shortness of Breath

According to the neurophysiology of dyspnea studies, CBD is likely to alleviate breathing issues. The study investigates the role of cannabinoid receptors in the CNS, hence focusing on the effects of CBD on the lungs. They claim that CBD can relieve breathing problems even without triggering respiratory depression. 

Remember, some CBD products are infused with THC, which may aggravate breathing symptoms. Studies show that the THC  compounds are likely triggers of breathing problems. Therefore, CBD is not the primary element causing breathing difficulties. 

However, CBD is not likely to cause shortness of breath when using vapes moderately. Even though vaping is safer than traditional smoking, some people may still abuse it, and excessive use may lead to shortness of breath.

People who suffer from acute COPD require gradual and lengthy therapies depending on the various stages of the condition. During the early stages, the progression of the disease can be delayed by undergoing oxygen treatment. A more effective treatment option such as surgeries and lung transplants is needed when COPD is in severe stages.

CBD and Asthma

astmaAs mentioned earlier, smoking or vaping CBD-based products excessively may lead to shortness of breath. Therefore, asthmatic people are advised to refrain from smoking and vaping cannabis. 

When suffering from various chronic illnesses, you must adhere to general safety rules to manage the condition as advised by a doctor. One of the safety rules includes controlling CBD intake. Do not overdo your recreational use in any case. If you feel too high, you should take a break to allow the effects to wear off. 

Apart from refraining from CBD if you’re an asthmatic patient, you can try other CBD products, such as eating the gummies, instead of vaping. Also, CBD topicals, capsules, and tinctures have no adverse effects on users’ respiratory systems. You can depend mainly on these alternatives and safer CBD products if you are currently managing a severe respiratory condition.

How to Prevent Shortness of Breath 

Prevention is better than going through lengthy and expensive procedures to find a cure. This statement applies mainly to healthy people who have no breathing difficulties. However, patients experiencing shortness of breath after using CBD can do certain things to feel better quickly. 

First, it is best to stop using the CBD product if you notice adverse reactions and difficulty in breathing. This is the best way to prevent related breathing problems. You should consider this option only if you have tried to reduce your dose of CBD without significant results. However, perhaps you are using medical hemp prescriptions. In that case, stopping is not the best option, but you can try other forms of CBD, such as topicals and tinctures, as an alternative to vaping. 

Further, some reasons you experience shortness of breath are not because you’re using CBD products. Also, obesity and a poor diet can lead to shortness of breath among regular CBD users. If that is your case, regular exercise and a healthy diet will be most helpful. Another way you can address breathing issues is by consulting a pulmonologist. However, meeting the professional should be the last option after trying all other ways. 


So, can CBD cause shortness of breath? While you can ponder the claims that CBD may lead to shortness of breath, it is also essential to appreciate its bronchodilatory benefits. You can use CBD products to reduce severe symptoms of COPD and other breathing issues. 

You can try switching from vaping to topical or tincture. However, if you still believe your breathing problem is due to CBD, you should stop using it before it worsens.

Leave a Comment