Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) medical cannabis treatment

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the name given to a group of lung conditions that cause increasing breathing difficulties and limit a persons' ability to complete their normal activities, such as, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Recent research suggests COPD cannabis treatments could be an effective and beneficial option for those who are unable to manage their symptoms with conventional medications.

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5 minutes

Every 5 minutes someone else is diagnosed with COPD


most common reason for A&E admissions in England is COPD symptom exacerbation


FVC (forced vital capacity) has shown to increase with natural, plant based treatments


of UK adults would consider medical cannabis treatments

“The Releaf+ subscription simplifies the entire process of my medical cannabis treatment.“

Nigel, Releaf Patient

October 2023

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How to get medical cannabis in the UK

Medicinal cannabis can provide excellent benefits for people suffering from many different conditions. Cannabis is a legitimate treatment for people who have found that other front-line medications have not worked for them. Medicinal cannabis is a topic that is not discussed very often in the UK, so many people will not know whether they can get it or not. In this article, we will answer your questions about how to get medical cannabis in the UK.


Shortness of breath

Persistent wheezing

Persistent cough

Excessive phlegm

Frequent chest infections

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you may have cognitive obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Please speak with your GP to find out more.

Alternative medicines

Because smokers are at a much higher risk of developing COPD, and it is a disease that develops gradually over time, it is always recommended to stop smoking - especially if you have already been diagnosed with COPD. The NHS typically prescribe bronchodilator inhalers, either short or long acting, steroids, and antibiotics to help patients manage symptoms.







If you are struggling to manage your symptoms and have already tried two conventional treatments for COPD, medical cannabis treatments may be suitable for you. Use our free eligibility tool to find out now.
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A word from our specialist

"There is increasing evidence that medical cannabis can reduce the intensity of symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, albeit without altering what the condition looks like under the microscope. Irritable bowel syndrome similarly, although a distinct condition from both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, can be calmed down considerably by means of cannabinoid therapy."

Dr David Tang

Gastroenterological Specialist

Can medical cannabis treatments help alleviate COPD symptoms?

Research studies have shown that in some cases, cannabis can act as a bronchodilator because of the cannabinoids it contains. Cannabinoids are the key component in medical cannabis, and its two most prominent (THC and CBD) have shown promise in alleviating COPD symptoms when administered under clinical supervision and careful monitoring. 

Through investigation and experimentation, researchers have been able to demonstrate how CBD and THC have the ability to reduce airway inflammation and increase forced vital capacity (FVC) which improves overall lung function. This can make cannabinoids a powerful tool for patients with COPD who are struggling with conventional medicines. 

Please note: smoking puts people at a much higher risk of developing COPD, and it also greatly exacerbates symptoms. Medical cannabis treatments are never prescribed to be smoked, and smoking cannabis is illegal in the UK. 

COPD Medical cannabis treatments are typically prescribed as cannabis oils, to be absorbed under the tongue, or occasionally as dried flower, to be vaporised in a safe device, and then inhaled into the lungs. 

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