CBD for Allergies – Can It Help?
2020 has been nothing short of surprising. However, one thing that we can count on is the rise of pollen and the dreaded allergy season. The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, but you can’t stop sneezing. Looking forward to sunnier days always comes with the familiar mental preparation for allergic reactions. Allergy season continues to affect people worse year after year. In fact, due to climate change, forecasters expect each year to get worse for those that suffer from allergies.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “more than 50 million Americans have experienced various types of allergies each year.” You experience itchy eyes and can’t stop sneezing and make a run for the nearest Walgreens to stock up on Zyrtec. Sound familiar? We’ve been there. As research continues to be conducted on CBD and it’s medicinal benefits, many have begun considering CBD for allergies. Not as a complete solution or cure, but as a way to find relief and manage the frequent symptoms that many experience. If you’re looking for relief from chronic allergy symptoms, let’s talk more about allergies, CBD, and if it might be a good solution for you.
What are common environmental allergies?
But first, let’s talk about what exactly these pesky environmental allergies are. Different than a food or medication allergy, environmental allergies are not caused by something that you’ve ingested. Environmental allergies are an immune response from your day-to-day activities or surroundings. Symptoms will vary in severity from person to person. They are often caused by factors including pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold. Many will experience environmental allergies when the seasons first change. This is because there are different flowers in bloom and a rise in pollen.
What are the symptoms?
Although severity and symptoms may vary from person to person, there are some very common symptoms that those with environmental allergies suffer with. Some of these include:
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy eyes
- Shortness of breath
For those who have seasonal allergies, these symptoms may range in severity. However, those who struggle with additional conditions such as asthma may have increased difficulty in breathing due to allergies. This can be potentially very dangerous. In a related CBD for Asthma blog, we talk more about the connection between CBD and asthma and how this link may be beneficial.
From (A)llegra to (Z)yrtec, there is a multitude of over the counter antihistamines and decongestants that are typically used to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies. CBD for allergies is just another method to help manage symptoms. Let’s dive into how and why CBD is considered to be a great treatment for environmental allergies.
CBD For Allergies: Testimonials
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s hear personal experiences from consumers who have used CBD to cope with allergy symptoms.
Lina, a 54-year-old woman states:
“But everything turned around now after I started taking CBD capsules (1 in the morning). I have experienced that my hay fever, as well as my asthma, has noticeably reduced, attacks and I believe the capsules have reduced my shaking, especially in my hands.”
A consumer on Reddit said:
“What I didn’t expect was for it to completely neutralize my seasonal allergies — which are pretty severe — and, relatedly, my asthma. For once, I can breathe through BOTH my lungs and nostrils during the spring without having to drown myself in cetirizine.”
As more and more research begins to be conducted, we hope to see further success stories and discoveries.
CBD for Allergies: How does it help?
There are several ways that CBD is known to help with specific allergy symptoms such as inflammation. But first, let’s talk in a general sense. It all first traces back to the human body and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). We talk about the importance of the ECS a lot on our site. It is fundamental in understanding how CBD can coincide with your body to promote homeostasis. With or without CBD, every human has an ECS system that is responsible to maintain balance in the body. The ECS promotes the healthy functioning of the nervous system, immune system, and organs.
The problem is that due to natural elements of life, the ECS can be thrown out of whack. For example, stress, diet, and other environmental factors can all play a part in throwing off your ECS system. Taking CBD helps to naturally rebalance the ECS and keep everything running smoothly. Therefore, it helps to relieve symptoms that are caused by the system being thrown off balance. The connection of CBD for allergies fits right into the general benefits of taking CBD. If your ECS system is off-center, then your immune system and allergies can cause you to suffer, and taking CBD will help to improve that balance over time.
CBD as an antihistamine
Another reason that CBD for allergies may be beneficial has been discovered from recent research. In a recent study, results prove that CBD can help stop your mast cells from releasing histamines. Mast cells are the ones responsible for allergic reactions. When your body is allergic to something, your immune system will release histamines as a form of protection. This is what causes those frequent allergy symptoms, it’s your body trying to protect you! Allergy medications are antihistamines. Antihistamines reduce the frequency of these symptoms, and CBD is essentially doing the same thing. This is just another, natural way to help reduce symptoms such as sneezing or coughing during the pollen season.
CBD for Inflammation: A common allergic reaction
If in addition to coughing and sneezing, you are someone that particularly struggles with allergies and inflammation, then CBD may be a perfect option for you. CBD is proven to be anti-inflammatory. This is why many often use this for anything from rashes to eczema and more. If your body’s natural response when having an allergic reaction is to swell up with hives or puffy eyes than CBD will help to combat these symptoms. Taking CBD as an anti-inflammatory for allergies can also help with sinusitis. Sinusitis is when you experience severe headaches from allergies. Overall, CBD is a great solution for those that experience inflammation externally or internally.
Taking CBD for Allergies
As the seasons change and allergies rage on, the most important thing to remember is that CBD for allergies, much like other antihistamines, is most effective with daily use as prevention. Taking CBD every day will keep your ECS system in check and help your body prevent histamines and relieve symptoms. It’s important to make it clear that this and no other medication will cure allergies. By being consistent in treatment, you can help manage symptoms and build a better defense in your body so that you are not really suffering and can enjoy the great outdoors!
As a disclaimer, we’d also like to clearly state that before replacing current allergy medication with CBD, it is important to talk to your doctor. Your doctor may have specific recommendations for you and are familiar with your symptoms and general health. If you have any questions be sure to run them by our team at The Green Dragon CBD!
TYPES OF CBD PRODUCTS
Now, let’s talk about the specific CBD products that may be best for allergies. We recommend:
- CBD Inhalers and Allergies – A great way to get CBD into your system fast and effectively, without having to inhale heat or vapor.
- CBD Oils and Allergies – One of the most recommended methods is CBD oil for allergies. A dropper of CBD oil easily integrates into your daily routine. This can be ingested sublingually or even in your morning coffee.
- CBD Topicals and Allergies – If you have specific aches or inflammation, then a topical solution may be the best way to ingest CBD for allergies. Consider a cream or lotion as a way to quickly aid a specific pain point or rash.
- CBD Edibles and Allergies – Edibles take longer to kick in. They have longer effects and can be beneficial for managing seasonal allergies. Plus, who doesn’t love a treat?
- CBD Vaping and Allergies – Some prefer to take daily doses of CBD through vaping. There are plenty of options available!
There are many products to choose from but here are just a few of the top choices. For our allergy sufferers, please apply this Special Coupon Code in your cart: ALLERGY20 for 20% off all products!
As research continues to be conducted on CBD and the health benefits, many have begun considering CBD for allergies. Read testimonials on how CBD can help.
Can you have an allergic reaction to CBD oil?
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- CBD oil overview
- Allergies in the body
- Allergic reactions to CBD oil
- Can CBD oil help with allergies?
Whether it’s sniffling, watery eyes, itching, or asthma, many of us are all too familiar with symptoms of allergies.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are the No. 6 cause of chronic illness in the United States. To narrow that down,there were 19.9 million adults diagnosed with hay fever in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is estimated that 32 million Americans live with food allergies; more than 170 foods may lead to allergic reaction.
Considering the increasing awareness and use of cannabidiol (CBD) and the existing potential for pollen and food allergies, allergy sufferers may wonder whether they are at risk for an allergic reaction to CBD oil or whether CBD can provide treatment or relief for other types of allergic reactions.
Though there’s not much in the way of allergy research specifically for CBD oil at this point, the cannabis plant itself has been linked to allergic reactions.
“Marijuana is a plant and produces pollen and one can become allergic to the pollen and the plant, especially if one has pre-existing allergic tendencies,” said Dr. William S. Silvers, clinical professor of medicine in allergy and immunology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
That being said, only male marijuana plants produce pollen, and are exceedingly rare in cannabis and hemp production because they produce less oil and CBD than female plants. Therefore, a consumer’s exposure to pollen would be extremely rare.
CBD oil overview
CBD is the second-most-prominent cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant, after the intoxicating cannabinoid THC. CBD oil, extracted from marijuana or industrial hemp, has gained popularity for its potential benefits for a number of conditions, including inflammation, arthritic pain, depression, seizures, and anxiety.
There’s not much in the way of allergy research specifically for CBD oil, but the cannabis plant itself has been linked to allergic reactions in some people. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Though research is still limited in regards to many supposed benefits, in 2018 the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution, to treat seizures associated with two severe types of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Allergies in the body
A properly functioning immune system works to protect the body from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and attack these unwanted microorganisms in order to help prevent disease. In the case of allergies, the immune system reacts to plant pollen and other substances in the environment to trigger the body’s defense mechanisms. The result, depending on the type of allergy, can be a variety of symptoms, including itchy eyes, runny nose, asthma, hives, skin itching, or more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.
Allergic reactions to CBD oil
Humans commonly experience allergic reactions to many kinds of plant pollen. However, only male cannabis plants produce pollen, whereas female plants are more widely used for oil and cannabinoid production. Large-scale industrial hemp fields may include a variety of mature males (pollen) as well as fertilized females (oil and seeds). The impact of hemp pollen on everyday consumers, as well as the communities that work and live near these production facilities, has not been studied.
People can also develop allergies to some of the terpenes found in cannabis. For instance, researchers from the Duke University School of Medicine found that about 20% of the 100 people they tested had an allergic skin reaction to linalool, whereas 8% had reactions to limonene. These kinds of contact allergies may not be common in the general population, but individuals who are employed in the production of cannabis products and CBD oil could be more at risk.
In addition to the skin, the lungs are another target for allergic reactions to terpenes. Assessing the risk is somewhat complicated because some terpenes are irritants, whereas others, such as eucalyptol, may actually provide a protective, anti-inflammatory role and might help to control inflammatory diseases like asthma and COPD.
Dr. Gordon Sussman, an allergist in Canada and professor at the University of Toronto, said there is very little published research on CBD oil allergies.
“It’s an unknown area at this point,” he said. “But we know that cannabis sativa is an allergen and we know that it’s a common allergen.”
Humans commonly experience allergic reactions to many kinds of plant pollen. Only male cannabis/hemp plants produce pollen. Most cannabis products, including CBD oil, are made using female cannabis plants. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
He said that cannabis allergies, like other forms of allergies, can worsen as exposure to the allergen continues. Most people with cannabis allergies suffer from a runny and stuffy nose (rhinitis), eye irritation (conjunctivitis), and sometimes wheezing, Sussman explained. But there have been cases of more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis, which have primarily resulted from ingestion of hemp seeds.
According to a letter entitled “Marijuana and stoned fruit,” written by medical doctors from the University of California, San Diego, and published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology on Feb. 2, 2018, a 24-year-old man who smoked marijuana daily visited their allergy clinic two weeks following an anaphylactic reaction after eating yogurt with hemp seeds.
“This was his first known ingestion of hemp seeds. Immediately after consumption, he developed oral pruritus [itching] that progressed to shortness of breath, facial swelling, and pre-syncope [sensation prior to fainting],” the letter stated.
Those with food allergies may also be susceptible to cross-reactivity.
“You can have a cross-reaction with certain foods that share certain antigens, certain components, with the cannabis plant itself,” Silvers said.
Such foods may include tomatoes and stone fruits containing pits such as peaches, he said. It’s a similar cross-reactivity to what is seen in people with ragweed allergies who might experience symptoms such as itchy mouth if they eat fruit in the melon family, he added.
“The same thing goes with cannabis and tomatoes and peaches and almonds and a number of other foods … eggplant, grapefruit, apples,” Silvers said.
There is no clinical evidence CBD oil can help allergies. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
A 2013 study from the “Internal Archives of Allergy and Immunology” tested 21 patients with food allergies for reactivity to cannabis lipid transfer proteins (LTPs), which are probable allergens. Twelve of the 21 test subjects were allergic to cannabis, and all 12 had more severe reactions to food allergy than those without a cannabis allergy. A 2008 study, also from “Internal Archives of Allergy and Immunology,” tested 32 subjects for an allergic reaction to cannabis LTPs, as well as tomato, peach peel, and pollen extracts. The study found that all test subjects sensitive to tomato allergens were also sensitive to cannabis. There was also cross-reactivity noted with peach peel.
Silvers said that the type of allergic reaction depends on the type of exposure. In addition to cannabis pollen allergies and food-based allergies, skin allergies are also a possibility.
“Touching the plant can very easily develop a dermatitis, itching, and skin reactions,” he said.
Can CBD oil help with allergies?
While there isn’t much research supporting the idea that CBD oil can help the discomfort associated with common allergy symptoms, there is some research related to its general effects on inflammation, which is part of the body’s allergic reaction process.
A 2011 research report published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine examined the potential role of CBD in various inflammatory-type conditions. George W. Booz, a professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, concluded in the report: “Inflammation and oxidative stress are intimately involved in the genesis of many human diseases. Unraveling that relationship therapeutically has proven challenging, in part because inflammation and oxidative stress ‘feed off’ each other. However, CBD would seem to be a promising starting point for further drug development given its antioxidant (although relatively modest) and anti-inflammatory actions on immune cells … .”
According to Silvers, there is no clinical evidence CBD oil can help allergies and, while experimental laboratory research suggesting anti-inflammatory effects exists, there’s no clinical patient substantiation.
Can you have an allergic reaction to CBD oil? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents CBD oil overview Allergies in the body Allergic reactions