Allergies can be painful, and even life-threatening. And while there aren’t many studies on CBD for allergies, the early results from the few studies show promise.
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CBD And Allergies: Frequently Asked Questions
- Can CBD help with allergies?
- Does CBD oil help with sinus problems?
- Can CBD oil help with food allergies?
CBD Oil For Allergies: The Highlights
- Allergies are caused by the body becoming sensitized to generally harmless substances, seeing them as threats, and then trying to defend against them.
- Common allergens are dust, pollen, animal dander, nuts, fruit, shellfish, penicillin, and bee stings.
- Allergies can cause rashes, eczema, nausea, vomiting, swelling, runny nose, itchy eyes, clogged sinuses, and anaphylactic shock.
- CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors all over the body to reduce inflammation and reduce pain which can help to treat respiratory problems as well as rashes and eczema due to allergies.
- Some people may have an allergy to cannabis but this is rare. Most people never experience any side effects when using CBD.
Aside from CBD oil, you could take hemp oil capsules as a means of using CBD. We recommend hemp oil capsules from American Shaman.
What is an Allergy?
Allergies, simply put, is your immune system overreacting to usually harmless things. Over time, the body can become sensitized to substances like:
- Pollen (falls under seasonal allergies)
- Pet Dander
- Insect Stings
- Certain foods like nuts, strawberries, milk, shellfish, etc.
The body starts seeing that particular substance as a threat and develops antibodies against it to fight it off. When the body encounters the allergen again, the antibodies turn on mast cells which release histamine.
This leads to inflammation which causes swelling, irritation, excess mucus production and/or nausea and vomiting to remove the allergen.
It can take many years to develop an allergy or you can possibly be born with it.
Often allergies run in the family. Some allergies can get worse over time as is usually the case with food allergies while some allergies go away or lessen. For example, children often grow out of allergies.
You may also find that, for example, with food, you can eat a certain amount of something and be fine, but if you eat any more than that, it triggers an allergic reaction.
Conditions Associated With Allergies
Mild to moderate allergic reactions might include a runny nose or an itch. Some other allergy symptoms may include:
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Tingling in the mouth
- Post nasal drip
- Blocked ears
Life-threatening cases involve anaphylactic shock which results in the throat closing, a drop in blood pressure, weak pulse, feeling light-headed, nausea, and vomiting.
In some cases, allergies can lead to chronic conditions such as asthma, autoimmune diseases, or eczema so it’s important to keep them under control and naturally, doing so will improve quality of life.
What Is The Traditional Treatment For Allergies?
Antihistamines are usually prescribed or can be bought over the counter to control allergies.
These can take the form of pills, syrups, or nasal sprays. If a person is known to have a severe allergy, doctors prescribe EpiPens or similar devices that inject epinephrine to use if an anaphylactic shock occurs.
Older antihistamines tended to cause a lot of side effects and while newer generation antihistamines tend to have fewer other side effects, they aren’t without them completely. Common side effects include:
- dry mouth
- trouble urinating
- blurred vision
It just depends on how each person’s body responds to the medication.
Other Alternative Treatments For Allergies
Many people prefer to treat allergies naturally.
The most successful treatments proven by clinical trials are bromelain (an enzyme in pineapples and papaya), butterbur, vitamin C, acupuncture, saline spray, and spirulina (blue-green algae).
Most people tolerate these treatments well, but some people may be allergic to pineapples and papaya, and people with a ragweed allergy should avoid butterbur.
Avoiding the allergen as much as possible is the best treatment. For dust and mold allergies, dehumidifiers and air purifiers can be used in the home as well as vacuuming regularly. If you struggle with pollen allergies, staying indoors and closing the windows can help.
For food allergies, be sure to read the ingredient labels and be aware of ingredients commonly used in cuisines you like to eat. For example, nuts and oyster sauce is common in Asian food and some places will use peanuts instead of almonds to keep costs low.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a cannabis sativa plant extract.
Usually, CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, a variant of the cannabis plant which contains less than 0.3 percent THC (the psychoactive compound in weed that gets people high). But it can also be extracted from the marijuana plant, the variant of cannabis which contains high levels of THC.
Check the labels of the CBD products before you buy, a reputable brand will list both THC and CBD content.
CBD products also need to be tested for safety and efficacy to ensure there are no nasties present and that you aren’t being duped. CBD oil is also not to be confused with cannabis oil or hemp seed oil.
Many studies and anecdotal evidence backs up the benefits of CBD for various health issues including:
CBD oil or tincture generally uses coconut oil, palm oil, or MCT oil as a carrier oil.
Hemp oil is also sometimes used but it’s not the best oil to use with CBD as it contains very little saturated fat. Usually, it will be used in combination with coconut or MCT oil.
CBD edibles are also available in the form of gummies, cookies, chocolates, energy drinks, etc. Topical CBD balms can also be used for joint pain and there are lotions that can help you age more gracefully or fight acne.
Is CBD Safe?
CBD is safe for most people.
Side effects of CBD can include:
- reduced appetite
- dry mouth
But these are mild and most people don’t experience any side effects at all.
Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are severe forms of childhood epilepsy and CBD has been used to successfully treat these conditions in children.
There are even CBD products for pets, such as CBD dog treats and CBD oil for dogs.
It’s always best to speak to a doctor or vet before going off your medication or giving CBD to children or animals, and if you struggle with severe allergies.
Although uncommon, some people have a cannabis allergy as it’s a pollinating plant. Being allergic to tomatoes, apples, grapefruit, almonds, or chestnuts may make you more likely to be allergic to cannabis. If this is the case, you should avoid CBD and other cannabis products.
Is CBD Legal?
Because CBD contains 0.3 percent or less THC, it’s legal in many parts of the U.S at a state level.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp is now legal all throughout the U.S at a federal level, so as long as it’s hemp-derived CBD, purchased from a licensed dispensary or seller, and has 0.3 percent THC or less, it’s legal.
How Can CBD Oil Help With Allergies?
At this stage, there aren’t many studies on using CBD for allergies, but the results from the few studies conducted are very promising.
Humans and animals all have an endocannabinoid system. Our bodies can produce cannabinoids and we have cannabinoid receptors all over our bodies for them to bind to.
CBD doesn’t quite bind to these receptors, but it does interact with them. It’s theorized that it can boost deficient cannabinoid levels in the body which is how it produces so many health benefits.
Medical Research On CBD And Allergies
The main reason that CBD can help to relieve allergies is due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
A 2019 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed that CBD reduces airway inflammation and helped to decrease scarring in the lung tissue due to allergic asthma.
A 2012 review from the Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence in Italy showed that it can also be helpful for treating other allergic respiratory disorders and that it can even lower inflammation in the brain.
More studies are needed, but in a recent 2018 review regarding the use of CBD to treat skin conditions by the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, in Aurora, Colorado, the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), and the Department of Dermatology in Denver found that CBD may be an effective treatment for allergic contact dermatitis or eczema caused by contact with an allergen.
CBD Oil For Allergies: Final Thoughts
The research is certainly promising.
CBD is quite powerful in that it helps to reduce chronic pain associated with inflammation when taken orally or applied topically. This mechanism is the biggest indication that CBD may help for allergies.
Whenever the body fights off invaders, whether they be very real pathogens or completely harmless ones such as most allergens, inflammation is its main defense mechanism.
CBD’s analgesic effects (painkilling properties) can also help with the pain of clogged sinuses and digestive troubles so often caused by allergic reactions.
If you don’t have an allergy to cannabis, CBD oil products may help you to deal with your allergies effectively with far fewer side effects. It can also be used for general health and well-being, and even chronic inflammation.
If you’re wondering which CBD brands to try, we recommend CBD oils from the following companies:
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- Cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma.
- The role of cannabinoids in inflammatory modulation of allergic respiratory disorders, inflammatory pain and ischemic stroke.
- Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review.
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