Anyone who has ever suffered from allergies can tell you, they absolutely suck. Watery, itchy eyes; that awful hay-fever feeling; and achy, swollen sinuses. It’s enough to drive anyone up a wall. So today, we’re going to talk about the use of CBD for allergies.
CBD for allergies at a glance
What the claims are: CBD can help relieve allergy symptoms like excess mucus, sinus pain and pressure, and sinus inflammation. It can also open up the lungs to help with chest tightness or shortness of breath often associated with allergy-induced asthma.
CDB also works as an immunosuppressive agent. This can help stop symptoms before they start, as the cause of these symptoms are the body’s immune system aggressively attacking allergens as perceived threats.
Lastly, CBD can help with allergies that affect the skin and produce rashes and inflammation.
What the studies show: While more human clinical trials need to be performed, early research reported on by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that CBD can help modulate and suppress the body’s immune responses.
CBD is also a known anti-inflammatory which has been shown to help reduce lung inflammation due to asthma, which is often allergy-induced. This same anti-inflammatory effect can help with some allergic responses that manifest on the skin.
What the facts are: While more research is required to determine how CBD for allergies might work in the long term, both anecdotal evidence and early research show that adopting a CBD regimen can be beneficial for those suffering from allergies.
What are allergies?
Allergies are the body’s defensive immune response to a foreign substance that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people. That substance can be anything from pet dander, dust, or certain plant pollen, to foods like bananas or chocolate.
A healthy immune system produces antibodies. Allergies cause your immune system to attack things that aren’t actually harmful and treat them as the enemy, causing inflammation of the skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system.
Allergies can range from being mildly annoying like the occasional rash from a bracelet made with nickel or sneezing when you run into a field of tulips, to being stone-cold deadly. Some people with serious allergies can go into anaphylactic shock from just a single bee sting or a whiff of peanut butter. Anaphylaxis can cause loss of consciousness, a drop in blood pressure, severe shortness of breath, rapid pulse, and even death.
A list of other symptoms that can present with various types of allergies are:
- Itching of the nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Tingling in the mouth
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat
- Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath
- Itchy skin or rash
There is no cure for allergies, but there are many methods of treating them. Nasal corticosteroids can reduce swelling, while antihistamines can block histamine (which triggers swelling). Mast cell stabilizers can be used to keep your body from releasing histamine in the first place. This will help alleviate itchy nose and eyes, while decongestants help by shrinking swollen membranes in the nasal passage that make us feel “stuffy”.
For allergic reactions that manifest on the skin, corticosteroid cream can relieve itchiness and inflammation. If an allergic reaction is severe enough, oral corticosteroids can be prescribed to help with swelling and inflammation. Lastly, for life-threatening allergic reactions, epinephrine can be utilized.
How can CBD be used to help with allergies?
CBD (cannabidiol) interacts with our bodies’ own cannabinoid receptors and can affect many of its physiological functions. This includes helping with inflammation and immune responses, which can cause many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with allergies. Those who use CBD for allergies also often find that it can help with skin inflammation and itching, shortness of breath due to allergy-induced asthma, and sinus discomfort.
Because CBD is known to assist with inflammation and swelling, it can act as a sort of blanket treatment to address more than one allergy symptom for some people. This can be especially helpful when weighed against some medications that carry potentially serious side effects, such as corticosteroids, which can cause glaucoma, high blood pressure, fluid retention, mood swings, thinning bones and more.
What are the risks of using CBD for allergies?
One of the more notable facts about CBD is that it’s generally well-tolerated by people who take it, with few potential side effects. That said, a CBD for allergies regimen may not work the same for everyone. Some people find it stops their allergy symptoms completely, some find that it doesn’t alleviate their symptoms at all, and others only experience minor relief.
Because certain allergies can have much more serious consequences (which is often the case with shellfish, nut, latex, or bee sting allergies), it is not suggested that CBD take the place of other, treatments for those with a life-threatening allergy. If your allergy requires you to carry an
It’s always a good idea to check with your pharmacist to ensure that it won’t interact poorly with any of your other medications.
Should I give CBD for allergies a try?
Many people dealing with both seasonal and chronic allergies are finding that CBD can help alleviate their symptoms without side effects. Because some of the medications used to treat allergies have serious potential side effects, researching CBD to help with non-life threatening allergy symptoms might be a good option.
As always, you should check with your medical provider to find out if a CBD for allergy regimen is right for you.
- Does anyone use CBD for allergies?
- Evaluation of Serum Cytokines Levels and the Role of Cannabidiol Treatment in Animal Model of Asthma
- Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System
- Mayo Clinic Allergies Article
- Prednisone and other corticosteroids
- Cannabinoids may soothe certain skin diseases
- The Profile of Immune Modulation by Cannabidiol
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America