Best cbd oil for allergies

CBD Oil for Allergies: A Breath of Fresh Air

There’s nothing better than spending time in nature. Going camping, having a picnic, or simply going for a walk can be both relaxing and therapeutic. However, for millions of Americans, there is one thing that can rain on this parade – allergy symptoms.

Most of us have experienced seasonal allergies—coughing, sneezing, itchy watery eyes. It can be difficult to avoid environmental allergens such as pollen and trees, without sacrificing the enjoyment of nature.

Allergy medications can help manage symptoms, but in some cases, they cause side effects such as drowsiness.

For these reasons, environmental allergy sufferers are experimenting with alternative ways to help manage their allergy symptoms. CBD oil is being explored for its potential use for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain and anxiety. There is good evidence to support CBD’s use in other conditions, but the question we’re addressing here is: What about CBD oil for allergies?

Table of Contents

  • CBD Oil for Allergies: Just the Facts
  • What Causes Allergies?
    • Symptoms of Environmental Allergies
    • CBD and Inflammation
    • Regulation of CBD

    CBD Oil for Allergies: Just the Facts

    People who use CBD oil for their allergies report that it helps to decrease their allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, there have not yet been any research studies on using CBD oil for allergies. However, research does show that CBD lowers inflammation levels via the endocannabinoid system, which is a factor in allergy symptoms. More in-depth research is needed on the potential benefits of using CBD oil for allergies.

    What Causes Allergies?

    Allergy symptoms are caused by an overreaction of the immune system. This response is important, as it is the immune system’s job to protect us against real health threats such as harmful bacteria and viruses. For some people, however, exposure to seemingly harmless foods or particles in the air results in the immune system going haywire, leading to pesky allergy symptoms. There are some extremely common environmental allergens, including:

    • Pollen
    • Dust mites
    • Pet dander
    • Mold
    • Cigarette smoke

    In many cases, these allergies are worse during certain seasons, such as spring when flowers and trees are blooming. These allergies are referred to as seasonal allergies.

    Symptoms of Environmental Allergies

    When the body’s immune system becomes activated, it causes the release of various chemicals, such as the release of histamine by mast cells. Histamine and other chemicals are responsible for the allergy symptoms people experience. In addition, activation of the immune system causes an increase in inflammation all over the body, including the eyes, nasal passages, skin, and throat.

    Allergy sufferers often experience symptoms of:

    • Sneezing
    • Coughing
    • Runny nose and nasal congestion
    • Fatigue
    • Headaches
    • Itching and hives
    • Wheezing

    For people with asthma, allergy symptoms can worsen breathing issues, which may be serious.

    Conventional Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

    For most allergy sufferers, antihistamine medications are their best friend during high-allergen seasons. These medications block histamine release, which is the main chemical that causes allergy symptoms. Although newer, non-drowsy versions of many of these medications are available, some people still experience fatigue when taking them.

    Antihistamines do not seem to work as well for nasal congestion symptoms, which typically respond best to nasal sprays. These nasal sprays are either saline-based or steroid-based. Long-term steroid use can lead to thinning of the nasal tissues and an increased risk of nosebleeds.

    In addition to treating their allergy symptoms with medications, people who suffer from environmental allergies often make lifestyle changes, such as using air filters and closing windows. Many have also turned to alternative therapies such as essential oils, probiotics, and herbal therapies like CBD oil.

    Using CBD for Allergies

    Allergy suffers are experimenting with using CBD to help alleviate their allergy symptoms, and many are reporting positive results.

    One user reports: “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.”

    Unfortunately, there have not been any human research studies looking at using CBD oil for allergies just yet. However, theoretically, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help improve some people’s allergy symptoms.

    What the Research Says

    CBD and Inflammation

    Inflammation is a significant factor in allergy symptoms, and CBD has been shown to decrease inflammation through its effect on the endocannabinoid system.

    The endocannabinoid system is a system within our bodies, which influences inflammation, pain, and emotions. CBD itself stimulates the CB1 and CB2 receptors within this system. Research shows that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are distributed through this system.

    Medical Marijuana and Allergies

    You may have heard about people using other cannabis products, such as marijuana, for their asthma and allergy symptoms. This is because it was thought that it could help open up airways.

    There has been some research on medical marijuana and allergies. Researchers found that THC is an effective bronchodilator, which means it opens up the airways.

    Keep in mind that medical marijuana contains both CBD and THC. Therefore, we cannot assume that CBD alone has the same effect.

    It should be noted that smoking medical marijuana, just like smoking of any kind, has been shown to worsen respiratory symptoms. Also, smoking is associated with other respiratory diseases like COPD and lung cancer.

    Some Background on the Legality of CBD

    In the last few years, research on CBD and its potential health benefits has exploded. This is because up until recently, all forms of the cannabis plant were considered a Schedule I drug, which means it is federally illegal to buy or sell within the United States.

    The Farm Bill, which was signed in 2018, made a legal distinction between the different strains of the cannabis plant — the industrial hemp plant and the marijuana plant. Both are in the family of cannabis plants, but they are not the same. The main difference between the two is their (tetrahydrocannabinol) THC content. This is the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes you feel “high.”

    Legal CBD products are derived from the industrial hemp plant, and they contain only traces (up to 0.3%) of THC. They are legal to buy and sell in all 50 states of the USA.

    Regulation of CBD

    At this time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD products. This means quality standards vary between manufacturers.

    When purchasing CBD products, do your research into the company to ensure they have high-quality standards and use third-party testing. Consult reputable websites like this one to find a CBD product that is third-party tested and created by a brand you can trust.

    A Summary of What the Research Says

    Currently, there are no human studies on using CBD oil for allergies.

    There are anecdotal reports of CBD helping some people alleviate their allergy symptoms.

    Theoretically, CBD may help with allergies through its stimulation of the endocannabinoid system, which modulates inflammation.

    Research shows that products containing THC, such as medical marijuana, are effective at opening up breathing passages. However, given that CBD products do not contain any significant amounts of THC, we cannot assume CBD alone has the same effect.

    Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Allergies

    Although the research on the use of CBD oil for allergies is in its infancy, some people report that it does help with their allergy symptoms.

    If you are thinking about using CBD oil for your allergy symptoms, consult with your doctor first. Do not replace your current allergy medications with CBD without medical supervision. And keep in mind that severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening for some people. CBD should not be used for acute allergic reactions or when breathing is impaired.

    What to Know About CBD for Allergies

    ​Cory Martin is the author of seven books including “Love Sick” a memoir about dating, life in Hollywood and dealing with MS. Her essays have appeared online with CNN, HuffPost, Everyday Health, Psychology Today, Folks, The Mighty, and more.

    Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

    Jurairat J. Molina, MD, MBA is a board-certified allergist who has been practicing in field of allergy and clinical immunology for the past two decades.

    Allergies can greatly affect a person’s quality of life, causing symptoms like sneezing, congestion, rash, and swelling. These symptoms can disrupt your daily life, by causing discomfort, sleep loss, and lower productivity at work. If you experience any or all of these symptoms, it’s natural to want to seek relief.

    People with allergies may consider CBD (cannabidiol) to help relieve their symptoms. While research into the effects of CBD on allergies is limited, there is evidence that the compound can help relieve pain and inflammation, and mitigate some of the body’s immune responses to allergens.

    This article will discuss how CBD can help with allergies, the best types of CBD to use, and any side effects.

    Verywell / Danie Drankwalter

    CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in many of the body’s systems and processes, including metabolism, immunity, and the central and peripheral nervous systems. The body produces cannabinoids that are received by cannabinoid receptors to keep the body functioning normally.

    Cannabinoids help regulate the immune system by lowering inflammation in the body. When the body’s cannabinoid system is not working properly, inflammatory and immune-related disorders, such as allergies, can occur.

    Because it’s a cannabinoid, CBD may be helpful in relieving allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, congestion, and runny nose.

    What Is CBD Oil?

    CBD oil is derived from the cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as marijuana. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the other cannabinoid compound derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is non-psychoactive.

    While CBD and THC are the most commonly discussed compounds from the cannabis plant, more than 100 other cannabinoids have been identified.

    CBD vs. Hemp Seed Oil

    The cannabis sativa plant has been cultivated in two different ways: “drug hemp” (marijuana) and “industrial hemp” (hemp). Drug hemp contains high levels of THC, whereas industrial hemp has a THC level less than 0.3%.

    Hemp plants grown for recreational or medicinal use have high THC and high CBD levels.

    Industrial hemp is legal throughout the United States and is grown for fiber, paper, hemp seeds, construction materials, textiles, and hempseed oil.

    Like CBD oil, hempseed oil has been touted for its health benefits. Hempseed oil is known for its nutritional value, as it contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Hempseed oil also contains polyphenols, tocopherols, proteins, and carbohydrates, which have nutritional benefits.

    Cannabis Allergy

    While you may seek CBD or hemp to treat your allergies, be aware it’s possible to develop an allergy to cannabis itself. Hemp allergy is similar to other allergies, like pollen allergies. Symptoms can range from skin irritations, like rashes or hives, to respiratory afflictions such as asthma, congestion, and runny nose.

    Though more research needs to be done, smoking marijuana or hemp may increase the likelihood of developing asthma and other allergic diseases. If you have allergic asthma, you may want to avoid smoking the compound.

    Allergy Symptoms and Triggers

    Allergies occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to a foreign substance that is normally harmless in most people. Common allergens include, but are not limited to:

    • Pollen
    • Dust mites
    • Pets and farm animals
    • Insect stings and bites
    • Foods
    • Medication
    • Contact allergens, such as metals for fragrance ingredients
    • Mold

    Many allergies are triggered by situations and environmental factors, such as a bee sting or eating certain foods.

    Seasonal allergies can be triggered by pollen in the air when plants are blooming. Pet allergies can be triggered upon entering someone’s home where there is pet dander in the air.

    Any of these types of triggers can cause symptoms. Common allergy symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Runny nose, coughing, and sneezing
    • Breathing problems
    • Watery or swollen eyes
    • Itching
    • Rash or hives
    • Stomach or bowel problems

    When to Seek Emergency Help

    If you experience difficulty breathing or your throat begins to close or swell, call 911 immediately. This can be a sign of a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

    CBD for Allergies

    While research into the effects of CBD on allergies has been limited mainly to small studies and animal studies, there is promise that CBD can help mitigate or eliminate allergic symptoms and reactions.

    Congestion

    CBD is known to work on one of the pathways of the ECS that produces histamine-activating cells in the body. There is some evidence that CBD could greatly reduce the amount of histamine produced in an allergic reaction, which would reduce congestion.

    Skin Rashes

    The ECS helps regulate and control immune function in the body, and more recent research suggests that the ECS also plays a role in maintaining skin health.

    Some studies suggest that CBD applied directly to the skin can help with rashes and other inflammatory conditions of the skin, such as eczema, but further research is still needed.

    What Are the Side Effects of CBD?

    Studies have shown that CBD is relatively safe to consume, however these studies are limited. Further research is needed to determine the effects of CBD on the entire body and its effects over long-term consumption.

    The most common side effects of CBD are:

    • Drowsiness or lethargy
    • Mood changes and irritability
    • Lower appetite and weight loss
    • Diarrhea

    Best CBD for Allergies

    The most common methods for consuming CBD for allergies and inflammation are topical treatments, herbal extracts, and edibles. Choosing a method depends on the type of allergy symptom being treated.

    For rashes and skin inflammation, a topical cream or ointment may be best. For hay fever and other full-body symptoms, an herbal extract, edible, or nasal spray might work best. A nasal CBD spray may be beneficial, as the lining of the nose is thin, and CBD can pass directly into the blood, which produces faster effects.

    The other factor to consider is the type of CBD: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or an isolate.

    • Full-spectrum CBDuses all extracts of the cannabis plant, which includes CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. The THC concentration in full-spectrum is 0.3% or less.
    • Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but it has no THC.
    • A CBD isolate is pure CBD with no other parts of the cannabis plant.

    The “Entourage Effect”

    Some evidence suggests that broad- or full-spectrum CBD produces better benefits, due to the synergistic effects of the other compounds within the spectrum, including THC. This is known as the “entourage effect.”

    Dosage

    CBD dosage will depend on the delivery method chosen and what symptom is being treated.

    Doses ranging from 300 mg to 600 mg have been shown to help treat anxiety disorders. Another study showed that a dosage of 25 mg helped improve poor sleep.

    There is very little regulation on the dosing of CBD, so you may need to experiment until you find the right dose for your body and symptoms. You can also talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate dosing.

    How to Buy CBD

    Buying CBD will depend on where you live. In states where marijuana, and thus CBD derived from the “drug hemp,” is legal, you can find CBD at a dispensary. In states where marijuana is not legal, you will have to buy CBD that is derived from “industrial hemp.” As with all supplements, it is best to research the product to make sure it’s good quality.

    A Word From Verywell

    While much research still needs to be done on CBD and its effects, there is promise that it could be useful for treating allergy symptoms. If you are considering taking CBD to help alleviate symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider to discuss the best options. In the meantime, remember that there are many over-the-counter antihistamines that can help with seasonal and year-round allergies.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    CBD is not a decongestant, but it is theorized to work on the endocannabinoid system, which can reduce inflammation and congestion.

    Using CBD for allergy treatment can be used the same way as other allergy medications, though it is important to note that the FDA has not approved CBD use for allergies. If you choose to try CBD to help manage your allergy symptoms, you can use a nasal spray, edible, or topical treatment.

    Allergic asthma can worsen in people who are allergic to CBD, or the marijuana/hemp plants and their seeds. A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.

    Terpenes are compounds in plants that cause their fragrance. Cannabis is known for its fragrance and therefore its terpenes. Terpenes are found in full- and broad-spectrum CBD. In one study on the effects of CBD for epilepsy, it was discovered that the full- and broad-spectrum versions had better outcomes, thus suggesting that terpenes play an important part in CBD’s effectiveness.

    See also  Cbd oil for benign fasciculation syndrome