How Effective is CBD Oil in Treating Nasal Polyps?
If you’re interested in using CBD oil for nasal polyps and related symptoms, research has shown that CBD can actually help.
If you’ve ever experienced nasal polyps or are experiencing them now, you know how bothersome they can be. While nasal polyps aren’t always a big issue, they can cause bigger concerns if not dealt with.
Continue reading to learn exactly what nasal polyps are, how to treat them, and if they can be prevented.
What are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal Polyps are soft, noncancerous round growths in the nose. They come from thin, soft tissue that lines the sinuses and nasal passages. While nasal polyps aren’t painful, they can get irritated. They can also swell up and cause blockage. Note that not all nasal growths are polyps.
If nasal polyps are small enough, you may not even experience symptoms since they’re soft and lack sensation. You may just feel as if you have a simple cold. However, large and/or groups of nasal polyps can affect your nasal passages and sinuses resulting in symptoms including:
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip that runs down the throat
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Headaches and other facial pain
- Teeth pain
- Itchiness around the eyes
- Sensitivity to smells
- Sinus pain or pressure
- Loss of taste or smell
- Inability or difficulty breathing through the nose
- Double vision (for rare and extreme cases)
If polyps grow big enough or develop in both nostrils, you could experience frequent sinus infections, trouble breathing, or sleep apnea. This happens because the nasal passages are blocked. If you’re someone with asthma, polyps can cause asthma attacks more often than usual.
What Causes Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are complex so specific causes aren’t always known. However, common causes could be an infection or irritation due to allergies or certain immune disorders. Asthma, the common cold, cystic fibrosis, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can also cause nasal polyps. If a nasal mucosa swells and becomes red, it can start to produce a fluid that may turn into a polyp.
Polyps can also simply be caused by genetics and how a person’s mucosa reacts to inflammation. While anyone can experience nasal polyps, they’re most often seen in adults and affect men more than women. Children with cystic fibrosis can develop nasal polyps.
Can CBD be Effective in Treating Nasal Polyps?
As CBD is becoming more popular to help improve health and wellness, you may be wondering if you can use CBD oil for nasal polyps. The short answer is yes, it can! Not only can CBD be used to alleviate nasal congestion, but it can help prevent nasal polyps and remedy other nagging symptoms when they do occur.
The body has something known as CB2 receptors that work to help regulate the immune system and inflammatory responses. Nasal issues occur if the receptors in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) aren’t being activated as they normally should. These receptors are responsible for regulating the body’s processes and CBD oils work by activating the receptors to ensure that everything is balanced out.
Aside from nasal issues, using high-quality CBD is a natural way to improve the body’s overall health.
When considering using CBD oil for nasal polyps, it’s important to be aware of the different types:
- Full-spectrum CBD: consists of all naturally occurring elements of the cannabis plant including THC
- Broad-spectrum CBD: similar to full-spectrum in that it consists of all components of the cannabis plant, but all THC is removed
- Isolate CBD: contains only Cannabidiol and no other components
Can You Put CBD Oil in Your Nose?
If you’re looking to prevent or treat nasal polyps, you might be wondering if CBD oil for nasal polyps can be put into your nose. It is actually safe to do this if using a product meant for inhaling through the nose.
While the popular CBD oil tincture is taken under the tongue or added to a beverage, a CBD nasal inhaler would be most effective in helping (or possibly preventing) nasal polyps.
- When CBD oil for nasal polyps is breathed in through the nose, it can provide quicker relief than other methods such as nasal sprays, tinctures, and consumables. However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t provide immediate and complete relief.
- CBD nasal inhalers are discrete and easy to carry with you.
- They work with CB2 receptors to decrease symptoms of nasal polyps and can help to prevent future polyps from occurring.
- They also work with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body to relieve stress and anxiety and leave you feeling refreshed.
- They’re safe to use and don’t have any known side effects.
Other Common Treatment Options for Nasal Polyps
After nasal polyps are diagnosed by answering questions and potentially performing a physical exam, there are other treatment options aside from CBD. Here are some common methods that can reduce the size of polyps or eliminate them.
Keep in mind that sprays and medications may need to be used for a couple of weeks before seeing any results.
- Steroid sprays: usually the first treatment; reduces runny nose and shrinks the size of polyps
- Oral or injectable steroids: used short term and do have side effects if used too much
- Antihistamines or antibiotics: can treat allergies or sinus infections that occur from or result in nasal polyps
- Surgery: this could be to place a stent to open up the nasal passage and deliver medications or to use endoscopy to remove polyps that aren’t improving with other treatments; the type of surgery depends on several factors such as size, severity, and symptoms
There are also at-home treatments that have been used to treat nasal polyps. However, be sure to consult with a medical professional if symptoms are severe.
- Cayenne pepper: That’s right! Research has shown that consuming red pepper can improve inflammation, open up nasal passages, and boost immunity. Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean nasal polyps will be prevented or completely treated, but it can reduce symptoms.
- Garlic and/or ginger: Consuming a liberal amount of garlic and/or ginger can help fight infections and reduce inflammation. You can also use it as a powder supplement or extract.
- Inhaling hot steam: Taking a hot show or bath, using a humidifier, or steaming water on the stove can alleviate symptoms.
- Essential oils: Essential oils including tea tree oil, chamomile, eucalyptus, and peppermint can help. You can mix it in the water for your hot steaming, dab it below your nose, or add it to a hot tea. An essential oil roll-on can also help.
- Vitamin D: Increasing Vitamin D intake can support the immune system.
Preventing Nasal Polyps
After treating nasal polyps, it’s common for them to come back. Of course, the best-case scenario is to prevent them to begin with. While it’s not always possible to keep them from occurring, there are ways to reduce the risk and potential symptoms:
- If you suffer from allergies and/or asthma, take medications as directed by a healthcare provider.
- Use a humidifier to create moisture for your nasal passages, especially if you live in a dry environment. Be sure to clean the humidifier regularly to prevent bacteria build-up.
- Create a regular habit of using a CBD oil for nasal polyps.
- Use a nasal rinse or spray to clear the nose of possible allergens and improve mucus flow.
- Practice good hygiene such as frequent hand washing
- Avoid nasal irritants such as breathing in chemical fumes and tobacco smoke.
Things to Keep in Mind
While nasal polyps can be annoying, they aren’t usually something to worry about. They can typically be treated at home if caught quick enough, but consult with a doctor if symptoms are persistent or severe.
Practices mentioned such as CBD nasal inhalers, humidifiers, and proper hygiene can relieve and prevent nasal polyps.
Oropharyngeal Bleeding Due to Cannabidiol Oil Vape Use
Vaping has become an increasingly popular alternative to smoking in recent years. We present a rare and unusual case of upper airway bleeding caused by inhalation of a cannabidiol (CBD) oil-based vape due to a chemical burn. There are no case reports of this injury in the literature, and we discuss the clinical presentation, diagnosis and our management of this potentially life-threatening injury. A 27-year-old man presented to the accident and emergency department after using a CBD oil vape. After one inhalation of the CBD oil vape, the patient experienced immediate onset pain in the oropharynx, dyspnoea, expectoration of blood and hoarseness. The patient had used a CBD oil vape four hours earlier that evening for the first time, which was procured from an unregulated online source. The patient was referred to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team where the examination of oropharynx identified a posterior pharyngeal bleeding point. Flexible nasal endoscopy was undertaken showing profound erythema and inflammation throughout the oropharynx and posterior pharyngeal wall. The mucous membranes had been detached leaving an exposed bleeding submucosa. The patient was commenced on three cycles of back-to-back adrenaline nebulisers (1:1000 adrenaline in 5ml of 0.9% NaCl), 6.6mg dexamethasone intravenously and hydrogen peroxide gargles (5ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide in 10ml of water) three times a day. There were early involvement and review of the airway by the anaesthetic and intensive care teams, which was deemed safe at the time. A plan was made for a definitive airway if bleeding reoccurred. Upper airway bleeding can present as a rare form of vape-induced injury and should be considered part of the differential diagnosis particularly in those using CBD oil vapes. History taking is pertinent and patients should be questioned on the specific vape liquids used. Airway stabilisation is the priority with early involvement of the multi-disciplinary team including anaesthetists, intensive care specialists and ENT surgeons.
Keywords: bleeding; emergency medicine; ent; oral injury; oropharynx; otolaryngology; smoking; vape.
Copyright © 2021, Pankhania et al.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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