DOES CBD HELP WITH ALLERGIES?
Health and wellness experts often emphasize the importance of spending time outdoors in keeping us physically and mentally fit. The combination of fresh air and the aroma nature exudes is truly a rejuvenating experience. However, for some people, spending time in nature also means triggering their allergies, especially as the seasons change.
Statistics show that allergic rhinitis brought about by seasonal allergies affects 10% to 30% of the population worldwide, and this number is nothing to sneeze at.
The severity of allergic reactions differs from one person to another, with some experiencing severe and life-threatening conditions. With current over-the-counter medications failing to manage a wide range of allergy symptoms and causing unpleasant side effects, more and more people are looking for an alternative and natural remedies for help.
And with cannabidiol or CBD, coming into the spotlight as an all-encompassing health supplement, one of the questions that are frequently asked these days is this: Can CBD help with allergies?
ALL ABOUT ALLERGIES
Allergies occur when your body’s immune system detects and reacts to a foreign substance that is normally harmless to most people. These substances, known as allergens, get the immune system all up in arms and summons its antibodies to fight the invasion of these allergens.
The most common allergens are pollen, dust, mold, animal dander, medication, bee stings or insect bites, and certain foods like nuts or seafood, among others. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can occur anywhere from within a few minutes after exposure to a few hours later, and may include:
- runny nose
- scratchy throat
- swelling of the tongue, mouth, or face
In severe cases, a person could go into anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, a condition in which the body is overwhelmed by the allergic reaction and goes into shock. Because the airways of the lungs become so inflamed and swollen, anaphylaxis can lead to suffocation and death if not treated right away.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for allergies yet. Instead, symptoms are typically managed with conventional over-the-counter and prescription medications. These medications often contain antihistamine to help relieve runny nose, sneezing, and itchy or watery eyes. They can be in the form of pills, liquids, nasal sprays, eye drops.
Antihistamines work by blocking the histamine that our immune system cells produce when an allergic reaction happens. Histamine is a substance that causes blood vessels to enlarge, resulting in redness, swelling, itching, and scratchy throat. Doctors also prescribe decongestants along with antihistamines in order to relieve congestion and control the increased secretions brought about by the allergic reaction.
However, even though antihistamines and decongestants might be effective in stopping an allergy attack in its tracks, they also cause a host of side effects, such as dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, urination issues, confusion, and high blood pressure. Prolonged use of these medications can cause even bigger problems. All of these risks and complications are making sufferers rethink their options and turn to CBD against allergies.
HOW DOES CBD OIL HELP WITH ALLERGIES?
CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis Sativa L plant and is different from THC, which is what gives people the typical marijuana high.
CBD works by interacting with our body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), which when functioning correctly, serves to maintain many of our physiological processes such as appetite, stress, sleep, immunity, learning, memory, and more.
The ECS is a complex regulating network made up of chemical compounds called endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes that all work together through a signaling pathway. When this pathway is interrupted, or a deficiency in its components arises, the body goes haywire and starts displaying signs of disease or disturbances in the areas mentioned above.
With a CBD supplement, these disruptions or deficiencies can be potentially checked, and homeostasis returns to the body. CBD products are most often sourced from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant. CBD oil from hemp, or hemp oil, is much more preferable to CBD oil extracted from the marijuana plant because hemp contains a higher level of CBD and a low level of THC.
While there haven’t been many research studies yet about CBD allergy relief, many have explored its applications for inflammatory and immune system-related conditions. The findings in these studies bode well for the use of CBD oil for allergies. Let’s take a look at the properties of CBD that can provide relief for allergy sufferers.
Anti-Inflammatory and Antihistamine
A 2005 study delved into the anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties of CBD. Specifically, the study revealed that CBD could prevent the release of histamines by reducing the activation of the mast cell and the T-cell, both of which are responsible for the release of histamine in the body.
Another study explored the effects of CBD in allergic contact dermatitis and other inflammatory skin diseases. The results showed that it greatly improved the inflammation and irritation in these conditions by interfering with the production of cytokines, the proteins involved in acute and chronic inflammation.
Closely linked to its anti-inflammatory function, CBD alters immune cells and helps in the reduction of antibodies. A 2020 study found that CBD supports the immune system by suppressing the activation of various immune cell types and promoting regulatory cells. This finding is especially significant for people with autoimmune diseases or hyperactive immune responses. The Pure CBD line of products by Mission Farms CBD is ideal for general immune boosting.
As an individual goes through an allergy episode, unpleasant symptoms like sneezing and itching can leave him feeling tired and stressed out. Numerous studies and reviews have already backed up claims about CBD and hemp oil’s wonderful ability to decrease stress and anxiety, and this holds true for allergy sufferers as well.
CBD interacts with the receptors in our brain that produce feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine and lowers heart rate and pressure to regulate our mood and produce a calming effect. Mission Farms CBD has a whole line of CBD products designed to help with stress relief: Relax CBD.
Because their immune system is on high alert during an attack, people who suffer from allergies are also susceptible to the development of infections, such as respiratory and skin diseases. This is another area where CBD comes in handy.
Many research studies have already proven the antimicrobial property of cannabidiol. According to researchers, CBD helps fight bacteria by breaking down biofilms – the slimy layer of bacteria that builds up and acts as a shield that helps them resist antibiotic treatments.
The latest review corroborating this was carried out in July 2020 and the conclusion was that CBD, along with other cannabinoids, is effective against gram-positive bacteria and could possibly be a better course of treatment compared to antibiotics, which can be toxic to the body and cannot be used indefinitely.
ARE CBD ALLERGIES POSSIBLE?
Since we are talking about allergies, the topic of CBD allergies cannot be avoided. While CBD can undoubtedly ease allergy symptoms, it is also possible to have a hemp oil allergy, too. People with known allergies to plants or plant extracts are advised to stay away from hemp oil since hemp allergy may be caused by the Lipid Transfer Proteins (LTPs), a group of proteins present in cannabis.
Hemp oil allergies would be even rarer if the product is refined hemp oil. Refined oil is composed of 100% fat – which is not an allergen. Most of the time, when people develop an allergy to CBD products, it’s not because of the hemp itself, but because of other ingredients or contaminants in the products.
This is also why the chances of having hemp allergy CBD are higher with full-spectrum CBD oil. Full-spectrum CBD products contain so many compounds, including THC, which is a known allergen, and it can be hard to pinpoint the exact allergen in this formulation.
Generally speaking, the fewer components there are in a product, the less risk of encountering possible allergens there is. Thus, for people with allergies, it is much safer to use CBD isolates instead, which are a form of CBD that is pure cannabidiol and has zero THC.
An allergy to CBD or hemp products would have the same symptoms as a typical allergic reaction – hives, rashes, itchy eyes, and difficulty in breathing.
BEST CBD PRACTICES
So what is the final word? Is hemp oil good for allergies? The answer is a resounding yes! The important thing to remember if you decide to add CBD to your repertoire is to consult with your doctor or a health and wellness specialist, look at product labels carefully, and start with low doses.
And of course, it’s always wise to be mindful and take note of any substance that seems to trigger an allergic response in your body. Some people find it helpful to keep a journal to note their observations in.
If conventional medications just don’t do it for you, then CBD could be worth a try with all of its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Once you find the right dose and kind of product for you, it will be easier to stay on top of the situation and ward off those pesky allergies.