CBD is an active ingredient in the hemp plant which has garnered huge acclaim as it is said to have the potential to help relieve everything. Knowing whether or not it actually helps relieve allergy symptoms helps you make an informed choice as to whether you will or not take it for allergies.
Allergic reactions have increased in number and complexity, with people being increasingly sensitive to dust, pollens, cold, animal dander, latex, aerosols, fur, molds, foods, drinks, and other things. Meanwhile, CBD, an active ingredient in the hemp plant, has also increasingly become popular, with people claiming that it can help with anything, including allergies, and some are already using it for their allergies. This article is your informant since it examines whether and how CBD helps with CBD symptoms.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is an immune response in which the body reacts to a substance to which it is hypersensitive and deems ‘invader.’ Interestingly, the immune response is often caused by something that’s typically harmless. However, since the body views the substance as foreign, it overacts. The specific factors that trigger allergic reactions are called allergens and include pollen, dust, fur, mold, cold, animal dander, latex, aerosols, etc. As the body engages in an allergic reaction to remove the foreign substance, a chemical called histamine is produced and triggers allergic symptoms.
How can you tell that you have an allergy to something?
Like diseases, allergies have signs and symptoms with which they can be recognized, and these symptoms range from mild to severe. Mild signs and symptoms affect specific body parts like the nose, eyes, or mouth and never rarely spread to other areas. They include itchiness, red eye, hay fever, runny nose, and rash. Moderate symptoms are more or less similar to mild ones, but spread to other body parts, including difficulty in breathing, swelling, and itchiness. Severe allergic reactions lead to a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis, which may start as a mere itchy eye and fast spread to the rest of the body and quickly followed by blood pressure drop, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle cramps, and nausea.
What are the conventional allergy treatment methods?
Before you can think about managing allergic symptoms using CBD, remember that there are conventional allergy management methods, including antihistamines, immunotherapy, mast cell stabilizers, decongestants, corticosteroids (nasal, oral, or topical), and epinephrine, especially for severe allergic reactions. However, the best way to avoid allergic reactions is to keep off the triggers (allergens), although this is usually not easy. Since the amount of exposure also determines the severity of the symptoms, reducing your exposure if you find yourself in contact with the allergens is also key.
What is CBD, and can it help reduce allergy symptoms?
The hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) has hundreds of cannabinoids making it up, and CBD (cannabidiol) is one of them. Other active ingredients in the hemp plant include terpenes and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Although CBD may have traces of THC, it is only present in negligible amounts, i.e., less than 0.3%. Therefore, unlike THC which makes a person high, CBD lacks psychoactive properties and after taking it, a person will not feel ‘high,’ which is why many love it.
Answering the question of whether CBD can provide relief for allergy symptoms is somewhat tricky. While the compound may help with mild symptoms, it definitely will not relieve you of severe allergic reactions. In fact, health experts are certain that traditional allergy management methods surpass CBD in relieving allergy symptoms. Therefore, if you mean to feel better, you’d rather stick to the conventional allergy management medications.
CBD may help relieve mild allergy symptoms
Studies suggest that using CBD may help relieve mild allergy symptoms. For instance, a 2014 study was conducted on rats to see how CBD would help with their allergy symptoms. They were pretreated with a-pinene, a terpene, before exposure to allergens and the animals showed few symptoms of allergy compared to their counterparts who were not treated with the terpene. Of course, terpene is not CBD, but it can be found in broad-spectrum CBD products. If you choose to use CBD products for your allergy, scan the product for the certificate of analysis (COA) to be 100% certain that a-pinene is one of the ingredients in the product.
Furthermore, scientists conducted another study in 2019, and this, like the previous one, involved rodents, specifically mice. They were given CBD before being exposed to asthma allergens. The study concluded that CBD could help with allergic asthma in animals because the pre-treated rodents showed fewer signs. It is noteworthy that these studies focused on animals and were done in lab contexts. Therefore, while the results are pretty promising, we can’t say for sure that CBD will help you manage allergy symptoms, and you’d do better by sticking to your conventional allergy management medication. Some studies even claim that CBD could help manage contact dermatitis, and this, too, is subject to studies and clarification.
Is CBD allergy real?
Generally, many CBD users tolerate the compound well and do not react to it. However, as usual, there must be exceptions for every case, which for this context, might be allergic to CBD. Limonene and linalool are two terpenes found in the broad-spectrum CBD, and unfortunately, some CBD users have developed allergic reactions related to them. In addition, others have developed Epidiolex-triggered skin rash, although there is just one case so far. Epidiolex is a medication approved by FDA to treat a rare epileptic disease, and one of its side effects is a unique rash which was also observed in the mentioned CBD case.
CBD is an active compound in the hemp plant and has become popular due to its many purported health benefits. Although it may help relieve mild allergy symptoms, CBD will definitely not help with severe allergies. Moreover, it can induce allergic reactions, especially in those hypersensitive to particular terpenes. That said, sticking to the traditional allergy management medications sounds better.