can cbd help with allergies

How CBD May Help With Inflammation and Allergies

Beyond just a runny nose and itchy eyes, allergies place a significant burden on the lives of those who suffer from them. Allergens, like pollen, dust, and dander, are often a trigger for much more serious health issues than just red eyes, considering roughly 30 percent of people with allergies also develop asthma. [1]

Whether you suffer from allergies or asthma, finding ways to effectively manage the symptoms can drastically improve your quality of life. Yes, there are conventional over-the-counter options out there, but what happens when those don’t work? What if you prefer to source all-natural alternatives? Enter CBD for inflammation – is there truth to the rumors that CBD could be beneficial for allergies and asthma?

Allergies, Asthma, and Inflammation

One in ten children suffers from asthma, and one in twelve adults. Data from 2008 shows that almost 60 percent of children and 30 percent of adults with asthma missed a week of school or work due to their illness. Nearly 50 percent of people with asthma, no matter their age, suffered an attack in 2015. [2]

Allergies, although usually less severe than asthma, are nevertheless equally as prevalent and there is no known cure. Because many people don’t report their daily struggles with allergies, the numbers aren’t as precise as those with asthma, but it’s thought that over 25 million people in the United States have nasal allergies. [3]

There is a well-understood link between allergies and the development of asthma. However, how does inflammation play a role, and more importantly, how does CBD for inflammation play into it? Many of the most challenging symptoms of allergies are actually issues with inflammation. Rhinitis, sinusitis, and asthma are all different localized problems caused by inflammation.

Allergic reactions are triggered when our immune systems jump into action to ward off an allergen. The immune system triggers a localized inflammatory response, including swelling, hay fever, respiratory restrictions, and more. Inflammation and allergies go hand in hand when allergens trigger a reaction; inflammation is sure to follow. [4]

The Role of CBD: Inflammation, Allergies and More

The research is still in its infancy, but compelling preliminary data suggest that CBD, a powerful anti-inflammatory cannabinoid, could play a key role in the future of allergy treatments. There is no information yet what that might look like, including what CBD dosage would benefit inflammation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t investigate what the initial research suggests.

A study published in Mediators of Inflammation , from 2015, suggests that CBD was a novel new approach to the treatment of inflammation as demonstrated in asthma. Their animal study, in which lab mice with an allergic response were given a dose of CBD, determined that “CBD treatment was able to decrease the serum levels of all analyzed cytokines except for IL-10 levels.”

For those of us who aren’t well versed in the biology behind allergies – cytokines are a substance secreted by our immune systems to stimulate an inflammatory response. Because of CBD’s ability to reduce the release of these cytokines, the authors of the study concluded, “CBD seems to be a potential new drug to modulate the inflammatory response in asthma.”[5]

Cannabidiol may also prove to be an excellent candidate because of its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. In recent years, the endocannabinoid system has become a popular subject of research among those seeking novel approaches to treating allergy inflammatory responses. We are only now seeing links between our own cannabinoids and their role in airway restriction (an inflammatory response).

As researchers develop a clearer understanding of how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system influence and control out allergic responses, there is also room for deeper research into CBD for inflammation. Any clinical trials are likely only in the distant future, which unfortunately means so too is any information on a possible CBD dosage for inflammation.

Could CBD Trigger an Allergic Reaction?

Unfortunately, there is even less information on the possible allergic reactions to CBD than there is on CBD for inflammation and allergies. A quick review of some of the anecdotal information posted through online forums suggests that few people, if any, suffer from a true CBD reaction. Obviously, this experiential data doesn’t replace scientific study and results, but it does give an indication of what real people are experiencing in the real world. Most, as reported in these forum posts, have a positive reaction to CBD oil. [6]

Some people did report allergic reactions when vaping with CBD. Considering many vape products contain potentially toxic substances such as propylene glycol, its thought that perhaps the reaction is associated with low quality and harmful ingredients, but not the CBD itself. There could also be a chance that some CBD companies use nut-based carrier oils in their products, such as almond oil. Theoretically, this could trigger a nut allergy. Again, to iterate, these aren’t theories stemming from a scientific study, but instead from users’ own experiences.

Thankfully, even if there is little research into CBD and allergies specifically, there is relatively robust research into the side effect profile of CBD. In 2017, a review of the clinical and animal studies of CBD concluded that there were few if any high-risk side effects.

The most commonly reported side effects were rare, and mild – tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. The authors determined, “In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile.” Importantly, they did not refer to any noted allergic reactions in the literature. [7]

The research into CBD for inflammation and allergies is preliminary but seems positive. CBD for inflammation could be the novel new alternative treatment for allergies, asthma and the underlying inflammation, but it remains to be seen if CBD is the all-natural treatment people are looking for. Hopefully, in the future, our knowledge of the intimate relationship between cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and inflammation will solidify.

Scientists are finding out now how CBD may prevent mast cell activation and the resulting inflammation. Here we highlight the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD with support from research on CBD and inflammation. Read more on how cannabidiol may help prevent mast cells from releasing histamine into the bloodstream. ]]>