Every day, it seems that there is a new allergy-related illness. While allergies are generally regarded as a nuisance rather than a serious condition, most of us have one. The US suffers from the sixth highest number of chronic illnesses attributable to allergies.
Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year, according to the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology. When we see statistics like these, it’s no surprise people are looking for alternative therapies. CBD oil is one potential alternative treatment that people are talking about now.
CBD, really? Could CBD oil be a potential relief for allergy sufferers – especially those who get no relief from traditional medicines? In this article, we explore what CBD is and what (if any) roles it may play in the treatment of allergies.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is our immune system’s negative response to a substance that is foreign to the body. The symptoms that come from an allergic reaction often range in severity and can include any of the following:
- Watery eyes
- Sniffling/runny nose
- Facial Pain
- Chest tightness or cough
- Swelling of lips, tongue, eyes or face
These are just a handful of the potential risks associated with allergies. But of course in some cases, if an allergy is incredibly severe, it can result in anaphylaxis and death.
What is even more shocking is that many allergies can lead to chronic conditions which become much more serious for the sufferer, such as:
- Autoimmune diseases
All of the major allergies are treated by over-the-counter and prescription medicines, although CBD may be a more effective, and safer alternative!
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant. It is now the most researched of the lot, beating THC as the most sought-after compound for its ability to provide relief for a huge list of conditions:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
This is simply a sample of the illnesses that researchers have tried CBD and other cannabinoids on.
How Does CBD Work to Combat Symptoms of Allergies?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a part of our body’s equilibrium. This mechanism, known as homeostasis, is the maintenance of bodily health by the regulation of the body. The ECS produces natural cannabinoids that help to maintain a steady state in a variety of areas such as appetite and mood, inflammation and pain!
When CBD is consumed, it works largely with the ECS to promote increased production of these healing cannabinoids! It is for this reason that CBD has proven to be so effective in such a wide range of conditions.
Along with our ECS, we also have cannabinoid receptors already built in! When we consume cannabis, the cannabinoids bind to receptors which can bring about different effects. Our CB1 and CB2 receptors are in charge of different things. For example, THC binds to our CB1 receptor, which is primarily located in the brain and is in charge of thoughts, feelings, memories – which is why we get high when we consume THC!
With CBD however, while it may bind to both receptors in very small amounts, its biggest work is throughout the body with both the ECS and other non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels.
How Can CBD Work For Allergies?
Research has found that CBD can prevent mast cells from releasing histamines. Mast cells will produce histamines during inflammation or allergic reactions, which brings about the common symptoms that we all know and love such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, etc.
CBD has a long history of being used to treat ailments, and it’s been utilized in various forms for thousands of years. It can aid with pain management since it reduces inflammation while also reducing itching and swelling. CBD is also an anti-inflammatory, which means that it can help with allergic reactions by reducing swelling and irritation as well as limiting histamine production.
CBD’s interaction with our ECS has even been shown to reduce almost all of the most common side effects associated with an allergic reaction in the following ways:
- Opens up the passageways
- Helps to stop the decrease in airway flow, making breathing easier
- Relieves nasal pressure
- Relieves congestion and mucus
- Manage pain
- Induces calmness and sleep
Medical Research on CBD
According to The Journal of Allergy and Immunology, the stimulation of the CB1 receptor may be useful in controlling allergies as well as rashes and eczema! This is due to the CB1 receptor being largely linked to mast cell activity.
An animal study published in 2013 showed the effects of CBD on the reduction of inflamed airways in guinea pigs with a food allergy. During the investigation, the guinea pigs were administered with raw egg whites which led to a trigger in mast cells and an increase in histamines. CBD was able to reduce airway obstruction and relax muscle tone, suggesting it to be a beneficial treatment for airway reactions in food sensitivities as well as other obstructive airway disorders.
It is from studies such as these that CBD has been proven to be an effective treatment for allergy-induced conditions such as Asthma and COPD!
CBD may also be beneficial in skin allergies due to its immunosuppressant properties, as the cannabinoid shows potential in reducing rashes and itchiness. A 2013 study showed that CBD was effective for preventing inflammation and edema in the skin, making it a promising anti-inflammatory treatment for skin conditions that result from allergic reactions!
Final Thoughts on CBD For The Relief Of Allergy Symptoms
There isn’t much that CBD can’t do for us, whether you use it for general health upkeep, to treat a debilitating condition or seasonally to prevent aggravating allergic reactions! The science behind this humble compound all points towards an all-natural therapy that can relieve you of some of the most common allergic side-effects.
When we consider the way CBD can control mast cells and histamine release throughout the body, it makes it clear that the cannabinoid could play a hand in almost all allergies! If you are a sufferer from any of the following, we suggest CBD to see if it works for you:
- Hay fever
- Dust allergy
- Asthma (the type triggered by an allergy)
- Pet allergy
As the summer months roll in, there will be a rise in the sale of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications. Why not try CBD to see if you can benefit and reduce discomfort with fewer side effects?