Most of us suffer from some kind of allergy. Usually, allergies are looked upon as an inconvenient ailment and nothing more. What you may not know is that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the US.
According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. When we see stats like these, it is no wonder people look all over the place for reliable treatments. One potential alternative treatment people are discussing is CBD oil.
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
While there are plenty of over the counter and prescription medications on the market for all of these common allergies, research has suggested that CBD could be a more effective, and safe option!
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
While this list is impressive, it just a handful of the conditions researchers have targeted with CBD and other cannabinoids!
How Does CBD Work to Combat Symptoms of Allergies?
In our body, we have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is responsible for maintaining a level of balance throughout our body. This process is known as homeostasis and is the regulation of the body to maintain optimum health. The ECS releases natural cannabinoids which play a hand in regulating a whole host of things from appetite and mood to 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.
Not only this, but CBD is a well-known anti-inflammatory which can prove invaluable during an allergic reaction as it can reduce swelling and irritation in the sufferer and limit further 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?