Spring has finally sprung, but for many, the joys of longer days and sunnier weather are dampened with allergies and associated flare ups. In this post we explore how CBD Oil might help the symptoms of allergies, in preventing cells from releasing histamines.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is a negative response triggered from our immune system, to a substance that is foreign to the body. When you are allergic to something, like pollen or grass, the body’s immune system triggers a chain reaction that releases histamines for protection. This is what causes the allergic reactions that we all know and loath. Medications for allergies, such as antihistamines, are used to combat those pesky reactions.
There are many substances that cause a reaction, some of the most prominent are:
- Animal hair
Symptoms of Allergies
The symptoms that come from an allergic reaction often range in severity and can include any of the following:
- Sneezing – One of the most common allergy symptoms, but why? Firstly, the allergen (i.e. pollen) enters your body, immediately your immune system releases histamines, your body reacts to this causing your nose become inflamed or agitated – The next natural reaction is the sneeze.
- Wheezing – Wheezing is often linked to Asthma, which presents similar symptoms to some allergies, agitating the lungs and airways.
- Runny Nose / Watery eyes - Similarly to the sneeze, other cold-like symptoms can accompany the reaction, such as watery or itchy eyes.
- Rashes – Some allergens can trigger inflammation which may present as a skin rash. For example, dermatitis can be exacerbated when a person comes into physical contact with an allergen.
- Itching – Insect bites are a great example of where an inflammatory response causes itching, which often makes the overall reaction far worse for the unfortunate recipient of the bite.
- Hives – Painful, raised bumps that are usually red and itchy, hives can be caused by a wide variety of allergens.
- Swelling of lips, tongue, eyes or face – Swelling is another inflammatory response, designed to protect us from the allergen. Of course this can be very severe and require medical attention.
- Chest tightness or coughs – Where the lungs and airways are agitated by the allergen, again this can be alarming for the sufferer.
This is just a handful of the potential reactions the body creates when it meets a foreign substance. This can be annoying at best, with many allergy sufferers having to make significant lifestyle changes to manage the symptoms.
Can CBD help with Allergies?
So, how does CBD help with allergies? Well, CBD has antimicrobial properties that help to block the histamines that lead to annoying allergic reactions. CBD’s interaction with the bodies Endocannabinoid system (ECS) has shown to reduce the majority of common side effects by assisting in the following ways:
- Opens up the airways
- Prevents the stuffy feeling
- Makes breathing easier
- Assists with pain
- Relieves nasal pressure
CBD can also act as an anti-inflammatory which is helpful during allergy season. If you are allergic to pollen, for example, this can result in swelling and inflammation of the nose lining and around the eyes. CBD helps many people to get through the spring season.
CBD also assists with rashes, eczema and other skin-related conditions that flare up around allergy season. With the sun finally deciding to come out, we all want to get some vitamin D! This can be hard when skin conditions and reactions make you feel self-conscious. CBD helps calm the skin, reduces inflammation, and assists with itching.
Medical Research on CBD
The Journal of Allergy and Immunology states that stimulating the CB1 receptor may help in controlling spring allergies as well as skin conditions such as rashes and eczema. This is because CB1 receptor is largely linked to mast cell activity.
A study published in 2013 showed that CBD assists in the reduction of inflamed airways in guinea pigs with a food allergy. In the process of this study, raw egg whites were given to the guinea pigs which resulted in a trigger of mast cells and an increase in histamines. CBD was able to help in the reduction of obstructed airways and relax muscle tone. This suggests that CBD is beneficial for food sensitivities.
“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!”
Due to CBD’s immunosuppressant properties, it may also be a treatment option of skin allergies as the Cannabinoid helps in reducing rashes and itchiness. A study from 2013 showed that CBD had a positive effect in preventing inflammation in the skin, making CBD a potential anti-inflammatory treatment for skin conditions that are a result of allergic reactions.
CBD For The Relief Of Allergy Symptoms
Understanding one's allergies and the symptoms they experience is the first step to battling springtime. CBD is not a cure of allergies but it can help ease the reactions the body creates. CBD products can be used to replace antihistamines but should not be used together.