CBD & Seasonal Allergies: What's The Connection?
If you're one of the 50 million Americans that deals with seasonal allergies every year, you may be wondering what you can do about it. What may be interesting is that allergies and CBD seem to have a complex relationship—with products like CBD softgels or CBD candies having the potential to help you find relief without a crash commonly experienced with remedies like Benadryl. Below you'll discover all you need to know regarding the link between seasonal allergies and CBD.
What's The Deal With Seasonal Allergies?
As it turns out, we tend to refer to allergies a bit incorrectly. Whenever our bodies come into contact with certain substances, our immune system can be tricked into believing they are unsafe. When our immune systems go on alert, they produce antibodies to help rid the body of the potentially harmful substances. These antibodies are known as histamines. You can think of histamines as bouncers in a nightclub—their job is to kick out the rowdy, dangerous people.
The immune system produces histamines to remove a potentially dangerous allergen from within the body. Unlike germs, however, allergens are typically harmless. Unless, of course, you have an allergy. But it doesn't matter to the immune system. The ‘bouncers’ are alerted whenever any suspicious-looking allergens enter the club—and with a lot of allergens, your body may become a bit overzealous trying to contain the problem before it happens. When that occurs, it goes into overdrive and makes a lot of histamines—which could do the body more harm than good.
With too many allergens and histamines in there duking it out, our bodies could start having an allergic reaction. The reaction, which we tend to reference as allergies, comes with symptoms such as a runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, nasal congestion, facial pain and pressure—even rashes. More or less, allergies are caused by overactive immune systems that go haywire "threatening" invaders finding their way into the body.
That being said, if your immune system thinks pollen, animal dander, mold, or certain foods are harmful, it reacts—leading to a host of other irritating sensations. Allergies can be a pain in the neck to manage, even with antihistamine allergy medication—which aims to help keep the ‘bouncers’ from destroying the entire club in their attempt to pull a few suspicious people out.
Fortunately, CBD may just be able to help.
Can CBD Help With Allergies?
Before we jump into this, let's be clear— CBD doesn't cure anything—and should never be used to treat severe allergic reactions. Standard allergy relief treatments like antihistamines are going to be a better option. However, research does suggest that CBD may have an impact on allergic symptoms you may experience.
Let's start with how CBD might work within the body. CBD isn't intoxicating and won't alter your state of mind or make you feel stoned. However, it does play an interesting role within our endocannabinoid system (ECS)—which is responsible for things such as body temperature, mood, appetite, sleep-wake cycles, and our immune reactions.
The ECS consists of receptors throughout the body and nervous system that send messages to each other in order to keep the body functioning optimally. These chemical messages, known as endocannabinoids, naturally occur within the body. On the other hand, cannabinoids such as CBD come from cannabis oil and hemp. Evidence suggests they interact with endocannabinoid receptors and could provide benefits when the body's processes are off-kilter.
When you take CBD, whether it’s in the form of a CBD oil tincture or CBD edibles, it activates the CB1 & CB2 receptors in the nervous system. Because it may bind to or antagonize these receptors, it may assist the ECS in keeping the body balanced or homeostatic. This could be a good thing for allergies! Allergies and allergic responses seem to involve CB2 receptors, which regulate both the immune system and reactions like pain and inflammation.
Some research found that CBD may help prevent cells from releasing histamines, which cause many allergy symptoms. As a result, some subjects experience less sneezing, coughing, and itching. However, airway inflammation also plays a role in the yucky feelings associated with allergies. Allergic inflammatory responses can lead to sinus pressure, stuffiness, difficulty breathing, skin allergies, rashes, and chronic pain. A different study discovered that CBD may be a potent anti-inflammatory that could help better manage some of the skin troubles, pain, and pressure linked to allergies.
Best CBD For Allergies
Research indicates the presence of CBD may help the body function more effectively on its own, due to its unique relationship with the ECS. While it won't make your allergies go away, taking it daily could make some of the adverse effects of allergies (like inflammation, pressure, congestion, and skin rashes) feel more manageable. Curious about trying CBD for allergies? If you want to know how to create healthy habits regarding your allergies, you may want to start with a CBD product that uses full spectrum CBD.
For one thing, studies have shown that the presence of terpenes may make cannabinoids more effective, thanks to what’s called an entourage effect. Full spectrum CBD could produce more promising effects within the body thanks to the synergistic nature of cannabinoids and terpenes.
For example, one study on a-Pinene discovered that rats pre-treated with pinene showed fewer allergy symptoms. Pinene might also have anti-inflammatory and airway-opening effects that could help to better manage congestion or difficulty breathing. When alongside CBD and other natural cannabinoids, the effects may be amplified due to the entourage effect.
Outside of full spectrum formulations, there’s a variety of CBD products out there that could help with some of the effects of allergies. Many use topical CBD treatments to relieve rashes, muscle soreness, and inflammation. For those dealing with hay fever or other full-body aches and pains due to allergies, CBD tinctures or edibles may be the way to go if you’re wondering how long does CBD stay in your system. In short, they typically last a little longer within the body.
Whatever route you decide to try, keep in mind that CBD tends to work best when taken daily as a supplement. The complex relationship it shares with the ECS to potentially encourage balance within the body means that you could see better results with a consistent CBD routine.
At the end of the day, more research is necessary to solidify the relationship between CBD and allergies—but some of the evidence we already have demonstrates that it may be helpful when taken daily. Keep antihistamines handy just in case—but experiment with full spectrum CBD as a viable, natural supplement. Explore Lazarus Naturals and our wide range of safe and effective CBD offerings crafted with the intention of helping you feel your best with each step on your journey toward wellness.