CBD and allergies

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If you are someone who experiences allergies, you know how downright pesky they can be. They can limit you in many ways, from what you eat, to where you can go, to what you can enjoy. Some allergies happen during specific times of the year, while others are year-round. There is an abundance of allergy medication on the market that promise to help relieve some of the most irritating allergy symptoms. However, many of the treatments available have some undesirable side effects. This is why many people turn to a more natural alternative. For instance, CBD has long been known to interact successfully with the body’s immune system, which is crucial to fighting allergies. If you’re interested in taking CBD for allergies, we have all the answers you need.

What are allergies?

First, let’s get into what allergies are. Allergies occur when the immune system is reacting to foreign substances such as pollen. When these foreign bodies enter your system, your body protects itself by releasing substances called antibodies. When you are allergic to a specific substance, your body produces antibodies to protect itself because it believes that the specific allergen that you have come into contact with is harmful, even if it isn’t. When this happens, your body produces immune responses such as inflammation or sinuses. 

Pollen Allergy and CBD

Most people have experienced allergies, whether they are chronic, seasonal, or as a reaction to a specific food. Allergies can occur for several reasons such as environmental exposures (ex. Pollen, mould, animal hair). Though allergies can also be inherited. Some people have both environmental and inherited allergies from a combination of their own genes and the things they are exposed to in their daily life. There are many external factors including temperature, humidity, climate, and stress that can impact the severity of allergic reactions. Though regardless of the cause of the allergy, it is important to treat them as soon as they begin to flare up. This will prevent any prolonged irritation or allergy symptoms. 

Some allergic reactions are more severe than others. It’s important to note that, though it is not as common, there are reactions that can be life-threatening and can trigger anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that can cause you to go into shock. Some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis include light-headedness, loss of consciousness, a sharp decrease in blood pressure, a quickening and weak pulse, severe shortness of breath, skin rash, nausea and/or vomiting. 

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What are common allergies, their symptoms, and treatments?

Below are some of the most common allergies:

Pollen

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is an allergic reaction to pollen. It causes inflammation and swelling of the lining of your nose as well as the protective tissue of your eyes. Some of the symptoms that come from a pollen allergy are very similar to the symptoms of other allergies. They include feeling itchy, being congested, having watery eyes, and a watery nose. In some people, allergic asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and/or chest tightness can also be caused by exposure to pollen. These symptoms can be reduced dramatically by avoiding being around pollen. This includes staying indoors when pollen counts are high, using an air conditioner, and closing your windows. Immunotherapy or allergy shots can also help treat pollen allergies. 

Dust mites

Dust mites are tiny organisms that live in dust and in the fibres of many household items including pillows, mattresses, carpets, and upholstery. They typically grow in humid areas. Many of the symptoms that affect people with a pollen allergy also impact people with a dust mite allergy. In order to help reduce the frequency of allergic reactions, try using dust mite encasements like airtight/polyurethane covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Additionally, you can avoid carpeting your home and try vacuuming more frequently. Treatment may include medication or immunotherapy if medication and avoidance do not suffice. 

Mould

Mould and CBD

Mould is a tiny fungal particle that floats in the air, similar to pollen. They can be found in damp areas in the home like basements, kitchens, bathrooms as well as outdoors like hay, leaf piles, mulch, grass, or under mushrooms. Mould spores are at their height during the hot months of the year and when the weather is humid. Similar to the two allergies above, treatment can include medication or immunotherapy if the medication cannot manage the symptoms. 

Animal Dander

The proteins that are secreted from the sweat glands of animals are shed in their dander and can cause allergic reactions in humans. Obviously, the best measure against this, which is to remove the pet from your home, is not ideal. So, the best way to combat this allergy is to keep your pet out of your bedroom, use air filtration systems, and clean your pet frequently. As with other allergies, treatment includes medication as well as immunotherapy if symptoms are not adequately controlled with medication. 

Latex

Latex allergies are sometimes developed after repeat contact with latex. Usually, this is caused by rubber gloves used while cleaning or in surgery. Symptoms of latex allergies can include skin rashes, hives, eye tearing and irritation, itching the skin, and wheezing. Typically, the symptoms caused by latex allergies are relatively mild compared to those of other allergies. However, the reaction can be more severe if the inner lining of your organs or body cavities are exposed to latex like during an operation, a dental, or gynecologic exam. If you begin to experience the symptoms of a latex allergy, the most important and only treatment is removing the latex product. 

Food Allergy

Food and allergies

Food allergies are common and can vary greatly. They are caused when your body develops antibodies to specific kinds of food. An allergic reaction to the food can occur within minutes of the food entering your body and can range from mild to severe. In adults, the most common food allergies include shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts. In children, on the other hand, it can include milk, soy, egg, shellfish, wheat, tree nuts, and peanuts. If you suspect that you have a food allergy it is crucial to speak with your doctor so that they may determine the severity of your allergy and establish how best to treat it. This will help prevent repeat reactions. Food allergy symptoms can range from itching, hives, nausea, diarrhea, swelling around the mouth, breathing difficulties, and anaphylaxis. If you have a food allergy it is incredibly important to avoid that food. Your doctor may prescribe injectable epinephrine to carry in case what you’re eating happens to have the food you are allergic to in it. 

Insect Venom

There are normal reactions to being stung by an insect. For example, if you get stung by a bee, it is very normal for you to experience pain, swelling, and redness around the area. This may also include swelling that extends beyond the site where the bee stung you. For instance, if you get stung of your ankle, you may also notice your leg start to swell. A more serious reaction to being stung is an allergic reaction, some of which may require seeking immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to an insect bite include difficulty breathing, widespread hives that move to other areas beyond where the sting occurred, the swelling of your face, throat, or mouth tissue, wheezing or difficulty swallowing, quickening pulse, restlessness and anxiety, dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure, and anaphylaxis. An allergic reaction like this can be treated with epinephrine. If you have had an allergic reaction to this kind of sting in the past, book an appointment with an allergy/immunologist to confirm whether you do, in fact, have an allergy. If it is found that you have an allergy, venom immunotherapy may be recommended to prevent the possibility of a re-sting causing a similar, or worse, reaction. 

What are the benefits of CBD over traditional treatments?

Typical treatments for allergies include antihistamines, decongestants, nasal/topical/oral corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers, immunotherapy, and epinephrine. Though all of these treatments are effective for halting allergic reactions, there are a number of side effects associated with allergy medication and particularly antihistamines such as dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Many of these side effects are not found in CBD products. Though a CBD allergy treatment does not exist per se, it may be worthwhile to ask your doctor if CBD may be useful to you. CBD is a natural alternative to over-the-counter medication. For this reason, many people prefer to incorporate it into their treatment routine. Also, since CBD interacts with your body’s Endocannabinoid System, it may provide a range of benefits above and beyond allergy-related ones. 

Traditional Treaments vs. CBD

How can CBD help treat allergy symptoms?

Of course, your best bet to avoid allergic reactions and flare-ups is to keep a distance from anything that can possibly trigger them. Though CBD isn’t known to combat specific allergies, you may be curious about the effect of CBD if you do have allergies. While CBD may not have any real effect on allergies, CBD does interact with the immune system and is known to be anti-inflammatory. As such it may assist in the immune response when the body is confronted by a non-harmful allergen. Research has shown that CBD can suppress the inflammatory immune response. Since CBD remains a relatively new area of study, more research is needed before we can fully understand how it impacts allergies.

Conclusion

While allergies are usually not life-threatening, they can be extremely irritating and may limit your ability to enjoy the simplest activities. For this reason, being able to manage your allergies and their symptoms can actually lead to a better quality of life. Though CBD hasn’t specifically been proven to aid in treating allergies, it has many adjacent benefits. If you are interested, we always recommend you speak with your doctor to determine whether CBD is a viable option for you.

DISCLAIMER: Information and products presented by resolveCBD are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment, nor is it intended to be a substitute or alternative for professional medical advice. Always consult with a licensed professional regarding medical treatment or possible interactions with prescribed drugs. Products are intended to be used as directed, by individuals who are 19 years of age or older.

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