CBD for allergy symptoms: benefits, dosage, side effects

Allergies can greatly affect a person’s quality of life, causing symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, rashes, and swelling. These symptoms can disrupt your daily life, causing discomfort, loss of sleep, and reduced productivity at work. If you experience some or all of these symptoms, it is natural to want to seek relief.

People with allergies may want to consider CBD (cannabidiol) to help relieve their symptoms. Although research on the effects of CBD on allergies is limited, there is some evidence that the compound may help relieve pain and inflammation and lower some of the body’s immune responses to allergens.

This article will explain how CBD can help with allergies, the best types of CBD to use, and any side effects.

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CBD and the endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in many systems and processes in the body, including metabolism, immunity, and the central and peripheral nervous systems. The body produces cannabinoids which are received by cannabinoid receptors for the body to function normally.

Cannabinoids help regulate the immune system by reducing inflammation in the body. When the body’s cannabinoid system is not functioning properly, inflammatory and immune disorders, such as allergies, can occur.

Because it is a cannabinoid, CBD may be helpful in relieving allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, congestion, and runny nose.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is derived from the cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the other cannabinoid compound derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is non-psychoactive.

While CBD and THC are the most commonly discussed compounds in the cannabis plant, over 100 other cannabinoids have been identified.

CBD vs hemp seed oil

The cannabis sativa plant has been cultivated in two different ways: “drug hemp” (marijuana) and “industrial hemp” (hemp). Pharmaceutical hemp contains high levels of THC, while industrial hemp has a THC level of less than 0.3%.

Hemp plants grown for recreational or medicinal purposes have high levels of THC and CBD.

Industrial hemp is legal throughout the United States and is cultivated for fiber, paper, hemp seeds, building materials, textiles, and hemp oil.

Like CBD oil, hemp seed oil has been touted for its health benefits. Hemp oil is known for its nutritional value, as it contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Hemp oil also contains polyphenols, tocopherols, proteins, and carbohydrates, which have nutritional benefits.

Cannabis allergy

While you can look for CBD or hemp to treat your allergies, be aware that it is possible to develop an allergy to cannabis itself. Hemp allergy is similar to other allergies, like pollen allergies. Symptoms can range from skin irritations, such as rashes or hives, to respiratory conditions such as asthma, congestion, and runny nose.

Although more research is needed, smoking marijuana or hemp may increase the risk of developing asthma and other allergic diseases. If you have allergic asthma, you may want to avoid smoking the compound.

Symptoms and triggers of allergies

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to a foreign substance that is normally harmless to most people. Common allergens include, but are not limited to:

  • Pollen
  • Mites
  • Pets and farm animals
  • Insect stings and bites
  • food
  • Medication
  • Contact allergens, such as metals for fragrance ingredients
  • Mold

Many allergies are triggered by environmental conditions and factors, such as a bee sting or eating certain foods.

Seasonal allergies can be triggered by pollen in the air when plants are flowering. Pet allergies can be triggered by entering someone’s home where there is animal dander in the air.

Any of these types of triggers can cause symptoms. Common allergy symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Runny nose, coughing and sneezing
  • Breathing problems
  • Watery or swollen eyes
  • Itching
  • Rash or hives
  • Stomach or bowel problems

When to seek emergency help

If you are having trouble breathing or if your throat begins to close or swell, call 911 immediately. This can be a sign of a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

CBD for allergies

While research into the effects of CBD on allergies has mostly been limited to small studies and animal studies, it is likely that CBD can help alleviate or eliminate allergic symptoms and reactions.


CBD is known to act on one of the pathways of the SEC which produces histamine-activating cells in the body. There is some evidence that CBD could drastically reduce the amount of histamine produced during an allergic reaction, which would reduce congestion.


SEC helps regulate and control immune function in the body, and more recent research suggests that SEC also plays a role in maintaining healthy skin.

Some studies suggest that CBD applied directly to the skin may help with rashes and other inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, but more research is still needed.

What are the side effects of CBD?

Studies have shown that CBD is relatively safe to consume, but these studies are limited. More research is needed to determine the effects of CBD on the whole body and its effects on long-term consumption.

The most common side effects of CBD are:

  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Diarrhea

Best CBD for Allergies

The most common methods of consuming CBD for allergies and inflammation are topical treatments, herbal extracts, and edibles. The choice of a method depends on the type of allergy symptom being treated.

For rashes and inflammation of the skin, a topical cream or ointment may be preferable. For hay fever and other bodily symptoms, an herbal extract, edible, or nasal spray may be more effective. A nasal spray with CBD can be beneficial, as the nasal lining is thin and the CBD can pass directly into the blood, which produces faster effects.

The other factor to consider is the type of CBD: full spectrum, broad spectrum, or an isolate.

  • Full spectrum CBD uses all extracts from the cannabis plant, which includes CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. The concentration of THC in the full spectrum is 0.3% or less.
  • Broad spectrum CBD contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but it does not have THC.
  • A CBD isolate is pure CBD without any other part of the cannabis plant.

The “entourage effect”

Some evidence suggests that broad or full spectrum CBD produces better benefits, due to the synergistic effects of other compounds across the spectrum, including THC. This is called the “entourage effect”.


The dosage of CBD will depend on the method of administration chosen and the symptom being treated.

Doses ranging from 300 mg to 600 mg have been shown to help treat anxiety disorders. Another study found that a 25 mg dose helped improve poor sleep.

There are very few regulations on the dosage of CBD, so you may have to experiment until you find the right dose for your body and your symptoms. You can also discuss the correct dosage with your healthcare professional.

How to buy CBD

Buying CBD will depend on where you live. In states where marijuana, and therefore CBD derived from “medicinal hemp”, is legal, you can find CBD at a dispensary. In states where marijuana is not legal, you will need to purchase CBD derived from “industrial hemp”. As with all supplements, it is best to research the product to make sure it is of good quality.

A word from Verywell

While there is still a lot of research to be done on CBD and its effects, it is likely that it could be useful in treating allergy symptoms. If you are considering taking CBD to help relieve symptoms, speak to your health care provider to discuss the best options. In the meantime, don’t forget that there are many over-the-counter antihistamines that can help with seasonal and year-round allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is CBD a decongestant?

    CBD is not a decongestant, but it is theorized to work on the endocannabinoid system, which can reduce inflammation and congestion.

  • How do you use CBD for allergies?

    The use of CBD for the treatment of allergies can be used in the same way as other allergy medications, although it is important to note that the FDA has not approved the use of CBD for allergies. . If you choose to try CBD to help manage your allergy symptoms, you can use a nasal spray, edible, or topical treatment.

  • Can CBD make breathing problems worse?

    Allergic asthma can get worse in people who are allergic to CBD or to marijuana / hemp plants and their seeds. A serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.

  • Do Terpenes Help With Allergies?

    Terpenes are compounds in plants that cause their scent. Cannabis is known for its scent and therefore its terpenes. Terpenes are found in full and broad spectrum CBD. In a study on the effects of CBD on epilepsy, it was found that the full and broad spectrum versions had better results, suggesting that terpenes play an important role in the effectiveness of CBD.

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