According to research, allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S and the most common chronic illness in Europe. Research has also shown that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, with children occupying over 40%. If you suffer from allergies then you can understand that this can cause great discomfort and cause many to look for different options to fight this sometimes life threatening condition. One of the ways to combat this condition is through the use of cannabidiol (CBD).
So with the relief that comes with the use of CBD, is it safe for us to say we’ve finally found a treatment to this condition? Well, the answer is not that far-fetched as we are going to find out what CBD is, and how it can help fight allergies!
What is an Allergy?
This is an overreaction of the immune system in the body towards foreign substances – like cat dander or pollen, which are naturally harmless to the body. These substances can cause a formation of a chemical called igE antibodies, leading to the release of various chemicals like histamine, causing swelling and inflammation. These can lead to a symptoms which range in severity from runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, rashes, hives, facial pain, swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes and face to a life threatening conditions like asthma, autoimmune diseases, COPD and eczema.
The great news is we have lots of over the counter and prescription medications available on the market for most common allergies, but research has proven CBD to be more effective and safer than most pharmaceutical options.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid – a biologically active cannabis compound that has been proven to have significant health benefits. The cannabis plant is composed of a complex chemical mixture that includes phyto-cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavanoids, and steroids. Cannabinoids help by modulating many physiological systems in the human brain and body. There are many active cannabinoids that have been identified in cannabis and of these tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are usually present in the highest concentrations and have been studied the most extensively.
The term CBD means the whole plant extract which is high in cannabidiol (CBD) with much smaller amounts of the other compounds. Although we have synthetic cannabinoid substances that are produced by pharmaceutical companies, it is believed that the naturally occur in plant substances (phyto-cannabinoids) act synergistically, known as the “Entourage Effect”, for optimal benefits. A great advantage over the synthetic type.
How does CBD work?
The human body is composed of an Endocannabinoid system (ECS) which helps in modulating and regulation of all the processes within the human system. The ECS carries out this function by releasing natural cannabinoids which binds to the inbuilt cannabinoid receptor (CB1 present in the brain and peripheral nervous system and CB2 which is found majorly in the immune system) both of which have numerous function such as mood, appetite control, and pain modulation. The interesting part is that when cannabinoid is consumed, it acts indirectly on the cannabinoid receptor by activating the release of natural cannabinoid which have a therapeutic effect on the body system.
The fundamental function of the CB1 and CB2 receptors are either to “excite” or to “inhibit”. This will determine how other hormones and body systems are regulated. The ECS is fundamentally a hormone regulation system throughout the body and it helps to keep the body in balance.
Aside the cannabinoid receptor, research have found that cannabinoid also have effect on some receptors such as serotonin and adenosine receptors. It’s of great interest to know that the anti-depressant effect of CBD is due to its action on 5-HTa serotonin receptor!
Why CBD is Effective in Treating Allergies
Since the various ways by which CBD work has been discussed, Of course! One will be eager to know how it can treat allergies. CBD being a well-known anti-inflammatory can provide invaluable treatment for an allergic reaction since allergies which tend to lead to inflammation, and CBD is effective in reducing the swelling and irritation experienced from allergic reactions.
Also, studies have shown that histamine, which is released from mast cell during an allergic reaction can be blocked thereby reducing the common symptoms such as sneezing coughing, runny nose and watery eyes, all which are associated with the histamine release. According to the journal of allergy and immunology, CB1 receptor is found to be greatly linked with mast cell activities. Hence, stimulation of this receptor reduces the production of histamine from mast cell which is found useful in controlling of allergies which includes rashes and eczema.
The communication between the endocannabinoid and cannabinoid when consumed has been shown to reduce almost all the symptoms which accompanies any allergic reactions. These includes;
- Decongestion of nasal airways and reduction in nasal pressure.
- Pain modulation and management.
- Increases the flow of air within the passageways thereby increasing breathing rate.
- Decrease in mucus production.
- Sleep induction.
Benefits of CDB in relieving allergy symptoms
It has been proven that several benefits have been discovered with use of CDB, ranging from general health maintenance, to treatment of a chronic illness or preventing aggravation of allergic reactions. The symptoms you experience because of allergies are due to several factors. Factors which include the type of allergy you have and how severe the allergy as seen in allergy related to anaphylactic shock (a life threatening condition). In 2013, a study published in the British journal of pharmacology found that CBD is useful in the treatment of skin diseases especially skin allergies like eczema, by controlling cell proliferation and differentiation.
Whatever type of allergy you have, CBD has been known to provide relief from common allergy symptoms. All you need to do, is to take the first step and get yourself and ease the suffering from allergies with the help of CBD, which is available in several forms including edibles, tinctures, dry herb and other concentrates.