CBD products and their uses continue to grow in popularity and relevance as each day passes. And although a lot of independent research has been conducted to help us understand this unique chemical compound, there are several informational gaps present among consumers.
One area that is important to stay informed on is the safety of using CBD. And although the side effects associated with CBD are generally mild, it can be important to understand why they are occurring.
One cause for side effects is taking too much CBD at one time. Starting out, it can be tricky finding the correct CBD dosage. Another cause is drug interactions. CBD has been known to cause adverse effects when mixed with certain prescriptions.
But what about allergies? Can someone be allergic to CBD? This is a common question among the CBD community that deserves a solid answer. But before we tackle this question, it’s important to understand what CBD is and what it’s used for.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, more popularly known as CBD, is a cannabinoid found within cannabis plants; primarily hemp. It is popular for its medicinal uses that can be traced back to 2727 BC when Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung used a cannabis-infused tea to help remedy several ailments. However, it took until the 1940s for American researchers to begin studying it closer.
CBD is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, but states still have their own independent authority to make laws surrounding cannabis and its products.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD products are adored by consumers for their wide range of uses. However, less than a handful have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for prescription use. The most popular one is Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures associated with epilepsy.
However, consumers buying CBD products directly off the shelf are seeking relief for different ailments. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Symptoms associated with cancer treatment
This list will only continue to grow as more research is conducted. And different types of products, such as topicals, allow you to target a specific spot on your body for treatment.
You may also notice that some of the symptoms that CBD can help reduce are associated with allergies. So if CBD can be effective at treating allergy symptoms, is it possible to be allergic to CBD itself?
Can You Have An Allergic Reaction to CBD?
Yes, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to CBD. However, it is very rare and the symptoms associated with the reaction are typically mild.
Research behind CBD and allergic reactions is minimal, but both cannabis plants (hemp and marijuana) have been linked to allergies for several years.
According to Dr. William S. Silvers, a clinical professor of medicine in allergy and immunology with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, “Marijuana is a plant and produces pollen and one can become allergic to the pollen and the plant, especially if one has pre-existing allergic tendencies.”
With this knowledge, it’s important to note that only male marijuana plants are capable of producing pollen. And due to their lackluster performance of producing compounds compared to female plants, it is rare for a male plant to make it into production. As a result, not much pollen ever reaches the consumer stage.
Symptoms of CBD Allergies
An allergic reaction is the result of your body’s immune system overreacting to an ingested substance that your body views as a threat. Symptoms associated with a CBD allergy can occur upon inhaling, touching, or consuming any CBD-containing product.
Regardless of whether the CBD was derived from hemp or marijuana, its original source is from a plant. Therefore, you should expect the symptoms to be similar to that of seasonal allergies. The symptoms should go away once you stop using the CBD product.
Some symptoms of an allergic reaction to CBD include:
- Eye irritation
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Dry cough
Reactions that are typical among CBD topical products includes:
- Dry skin
- Skin irritation
How CBD Allergies Are Diagnosed
There are two ways to diagnose CBD allergies: A blood test and a skin prick test. Blood tests are more accurate; however, skin prick tests provide faster results.
With a blood test, a small sample of blood is drawn and examined for any present antibodies to CBD. If more antibodies are found than what is expected, it can be assumed the person is allergic to CBD.
A skin prick test consists of a diluted allergen being applied just under the skin with a needle. After several minutes go by, the spot where the injection occurred will be red and itchy if an allergy is present.
If you think you may be allergic to CBD, the best thing to do is consult with your doctor and finder alternative treatments.
Just like anything else, it is important to understand the potential side effects of anything you consume. CBD is no different, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility for someone to have an allergic reaction to CBD.
Like we stated above, these reactions are typically no more severe than that of seasonal allergies, or pollen allergies. However, if you notice these symptoms arising whenever you use CBD products, you should talk to your doctor about finding alternative treatments for your condition.
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