Can You Be Allergic to CBD?
Great question and the vast majority of CBD brands might be making the problem worse.
By vast majority, we’re estimating in the 90 percentile!
We’ll explain later.
Of course, mast cells figure right into this nonsense.
We’ll get into it below.
Most importantly, we’ll touch base on why so many people may have allergic responses when taking “CBD”.
The parentheses are not just there for looks or emphasis.
The type of “CBD” has a huge bearing on the potential for allergic reactions.
Let’s get into it.
Here are the topics:
- Quick intro to the allergic reaction process
- Can a person be allergic to CBD
- Allergies to Full Spectrum CBD
- Allergic to hemp oil
- Allergic to CBD isolate
- Can you get allergic hives from CBD
- Can dogs be allergic to CBD
Quick intro to the allergic reaction process
To really see how allergies may or may not be caused by CBD, we need background.
The allergic response is actually part of our immune system.
It primarily resides in the mast cells!
Mast cells are special cells throughout the body that are designed to look for foreign entities as a sign of attack.
They’re guards so to speak on the lookout for bacteria, viruses, and other intruders.
Their role is to get that stuff out of the body any which way they can.
Watery eyes. Sneezing. Coughing. Hives. Swelling. Etc.
We know all too well what the “symptoms” are but this is just the M.O. of mast cells.
It’s the primary trick they know!
We can appreciate it with a bee sting but really. pet dander??
One of the key weapons Mast Cells has is histamine.
Histamine is a hormone released from these cells when triggered.
It’s the key root of all these allergic reactions in the body.
Interestingly, histamine is excitatory in the brain there’s a whole discussion on CBD for histamine and anxiety here.
So that’s the 101 on our body’s allergic reaction.
Now. to the question at hand…
Can you have an allergic reaction to CBD?
Can a person be allergic to CBD
First, we need to really define “CBD oil”.
We want to focus on just CBD isolate itself.
This is where it gets confusing since CBD oil is not regulated.
People are usually taking in lots of other stuff with their “CBD oil”.
Let’s talk about allergies based on three main ways people take CBD:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil
- Hemp oil
- CBD isolate
These three options will have a very different allergy and histamine profiles.
Let’s look at each.
Full Spectrum CBD and allergic response
Basically, with full-spectrum, you have a lot more of the hemp plant material in the oil.
This gives plenty more ways to have an allergic reaction.
Full Spectrum CBD is allowed to have up to .3% THC which is a known allergen.
Here’s the deal. if you have other allergies, there’s a good chance you’ll have a reaction to cannabis in its raw form.
A study showed that 70% of the 50 million Americans with allergies will have a reaction to cannabis.
It’s not just the THC.
It’s a plant after all and plant material is a known issue for people with allergies.
It turns out that there are proteins in the plant that set off the allergic reaction to cannabis.
One note. CBD oil is derived from hemp which is just another name for cannabis with less than .3% THC.
Full-spectrum CBD is basically extracted CBD added back into hemp oil.
It’s a way to jack up the CBD volume above what naturally occurs in the plant to get a baseline amount.
It’s the hemp oil that’s the issue!
Speaking of which….
Hemp oil and allergic reaction
If full-spectrum is hemp oil with CBD added to increase volume of CBD amounts, hemp oil is just the oil.
It’s amazing for us.
Millions of Americans are using hemp oil and a good percentage of them are probably allergic to it.
They’re buying hemp oil to feel better after all!
Almost all the research is on CBD and THC.
Just google “hemp oil NIH” and it will all be CBD (and maybe THC).
CBD is very different, even directly opposite to THC.
THC has some known issues (new report on how it affects Sperm gene pathways just today!).
The research on CBD has been remarkably positive.
Research on “hemp oil”??
There may be lots of good stuff in there but not if you’re prone to allergies.
This is especially true for:
- Women (allergies and histamine issues have a significant gender effect)
- Adults over 40 (falling hormones affect allergic sensitivities)
- People allergic to other substances
It’s all one system in terms of how we respond to allergies.
Hemp oil has all the same allergy-provoking proteins we mentioned in full-spectrum CBD.
So. what about CBD by itself? Isolate?
Allergic response to CBD Isolate
CBD isolate usually refers to CBD the chemical, being added to a base oil.
The common base oils are:
- MCT oil (extract from coconut oil)
- Hemp oil
- Olive oil
You can also get just CBD as a crystal (it’s raw form) but this is not as popular since it’s more difficult to deal with.
Obviously, the hemp and olive oil may pose the same issues we discussed above with just hemp oil.
MCT oil is an extract from coconut oil.
It’s basically medium-chain fats from coconut oil.
CBD is best absorbed in the presence of fats (see CBD and food article).
The key with MCT oil is that it’s an extract rather than the full plant material.
Coconut is technically a fruit and not a tree nut.
Let’s look at just the cannabidiol (CBD) itself.
Allergic responses to the cannabidiol chemical itself.
Keep in mind that for any given substance under the sun, there’s someone somewhere who is allergic to it.
Our immune response is incredibly complex with inputs going back to the womb and maybe even past generations!!
That being said, CBD is a chemical.
It’s not a plant material which is good news.
Our allergic response has been primarily owned by our environment over 100’s of thousands of years.
You don’t find much CBD in the wild although cannabis has been around for 1000’s of years in ancient medicinal use (India and China traditions both have extensive use of it).
On the safety profile of cannabidiol, there are no reported results for allergic reactions.
A good indication of an allergic response to a substance can be found it it’s “side effects” profile.
The four most common side effects are:
- Lower blood pressure
- Dry mouth
The first two are related and point to research showing that CBD lowers blood pressure.
Drowsiness is the opposite effect of an allergic response which is usually an anxious or heightened effect (as we know all too well).
Remember that histamine is excitatory and actually battles GABA to control the sleep/wake cycle (see CBD boost GABA).
Cannabidiol has a powerful anti-anxiety effect which you learn about at the CBD benefits for anxiety article here.
In fact, research is showing that cannabidiol has a powerful ANTI-histamine effect.
There are studies showing that cannabidiol can significantly reduce the symptoms of allergic responses across different systems in the body but most importantly….
It helps to move the immune response from T1 to T2 which is directly tied to allergic responses.
It’s a big reason why your friend can have a cat but you can’t.
Again, if you’re reading about allergies, check out the CBD and histamines article. It’s fascinating.
How to avoid an allergic response to CBD
So here’s the net net.
If you have allergic issues, focus on CBD isolate.
That’s why we deal with CBD isolate at IndigoNaturals.
So many people with allergy or histamine issues are being “sold” on full-spectrum and feeling terrible from it.
That’s going the wrong way!
Stay away from hemp oil and/or as much “plant” material as you can.
Always test first to see how your body responds.
The CBD must absolutely be 3rd party tested free of:
- Heavy metals
- THC (known allergen)
This is a MUST HAVE when choosing CBD.
If the brand doesn’t make this readily available, run. don’t walk.
We actually test our CBD oils twice (once at the biomass and again for the finished product).
The goal is better health after all.
Let’s look at specific questions that come up with CBD and allergies.
Can you get allergic hives from CBD
Yes but the same rules we discussed above hold true.
Our histamine pathway is system-wide.
It may rear its ugly head is specific areas (skin versus stomach versus sinuses, etc) but the chemical pathway is pretty similar.
Hives is just an allergic reaction in our skin.
This may apply more for topical applications directly to the skin or it can be systemic (think of how poison oak moves around the body).
You can test CBD oil directly on the skin to see how you react.
We always recommend going slow when starting anyway. Check out our How to Take CBD article.
We’ve seen countless situations where a person has an allergic response to full-spectrum CBD or hemp oil which goes away with CBD Isolate.
Just read our reviews. Half of them involve this positive difference in response.
That’s the primary reason we created IndigoNaturals. nearly full bottles of very big brands are lying around in a box somewhere.
Can dogs or cats be allergic to CBD
Nature’s pretty amazing.
When it finds something that works, it keeps it!
Every mammal has limbs composed of 1 large upper bone, connected to 2 lower limb bones, connected to a section of smaller “rock-line” bones and then 5 digits.
It’s the same blueprint in us, a bat, a horse, or a whale.
- The horse’s hoof is one giant toenail (the other digits are shrunken).
- The bat’s wing has elongated digits with the skin between for wings.
- The whale has shrunken all of this inside of a flipper.
Pretty cool!! But we digress!
We share more than this with dogs and cats.
Most multicellular creatures have an endocannabinoid system that CBD interacts with.
It’s dated at about 600,000 years old.
Sorry insects, you came too early to the party!
Dogs and cats also have very similar pathways to us in terms of how CBD works.
They share allergic responses as well since those pathways are the same although probably more robust in cats and dogs.
The same rules above hold true for cats and dogs in terms of allergies to CBD in its different forms!
CBD Isolate in MCT oil (just two ingredients) with no other additives here:
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.
Learn why the type of CBD you take can cause a very different allergic response. Can You Be Allergic to CBD?
Hemp Oil for Allergies: How Effective Is It Really?
An Early Look Into the Promise of Using Hemp or CBD Oil as a Relief for Allergy Symptoms
Nothing’s better than spending time in natural surroundings. Much more so in springtime as the season brings about the blooming of the flowers, the sound of birds chirping, and the warm glow of the sun. However, the arrival of spring also means the return of seasonal allergies for many people.
A lot of individuals have experienced seasonal allergies, affecting a large portion of the world population. According to statistics, 10-30% of the human population experience seasonal allergies. Allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and itchy watery eyes caused by environmental “allergens” from pollen and trees make it difficult to enjoy nature when it hits.
While allergy medications help manage symptoms, they may cause side effects in some cases, such as drowsiness, nausea, confusion, and blurred vision. Experience varies from person to person, but it’s almost evident that most current over-the-counter remedies aren’t fitting. It’s no wonder that people seek a better, more reliable treatment when it comes to allergies. CBD Oil is one alternative way that is being explored today for its potential relief in managing allergy symptoms. While there aren’t many studies on CBD oil for allergies, early results from a few studies are promising.
There are pure and natural CBD oils already available out in the market, such as HalfDayCBD oils. Their product consists of 2 main ingredients: MCT (Coconut Oil) and CBD oil derived from American-grown, all-natural Hemp. These oils are grown with no pesticides, herbicides, solvents, or chemical fertilizers and are third-party lab-tested to ensure safety and potency.
CBD Oil for Allergies
As the popularity of the healing properties of cannabis slowly increases, more attention is being given to cannabidiol or CBD, an active ingredient from the hemp plant. A close cousin of Marijuana, industrial hemp is different because it has a very low concentration of THC amounts. In layman’s terms, using products with cannabidiol won’t get you “high”, ideal for letting you explore the benefits of cannabis without any psychoactive effect or failing a drug test.
Research surrounding CBD is only in its early stages, but certain studies have found many benefits from CBD use such as chronic pain management and stress relief. Many people have started exploring the use of CBD oil for allergy relief and anecdotal evidence has been positive. A user from Reddit writes:
“It’s also improved my appetite, the quality of my sleep, and body aches. What I didn’t expect was for it to completely neutralize my seasonal allergies — which are pretty severe — and, relatedly, my asthma. For once, I can breathe through BOTH my lungs and nostrils during the spring without having to drown myself in cetirizine.”
Inflammation and Its Role in Allergies
Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system, and inflammation plays a significant factor in their symptoms. CBD has been shown to play a role in decreasing inflammation and play a role in helping to regulate the immune system. By lowering histamines, it can potentially reduce allergy symptoms.
2005 study shows that CBD aids in preventing cells from releasing histamines. It means lessening itching, sneezing, and other allergy-related manifestations. Another study in 2005 discovered that cannabinoids impair the activation of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that increases antibody response and activation. Active T-cells leads to an increase in histamines, and blocking this process can reduce allergy symptoms.
More recently, a 2015 review found that CBD reduces inflammation and can be an effective remedy for specific conditions characterized by inflammation. Inflammation plays a significant role in allergies, and CBD has been shown to suppress inflammation through its effect on the endocannabinoid system. It is a system in our bodies that affect pain, emotions, and inflammation. Research shows that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties stimulate the receptors within this system, reducing inflammation. The most common side effects of allergy are reduced with CBD’s interactions with our body’s’ endocannabinoid system by:
- relieving nasal pressure
- managing pain
- opening passageways
- relieving mucus and congestion
- inducing calmness and sleep
- making breathing easier
Regulation and Legality of CBD Products
At this point, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no regulations on CBD products, meaning that quality may differ between manufacturers. Because CBD contains less THC (only 0.3 percent), it is legal at the State level in many parts of the United States. At the federal level, industrial hemp is now legal all over the US since the 2018 Farm Bill. If you’re interested in exploring its use, look for a company that ensures high-quality standards with its CBD products and uses third-party testing.
Although the findings on the use of CBD oil for allergies are in its early stages, some people report that it does help alleviate their allergy symptoms. Before trying CBD products, it’s always best to consult your doctor to make informed decisions. Also, note that it’s not meant to replace your usual medication without proper medical supervision. Acute allergic reactions can be life-threatening, especially when normal breathing is impaired.
Reputable suppliers like HalfdayCBD only produce pure and natural CBD oils. They are made from American-grown, all-natural industrial hemp and consists of 2 main ingredients: Coconut Oil (MCT) and CBD Oil. Each batch of their products is tested by third-party labs to ensure the highest quality, safety, and potency.
Current studies are promising, and if you don’t have an allergy to cannabis itself, CBD oil products may help you deal with your allergies without the unconformable side effects. Why not try CBD oil to see if it works for you?
While allergy medications help manage symptoms, they may cause side effects in some cases. It’s no wonder that people seek better treatment when it comes to allergies. CBD Oil is one alternative way