Can CBD help with Hay Fever and Seasonal Allergies?
Spring is upon us - a happy time for many as days get longer, warmer and the promise of summer is imminent. For those with allergies or hay fever however, this can mean the onset of a veritable host of unpleasant symptoms including coughing, sneezing, headaches and irritated eyes but to name a few.
There's currently no cure for hay fever, with the NHS including sage advice such as 'stay indoors whenever possible'. For those that don't wish to live the life of a hermit for a few months each year, CBD may provide a promising natural avenue for alleviating these irritating symptoms.
What's the cause of hay fever?
The symptoms of hay fever are caused by an abnormally high level of histamine in the blood and tissues. The histamine level increases due to a hypersensitive reaction to pollen grains, which act as an allergen.
Histamine is a normal component of the body and has useful functions, however during the allergic response involved in hay fever, histamine is released from mast cells, causing the typical symptoms of a pollen allergy.
Mast cells are located in connective tissue. Connective tissue occurs in several different forms and has a wide range of functions, including joining organs and structures together and providing support and protection. The mast cells are particularly common in the connective tissue under the skin, around blood and lymphatic vessels, around the linings of the gastrointestinal tract and the air passages, and around the nerves.
Can CBD help alleviate these symptoms?
There are several studies in this area that show promise, although clinical trials in humans do not currently exist for this use case. There are a great deal of anecdotal reports showing success in alleviating the symptoms of hay fever by using CBD, however it does not appear to be effective for everyone.
The results of a 2013 study into the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on the antigen-induced contraction of airways suggest that CBD can influence antigen-induced airway smooth muscle tone suggesting that this molecule may have beneficial effects in the treatment of obstructive airway disorders.
Interestingly a 2005 study acknowledges that cannabinoids clearly exert marked regulatory effects on mast cell function. It further states that when the CB1 cannabinoid receptor is exposed to THC, it would tend to suppress the responses of ongoing mast cell activation
Worth a try?
Overall if you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, CBD may be worth a try. If it doesn't work for you, at least your endocannabinoid system will still be getting nourishment which is sure to have other benefits.