Millions of people across the country suffer from a variety of allergies, whether from food or pet dander to pollen, but should you be worried that you might be allergic to CBD?
Why do some bodies even have allergic reactions?
Our bodies are always doing their best to protect us from foreign objects they think may cause us harm. Allergies are the body's immune system being triggered unnecessarily in reaction to a pollen or other harmless substance. In these situations symptoms may express themselves as itching skin, hives, runny nose, wheezing, or itchy eyes.
A severe allergic reaction may even cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening situation where your body goes into shock due to a flood of chemicals released by your immune system. The shock causes blood pressure to drop and airways to narrow, making breathing difficult. Anaphylaxis requires an epinephrine injection and emergency medical attention. Medications, foods, latex, and insect venom are common triggers of anaphylaxis.
Can CBD cause an allergic reaction?
CBD is derived from a plant called cannabis Sativa. There are a few different parts of the plant that could cause an allergic reaction.
- Pollen: Just as with many other plants, the pollen from the cannabis plant is a potential allergen for humans. In the production of hemp and cannabis products, however, male cannabis plants are not used often. The female plants, which do not produce pollen, produce much more oil than the male plants.
- Plant: The actual leaves and flowers from the plant that CBD is derived from, cannabis Sativa itself, is a common allergen.
- Terpenes: Terpenes are organic compounds that provide the flavor and smell of plants. Cannabis has terpenes that influence its effects, aroma, and flavor. Different cannabis cultivars have different aromas because these molecules are affected by the intensity and spectrum of light exposure the plant receives. Cannabis has hundreds of different terpenes present, but only about 11 are prominent enough to be worth mentioning. Of these 11 terpenes, two are potential skin allergens: linalool and limonene.
- Hemp seeds: The seeds of the cannabis plant, if ingested, are a potential allergen.
If I'm allergic to CBD how will I know?
If you are allergic to cannabis, you may find out depending on how you are exposed to it. Breathing or inhaling cannabis if you are allergic to it could result in the symptoms of irritated eyes, runny nose, and wheezing. Coming into contact with the cannabis Sativa plant itself could result in hives, rashes, or swelling.
While less common than allergic reactions to the plant, it is possible that using products that have CBD as an ingredient could cause an allergic reaction. If it is a product that you ingest or smoke, you may experience trouble breathing, hives, an itchy throat, or an upset stomach. If it is a product that is used topically and applied to your skin, you may experience hives or rashes.
What should I do if I suspect I'm allergic to CBD?
If you use a product containing CBD and experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop using the product and consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action.
The more exposure you have to a suspected allergen the stronger the allergic reactions become, so limiting your exposure is crucial.
How else could a cannabis allergy affect my life?
Occasionally, people who have allergies to a specific pollen or other substance will also have allergies to substances that are made up of similar proteins. This incidence is called cross-reactivity. Cross-reactivity is common with people who have ragweed allergies: they have allergic reactions to any type of melon.
Some people who have reported having an allergy to any part of the cannabis plant have had a cross-reacting allergic reaction to any fruits with a pit, hazelnuts, almonds, and tomatoes.
Could CBD help me with my other allergies?
One of the benefits of CBD is its anti-inflammatory property. An allergic reaction from skin exposure to an allergen (that is not found in cannabis) could potentially have its symptoms lessened by the use of CBD in the area.
What is my best chance of avoiding a CBD allergic reaction?
A high-quality manufacturing process will have the means to separate the male pollen-producing cannabis plants from the female oil-producing cannabis plants. The pollen is more likely to cause an allergic reaction, so keeping it away from the oil and the entire process lowers the chance of the finished CBD product causing an allergic reaction.
Buying a quality product from a reputable brand is your best bet to avoid the cannabis Sativa pollen in your CBD products.
We pride ourselves in offering only clean, gluten-free, and cruelty-free products, made from ingredients sourced from FDA-certified farms. If you are looking for quality CBD tinctures, CBD beauty products, or CBD oil gummies, be sure to look through our online inventory to find a quality product that will fit your needs.