You can hardly search for healthy living products anymore without a pop-up advertisement for CBD. That’s because more than 30 million Americans are now using CBD oil for everything from personal care and relief to natural alternatives for improving energy. As the popularity of the healing properties of CBD flowers, more attention is being given to the use of CBD oil for allergy relief, with recent studies showing positive results. Now with the pollen count in Chico, California as high as the CBD clickthrough rate on Google, I decided to investigate.
What exactly is CBD?
Cannabidiol – known as CBD – is a naturally occurring component of the hemp plant. It is a close cousin of marijuana; however, industrial hemp is different because it has a very low concentration of THC amounts. In other words, using products with cannabidiol won’t get you “high.” CBD has been used for centuries to successfully provide pain relief, address sleep issues, and aid skin conditions, like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It is also well known for soothing inflammation, like the kind triggered by seasonal allergies.
What is CBD oil?
Most CBD is sold as CBD oil. CBD, when extracted from hemp flowers, is sticky in texture. So mixing CBD with a carrier oil such as hemp seed or coconut oil, makes it easier for the body to absorb. One common carrier oil for CBD is, weirdly enough, hemp oil, so there is a chance that you can end up with a final product that can be classified as both CBD oil and hemp oil.
Is it legal?
Yes. CBD from hemp is widely available across the USA. In 2018, updates to the U.S. Farm Bill legalized the commercial cultivation of hemp under certain regulations.
Relief found in anti-inflammatory properties
According to the health information page on the Mayo Clinic website, allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, such as pollen, bee venom, or pet dander. CBD has been shown to play a role in decreasing inflammation and helping to regulate the immune system. In a 2005 article in the Portland Biochemical Journal, researchers found that CBD aids in preventing cells from releasing histamines, which means less itching, sneezing, and other allergy-related manifestations. A 2020 Newsweek article lists the 6 most common side effects of allergy reduced with CBD:
- Relieving nasal pressure
- Managing pain
- Opening passageways
- Relieving mucus and congestion
- Inducing calmness and sleep
- Making breathing easier
CBD – A low-risk allergy treatment
All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the Endocannabinoid System, which is responsible for helping maintain homeostasis and balance within the body. The body naturally produces cannabinoids to help regulate functions like mood, pain, and sleep, but these can become diminished due to internal imbalances or external stressors. CBD can be a successful treatment for seasonal allergies because it helps regulate the behavior and production of white blood cells that react when the body is exposed to allergens. It also been shown to prevent the closing of airways, which can result in coughing and breathing difficulties — common allergic reaction symptoms. Seasonal allergies cause inflammation in the throat and sinuses, making it difficult to eat, drink, or even talk without irritation. Consuming CBD oil has been shown to reduce these symptoms for less painful seasonal allergies.
How do you know if the CBD product is high quality?
One word. Transparency. The CBD content of CBD oil can vary dramatically across different vendors due to the varying quality of hemp that’s used, as well as varying preparation and extraction techniques. There are pure and natural CBD oils available in the market, such as Zuna Brands CBD Wellness Products. Their products are grown with no pesticides, herbicides, solvents, or chemical fertilizers, and they are independent, third-party lab-tested to ensure safety and potency.
It’s getting easier to find a quality CBD product that works as positive, scientific findings (and fewer legal hurdles) clear the way for consumers to make more informed choices. That said, it’s always wise to speak with your physician before you begin any new supplement regimen. It’s also important to choose the right CBD maker when shopping for quality products. Many CBD brands claim to use good manufacturing practices (GMP); and it’s the law. But few can prove it. Add the following prompts to your checklist when shopping for CBD products:
- Made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
- Produces Certificates of Analysis for each products’ lot number
- Is farmed sustainably with U.S.-grown hemp
- Contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
Elizabeth Roper is an education consultant and lifelong learner. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Chico, California.
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 Marina Turea, “Hemp oil vs. CBD oil: Explaining the difference,” KYRO, August 14, 2020, https://www.cbdkyro.com/education/hemp-oil-vs-cbd-oil/
 Small-Howard, Andrea, Shimoda, Lori, Adra, Chaker, and Turner, Helen, “Anti-inflammatory potential of CB1-mediated cAMP elevation in mast cells,” Biochemical Journal, May 24, 2005, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1138953/
 Triad Health Center, “CBD for Allergies,” accessed on April 18, 2021,