Can cannabis help to treat your seasonal allergies?

Published May 14, 2019 01:49 p.m. ET
Canadian Press, Christopher Katsarov

It’s that time again, the season of drippy noses, stuffy heads, and scratchy or watery eyes is upon us. Millions of people all over the world suffer from seasonal allergies to pollen, dust, grass, and many other things that are actively moving around during the shift from one season to the next. Most of us just deal with it the best we can with pharmaceutical options that are currently available at the local drugstore like Reactine. The problem is that they come saddled with side effects that are similar to alcohol. Making us feel slightly better, while upsetting our stomachs and drugging us to the point of no longer being productive in our daily responsibilities. What if there was a better way? One that was just as effective, if not more so without most of the negative side effects?

Effects of marijuana on allergies

For years now thousands who have self-medicated or researched CBD to any extent have been aware that it works as an effective treatment for some common breathing issues like COPD or asthma. It works by calming the symptoms as they begin to progress, long before they get severe enough to cause a full-on attack. However, even those who have managed to use this treatment successfully rarely understand how, or why it works so well to begin with.

Most people who have gone down a path of self-treatment, are often inspired by a paper that was released in the journal Pulmonary Pharmacology which was the first publicly released proof that CBD was likely solely responsible for this positive shift in symptoms.

So how does it work? Well, it turns out that cannabidiol (CBD) can completely stop the decrease in airflow through the throat and lungs which makes it easier to breathe. This is because when any type of allergen is introduced to the body while medicated with CBD, it will help to regulate the sheer pace at which white blood cells are produced by the body in defense of the attack. The body would normally without CBD produce a significantly higher amount of these mast type cells which triggers a release of the antihistamines that are responsible for your runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and breathing troubles. Cannabidiol helps to regulate this, along with many other regular and necessary bodily functions that are controlled or triggered by either hormones or chemicals.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the euphoric producing element in cannabis, and it also plays a significant role in helping to alleviate allergy symptoms. It helps to increase airflow by up to 20% more than pure CBD alone, and can also help with other annoying symptoms caused by allergies like headaches, migraines, body aches, insomnia, nausea, and a lack of appetite. Though CBD is by far the most effective element in the marijuana plant for the treatment of allergies, THC offers an additional boost that makes for the perfect get better soon medicine that won’t leave you feeling worse like so many pharmaceutical alternatives.

Possible adverse side effects of using cannabis to treat allergies

The trouble with describing marijuana and its effectiveness as a medication placed a great deal of assumption on the grower of the product themselves. There are several different reasons why smoking some herb might have the opposite of the positive effects described here.

Marijuana allergy
Being allergic to cannabis seems like an out of this world possibility, but it is true that somewhere around 5% of the population currently suffers from an allergic reaction to weed no matter how they try to consume it. If you find your breathing is hindered by your marijuana use, take a break and seek a medical opinion. This could make things so much worse if continued without being aware of this sensitivity.

Allergic to pollen
Most seasonal allergies are brought on by a burst of brand-new pollen that is descending across the land. Preparing our many flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants with the seeds of life necessary to thrive for the season. Unfortunately, some growers who have plants outdoors may not realize that their crop has been contaminated with something that you might be allergic to. Sometimes a batch that’s been grown in the wrong location can cause adverse effects in a person with seasonal allergies.

Chemicals or other additives
Most marijuana growers are aware that there is a period in which it is vital to flush the plants of any possible contaminants. This is especially true in the case of added nutrients or fertilizers that will be absorbed by the plant and stored in the bud flowers. If you have an adverse reaction to smoking cannabis, and it’s grown by an unlicensed producer, then this is a real possible explanation for why that might happen.

Weed strains recommended for allergies

The best part about using cannabis to treat allergy symptoms, is that it’s not the psychoactive element tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that provides all these benefits. Which means you don’t have to even consider smoking weed at all if that isn’t your preference. Other options like CBD oils are readily available, easy to take, smell free, and smoke free. If you do want to try a new strain in place of your regular herb to fend off these notorious symptoms, and do not have the option of purchasing medical marijuana, then the most significant thing to remember is that you need a high CBD content. Here are five of the most incredibly effective and highly recommended weed strains for seasonal allergies.

1. Harlequin
Type: Sativa
THC content: 6%
CBD content: 15%

2. Sweet and Sour Widow
Type:Indica
THC content: 10%
CBD content: 11%

3. Ringo’s Gift
Type: Hybrid
THC content: 1%
CBD content: 15%

4. ACDC
Type: Hybrid
THC content: 2%
CBD content: 19%

5. Stephen Hawking Kush
Type: Indica
THC content: 12%
CBD content: 14%

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