• Several studies suggest that CBD (cannabidiol) may help with allergic manifestations and conditions linked to allergies, such as asthma, joint pain, and anxiety(1-3)
  • CBD has purported anti-inflammatory properties(4). This potential therapeutic effect may help alleviate allergies like hay fever. Hay fever, an allergic response to pollen, causes inflammation(5).  
  • Studies show that CBD is well tolerated with a good safety profile(6). Still, a consultation with your doctor is recommended before taking CBD for allergies.

How CBD May Help With Allergies

CBD is one of the main cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. The non-psychoactive compound is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties(7). CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects may help with allergies. 

For instance, seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is an allergic reaction to pollen. This type of allergy causes inflammation(8)

CBD may also interact with the ECS (endocannabinoid system), responsible for maintaining bodily homeostasis and balance(9).  

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

The ECS modulates various bodily functions, including inflammatory and immune responses(10)

CBD interacts with the ECS by binding to the cannabinoid receptors to trigger a specific response(11). Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are part of the components of the ECS.  

Although CBD has a low binding affinity for both receptors, the compound may antagonize them in the presence of another cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)(12)

Cannabidiol may also act as a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 receptors, responsible for the psychotropic effects of THC(13-14). For this reason, CBD may reduce the efficacy and potency of tetrahydrocannabinol(15).  

Additionally, CB1 receptors found within the pain pathways of the central nervous system may affect CBD-induced anti-anxiety and pain-relieving properties. 

Meanwhile, the activation of CB2 receptors affects the immune cells, likely influencing CBD-induced anti-inflammatory processes(16).   

Benefits of Using CBD for Allergies

Cannabidiol has shown promise as a pharmaceutical drug target(17). Below are some of the studies regarding CBD’s therapeutic potential that may benefit individuals with allergies:

Studies and Research on CBD Oil and Allergies

Most allergy sufferers may use antihistamines and other over-the-counter allergy medications to manage their allergy symptoms

Currently, no evidence directly points to cannabidiol as a form of antihistamine. However, a study from Biochemical Journal noted that cannabinoids like CBD and THC may have immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting their roles in immune response(18)

A study from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine reported that nine patients had joint pain attacks and swelling triggered by a particular food associated with allergic manifestations(19)

CBD is believed to have pain-relieving effects that may help with chronic pain(20). Animal research from the European Journal of Pain indicated that topical CBD application may help relieve arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without harmful side effects(21)

Joint pain is one of the main symptoms of arthritis(22). Some allergy sufferers experience joint pain. CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief may benefit them. 

According to a research study from the Journal of Personalized Medicine, anxiety disorders may be linked to allergies(23). Research from Neurotherapeutics suggested that CBD may help with anxiety disorders(24).  

On the other hand, scientists suggest that CBD may regulate immune responses(25). Immunity is maintained through different cell types acting synergistically to protect against foreign invaders while avoiding reactions against self-proteins

An appropriate immune response is crucial to protect the body from medical conditions like anaphylaxis and allergic asthma.  

Anaphylaxis is a possibly life-threatening allergic reaction, which triggers the immune system to release chemicals, causing a person to go into shock(26). Individuals with an anaphylactic reaction experience a severe drop in blood pressure. 

Allergic asthma refers to a breathing condition where the airways in which individuals breathe through tighten when they inhale an allergen, such as dander, pollen, and mold spores(27).  

Animal research from the European Journal of Pharmacology examined the effects of CBD on allergic asthma. The researchers observed that the rats that received CBD treatment had reduced symptoms of airway inflammation(28)

These findings seem promising, although inconclusive. Some studies also used animal models. 

Still, researchers who want to explore the benefits of CBD for allergies may find these results helpful to better understand the effects of CBD on seasonal allergies or severe allergic reactions.

CBD Oil Usage 

Below are standard CBD delivery methods: 

  • Inhalation
  • Ingestion
  • Sublingual (under the tongue) absorption
  • Topical administration

CBD may decrease inflammation when applied to the skin(29).

A person with allergies may try topical CBD products for localized relief. These products are available in creams, balms, lotions, ointments, and oils. 

The onset of CBD in topicals is also relatively quick (between 10 and 15 minutes), and its effect may last from 2 to 4 hours(30)

The fastest way to benefit from the effects of CBD is through inhalation using vape pens(31). Usually, an individual may feel the compound’s effect within 2 to 15 minutes(32).

However, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) advise people against using THC-containing e-cigarettes or any vaping products, mainly from informal sources(33).

Most lung injury cases in the U.S. are associated with vaping(34)

CBD Dosage

The FDA does not recognize CBD as a medical treatment for allergies. Thus, there is no standard CBD dosage for this condition.

The only FDA-approved medical treatment with cannabidiol is Epidiolex. It is a CBD oral solution that manages seizures associated with rare and severe forms of epilepsy(35).   

However, mid-range doses between 10mg and 100mg of CBD may help with inflammation(36). Inflammation is a common allergy symptom

Still, it is best to talk with a healthcare professional experienced in cannabis use for accurate dosing.  

How Long Does CBD Take to Help With Allergies?

How long CBD takes to help with allergies depends on several factors, including the route of administration and individual body weight. 

When individuals apply CBD topically, they may feel its effect within 10 to 15 minutes(37). Meanwhile, when they take tinctures via the sublingual route, CBD may take effect between 15 and 30 minutes(38)

Individuals who prefer the inhalation route may expect CBD to take effect between 2 and 15 minutes following vaping(39)

A study from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that vaping may increase the risk to patients with asthma(40). Therefore, regulation toward using e-cigarettes must be prioritized.    

How Long Will CBD Help With Allergies?

How long CBD will help with allergies after it starts to take effect depends on the pharmacokinetics. 

Pharmacokinetics is the movement of a particular substance into, through, and out of the body. It includes the time course of a drug’s absorption, bioavailability, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. 

A study from Frontiers in Pharmacology mentioned that the bioavailability of CBD following smoking is 31%(41)

Bioavailability is the extent to which a specific substance becomes entirely available to its intended biological destination.  

CBD’s bioavailability is between 6% and 20% for the sublingual route, whereas CBD in topicals has zero bioavailability(42).  

How Does CBD Compare To Other Allergy Treatments

There are various drugs and over-the-counter medications to relieve allergy symptoms, such as(43)

  • Antihistamines block histamine, which triggers allergic swelling. These medications can calm itching, sneezing, and hives.  
  • Nasal corticosteroids decrease swelling that causes an itchy or runny nose.
  • Mast cell stabilizers keep one’s body from releasing histamine. These medications can help with allergy symptoms like watery eyes.
  • Corticosteroid creams help alleviate itchiness and stop the spread of rashes
  • Decongestants shrink swollen membranes in the nose.  

Although often used to treat allergies, corticosteroids may also trigger an allergic-type reaction in some people. The seriousness of the reaction may vary from rashes to anaphylaxis or death(44)

Anaphylaxis refers to a possibly life-threatening allergic reaction. 

Meanwhile, a decongestant spray may worsen the swelling and stuffiness in one’s nose if a person continuously uses it for more than three days(45).

On the other hand, the WHO (World Health Organization) reported that CBD is relatively safe and generally well tolerated in humans and animals(46).  

Risks and Side Effects of Using CBD for Allergies

Some consumers may be wary of CBD products’ purity and variability in potency since CBD is not FDA-approved. 

Is CBD Oil Safe to Use for Allergies?

Although CBD has a good safety profile, reported side effects may be due to drug interactions between individuals’ existing medication and CBD(47). Common side effects of CBD include drowsiness(48).  

CBD products, such as CBD oil (hemp oil) and edibles like gummies, are primarily available online. However, a study showed that 26% of the tested CBD products sold online contained less CBD than labeled(49)

For this reason, consumers should always purchase from authorized sellers or dispensaries to benefit from the best CBD products for overall wellness. 

Can Someone Be Allergic to CBD Oil?

According to the AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology), individuals with allergies to cannabis may exhibit symptoms after touching, inhaling, or consuming any cannabis-derived product, including CBD oil(50).  

CBD Legality

The United States Congress ratified the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing the commercial use of industrial hemp and products obtained from hemp plants(51)

The bill states that Cannabis sativa L. and other derivatives of cannabis with no more than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis are deemed federally legal(52).

Some states have passed laws permitting recreational and medical marijuana. Nevertheless, these state laws do not change the fact that, under federal law, marijuana is still a substance with a high abuse potential with no accepted medical use(53)

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is an oil-based tincture that contains a high concentration of cannabidiol. It is the product obtained when the compound is extracted from cannabis.  

The “Entourage Effect”

The entourage effect refers to a theory wherein the biologically active compounds of cannabis work better when administered together. 

The full-spectrum CBD oil variant is known for this effect due to the presence of all the natural compounds of the cannabis plant.

Full-spectrum CBD oil also includes terpenes, which are aromatic compounds responsible for the aroma, pigmentation, and flavor of cannabis.  

The Frontiers in Plant Science study hypothesized that the entourage effect in full-spectrum hemp extracts may produce better therapeutic benefits than pure CBD(54).

What Are Allergies? 

Allergies are the body’s response to normally harmless substances like pollen or dander. If someone is prone to allergies, their body responds to a specific allergen by producing allergic antibodies that remove the allergen from their system(55)

Taking allergy medication is vital to avoid painful conditions like sinus or ear infections(56)

Allergy Symptoms

Individuals can be allergic to various substances. For instance, some people may have food allergies which include symptoms like nausea, vomiting, swelling around the mouth, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing(57)

Others may also develop inflammatory skin diseases like allergic contact dermatitis, resulting from the contact of an antigen or offending chemical with the skin(58)


  1. Can CBD fight allergies? 

    CBD has purported anti-inflammatory properties(59). This potential therapeutic effect may help with allergies. For instance, hay fever is an allergic response to pollen. This type of allergy causes inflammation(60).  

    CBD also has pain-relieving properties that may help with joint pain associated with allergic manifestations(61-62)

  2. Will CBD interact with any current medication a person may be taking for allergies?

    CBD may interact with corticosteroids (steroids), which use the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. At high doses, the compound may inhibit the
    activity of this family of liver enzymes, resulting in a drug interaction(63)
  3. Can someone fail a drug test if they use CBD for allergies?

    Allergy sufferers will not fail a drug test if they use CBD topicals before taking the test. CBD in topicals does not get into the bloodstream(64)

  1. Is There Allergic Synovitis?
  2. Cannabidiol Reduces Airway Inflammation and Fibrosis in Experimental Allergic Asthma
  3. Links Between Anxiety and Allergies: Psychobiological Reality or Possible Methodological Bias?
  4. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  5. Allergy Overview
  6. Cannabidiol (CBD)
  7. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  8. Allergy Overview
  9. Cannabidiol
  10. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious
  11. Cannabidiol
  12. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
  13. Cannabidiol
  14. Healing With CBD, page 279.
  15. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
  16. Cannabidiol
  17. Ibid.
  18. Anti-inflammatory Potential of CB1-Mediated cAMP Elevation in Mast Cells
  19. Is There Allergic Synovitis?
  20. Research Shows Pain-Relieving Effects of CBD
  21. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis
  22. Arthritis
  23. Links Between Anxiety and Allergies: Psychobiological Reality or Possible Methodological Bias?
  24. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
  25. Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol
  26. Anaphylaxis
  27. Allergic Asthma
  28. Cannabidiol Reduces Airway Inflammation and Fibrosis in Experimental Allergic Asthma
  29. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  30. Ibid.
  31. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  32. Healing With CBD, page 190.
  33. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products
  34. Ibid.
  35. FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy
  36. CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, page 129.
  37. Healing With CBD, page 210.
  38. Healing With CBD, page 192.
  39. Healing With CBD, page 190.
  40. E-cigarettes, Vaping-Related Pulmonary Illnesses, and Asthma: A Perspective From Inhalation Toxicologists
  41. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans
  42. Healing With CBD, page 192-193.
  43. Allergy Treatment
  44. Allergic-Type Reactions to Corticosteroids
  45. Allergy Treatment
  46. Cannabidiol (CBD)
  47. Ibid.
  48. CBD and Other Medications: Proceed With Caution
  49. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online
  50. Marijuana Cannabis Allergy
  51. H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
  52. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
  53. The Federal Controlled Substances Act: Schedules and Pharmacy Registration
  54. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain
  55. Allergy Overview
  56. Allergy Treatment
  57. Allergy Overview
  58. Allergic Contact Dermatitis
  59. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  60. Allergy Overview
  61. Is There Allergic Synovitis?
  62. Research Shows Pain-Relieving Effects of CBD
  63. Healing With CBD, pages 114-115.
  64. Healing With CBD, page 210.
CBD Clinicals is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more