allergic to CBD

How do I know if I am allergic to CBD?

Due to the rapid rise of CBD, a major cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plant, in the medical market,  a lot of people have started to incorporate CBD products into their daily lifestyle. The effectiveness of CBD to relieve stress,  pain and anxiety have made it a regular intake for most people. But the problem is there is a possibility of CBD being an allergy to some people. How do you know if you are allergic to CBD?

What are Allergies? 

Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance like pollen, bee venom or pet dander, or a food that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people.

Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system.

An allergy starts when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular allergen. When you contact the allergen again, these antibodies can release many immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms. 

 Allergies and CBD. 

If you are allergic to CBD, a reaction can occur when the body sees it as an allergen. The most common allergies occur from foods, medications, insect stings, pollen, and pet dander. CBD comes from the cannabis plant called hemp. CBD contains properties like pollen and histamine that can cause allergic reactions. Although allergies to CBD are rare, people can be allergic to CBD. CBD may also help with allergies due to the antihistamine and anti-allergenic properties. 

If you are allergic to CBD, reactions can range from an itchy nose to breathing problems. It is important to stop using CBD at the first sign of any negative side effects from CBD.


According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, if you are allergic to CBD you can exhibit symptoms after inhaling, touching, smoking, or consuming any products containing CBD. 

Since CBD comes from hemp plants, most allergic reactions to CBD are similar to seasonal allergies or allergies to pollen and fungi. These symptoms should go away if you stop using CBD. Some common allergic reaction symptoms to CBD oils are: 

  • Congestion and dry cough 
  • Runny nose and sneezing 
  • Nausea
  • Eye irritation and redness 
  • Sore throat 

Skin reactions may also occur after consuming CBD or using CBD as a topical ointment. Skin reactions to CBD include: 

  • Hives 
  • Dry skin
  • Blisters 
  • Inflammation and redness 
  • Skin irritation 

 Although rare, anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can be caused if you are allergic to CBD oil. When someone is experiencing anaphylactic shock, their body becomes flooded with chemicals that cause their airways to narrow and restrict breathing. If the following symptoms appear, you should seek medical attention immediately: 

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing 
  • Dizziness or fainting 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Confusion 
  • Loss of consciousness 


  • A study conducted by the Duke University School of Medicine found that about 20% of the 100 people they tested had allergic reactions to linalool, while 8% were allergic to limonene. These are the two most commonly found terpenes in full-spectrum CBD oils.
  • Doctors from the University of California, San Diego, published a letter entitled “Marijuana and stoned fruit” in the Annals of Allergies and Asthma, where they reported a 24-year-old male marijuana daily user experienced an anaphylactic reaction after eating yogurt with hemp seeds.
  • In a 2013 study published in the Internal Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 21 patients with food allergies were tested in terms of reactivity to cannabis lipid transfer proteins (LTP), which are potential allergens. Twelve participants showed signs of allergies to cannabis, and all 12 had severe symptoms of food allergy than those without an allergy to the plant.


If you think you are allergic to CBD, you can confirm with your doctor for diagnosis. There are two ways to find out;

  • skin prick test 
  • blood tests. 

A skin prick test is simple and the results are quick, but it is not as accurate as a blood test. A skin prick test is when a diluted allergen, such as CBD, is applied to the skin with a needle. After 15 minutes, if the location where the allergen was applied appears to be inflamed, red, or itchy, then you might be allergic to CBD.

With a blood test, a sample of blood is drawn to see if there are any present antibodies to CBD. If there are more antibodies than expected, you are most likely allergic to CBD.

Can CBD help with other Allergies? 

While there isn’t much research supporting the idea that CBD oil can help the discomfort associated with common allergy symptoms, there is some research related to its general effects on inflammation, which is part of the body’s allergic reaction process. These few research has shown the the inflammatory properties of CBD can help with the other symptoms of allergies but more research ought to be performed to determine this.


Although researchers have yet to fully understand the link between CBD and allergies, some studies have reported that the cannabinoid has remarkable anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation lies at the roots of all allergies, so while CBD won’t cure them, preliminary research and anecdotal reports indicate that CBD oil may be able to help ease the symptoms.

That is, of course, if you are not allergic to CBD . CBD itself may not be an allergen, but in combination with the remaining 400 phytochemicals from cannabis, it can trigger an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, sniffling, or red, droopy eyes. Allergies may also be caused by other ingredients in CBD oil, such as synthetic additives.

To avoid any further risk of being allergic to CBD,  it is better to check the products you are using for additives. 

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