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Can You be Allergic to CBD Oil? [Read Before Use]

From local gas stations to chain grocery stores, CBD oil is filling up shelves. With so many new CBD products to choose from, consumers are beginning to ask the questions that matter. One crucial question is, “can I be allergic to CBD oil?” It is possible to have an allergic reaction to CBD oil. However, it’s much more likely you are allergic to a carrier oil included in the product. 


CBD is a natural product, so it’s unlikely to cause allergies. Still, since it does come from a plant, it can contain pollen particles that stimulate allergies. To fully understand how allergies work in correlation to CBD oil, let’s examine both topics. 



What’s in CBD Oil?

CBD oil is extracted in high concentrations from the cannabis plant using different extraction methods. Next, manufacturers usually combine it with different carrier oils. Carrier oils help dilute essential oils and make them more accessible for our bodies to consume or absorb. 


Most CBD oils use coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, or grapeseed oil as the carrier oil. Always read the labels of the CBD products you are buying.  


Previously, people would think of cannabis and associate it with THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid found in the plant. But when the Farm Bill passed in 2018, that all changed. This new law legalizes hemp, which is cannabis grown with 0.3%THC or less.  


Essentially, this means that the psychoactive properties have been taken out of the plant. Luckily, the medicinal properties are retained. Not all CBD is created equally; there are three types of CBD products on the market today.



full vs broad vs isolate



Full Spectrum

Full Spectrum CBD products contain all of the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. That means trace amounts of THC are in these products. When all cannabinoids in cannabis work together to provide consumers with the maximum benefits, this is called the entourage effect. Full Spectrum products will give consumers the best results.  


Broad Spectrum 

Broad Spectrum products contain all of the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant except for THC. Consumers will still benefit from the entourage effect, although it may be a little less potent. Broad Spectrum CBD is excellent for those looking to avoid THC, such as military members or professional athletes.  



Hemp-based CBD Isolate is the most refined form of the product available for purchase. CBD Isolates are nearly 100% CBD, but make sure you check the label for a full breakdown. There is no entourage effect with CBD Isolates, but consumers will get the purest CBD.



Can You Be Allergic to CBD Oil?

Although it is rare, you can be allergic to CBD oil. A misreading in the body causes allergies. When your body makes contact with an allergen for the first time, it incorrectly labels it as a threat to the body. Whenever your body comes into contact with that allergen again, it will try to destroy it.  


Your immune system’s first response is to send histamines, which act like bouncers at a club. Histamines work to remove allergens by any means necessary; they trigger you to sneeze, itch, cough, etc. Allergens are most commonly from foods, pollen, pet dander, and insect stings.


Because CBD comes from a plant, it may have traces of pollen that can cause an allergic reaction. Many users claim CBD helps with allergies due to the antihistamine and anti-allergenic properties, but on rare occasions, you may be allergic to the oil itself. 


It is possible to be allergic to carrier oils as well. It is not uncommon for people to have allergies to coconut or olives, both of which have oils used as carriers. The CBD market is not fully regulated, which means consumers need to read the product labels thoroughly. It also helps to go with a reputable brand.  


Many users believe they have a CBD allergy when, in reality, they are exhibiting an allergic reaction to another ingredient in the product. 



woman putting cbd oil into her coffee



Allergic Reactions to CBD Oil

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, consumers can develop an allergy to cannabis by inhaling, smoking, touching, and ingesting it. The reactions vary greatly depending on how the allergens entered the body.  


If a consumer with allergies touches CBD, they may get a rash or hives. Inhalation can result in asthmatic symptoms such as difficulty breathing and wheezing. Anaphylaxis, which can be a fatal reaction, has also been reported in rare cases.  


In most cases, hemp seed ingestion was the cause of anaphylaxis. Breathing in the allergen can also result in a runny nose, sneezing, itchy face, and facial swelling. Other allergic reactions may include: 


  • Nausea
  • Congestion
  • Blisters (topical use)
  • Inflammation and redness (topical use)
  • Sore Throat (Inhalation) 



How Are CBD Allergies Diagnosed?

You will need a doctor to diagnose you for CBD allergies accurately. Do not self diagnose, but if you are exhibiting symptoms, please see a doctor. A physician will use either a skin prick test or a blood test. Blood tests are far more accurate. 


In the skin prick method, also called a puncture or scratch, a doctor will test for allergens by introducing them to the skin. The physician will prick you with a small needle containing the allergens. If there is inflammation or irritation after 10-20 minutes, the patient is likely to be allergic to that substance. In a blood test, doctors look to see if the body has created antibodies for the allergen.



bottle of cbd oil with plants



Is CBD Oil Safe?

Yes, CBD is well tolerated by adults, kids, and even pets. There has been no significant evidence that CBD is harmful. With that being said, there are few mild side effects that can be associated with its usage. When you introduce your body to a CBD, it may take time for it to become acclimated. Also, take too heavy a dosage may result in some mild side effects. These include a change in appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and diarrhea.  


According to Harvard EDU, CBD can be a blood thinner. It can raise the potency of other medications in your blood in the same way that grapefruit juice does. Please speak with a doctor before using CBD oil or CBD flower for those looking to avoid blood thinners or are on other medications.  



Final Thoughts About CBD Allergies

CBD Oil can help to promote overall wellness and health. CBD oil is added to many types of products because it may be useful in many different ways. Consumers worldwide are utilizing it for soreness, irritation, digestion, sleep, and mood regulation. 


Researchers are still exploring the benefits, it seems the more we learn about cannabis, the better it gets. While there is a chance you can develop an allergy to CBD, it is much more likely you are having a negative reaction to a carrier oil or another ingredient. If you are experiencing allergic reactions when taking CBD, stop using it immediately, and speak to your doctor.