Antihistamines- Uses and Side Effects
Antihistamines are medications used to treat allergic rhinitis and other kinds of allergies. People experiencing congestion, runny nose, sneezing and nasal itching often find themselves reaching for an antihistamine for relief. Other allergic reactions such as itching, skin rashes, hives and watery, itchy eyes are also treated effectively. An antihistamine can be purchased over the counter or through a prescription.
Like most treatments on the market, antihistamines come with side effects. “First generation” antihistamines, like Benadryl, can cause dizziness, loss of appetite, muscle weakness and nervousness. People with conditions like emphysema, seizures, and high blood pressure, heart disease and thyroid problems are encouraged to speak with their doctor before use. “Second” and “third generation” medications, like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Alegra, have common side effects like headache, dizziness and stomach pain. People with kidney or liver diseases should talk to their doctors before taking these medications.
CBD – An Alternative Treatment
CBD, cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that offers a way to relieve allergies and their symptoms without the worry of adverse side effects. Used in therapeutic doses, there are no negative reactions to CBD. Cannabidiol is extracted from the hemp plant and does not produce psychoactive responses (it doesn’t cause a high). In addition, CBD can help with a host of other concerns like mood disorders, trouble sleeping, pain and inflammation.
CBD works with a physiological system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS works to create and maintain internal balance within the body. The ECS utilizes cannabinoids to fuel itself, binding them to its two receptors: CB-1 and CB-2. CBD is highly effective since it binds to both receptors unlike some other cannabinoids.
How Does CBD Help Treat Allergy Symptoms?
CBD works with CB-2 in the ECS to support the immune system. Cannabidiol has been shown to prevent mast cells from releasing histamines. Histamines are released by immune system in response to allergic and inflammatory reactions, causing allergic symptoms. By preventing the histamine from entering the body, CBD can stop allergy symptoms in their tracks.
CBD is both a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. In regards to nasal symptoms, the anti-inflammatory properties are key. By reducing the swelling and irritation associated with allergic rhinitis, sinus pathways are opened. The body is able to expel mucus, relieving congestion and pressure. Allergic skin reactions are also soothed by reducing inflammation. The anti-microbial aspect can help the skin to heal itself faster after eliciting an allergic response and prevent infection caused by scratching.
There are multiple methods to utilize CBD. For skin allergies, topical applications can be used to provide immediate relief to symptoms like hives and rashes. A cream or salve is simply rubbed onto the site of irritation. By ingesting CBD, the body is provided with the cannabinoids needed to balance out an allergic reaction or stop it from happening. Effective and common ways are to use tinctures sublingually(under the tongue) or swallow capsules. This is based on the preference of the individual.