CBD Oil Cause Hives

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CBD is known to have very few side effects, but can it cause itching? We take a look at whether CBD can cause allergies and itchy skin. CBD oil is popular for many reasons, but some people have sensitive skin or allergies. Will CBD cause skin itching and irritation? What can you do if it does?

Can CBD Oil Cause Itching? [Explained]

Most experts consider cannabidiol (CBD) to have an excellent safety profile and minimal risk of side effects. However, some patients have reported experiencing itching after using CBD oil. Could this be a CBD side effect or merely a coincidence?

In this article, we’ll answer the question, “can CBD oil cause itching?” Read on to learn more.

Does CBD Make You Itch?

One of the reasons CBD has become so popular is that it generally causes very few adverse effects.

A 2017 review for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research investigated the safety and side effects of CBD. It concluded that CBD has a favorable side effect profile in comparison to many pharmaceuticals that treat the same conditions.

That said, side effects did occur, with the most common being tiredness, diarrhea, and appetite/weight changes. The report makes no mention of itching as a potential CBD oil side effect.

However, in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had different findings. The MHRA runs the Yellow Card Scheme, which provides consumers with an opportunity to report adverse reactions after using a specific medicine or supplement.

The 2019 report suggests that there were at least two cases of rashes and itching after using CBD oil. One patient took CBD orally and experienced urticaria, a severe skin reaction involving red welts, swelling, and intense itching. Another used CBD both orally and topically and also experienced itching.

It seems that the most likely explanation for these adverse effects is an allergic reaction to CBD oil. So, how common is this problem, and are there any other symptoms?

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Itching and Other CBD Oil Allergic Reaction Symptoms

There is little information available on CBD oil allergies. However, there is some research into cannabis allergies in general. The Annals of Asthma, Allergies, and Immunology conducted a study in 2013. It concluded that there had been cases of hypersensitivity and even anaphylaxis after using marijuana.

Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is an extreme allergic reaction. It results in swelling of the airways and an inability to breathe and can potentially be fatal. Other cannabis allergy symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Rhinitis (nasal inflammation)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling

Furthermore, the report states that workers in hemp processing facilities may experience higher rates of respiratory problems. The authors point out that most cannabis allergies occur due to smoking and direct handling. However, consuming edibles could also potentially cause a reaction.

The AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) says that cannabis allergy can develop due to “inhaling, smoking, touching, and eating marijuana.” It states that touching the plant could cause rashes, hives, and swelling in sensitive individuals.

Since CBD comes from cannabis plants, it is reasonable to assume that those with cannabis allergies could also be sensitive to CBD. However, more research is necessary to confirm how many people are allergic to CBD oil and to what extent.

Can CBD Oil Cause a Skin Rash?

As we have already mentioned, there have been isolated reports of CBD causing a skin rash. This side effect may be more widely reported with a particular form of CBD known as Epidiolex.

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Epidiolex is the only form of CBD with full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, scientists have tested it rigorously for both potential benefits and side effects. The drug’s prescribing information lists rashes as one of the most common side effects of Epidiolex.

It also states that the drug could cause liver problems. One of the symptoms of this is itching. Other signs of liver issues include:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Dark urine
  • Pain in the upper-right abdominal area

Anyone experiencing these side effects after taking Epidiolex or CBD oil should seek medical advice immediately.

Can CBD Oil Cause Itchy Eyes?

Itchy eyes are a common allergy symptom. Pollen allergies often cause the eyes to become red, watery, and itchy. Therefore, someone allergic to cannabis coming into contact with cannabis or hemp pollen could experience these effects.

Those who use marijuana regularly may be familiar with the tell-tale side effect of red or bloodshot eyes. However, this is not due to CBD but the intoxicating compound in cannabis, THC.

Red eyes result from THC causing the blood vessels to relax and widen. Many believe that, for the same reason, marijuana could be a useful glaucoma treatment.

We couldn’t find any reliable reports of CBD oil causing itchy eyes, but that does not mean it is impossible. Let us know in the comments at the end of the article if you have experienced this.

CBD and Itching: The Problem or the Solution?

Although some people have experienced itching after using CBD oil, this reaction only affects a minority of users. In fact, some research suggests that CBD could offer a solution to itching in skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

CBD impacts the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is present in most of the body’s tissues, including the skin. Experts believe that it regulates the growth and development of skin cells and influences their immune function.

The ECS is also present in the skin’s nerve endings and plays a role in sensory perception, including pain and itching. These effects are under the control of numerous cell receptors, including cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). These receptors become active when they bind with chemicals called endocannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce.

It seems that CBD works primarily by increasing the levels of these endocannabinoids to enhance ECS function. This effect means that CBD could be more likely to relieve itching than cause it.

A 2006 study for the German journal Der Hautarzt tested a compound called N-palmitoyl ethanolamine (PEA) in 22 patients with itching due to various skin conditions. The chemical is a cannabinoid agonist, meaning that it stimulates receptors in the ECS. Of the 22 participants, 14 experienced reductions in itching, and the average reduction was an impressive 86.4%.

This study, unfortunately, had a very small sample size, and more research is necessary to confirm its results conclusively. However, these preliminary findings suggest that, unless you have a CBD allergy, the compound is more likely to act as a solution to itching than a cause.

Can CBD Oil Cause Itching? Final Thoughts

It seems that CBD oil may cause itching in a small number of consumers. This reaction is most likely the result of a CBD allergy or sensitivity to other ingredients in the product. The latter could be especially true when using topical CBD products, as these contain a variety of components that could potentially irritate the skin.

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We advise anyone considering using CBD skin creams to look for a product containing all-natural ingredients and as few of them as possible. This precaution is especially important if you have sensitive skin or other allergies.

As always, we only recommend buying CBD from reputable brands that publish third-party lab reports on their websites. Products that have not undergone testing may contain contaminants and increase the risk of adverse reactions like itching.

And finally, if you do experience itching after taking CBD, we suggest that you stop using it immediately. Make an appointment with a physician who will be able to run tests and advise you further.

Can CBD Oil Cause Itching?

CBD oil is popular for many reasons, but some people have sensitive skin or allergies. Will CBD cause skin itching and irritation? What can you do if it does?

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Many people use CBD topicals to ease pain and discomfort.

Even though CBD is safe, it does come with the potential for side effects.

Some users claim that using CBD oil causes itching, but is this true?

The main reason CBD causes itching is due to allergies to either the CBD directly or another ingredient in the product. It’s very rare for CBD to cause itching on its own and is even a popular treatment for itchy skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

Table of Contents

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis. It’s extracted and mixed with carrier oils such as coconut or hemp seed.

CBD is used as a supplement and can help treat many diseases, though the FDA does not approve it. Some patients suffering from pain prefer CBD oil to marijuana because of the absence of mind-altering effects.

Can CBD Oil Cause Itching?

CBD in its purest form is not known to trigger skin allergies like itching, hives, soreness, or irritation.

Other synthetic ingredients in the formula would be the only credible explanation about itching after CBD use.

In most cases, skin allergies, particularly itching, point to an allergic reaction triggered by other ingredients used in CBD oil.

Ingredients That Cause Itching

  • Poor-quality or expired carrier oils
  • Use of lab-made synthetic additives & perfumes
  • Other contaminants (heavy metals, solvents, or microbial contaminants)

Can CBD Oil Prevent Itching?

CBD is more likely to help itching than to cause it.

In fact, CBD shows potential in helping some skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis, pruritus, and inflammatory conditions [1].

In one study, 67% of eczema patients reported a decrease in itchiness, and 50% saw an improvement in their eczema by more than 60%, showing the benefits of topical CBD for atopic dermatitis [2].

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

If you feel that the application of CBD oil is causing itching, the best thing to do is to discontinue using the oil at the first signs of an allergic reaction to your skin. Check for the formula label to determine if any other ingredients are a known allergen to you.

Make a note of the other active ingredients and check with your doctor if they can create skin allergies or have an itching effect on your skin.

Since CBD is a plant product, it could cause an allergic reaction, though this is rare. It’s always wise to check for allergies before you apply CBD products over large areas of the skin.

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Topical creams and lotions with CBD can cause a skin allergy. Unfortunately, these reactions don’t always show up right away — sometimes, it can take days. These symptoms can last a few weeks.

If you notice any of the following, stop using CBD oil right away.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction From Topical Use of CBD

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Puffy areas of skin
  • Small, red spots
  • Itchy, stinging, or burning sensation
  • Swollen lips, eyes, or tongue
  • Red, itchy, watering eyes
  • Dry, cracked skin

Other CBD products require ingestion or inhalation; any allergic reaction from these methods will show up much sooner.

Again, stop use immediately if you notice any of these signs.

Fortunately, a reaction to a cannabis product is much like seasonal allergies. The symptoms go away rather quickly, and an antihistamine such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) may be able to help ease discomfort.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction From Ingesting CBD

  • Congestion
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat

Signs of a Serious Allergic Reaction (Anaphylactic Shock)

Though rare, some allergic reactions can be dangerous and even deadly. If you experience any of the following, seek medical attention immediately.

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

How To Test CBD Oil For Allergies Before Using It

There are two simple steps to check your body’s reaction to CBD oil:

  1. Using a dropper, place one drop only of the CBD oil on the backside of one hand. Wait for 24 hours to determine if there are any adverse reactions. Some reactions can take longer to show up.
  2. Use a dropper to take only one drop of CBD oil in your mouth. Wait for a minimum of one hour to see if your body is adversely reacting to it.

Other Side Effects of CBD

CBD is safe and is not associated with any severe side effects. Still, it’s essential to know some of the potential side effects of CBD in both long-term and short-term usage.

Short Term Side Effects

When CBD is used in high amounts, combined with other medicines, or used alongside severe underlying diseases, it may lead to some adverse reactions.

  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth, medically called Xerostomia
  • Loose stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue

These side effects are temporary and only last as long as the CBD is in the bloodstream. These symptoms disappear as it wears off.

Long Term Side Effects

These side effects do not appear right away; they come slowly after constant use and are often associated with CBD mixing with prescription drugs or from smoking it.

  • Excessive weight loss or gain
  • Weakened immunity
  • Liver functions
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

Summary: Does CBD Cause Itching?

CBD is a safe, powerful, natural treatment for many diseases. Problems that do occur are usually from impure or contaminated products. These are off-brands or have cheap ingredients that can trigger skin allergies.

To avoid these issues, only buy high-quality CBD oil from reliable vendors. If you suffer from severe allergies or are allergic to hemp seed, do an allergy test before using any CBD or cannabis product.

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