CBD and allergies

Is it Possible to Have CBD Allergies?

CBD’s popularity is booming. More Americans and people around the world embrace the all-natural addition to their wellness routine. With this rise in sales, more questions about the famous plant’s potential risks and its many variations are coming to light. CBD allergies are a growing concern. After all, hemp is a flowering plant, and pollen is a leading cause of allergic reactions. It’s only natural to wonder if you can develop an allergy to hemp oil. 

CBD Oil Comes from Female Flowers

While it’s possible to be allergic to the hemp plant, it’s not likely. Only male flowers produce pollen. Brands, including American Hemp Oil, only extract CBD from female plants. 

Both male and female flowers contain a high concentration of CBD. But the majority is in the female. For the most potent crop, hemp farmers use feminized seeds.

The reason is male plants produce seeds. Many brands are selling hemp flower now as a lower-cost alternative to CBD oil. Seeds reduce the quality of the product.

When smoking these buds, the seeds crackle, pop, and produce a terrible smell and taste that lingers. Also, the seeds contain zero CBD, reducing the total flower weight and cannabinoid content. 

Know the Signs of an Allergic Response

So how do you know if you’re experiencing a reaction? That isn’t easy to answer. People experience unique symptoms depending on their level of sensitivity and the way their body’s immune system responds. 

The most common pollen-related allergy symptoms include:
  • Itchy and Irritated Eyes
  • Dry Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion
Common food allergy-related allergic responses are:
  • Swelling of the face, throat, lips, and tongue
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis 
  • Tingling mouth

Some people can have extreme allergic reactions that can be life-threatening. Those with mild allergic reactions are more likely to feel some symptoms listed above.  The throat can tighten to where it is impossible to breathe.

If you or a loved one is experiencing the signs of anaphylaxis, the signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction, dial 911.

Different Types of Allergy to Hemp Oil? 

There are many types of allergies for humans and animals. You can have a negative response to anything you ingest, apply topically, inhale, or are otherwise exposed to. For example, you don’t apply pollen topically, but when it’s in the air and comes into contact with your skin, there’s a reaction.

Some people and pets are allergic to grass. They can experience two different responses. One from the pollen the grass produces that is airborne, and the other from physical contact with the grass.

The person who inhales the grass pollen can experience sneezing, watery eyes, and all the symptoms above. While rolling around in the grass can cause an itchy rash. 

Why Did We Mention Food Allergies?

A simple explanation for potential CBD allergies is the other ingredients in the hemp extract. Many of these issues trace back to additional ingredients in the oil. 

When hemp extracts first hit the market, they were simple, containing a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or sunflower oil and CBD. That’s no longer the case. To stay ahead of the competition and improve products, brands add other natural ingredients to boost the hemp oil’s wellness power. 

Some people are allergic to nut oils, which would include coconut oil. About 0.5% to 1% of the population reacts to nut tree products. You may not have an allergy to every nut type. These differ from peanuts that grow in the ground and aren’t commonly used in CBD oil.

Also, many brands add essential oils to their products for flavoring and additional benefits. These can cause adverse reactions that may be severe if taken in large quantities. 

Some essential oils that may lead to an immune response include:

  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Ylang-Ylang

Another component brands often combine with hemp extracts is melatonin. The naturally occurring compound is a dietary supplement that helps people fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Although rare, they can cause an allergic response for some users, such as skin rashes, hives, itching, and swelling of the lips, face, or tongue. 

If you experience a reaction to a new product with CBD, consult with your physician. It may not be the oil, but the other ingredients in the product. Always review the product’s label to make sure it contains nothing your body normally reacts negatively to. 

Rule Out Other Allergies First 

An individual with no allergies known when starting CBD will have less chance of having an allergic reaction than someone with known reactions to other products. However, someone who does not have any known allergies can still have a negative response to the hemp extract.

Several allergies can be mistaken for CBD allergies. These include:

  • Dust Mites
  • Pet Dander
  • Mold
  • Other Plants

To find out what’s bothering you, consider seeing an allergist. They can test you with common allergens to see if you respond and help determine what you are and aren’t allergic to. 


Try Different Formulas to Prevent CBD Allergies 

Another option is to change to a new CBD formula. For example, if you were using a product with additional ingredients, switch to something simpler with only CBD and a non-nut oil. If you don’t have the same reaction, it’s easy to conclude the problem was with the other components. 

You can also switch from a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum product to a CBD isolate. These are 99.9 percent pure CBD without the other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, minerals, or essential fatty acids. If you’re still noticing a response, it’s more than likely your allergies aren’t related to the hemp extract. 

Don’t Worry Too Much

There are no reports of severe reactions to CBD, including death. The all-natural plant compound comes with benefits that have improved many lives. Many people who suffer from anxiety, heightened stress levels, and sore muscles from everyday use find CBD oil helps them cope.

Hemp extracts have the potential to help you sleep better and improve your overall wellbeing. Having an allergy to CBD oil is extremely rare. If you think you’re experiencing CBD allergies, you should avoid the products and speak with your doctor. Once they rule out the hemp products, you’re free to start with a low-dose of pure CBD oil. 


Your immune response may come from an allergy to hemp oil or other sources. Consider only using a small amount to see if the symptoms are less. Likely, you do not have an allergy if there isn’t a negative response to CBD oil at a low dose. Remember, it’s extremely rare to be allergic.

Budding female hemp plant courtesy of Pixabay

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