Hay fever experts have warned the pollen count has started climbing already, with moderate levels even recorded in the winter months. For those that suffer – nearly a third of the population – this is bad news. Several months of itchy eyes and incessant sneezing will have the nation either toughing it out, going to the doctor or sticking to over-the-counter medication. Some people may even find themselves spending as much as £10 a week on allergy treatment.
For many hay fever sufferers, over-the-counter medications are not effective at keeping symptoms at bay.
But as an alternative offering to these treatments, and following recent interest around it, research has suggested cannabidiol (CBD) could give people with hay fever the relief they need.
CBD derives from the cannabis plant and has been largely represented by the active ingredient that causes a ‘high’ – a cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
But another cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) has gained popularity with claims of being non-intoxicating while providing benefits for a wide range of health conditions – two of the most popular being inflammation and anxiety.
With countless studies confirming its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, experts are now suggesting CBD oil could be used as a natural and effective alternative to over-the-counter or prescription medicine.
According to exclusive research from Eos Scientific, Brits are more open to holistic remedies, in fact preferring them to prescription medicine.
In research commissioned across a nationally representative sample of more than 2000 UK adults, the nation responded:
- 24 per cent of Brits, representing more than 11 million of the adult population, prefer to manage their health with holistic remedies
– 35 per cent of those aged 18-34 would prefer to use holistic remedies
- 38 per cent of Brits – 17.4 million people – would use CBD oil to manage their health
– This figure rises to 50 per cent for those aged 18-34
Simon Manthorpe, CEO of Eos Scientific, said: “While the number of users of CBD is increasing, so is the number of benefits posed and it’s good to make consumers aware of this. The number of UK users of CBD oil has almost doubled in the last year, with many claiming the cannabis-based products are a more natural and easily accessible way to manage their health.
“While prescribed medicine will always be the recommendation of medical professionals, we are seeing increasing numbers of people turning to more alternative remedies and, with an increasing number of medical studies into the benefits of CBD, more of its uses are becoming apparent.
“Currently in the early stages of research, CBD oil’s use as a remedy for hay fever and allergy already looks promising and, as many complain that traditional medicine does little to alleviate their symptoms, CBD oil may be a great alternative.”
But what do medical professionals have to say when it comes to using CBD oil to treat hay fever?
Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient, said although some research has shown CBD oil may play a small part in helping relieve hay fever symptoms, caution should be taken.
He advised: “It has been indicated that CBD may work with the endocannabinoid system to help promote a healthy homeostatic balance.
“But while there has been some research to link cannabis oil to improved health benefits for people, this should be treated with caution as the individual needs of the patient vary and what works for one person, may not work for another.
“I would always recommend anyone wanting to purchase over-the-counter medicine that isn’t registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council to do so with caution and almost always have a chat with your Pharmacist or GP at your next visit to take their advice.”
If you’re thinking about buying cannabis products online, the NHS warns: “Many cannabis-based products are available to buy online, but their quality and content is not known. They may be illegal and potentially dangerous.
“Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as ‘CBD oil’ or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores. But there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.
“And some cannabis-based products are available on prescription as medicinal cannabis. These are only likely to benefit a very small number of patients.”