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Managing Nasal Polyps Symptoms With CBD

Heather M. Jones is a freelance writer with a focus on health, parenting, disability, and feminism.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

John Carew, MD, is board-certified in otolaryngology and is an adjunct assistant professor at New York University Medical Center.

Nasal polyps are small benign (noncancerous) growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses. Many traditional treatments for nasal polyps exist. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, CBD is being explored as a complementary therapy.

Experts have recognized the potential of CBD for nasal polyps relief, but more research is needed.

This article will discuss the basics of nasal polyps, how CBD might help, and any known side effects.

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The Endocannabinoid System and CBD

Your body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates and controls bodily functions such as:

  • Learning and memory
  • Emotional processing
  • Temperature control
  • Pain control
  • Inflammatory and immune responses
  • Eating

The ECS is constantly working to keep your body in a state of equilibrium. It’s able to do this via two types of cannabinoid receptors found in select tissues:

  • CB1: The central nervous system (brain and nerves of the spinal cord)
  • CB2: The digestive system, peripheral nervous system (nerves in your extremities), and certain cells of your immune system

Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can also affect these receptors.

Cannabinoids are a group of compounds that come from the cannabis plant (also known as marijuana).

The two main types of cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

What’s the Difference Between THC and CBD?

THC has a psychoactive effect and is derived from the marijuana plant. CBD doesn’t have a psychoactive effect and can be derived from the marijuana plant or the hemp plant.

CBD is of interest to the research and medical communities because of its potential for health benefits and treatments without the “high” of THC.

One area being studied is CBD’s effect on inflammation.

A 2009 study indicated that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD suppress the inflammatory response, which can help with symptom relief in inflammatory conditions.

Because of its antimicrobial properties, CBD is also being investigated as a possible new class of antibiotics in response to the current trend of antibiotic resistance.

These preliminary findings indicate the potential for CBD to be used in the treatment of nasal polyps. However, more studies are needed before this can be put into practice.

CBD for Nasal Polyps

Preliminary findings indicate the potential for CBD to be used in the treatment of nasal polyps. However, more research is needed.

What Are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are soft, sac-like, noncancerous growths that can grow anywhere on the lining of the nose or the sinuses.

They can cause symptoms such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffed nose
  • Feeling like your nose is blocked and pain (if you also have a sinus infection)
  • Feeling like you always have a head cold

How Can CBD Help With Nasal Polyps?

Currently, there isn’t enough evidence to confirm that CBD can be used as an effective treatment for nasal polyps. Some studies do show promising data, but further research is needed to reach a conclusion.

Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), also called Samter’s Triad, is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the sinuses and lungs. People with AERD have a sensitivity to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Approximately 40% of people with nasal polyps, asthma, or chronic sinusitis will develop AERD.

A small pilot study that removed nasal polyps from people with AERD indicated that the endocannabinoid system may be involved in AERD. This suggests that cannabinoids might be a useful treatment. While this study was very limited and much more research is required, the results are encouraging.

A 2016 review indicated the potential of targeting the CB2 receptors for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. As CBD is a cannabinoid, it has the potential to activate these receptors and help with the inflammation associated with nasal polyps. More research into this is needed.

How to Use CBD for Nasal Polyps

The three main types of CBD are:

  • Full-spectrum: Contains other compounds from the cannabis plant, including THC (in varying amounts)
  • Broad-spectrum: Contains other compounds found in cannabis, but no THC
  • Isolate: Contains only CBD and no other cannabis compounds
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CBD can be taken:

  • Orally: Such as in tinctures used under your tongue, or some medications
  • Topically: Such as in oils
  • In edible form: Such as in baked goods or candies
  • In inhaled form: Such as smoking or vaping (this isn’t recommended because of the potential for harm)

A CBD nasal spray may be beneficial for nasal polyps as it may improve bioavailability (the extent of the drug that enters the bloodstream).

There are currently no regulated CBD nasal sprays available, but as with other CBD products, unregulated ones exist.

The “Entourage Effect”

The entourage effect is the idea that full-spectrum cannabinoids may be more therapeutic because the cannabis plant contains active ingredients as well as “synergists” that boost effectiveness above that of the isolated compound. It has been likened to an orchestra supporting and enhancing the melody of a soloist. This effect is largely anecdotal, but there are some studies that show evidence to support it.

Dosage

There isn’t a suggested dosage for CBD in the treatment of nasal polyps as it hasn’t been deemed an appropriate treatment yet.

With the exception of the use of CBD for epilepsy, there aren’t standardized doses for other conditions in the United States. A study in 2020 explored potential dosages for varying conditions, but the study had a number of limitations. Further research is needed.

How to Buy CBD

These days, depending on where you live, it’s typically easy to find CBD for sale online or in local stores. Some tips for buying CBD include:

  • Check the laws in your state: While all states have laws legalizing CBD to some extent, they have varying restrictions.
  • Look for a reputable source: Try to find a product that has been inspected by a third-party independent lab.
  • Read the label: Don’t assume the product is all-natural. If possible, choose an organic product that’s free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
  • Choose a product that’s not sourced in food: This can affect absorption.
  • Think critically and research your sources: Be wary of places selling products that make big, unverified claims that sound too good to be true.
  • Check with your healthcare provider: See if CBD is safe and recommended for you in terms of your condition, general health, and any medications you’re taking (including over-the-counter and herbal medications and supplements).

Are There Any FDA-Approved CBD Medications?

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

Epidiolex is an oral solution with CBD as its active ingredient. It’s the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.

Are There Any Side Effects?

While CBD is generally considered safe, there are some possible side effects and safety concerns.

Possible side effects of CBD include:

Safety concerns include:

  • CBD can increase the level of coumadin (a blood thinner) in your blood.
  • CBD can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood.
  • There is a risk of allergy, especially to certain carrier oils that CBD is often combined with (such as sesame oil).
  • CBD may increase liver enzymes (a marker of liver inflammation), making it potentially harmful for people with liver disease, or necessitating regular tests for blood liver enzyme levels.
  • Cannabinoids can have interactions with other drugs.
  • The most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition isn’t yet known.

CBD and Supplement Safety

CBD is marketed as a supplement in the United States, and the FDA doesn’t regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements.

The active ingredients can vary from the dose listed on the label, from bottle to bottle, or even from dose to dose. It may also contain other (unknown) elements.

A 2017 study showed that among CBD products purchased online, the range of CBD concentrations varied widely, consistent with the lack of an accepted dose. Of the products tested, about 43% contained less CBD than labeled, which could make them less effective or ineffective. Some contained almost no CBD at all.

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Summary

Nasal polyps are small benign (noncancerous) growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses. Many traditional treatments for nasal polyps exist. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, CBD is being explored as a complementary therapy.

Preliminary findings indicate the potential for CBD to be used in the treatment of nasal polyps. However, more research is needed.

CBD comes in various forms: topic, oral, edible, and inhaled. However, smoking CBD isn’t recommended. CBD can be bought online or at local stores.

While CBD is generally considered safe, there are some possible side effects and safety concerns. Talk with your healthcare provider to get a better sense of whether CBD is a safe treatment option for you.

A Word From Verywell

While research is very limited on the use of CBD in the treatment of nasal polyps, preliminary studies show promise, particularly when it comes to inflammation and antibiotic use.

If you have nasal polyps and aren’t already on a standardized treatment plan, consult with your healthcare provider to see what treatments would benefit you. If you would like to try CBD as a complementary treatment for nasal polyps, also check with your healthcare provider to make sure it’s safe for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no research that shows nasal polyps can be removed with CBD. If you have or suspect you have nasal polyps, see your healthcare provider for a proper exam and to determine treatment.

Nasal polyps have similar symptoms to a head cold, but the symptoms either don’t go away or they go away and return quickly. If you feel like you have a head cold that has gone on too long, see your healthcare provider for an exam.

There is insufficient evidence of the benefits of CBD for nasal polyps at the moment. However, studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of nasal polyps.

There are currently no regulated CBD nasal sprays available. As with other CBD products, though, unregulated ones exist. They have not been proven to help with nasal polyps, but preliminary research shows the potential for CBD to be used for the treatment of nasal polyps in the future.

Here’s What We Know About Using CBD For Nasal Congestion

A stuffed-up nose can sideline anyone, so you’re in good company if you’re seeking a quick solution to clear your sinuses. Can you use CBD oil for nasal congestion?

This natural plant extract is considered a wonder compound for combating dozens of ailments, so it’s logical to consider it for soothing a stuffy nose as well.

Let’s go through the evidence of using CBD for congestion so you can determine whether it’s worth trying the next time you get stuffed up.

What Is Nasal Congestion?

Nasal congestion (known as sinusitis ) occurs when your sinuses become swollen and inflamed. This can happen when allergies trigger an inflammatory reaction or your system succumbs to an infection like the flu.

When your sinuses are healthy, mucus drains through your nose without issue. Swelling from congestion blocks this drainage and leaves you stuffed up, making the space under your eyes swollen and tender.

You’ll know you’re dealing with nasal congestion if you have thick discharge coming out of your nose, drainage down your throat, difficulty breathing through your nose, facial pain and tenderness or a reduced sense of taste and smell.

Conventional Treatment Methods for Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion is common, and there are dozens of ways to combat the worst symptoms. Here are some approaches:

  • Antibiotics: If you’re dealing with a bacterial infection, antibiotics can help your system fight it off to relieve congestion symptoms.
  • OTC Medications: Medicine like Sudafed or Mucinex temporarily relieves sinus congestion by thinning the mucus or narrowing the blood vessels in your nasal passages so you can breathe more easily.
  • Nasal Sprays: Decongestant sprays work by shrinking blood vessels throughout your nose to relieve pressure and open your airways.
  • Neti Pot : This innovative device lets you pour a saline solution through your sinuses to thin mucus for a cleansing effect.
  • Surgery: Sometimes chronic nasal congestion results from structural problems with your nose, such as too narrow sinus openings. Surgery can reshape these passages to increase airflow and reduce congestion.
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These treatments are proven to combat nasal congestion, but they often include unpleasant side effects like drowsiness or diarrhea and may even increase your risk of developing antibiotic resistance.

Is CBD a better choice? Let’s look at the facts.

Can CBD be Effective in Treating Nasal Congestion?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant family, which includes both hemp and marijuana. Don’t confuse it with the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most common cannabinoid in marijuana and the one responsible for making you high.

Full-Spectrum CBD, in contrast, comes from hemp plants with a 0.3 percent or lower concentration of THC. It’s not psychoactive but instead valued as a natural remedy for a wide range of health problems like chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia, and more.

Broad-Spectrum CBD offers the same benefits, but it undergoes a purification process that removes all THC without affecting its synergistic components or overall effectiveness.

CBD, Congestion, and the Endocannabinoid System

What does this mean for congestion? The first step is understanding the connection between CBD and your endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in keeping you in a state of general wellbeing. It has what’s known as CB2 receptors over your whole body that trigger different antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties when it senses things are getting out of balance.

Nasal congestion is an indicator that your endocannabinoid system isn’t working as it should. CBD can act as a regulatory agent to activate the CB2 receptors and put you back into homeostasis. For example, one study found that activating these receptors leads to a direct decrease in the inflammation caused by asthma and sinusitis.

When you use CBD for your sinuses, it can reduce the number of bacteria and viruses that reproduce within inflamed tissue. This targets the source of your congestion and makes it easier to breathe through your nose while also addressing other common symptoms of sinusitis like headaches/migraines, body aches, feelings of fatigue, and disrupted sleep.

Put another way, CBD pushes your endocannabinoid system to boost immune system functioning while also helping your body fight off the pathogens directly responsible for the congestion. It gives your system the tools it needs to cure itself—all without the risk of antibiotic resistance or unpleasant side effects.

Can You Put CBD Oil in Your Nose?

Most CBD is sold as an oil or a topical spray. However, the best way to use CBD for congestion is through a device that gets the vapors directly into your nose, such as a nasal inhaler. BoomBoom offers the world’s first CBD nasal inhaler for an effective, 100% natural remedy.

This inhaler consists of a custom-blend of menthol and therapeutic-grade essential oils, as well as 50mg of active cannabinoids from broad-spectrum CBD oil (so no THC). The CBD it contains is cultivated in Colorado following organic farming practices and manufactured in accordance with regulations from the Colorado Department of Public Health.

In fact, taking CBD through a nasal spray is considered safer than vaping or smoking. CBD’s active compounds are much better absorbed into your bloodstream through the sensitive skin of your nose than through a pill or topical cream. This means you can take smaller doses for the same healing effects.

The BoomBoom Nasal Inhaler also gives you a convenient way to benefit from all that CBD offers, including a calmer mind and less anxiety. Even better, the emollients within the spray help maintain moisture in your nasal passages to prevent blockage and reduce congestion.

Consensus: Does CBD Treat Nasal Congestion?

CBD products offers a natural way to control sinus inflammation and combat nasal congestion symptoms.

It’s not an acute treatment—meaning you can’t expect to take a dose and experience immediate relief from your stuffed-up nose. However, using a CBD nasal inhaler like BoomBoom regularly may help prevent inflammation and reduce your chance of suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis in the first place.

If you’re looking for an all-natural way to start breathing better, consider a nasal inhaler with CBD to power up your endocannabinoid system for long-term relief. It’s an excellent treatment to pair with conventional treatments for an extra boost of protection against that unwanted mucus.