January 26, 2022

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CBD for Nasal Polyps: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects

8 min read

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
  • Sleep
  • 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:

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:

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

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.

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

  • Can you remove nasal polyps yourself with CBD?

    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.

  • How do you know if you have nasal polyps?

    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.

  • What are the benefits of CBD for nasal polyps?

    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.

  • Do CBD nasal sprays help with 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.

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