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Cbd oil for nasal polyps

Nasal Polyps: 19 Natural Treatments & Lifestyle Changes

Do you have strange bumps inside your nose? If so, you may have nasal polyps, or nasal polyposis. Nasal polyps are pretty common, noncancerous growths. (1) In fact, up to 4 percent of the U.S. population suffers from nasal polyps. ( 2 )

Conventional treatments usually include steroids, antihistamines and surgery. Luckily there are many natural home remedies for nasal polyps and many treatments to prevent them from coming back.

What Are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps look kind of like peeled grapes or teardrops. They are growths that line your nasal passages, or sinuses. If nasal polyps get too large, or if there is a group of nasal polyps, they may block your nasal passages and make it hard to breathe. They are soft, painless and noncancerous. ( 3 )

Signs & Symptoms of Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are usually classified as either antrochoanal polyps or ethmoidal polyps. Antrochoanal polyps originate in the maxillary sinuses and are not as common. Ethmoidal polyps develop from the ethmoidal sinuses. (4)

When you have nasal polyps, you may feel like you have a head cold. ( 5 ) Polyps don’t have any sensation, so you may not even realize you have them!

Nasal polyps symptoms and signs may include the following: (6, 7 , 8 , 9 )

  • Stuffy or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Postnasal drip
  • Runny nose
  • Facial pain
  • Difficulty with sense of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Itching around the eyes
  • Infections
  • Pain in your upper teeth
  • Vocal changes
  • Sense of pressure over the forehead and face

Nasal polyps may cause complications because they can block airflow and fluid drainage. They are also a result of chronic inflammation. Potential complications include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea: This serious condition causes you to stop and start breathing frequently.
  • Asthma flare-ups: Chronic rhinosinusitis may cause asthma flare-ups.
  • Sinus infections: Nasal polyps may make you more likely to get sinus infections. They are associated with inflammation of the lining of your nasal passages and sinuses that lasts more than 12 weeks (chronic rhinosinusitis, also known as chronic sinusitis). However, it’s possible — and even somewhat more likely — to have chronic sinusitis without nasal polyps. ( 10 )
Causes & Risk Factors

What causes nasal polyps? Scientists don’t really know what causes nasal polyps. However, there is some evidence that people who develop polyps have a different immune system response than those who don’t get polyps.

Nasal polyps are linked to allergic rhinitis, asthma, aspirin allergy , sinus infections, acute and chronic infections and cystic fibrosis. (11) They can occur at any age, but are most common in younger-to-middle-aged adults. Men over 40 years old are most likely to develop nasal polyps. ( 12 )

Conventional Treatment

If you go to a doctor, he or she will most likely use a nasal endoscope to view the inside of your nose and sinuses. Your doctor may recommend imaging studies to determine the size and location of polyps deeper in your sinuses. These tests are also used to rule out other problems, such as structural problems or other growths. Your doctor may also recommend allergy tests to find out if allergies are causing inflammation. If your child is diagnosed with nasal polyps, the doctor may recommend testing for cystic fibrosis as this is often the reason for nasal polyps in children. The standard cystic fibrosis test is a noninvasive sweat test. ( 13 )

You may be looking for a nasal polyps treatment miracle, but conventional treatment usually starts with a nasal corticosteroid spray. It may also include a prescription to take prednisone by mouth for one week. ( 14 ) Nasonex, fluticasone, Beconase AQ, mometasone and beclamethasone are all nasal steroids that may be prescribed to treat nasal polyps. ( 15 ) Other medication, such as antihistamines and decongestants, don’t really help nasal polyps. However, your doctor may recommend antihistamines to control allergies, or antibiotics before your start on a steroid prescription if you have an infection. (16)

If nasal polyps are large and nasal sprays don’t help, then your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery options include polypectomy, or endoscopic sinus surgery, where the surgeon uses an endoscope to see into the sinuses if the polyps are difficult to reach. ( 17 ) Patients are given general anesthesia for nasal polyps surgery. Surgery can help, but surgery complications can include bleeding, infection and polyps returning after treatment.

19 Natural Treatments + Healthy Diet & Lifestyle Changes

Fortunately, there are many natural treatments and home remedies to treat and soothe nasal polyps. These include making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes and using essential oils and supplements. Read on for a wide variety of options you can use to find relief.

Essential Oils & Supplements

1. Tea Tree Oil

Known for its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil can be effective when used in the nasal passages. Do not use tea tree oil internally.

2. Bromelain

You may be surprised to learn that eating the fiber-dense core of a pineapple can supply you with an anti-inflammatory immune system-boosting enzyme. Because of its ability to reduce swelling, bromelain helps reduce symptoms of sinus infections. It also protects against allergies and asthma.

Try adding a pineapple core to your smoothie. Or, take bromelain as a daily supplement (300 FIP units) (600 milligram tablet).

3. Magnesium

Similar to bromelain, magnesium contains anti-inflammatory properties and it also relaxes body tissue, among many important functions. Eat a diet rich in magnesium-dense foods, such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.

You can also try taking a magnesium supplement; the NIH recommends 400–420 milligrams daily for adults 18 years old and older, with RDAs adjusted for age and, in the case of females, for pregnancy and lactation. ( 20 ) You can even soak in a warm bath filled with Epsom salt to absorb magnesium directly through your skin.

4. Goldenseal

Drinking a cup of tea made from this herb each day can soothe nasal polyps. Goldenseal has both antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Continuous use of goldenseal should not exceed three weeks and it should not be consumed by pregnant or lactating women.

5. Zinc

What do salmon, cocoa and chickpeas have in common? They’re all great sources of zinc. Essential to bodily function as a trace element, a small amount of zinc is needed each day for the body to function optimally. Zinc is often taken over-the-counter (OTC) to help fight colds, and it may be helpful in treating chronic sinusitis, and by extension, nasal polyps. ( 21 )

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Try eating protein-rich foods since they contain the highest amounts of naturally-occurring zinc. Examples include: lamb, chicken, turkey, yogurt, cashews and eggs, among several others. You can also supplement with zinc; teenagers 14 years old and up and adults should take 8–13 milligrams, depending on sex and, for females, whether or not one is pregnant or lactating. ( 22 )

6. Probiotics

Research has shown strong evidence that probiotics can boost the immune system. In fact, a study published in Science Translation Medicine demonstrated that an individual’s microbiome can impact their sinus health. ( 23 )

To boost the probiotics in your system, eat sour and probiotic-rich foods. It’s also important to feed the probiotics in your system with good high-quality, high-fiber foods, such as chia seeds and sweet potatoes. A quick way to boost your probiotic intake is to take a daily probiotic supplement.

7. Turmeric

Many studies have noted that curcumin has profound healing properties, with benefits equal to, or better than, many pharmaceutical medications. What is curcumin? It’s the renowned healing compound found in turmeric, a powerful herb.

Turmeric is useful for treating nasal polyps and sinus infections because it is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds in the world. You can add turmeric to your diet by using it as a cooking spice (it’s commonly used in curries). You can also sprinkle it in a smoothie. Turmeric is also available as a supplement.

8. Cayenne Pepper

Do you enjoy a little spicy heat in your food? If so, be sure to mix cayenne pepper into your recipes because this pepper’s benefits are effective for many health concerns. These little red chili peppers contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, beta carotene, manganese and flavonoids , which provide antioxidants. How’s that for eating your multivitamins?

The vitamin A in cayenne pepper helps reduce inflammation, preventing inflamed nasal passages, and it also prevents allergies. The vitamin C and antioxidants help boost the immune system.

Dried or powdered cayenne pepper can be added to meat, pasta, eggs, nuts and vegetables for a spicy kick. It also can be added to sauces and drinks and used as a pickling spice.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar

Known for its many health-supporting properties, apple cider vinegar helps to break up mucus, making it a great remedy for relieving seasonal allergies. It’s filled with vitamins and boosts probiotic action, making it a useful cold remedy as well.

Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink three times per day for cold and allergy relief.

Dietary Changes: Eat an Immune System-Boosting Diet

10. Garlic

With its antiviral and antifungal properties, garlic can help relieve the common cold and other infections. Allicin is the key compound found in garlic that gives it its ability to kill micro-organisms.

Garlic can be taken as a supplement, or it can be added to some of your favorite recipes. Try adding a clove of garlic to your favorite chicken or potato dish.

11. Onions

Although they may make you cry, onions are filled with antioxidants that help protect against inflammation, which makes them a great choice if you suffer from asthma or respiratory infections. Onions come in different varieties. Sweet onions may taste the best, but yellow and red onions contain a higher percentage of beneficial compounds, particularly quercetin .

12. Greens and Cabbage Family Vegetables

Eating foods high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene is crucial to an immune system-boosting diet. A great way to get these nutrients is through eating greens and cabbage family vegetables, such as broccoli. These foods include spinach , carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, mango, melon, winter squash and kale. They are great sources of anti-oxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.

For a delicious immune system health boost, try cooking a recipe that includes greens, garlic and onions, such as my sautéed kale recipe .

13. Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

How are wild-caught salmon and flaxseed related? They’re both great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important compounds the body can’t make on its own. Omega-3 foods have many benefits including the ability to boost the immune system and to protect against inflammation. These properties are both key in fighting sinus infections and nasal polyps.

14. Avoid Alcohol

According to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, alcohol may irritate your lungs and sinus problems, including nasal polyps. ( 24 ) Research also demonstrates that alcohol can aggravate symptoms in patients with rhinitis. ( 25 )

15. Avoid Food Allergens

Eliminating food allergens from your diet can help prevent nasal polyps. If you have allergies to dairy, wheat, eggs, yeast, soy or gluten, be sure to remove these foods from your diet to lessen inflammation and allergic reactions.

If you suspect you have a food allergy but you’re unsure, you may want to try an elimination diet . This is a short-term eating plan that eliminates certain foods that may be causing allergies or digestive problems and then reintroduces them one at a time to figure out which foods are causing the allergic reaction.

Lifestyle Changes

16. Steam Inhalation or Humidifier

Humidifying the air in your home can help moisten your airway and sinuses. It can also help thin mucus and prevent blockage and inflammation of the breathing passages. ( 26 )

In addition to using a humidifier, you can also try inhaling the steam of boiling water to open and moisten the nasal passages and airway. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the water for an added therapeutic effect.

An easy way to try steam inhalation is to place hot water in a pan or bowl and set it on a table. Next, pull a chair to the table and sit with your head a few inches over the bowl with a towel draped over your head to create a tent as you breathe deeply. Be careful not to burn yourself.

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17. Nasal Irrigation (27)

Nasal irrigation, or flushing your sinuses with warm, salty water, can help to clear nasal congestion, providing relief from colds, allergies and sinus infections. Using a Neti pot is a great way to do this. The Neti pot originated in Ayurvedic medicine. In fact, “Neti” means “nasal cleansing” in Sanskrit. Neti pots are widely available, and can be purchased in stores or online.

18. Hydration

Along with nasal irrigation and steam inhalation, simply drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated moistens your your nasal passages and thins mucus.

19. Deep Breathing Exercises

Not only can you ease stress and lower your blood pressure with deep breathing, but you can also improve COPD symptoms. There are a variety of deep breathing exercises you can try. These exercises can strengthen lung capacity and help keep the breathing passages clear.

Precautions

Nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis symptoms can be similar to other conditions like the common cold. Be sure to see your doctor if your symptoms drag out for more than 10 days. Call 911 or go directly to the emergency room if you have any of these symptoms: ( 28 )

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.

Casarsaguru / Getty Images

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

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)
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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

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.