CBD Use for Sinus Inflammation

Women with bad sinus pressure

Cold and flu season has returned, and you’ve caught your first bug since this time last year. You’re exhausted, stuck at home with a cough, congestion, runny nose, and a killer headache. 

The Covid test came back negative, but the doctor’s best guess is a virus, so there’s no point taking antibiotics or prescription medicine. You’re sick of taking all those NSAIDs and decongestants for your sinus inflammation and pain.

You’ve tried taking CBD before, for pain, inflammation, aches and the occasional headache. So you wonder if the CBD in the medicine cabinet could help relieve your sinusitis symptoms.

As cannabidiol gains more recognition as a natural remedy and as science explores its capabilities, we keep finding more ways CBD can help us in our daily lives. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects are some of CBD’s most well-understood properties. 

But can CBD help with sinus inflammation?

There doesn’t seem to be any evidence regarding CBD use for easier breathing with sinus inflammation, yet. But there is information available about CBD and some of the causes and effects of sinus inflammation.

Additionally, there are historical records of cannabis plant-derived aqueous emulsions as a form of folk medicine to treat sinusitis.

Stay tuned while we look into whether or not CBD really helps sinus inflammation, and how.

What is Sinusitis?

Your sinuses are the hollow air spaces inside bone cavities in the head. They produce fluid meant to filter bacteria and particles out of the air when you breathe.

Often  sinus inflammation can be synonymous with sinus infections/sinusitis from bacterial or viral infections like a cold. But sinuses and nasal cavities can also become inflamed due to allergies. Asthma, frequent swimming, dental work, altitude changes, air pollution, smoking, and other factors can increase sinusitis risk.

The most common symptoms of sinusitis are facial pain pressure around the nose, eyes, and forehead, teeth and ear pain, headache, cough, discharge from nasal passages, stuffy nose, post-nasal drip, tiredness, impaired sense of smell, and fever.

Cases of sinusitis can either be acute, temporary infections lasting less than a month, or chronic. Chronic sinusitis is when sinusitis symptoms recur frequently or last longer than three months.

Most cases of sinusitis develop from viruses like the common cold, which antibiotics and other medicines can’t get rid of. It may not be useful to go to the doctor unless symptoms are severe, progressive, or prolonged. 

Some experts recommend simply waiting it out at first when you start showing signs of sinus infection. Instead, it’s usually better to stay home and address the inflammation and symptoms on your own using saline spray, decongestants, and pain relievers.

Next, we’ll review CBD’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects to decide whether it might be worth trying when experiencing sinusitis.

How CBD Reduces Inflammation

CBD is one of many helpful compounds from hemp plants called cannabinoids. CBD is most well-known for reducing pain and inflammation.

The Endocannabinoid System

How this works is with the body’s endocannabinoid system processing CBD. Cannabinoid receptors exist in the central nervous system and the immune system. 

When someone takes CBD, the nervous system (CB1) and immune system (CB2) receptors react in ways that help restore homeostasis, or balance, to the body. Part of achieving that balance results in decreasing inflammation and pain.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of CBD

Inflammation is a normal and healthy immune system response to injury and infection. CBD can help manage inflammation due to its relationship with the immune system and its CB2 cannabinoid receptors. 

Ongoing inflammation causes the increased immune cells to generate a self-perpetuating cycle of oxidative stress, further heightening inflammation and pain. 

CBD can intervene in this cycle by working as an antioxidant, neutralizing oxidative stress, and getting inflammation under control. This is part of why CBD can help relieve chronic pain, including pain from inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and more.

CBD is widely thought to have stronger effects when combined with all the naturally-occurring hemp plant compounds like terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. For example, full-spectrum CBD retains everything from the hemp plant and may have the most potent anti-inflammatory effects.

There’s also broad-spectrum CBD, which includes most of the hemp compounds, but may leave out things like THC. On the other hand, isolate, or pure CBD has no other hemp plant components, and may not be as potent for things like pain and inflammation.

For more details read our article CBD For Inflammation

The Potential Benefits of CBD for Sinus Inflammation

While there isn’t much data about CBD’s benefits for sinus inflammation in particular, there is information about CBD’s effects that may be relevant to sinus inflammation. Here are some of the clues we can piece together about CBD and sinus inflammation.

CBD and the Causes of Sinus Inflammation

  • Bacteria– CBD has exhibited antimicrobial properties strong enough to fight extremely treatment-resistant pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and more. Perhaps, by taking CBD regularly, some people may be less likely to get bacterial sinusitis or may get relief from the minority of sinusitis cases from bacterial infections.
  • Macrophages– In addition to regulating cytokines (immune cells) and neutralizing oxidative stress from free radicals perpetuating inflammation, CBD can counteract the inflammatory activity of macrophages. 

Macrophages are immune cells triggering inflammation via the immune system to prevent microscopic foreign bodies from entering the bloodstream. When macrophages activate, they can be responsible for chronic inflammatory diseases including asthma and sinusitis.

By attenuating macrophages’ inflammatory activity, CBD may help relieve sinus inflammation, especially in people with asthma and chronic sinusitis.

  • Asthma inflammation– In animal experiments, we can see CBD’s potential for asthma inflammation reduction in action.

The aim was to determine if CBD could reduce airway inflammation in asthma, and it was able to reduce all the measured inflammatory markers but one. The results pointed to CBD as a possible new drug to explore for controlling asthma inflammatory response.

There’s not enough evidence to say for sure. More research could reveal CBD as a way to prevent sinus inflammation from allergies, in addition to  preventing or treating sinus inflammation and chronic sinusitis in people with asthma, which they are at increased risk for.

CBD and the Effects of Sinus Inflammation

  • Facial pain and congestion- There doesn’t appear to be any data yet about CBD for sinus inflammation in relation to congestion and other side effects that follow. But due to how CBD works against inflammation and pain in general, we could deduce that it may help relieve facial pain and the ‘stuffy’ sensation of congestion. We hope to see more studies on this in the future.
  • Migraine/headache- Your sinuses are located inside the skull over the eyes around the brow, inside the cheekbones, behind the bridge of the nose, between the eyes, and behind the eyes. When you have sinusitis or sinus inflammation, the sensation of pressure in the face and head can culminate nagging sinus headaches.

We are not aware of any studies about CBD specifically for sinus headaches. But there is a long-established history of using cannabis plants for headaches, and there is a growing body of research suggesting that CBD could help alleviate headaches and migraines.

In the event of getting sinusitis or sinus headaches from allergies, it may be worth trying CBD for pain relief.

How to Use CBD for Sinus Inflammation

Next time you go to the doctor with symptoms of sinusitis and they tell you to ride it out or manage symptoms with over-the-counter meds, ask about CBD before you leave the doctor’s office. 

They may be more or less optimistic about how much CBD will help. But more importantly, they’ll be able to tell you if it’s a bad idea due to any other medical conditions or potential drug interactions with medications you take.

Lastly, before you go for it, here are some of the things you should know about how to take CBD for ideal results and to prevent side effects.


We recommend taking CBD once or twice per day. To maximize your chance of noticing positive results, it’s best to consistently take CBD every day for at least two to four weeks so it has a chance to take effect.

Don’t worry. Taking CBD regularly doesn’t cause a tolerance buildup, even in substantial doses for long periods of time, up to four years. That means, using CBD over time won’t cause the positive effects like pain relief to diminish.


Many people are satisfied with the effects of taking just 5 mg of CBD at once. Alternatively, you may prefer to take doses up to 20-50 mg, depending on body size, diet, symptom severity, and the type of CBD. 

For example, full-spectrum CBD may be more potent than isolate CBD, and broad-spectrum will likely fall somewhere in the middle. So, you’d probably need a higher dose of isolate CBD to get the same effects as a smaller dose of full-spectrum.

Regardless of your size, symptoms, or preferred CBD concentration, the best practice is to start at the low end of dosage.  Then gradually increase it until you find the dose that gives you satisfactory effects.

Always pay close attention to your CBD dosage and make small, gradual adjustments to prevent side effects. Most of the common CBD side effects result from taking too much at once.

Side Effects

The most common CBD side effects are dry mouth, low blood pressure, dizziness, and light-headedness. In addition to moderating your CBD intake responsibly, you can also prevent unwanted effects with a healthy lifestyle. 

That includes drinking enough water, eating enough healthy food, exercising regularly, and maintaining a stable sleep schedule.

Where To Buy CBD Products

It’s also essential to be wise about deciding where to buy your CBD products. As CBD has increased in popularity and CBD sellers popup left and right, there has also been an increase in questionable CBD products. 

Not all CBD companies produce, verify, label, and advertise products honestly. There is a chance of accidentally buying CBD products with falsely-represented potency or undisclosed ingredients and THC content. Accidentally buying CBD products with THC heightens your risk of legal problems and adverse events.

Before buying CBD, educate yourself on how to buy CBD safely. We recommend checking for

  • The seller’s certifications and FDA compliance
  • Organic, contaminant-free hemp
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Simple and transparent labeling
  • Certificates of analysis from third-party lab testing to verify product contents

Frequently Asked Questions on CBD for Sinus Inflammation

What reduces inflammation in the sinuses?

NSAIDs, saline spray, and decongestants can reduce sinus inflammation. CBD may be able to help, but we need more data to know for sure.

Is CBD good for sinus headaches?

Possibly. We know CBD can be an effective treatment for pain and inflammation, and  can work for headaches. But CBD specifically for sinus headaches has yet to be studied.

Is CBD good for sinus?

Maybe. There isn’t a lot of data yet about CBD’s effects on the sinuses and nasal cavities, but there are some positive effects on some of the causes and effects of sinus inflammation.

Is CBD oil an antihistamine?

No, CBD is not an antihistamine.

Does CBD cause nasal congestion?

No, CBD is not known to cause stuffy nose or congested nasal passages.

Think You’ll try Taking CBD for Sinus Inflammation?

By modulating immune system functions and immune cells, and minimizing pain, CBD may reduce sinus inflammation, nasal passage congestion, discomfort, and headaches. It might also prevent the likelihood of sinusitis from bacteria, allergies, and asthma.

Especially if you have asthma, allergies, or chronic sinusitis, it may be worth trying CBD for sinus inflammation and common symptoms like congestion and sinus headaches.

First, talk to your doctor to make sure CBD isn’t risky due to conditions or medications. Then, decide whether you want full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD. Finally, look into the legitimacy of the seller before ordering CBD products. 

If you’re looking for strong, lab-tested CBD gummies, capsules, tincture oils, and topicals, here’s where you can buy CBD for sinus inflammation.

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