Yo, what’s up guys? My name is Dan and a lot of y’all have been asking, “Yo, can you be allergic to weed?” And lemme tell you, the answer is yes! It’s like any other allergy where exposure can lead to some serious reactions. So, if you’re one of the 192 million people who use and consume cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, listen up ’cause I’m about to drop some knowledge on whether or not you can experience an allergic reaction to marijuana.
First things first, let’s talk about the plant itself. The cannabis plant contains allergens just like any other plant out there. In fact, a study done in 2018 showed that people who are allergic to marijuana are probably allergic to dust mites, plants, molds, and pet dander too. Dr. Purvi Parikh, M.D., a New York City Board-Certified Allergist, also says that another allergen linked to marijuana is molding.
Now, weed allergy cases aren’t that common – at least for now. Before it was legalized, people who were allergic to weed didn’t really go report it since it was illegal. But with more people smoking weed now, it’s important to know the risks involved.
So yeah, you can be allergic to weed whether you smoke it or eat it. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAI) said that allergic sensitization or weed allergy could develop after being exposed to the plant via eating it, touching it, smoking it, or inhaling its pollen.
And get this – it doesn’t matter if it’s cannabis sativa or cannabis indica ’cause they’re both the same species with similar protein properties.
Now for some history – marijuana allergy was first observed and described about 50 years ago when people reported difficulty breathing, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma. And some people even experienced anaphylactic shock when they were exposed to cannabis and hemp seeds. It was so bad that members from different nations tackling allergies, asthma, and immunology formed the Cannabis Allergy Interest Group (CAIG) to come up with a protocol that would lead to diagnosis and treatment.
So what’s anaphylactic shock? It’s a rare type of allergic reaction that can be pretty severe. The patient will experience either a drop or a rise in blood pressure, have narrower airways or a harder time breathing, have multiple rashes all over the skin, and more. Anaphylaxis only occurs in 1 out of 50 Americans but if it happens to you, you need to go to the Emergency Room (ER) immediately.
Symptoms of weed allergies can also show themselves in different ways. Skin contact can cause rashes, dry skin, and swelling while consuming it can lead to dry coughs, nausea, and sore throats. Inhaling airborne particles can result in mild respiratory problems or even anaphylaxis.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t panic! Take antihistamines if you have them and flee the area if you can. Drink plenty of water to thin out the mucus in your nasal passages and if it’s a severe reaction, use an epinephrine injection.
Now, if you wanna prevent weed allergies from happening altogether, here are some tips for ya. Always have a prescription so you can check if you’re healthy enough for it. Certain allergy medications can also help alleviate and treat marijuana allergy symptoms. Avoid consuming certain foods that cross-react with marijuana like tomatoes, chestnuts, apples, peaches, almonds, and eggplant. Have blood tests done too just to see how you can counter reactions when they come.
And that’s pretty much it! Remember – prevention is always better than cure so stay safe out there when smoking that good kush!