Can I Be Allergic to Weed?

13 Sep 2019
allergic to weed

“I’m allergic to weed!,” said no one ever.

Alas, the above sentence is far from being true. As weird as it may sound, being allergic to weed is not yet another creation of some anti-cannabis crusader’s twisted mind. With a constantly increasing number of cannabis users, some individuals appear to experience an allergic reaction when exposed to certain parts of the cannabis plant.

Because of the legal status of marijuana, cannabis hasn’t been classified as an allergen for years until now. Fortunately, the scientific community finally shed some light on the allergenic properties of weed.

What Triggers Allergic Reactions to Cannabis?

allergic to weed

Source: Medical Daily

The most recent study into marijuana allergies was conducted and published in 2015, in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Dr. Thad Ocampo, who pushed further with his research, has identified certain proteins that may trigger cannabis allergies. These proteins are RuBisCo (a liminal binding protein), and specific parts of ATP synthase.

An excessive immune response in some cases due to the exposure to the above-mentioned proteins is very much like the one diagnosed in individuals who suffer from hay fever. According to Dr. Lori Connors, an allergy specialist from HAFA, a cannabis allergy is a phenomenon yet to become clinically recognized. What’s more, the potential for further studies increases with the number of marijuana users in the society. And this particular figure won’t stop growing anytime soon.

What Are the Common Symptoms?

allergic to weed

Source: Reader’s Digest

A person who is allergic to weed should expect symptoms similar to those that are present in pollen allergies. For instance, rashes, hives, runny nose, and wheezing. Such reactions were identified in a 2012 study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology which identified cannabis as an allergen. A group of 17 patients underwent skin-prick tests using a marijuana extract. Unsurprisingly, all subjects showed adverse skin reactions. Since marijuana is a plant, people who are allergic to it are very likely to be prone to other pollen producing plants, too.

How to Deal With Marijuana Allergies?

reader's digest

Source: Reader’s Digest

If you think you’re allergic to weed, you ought to make an appointment with an allergy specialist. Should the doctor confirm your fears, the best thing you can do to yourself is, unfortunately, avoid the allergen. Other pollen allergies can be treated and eventually overcome by strengthening your immune system with a series of inoculations. But there is no allergy shot for weed yet.

The good news is that cannabis allergies are being discussed on a broader scale nowadays, and the medical community will, sooner or later, find the right treatment for this condition.

Is It Weed, Though?

Interestingly, some allergies don’t necessarily have to result from cannabis itself. Since marijuana is widely grown and commercially cultivated, there are other factors that can cause adverse reactions. These include the substances used in the growing process. Moreover, cannabis can get moldy during storage. So people who are allergic to mold may experience such reactions. All in all, before you make any assumptions, it’s always best to check the quality of your weed.


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