Can you be allergic to weed?

Published Feb 18, 2019 06:21 p.m. ET

Allergic responses happen when your body feels the need to defend itself against substances like grass, dust, pollen and perhaps marijuana. Having an allergic reaction to weed? The following symptoms may be signs of an allergic reaction:  

  1. Itching eyes nose or mouth
  2. Sneezing
  3. Asthma
  4. Hives from weed
  5. Atopic dermatitis
  6. Difficulty in breathing

Allergies to the cannabis plant will usually show themselves 20 to 30 minutes after exposure to the plant. That could be by smoking touching eating or even smelling the plant. The plant can trigger skin allergies. Mold and mildew can be present in marijuana and can increase the potential of an asthma attack. When disturbed the dry mold can become airborne. This ca trigger a toxic substance and can cause pneumonia. This is especially dangerous for the susceptible like the elderly.

However, any contact with the cannabis plant can produce a negative allergic reaction:

  1. Eating edibles
  2. Ingesting CBD oil
  3. Smoking dried flowers
  4. Exposure to the plant's pollen

You may be prone to an allergic reaction to CBD oil.  Very sensitive people who have used CBD oil to treat their ailments report that some feel mind-altering effects. This has been reported on rare occasions. The most common reaction or allergic reaction to CBD was found to be mild digestive upset. Diarrhea and upset tummy have been experienced after ingesting CBD oil. This could be from the purity of the CBD extract, not the actual oil.

Allergic reactions to weed can be experienced from eating edibles. As marijuana and edibles become legal the chance of reactions will present themselves. It is rare, but there have been anaphylaxis reactions to eating hemp seeds. Hemp allergy symptoms are typically the same as those of marijuana. Some of these reactions can include ocular symptoms like hives or skin rashes and difficulty in speaking. You may experience similar symptoms to someone eating foods they’re allergic to when you do consume infused edibles while you have a marijuana allergy.  

Can you be allergic to certain strains of weed? You may not be able to get such specific answers though the best way to diagnose if you have an allergy to marijuana or any other cannabis product is to be tested. An allergy specialist will be able to pinpoint if you do indeed have an allergy to cannabis. A blood serum test may be available from your specialists.

Discussion with your health provider is advised if you suspect that you have developed a marijuana allergy. Your treatment may be to avoid the plant in all forms. If you are unable to avoid being exposed to marijuana, your health provider may discuss the use of antihistamines or a decongestant.  A runny nose and watery eyes will be alleviated.

If you are suffering from an anaphylactic type of reaction, seek immediate medical attention. This type of reaction can be life-threatening and the need to have immediate medical attention. The use of an Epi-pen can prove to be life-saving in the case of allergic reactions. If you indeed have been tested and do suffer from a severe allergy to marijuana the availability of this life-saving device could be the choice for you. As marijuana and its products are finding their way into the mainstream market more chances of people experiencing mild to the severe reaction may present itself.

The chances are slim that you will develop allergies to marijuana but never say never, be prepared and you can still enjoy the plant.  

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