Can you be allergic to cannabis? Here is the answer

Does cannabis allergy exist?

Modified on: 20/09/2022

Does hemp allergy exist? And if so, how does it manifest itself and can it be recognised? Here’s everything you should know

Since it is easy to find light hemp buds and marijuana seeds online, we hear more and more about both the benefits and possible side effects of this plant.

In particular, some people have wondered whether one can be allergic to cannabis and what the most common symptoms are.

For example, is itching after smoking an allergic reaction?

What about hives after taking CBD?

In this article, we will answer the most common questions on the subject so that you too, can gain more clarity on hemp allergy.

Antihistamine tablets for allergy

In what cases can an allergic reaction to cannabis occur?

Recently, the cannabis industry has evolved, and cannabis is not only seen as a synonym for ‘high and illegal’.

More and more people are aware of how beneficial cannabis seeds, oil, terpenes, and cannabinoids contained in the plant can be to the human body.

However, as with many other plants, foods and substances, cannabis may trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Typical symptoms of a cannabis allergy can occur after smoking the herb and at other times.

Here are the main ones:

  • if you come into contact with the plant’s flowers, resin, or oil;
  • if you ingest CBD oil;
  • if you ingest hemp oil for food use;
  • when consuming foodstuffs made from hemp, its seeds or proteins.

In addition to how one ingests or comes into contact with hemp, one must also consider several risks associated with allergy development.

For example, those who consume large amounts of cannabis, suffer from other allergies, and live near a marijuana plantation are much more likely to experience allergic symptoms. Just as with grass allergy sufferers, exposure to Cannabaceae pollen can also affect the health of sensitive individuals.

For example, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) acts as an accurate allergen in some people, so consuming hemp varieties that contain high THC levels increases the likelihood of feeling ill.

Read also: Hemp and sun exposure: is direct sun recommended?

Reactions to cannabis: the symptoms (even the most serious ones)

Symptoms of hemp allergy usually occur about 20-30 minutes after an individual is exposed to the plant or a hemp derivative.

The most common allergic reactions are as follows:

  • red, watery and itchy eyes;
  • sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and rhinitis;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • throat irritation;
  • dry cough;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • abdominal cramps;
  • skin rashes, subcutaneous swelling and/or dry, itchy skin.

The symptoms we have just listed can only occur to a limited extent. Their occurrence depends both on the sensitivity of each individual and on the amount of cannabis consumed or the timing of exposure to the plant.

In addition, allergic reactions in the abdominal area typically occur after ingestion of cannabis-containing food; skin reactions occur even after touching the plant; and eye and respiratory symptoms usually occur after contact with pollen or smoking marijuana.

Is that all? Or can there be more severe consequences?

Although cases are rare, cannabis allergy can also lead to more severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis.

In this case, the symptoms are sudden and very intense and, if action is not taken quickly, can lead to a life-threatening state of shock.

It is when it is essential to seek medical help as soon as possible:

  • in case of respiratory problems (breathlessness, shortness of breath, etc.);
  • weak or rapid heartbeat;
  • dizziness, fainting and abnormal blood pressure;
  • hives, redness, swelling of the skin and itching;
  • abdominal cramps and vomiting.
Watery eyes and runny nose due to hemp allergy

How to tell if you are allergic to cannabis

In many countries worldwide, marijuana use is still illegal, so many users, fearful of the consequences, have avoided seeking medical attention for allergic symptoms. As a result, cannabis allergies are still underdiagnosed and challenging to detect.

But how can one determine with certainty whether one is allergic to hemp?

For a doctor to diagnose a hemp allergy, he needs as much detailed information as possible.

In this sense, it would be helpful for the person suspected of being allergic to this plant to record all their habits and symptoms in a diary daily.

In this way, the doctor can assess the progress of the symptoms to see whether cannabis is the cause or not.

Suppose the signs point to cannabis or the consumption of its derivatives. In that case, the doctor may prescribe an examination called a skin prick test, which involves injecting a solution containing cannabis under the skin. The development of a possible rash will confirm the allergy.

However, it is necessary to subject the patient to several tests, including blood tests.

Read also: Excess water in hemp: symptoms to understand if there is a problem

To conclude

As we have seen, cannabis allergy exists and can manifest itself in more or less intense forms. Therefore, to avoid any severe reactions, when you suspect that you are allergic to the plant, it is essential to monitor all symptoms and seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Suppose you enjoyed this article, are a cannabis enthusiast, and keep up to date with all things related to this plant with extraordinary properties. In that case, we invite you to read the other articles on our SensorySeeds blog.

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