Cannabis sativa (hemp) is a plant that can grow in many places. People use industrial hemp (low THC crops) to produce yarns, fibers, fixtures, and ropes. They also use hemp seeds as a protein-rich superfood for healthy nutrition. For those who experience seasonal, plant, or food allergies, the question of “Could I be allergic to marijuana?” may arise.
The answer is yes, and you can be allergic to Marijuana. Differences between hemp and marijuana are many. High THC marijuana variants are used for the treatment of nausea, anxiety, and pain. People consume plants with high concentrations of THC for recreational uses also.
This sector is growing rapidly. Particularly with the legalization and relaxation of laws governing marijuana use in some states. Pollen and other proteins found in the marijuana plant can cause allergic reactions. Pollination by female plants causes airborne diffusion with possible inhalation and consequent sensitization.
Marijuana awareness may also occur among workers involved in the burgeoning marijuana industry. Exposure to hemp seeds may be unintentional as they are hidden in food and drink.
Allergic sensitization involving the development of specific IgE can result from many things. These include inhaling, smoking, touching, and consuming marijuana or cannabis allergens.
What Causes an Allergic Reaction?
The human organism is “condemned” to live in a more or less hostile environment, as it is in permanent contact with foreign elements. External aggressions force the body to protect itself, and nature has endowed it with a defensive system: the immune system.
However, this mechanism sometimes gets out of control and reacts to certain substances with abnormal responses of extreme intensity. We then speak of hypersensitivity or allergy. But, can people be allergic to Marijuana? Yes, completely.
An alteration of the immune system causes allergic diseases. The triggering of an allergic reaction involves the release of inflammatory mediators. Allergens are chemicals that cause allergies. They are molecules capable of stimulating our immune system to generate particular antibodies of the IgE class.
The most common airborne allergens are pollens, fungi, mites, and pet epithelia. Some foods, bee and wasp stings, and medications are also significant allergens.
Allergic diseases have a clear hereditary component. Although there have been significant advances in research, there is still much to be discovered. Such as predicting which people will develop allergies. Also, which people should be exposed to their allergies to develop resistance in their immune system.
Allergy Symptoms of Marijuana
Symptoms may vary; marijuana allergies have become more common in recent years. This may be because Marijuana, or cannabis, is becoming more popular as a medicinal solution for various conditions.
Allergy symptoms include nasal congestion, eye inflammation, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. The reality is that an allergic reaction to Marijuana is possible. It all depends on the type of exposure the individual had to Marijuana.
Touching or touching the plant may cause skin rashes, hives, or swelling called angioedema. Breathing or inhaling marijuana allergens can cause nasal or ocular allergy symptoms.
These include runny nose, sneezing, itching and swelling, and watery eyes. It can also cause asthma with the development of wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, anaphylaxis is also an option, although it is more common to occur with the ingestion of its seeds. Have you ever wondered, “can I be allergic to marijuana?” because it is possible due to the vary of the symptoms.
In addition, cross-reactivity between Marijuana and certain foods has been discovered.
Cross-reactive foods with cannabis that cause allergy include tomato, peach, and hazelnut. This is due to cross-reactive proteins or allergens, primarily nsLTPs, found in Marijuana and the before-mentioned foods. This cross-reactivity can potentially cause severe allergic reactions.
The essential and relevant allergens still require investigation and clinical definition. However, an allergen is implicated in more than 70% of marijuana anaphylaxis.
Allergens are seen as a danger by your body. While your immune system works to defend you against foreign germs and dangers, it can also trigger a variety of reactions or allergic reactions. There are a few variables that might make you more likely to develop a cannabis allergy.
A study suggests that people allergic to cat dander, mold, or other plants may be allergic to cannabis. This is a small-scale study, and people need more research to confirm the results; however, If you have any of the allergies listed above, it’s important to remember.
Along the same lines, allergies to certain foods can aggravate a marijuana allergy. This applies specifically to foods or substances with protein properties similar to cannabis. These foods can “cross-react” with cannabis and trigger the cannabis-fruit-vegetable syndrome.
Sensitization occurs when your body develops an allergy after repeated exposure. If you live in an area where people grow the plant, you may be at risk of developing allergic reactions. Although male plants usually produce pollen. But hermaphrodite females with male flowers can also spread pollen particles in the air.
There is three types of strains indica, sativa and hybrid and they have differences on their own. Studies indicate that Sativa strains may be more irritating than indica strains. Unfortunately, the high THC content may also be responsible for allergies.
Over the decades cannabis plants have been developed and selected to contain higher and higher levels of THC. Typically, this is a cause for celebration: more potent weed produces stronger highs. But be aware that some research suggests that THC may be an allergen for some people.
How To Diagnose Marijuana Allergy
Medical experts can use to main methods to diagnose a patient with a Marijuana allergy. One method is with skin tests, and the other one is through blood tests. Doctors can choose those two methods to make sure whether their patient has a Marijuana allergy. So, what do these two methods involve?
If your doctor thinks you have a cannabis allergy, they may perform an epicutaneous test. This test involves applying a diluted solution of cannabis to your skin with a needle; if you get a rash in the area, it indicates that you are allergic. However, skin tests are not always reliable.
More than one may be necessary and require a person with specialized knowledge to administer and interpret them correctly.
Blood tests are less frequent. But they are often more accessible and more effective. Cannabis is still illegal in many places, and awareness of cannabis allergy is still developing. If you visit a family or general practitioner, he will probably try to diagnose you by looking for a pattern.
Preventing Methods for Allergic Reaction
Undoubtedly the best method to avoid an allergic reaction is for the patient to avoid what he is allergic to. People with an allergy to Marijuana shouldn’t have contact with any related product or even the plant! In other words, if you have an allergy to Marijuana, you should avoid it at all costs.
If you are in contact with Marijuana due to work reasons, you should take precautions. When handling Marijuana, you should wear protective gear such as gloves, a mask, and more if you deem it necessary.
Moreover, taking allergy medication can help dampen the symptoms. In addition, people with allergies should always have an epinephrine injection with them. An inhaler will also be a good option to have if you have allergies.
As the use of cannabis or marijuana increases, there will be more cases of allergies. If you are asking yourself, “am I allergic to marijuana?” consider it. Symptoms that are generally benign include discomfort in the nose, eyes, and lungs. However, life-threatening reactions can happen but are generally limited to hemp seeds in people allergic to Marijuana.
The definition and significance of associated food allergies have not yet been defined through research. Vigilance and caution are paramount. Treatment generally consists of avoiding exposure, particularly by ingestion, and carrying adrenaline auto-injectors.