Is it possible to have a marijuana allergy?


As hashish turns into extra frequent and fewer taboo, veteran and novice customers alike have gotten extra conscious of the best way human our bodies react to the plant. If you expertise seasonal, plant, or meals allergy symptoms, you is likely to be asking your self, “Could I be allergic to hashish?” 

And if a hashish allergy exists, what kinds of indicators and signs must you look out for?

Cannabis allergy symptoms: what we all know up to now

Though the analysis so far is restricted, we do know that allergy symptoms and reactions to hashish happen. Cannabis has a protracted, storied historical past of each stigma and mystique with a variety of results and unwanted effects which have been attributed to the plant through the years. Some results attributed to hashish have been correct, whereas others are utterly fabricated

marijuana plant
Marijuana is identical as every other plant which, although usually useful, could trigger allergy symptoms in some customers.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

But the potential for hashish allergy symptoms is neither an overblown anti-cannabis scare tactic nor a sign that the plant is much less healthful or therapeutic than we thought. Rather, it’s the similar as every other plant which, although usually useful, could trigger allergy symptoms in some customers. 

So let us take a look at the obtainable analysis to higher perceive the mechanisms that trigger allergic reactions in some hashish customers.


Studies have proven comparable outcomes when testing hashish Lipid Transfer Protein (LPT)-sensitivity amongst cannabis-allergic sufferers. Some of those research additionally present a recurring cross-reactivity to different crops that comprise comparable proteins, in keeping with a December 2017 examine revealed within the French Journal of Clinical Pneumology. Cross-reactivity happens when somebody has an allergic response to comparable proteins from totally different substances. According to a examine within the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, about 45% of sufferers who had been allergic to hashish additionally reported a response to plant-derived meals

A 2013 examine from the Internal Archives of Allergy and Immunology examined 21 sufferers with meals allergy symptoms for reactivity to hashish LTPs. Twelve of the 21 check topics had been additionally allergic to hashish, and all twelve had extra extreme reactions to meals than these with no hashish allergy. A 2008 examine from the identical journal examined 32 topics for any allergic response to hashish LTPs, in addition to tomato, peach peel, and pollen extracts. All topics delicate to tomato allergens had been additionally delicate to hashish. Cross-reactivity to peach peel and hashish was additionally distinguished. These research present additional proof that LTPs play a central function in hashish allergy symptoms and could also be a think about cross-reactivity with different allergy symptoms. 

Lipid switch proteins (LTPs)

Several current research have recognized lipid switch proteins (LTPs) as possible allergens in hashish. LTPs are proteins that act as allergens, typically present in plant-based meals and — on this case — the hashish plant. LTPs trigger allergic reactions in people by triggering an overproduction of antibodies. 

In a March 2019 examine revealed in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology: In Practice, 120 hashish allergy sufferers and 62 wholesome management topics got a hemp extract by way of three totally different administration checks, together with a pores and skin prick check. The hemp extract was wealthy in Can s 3, a non-specific LTP (ns-LTP) prevalent in hashish. The examine concluded that about 80% of sufferers with hashish allergy symptoms examined had been delicate to the Can s 3 protein, with 72% of anaphylactic sufferers additionally testing optimistic for Can s 3 sensitivity. 

In quick, this examine means that LTPs aren’t the one hashish allergen, however they play a distinguished function for people experiencing allergic reactions to hashish. 


If LTPs aren’t the one supply of hashish allergy symptoms, what different components are at play? You’ve in all probability heard quite a bit about terpenes these days — the compounds liable for the aroma and taste of hashish sativa and quite a lot of different crops. Similar to distinguished hashish compounds like cannabidiol (CBD) and THC, terpenes have all kinds of medicinal advantages. They can also be accountable, not less than partially, for undesirable allergy symptoms to hashish in some customers. 

woman smoking weed
The terpene linalool has been discovered to elicit an allergic response when oxidized, or uncovered to the air.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The terpene linalool, for instance, has been discovered to elicit an allergic response when oxidized, or uncovered to the air. A 2010 examine of linalool positioned various concentrations of oxidized linalool patches on the pores and skin of 1,151 dermatitis sufferers, with 5-7% of sufferers testing optimistic for linalool sensitivity. A comparable examine from 2016 examined oxidized linalool and oxidized limonene, one other distinguished terpene in hashish sativa, on a gaggle of two,900 dermatitis sufferers, and located that 281 of them had allergic reactions following publicity to 1 or each of the terpenes. 

Findings like these do not essentially level to a excessive probability that terpenes are a distinguished contributor to most marijuana allergy symptoms, however they do current a particular risk that some allergic reactions to marijuana, particularly pores and skin allergy symptoms, are terpene-related.

Signs and signs of a hashish allergy

Depending on the route by way of which it reacts with the physique — i.e. pores and skin contact, inhalation of pollen, and so forth. — allergy symptoms to the marijuana plant are reported to supply all kinds of signs, most of that are typical of different allergy symptoms. 

In a report from Canada‘s CTV News on the rising pattern of hashish allergy symptoms within the post-legalization period, Toronto-based immunologist and allergy skilled Dr. Gordon Sussman stated that extra publicity to marijuana among the many normal public will inevitably result in extra reported instances of hashish allergy symptoms. 

Sussman has seen a rising variety of cannabis-sensitive sufferers over the previous 10 years, and is actively learning the phenomenon of undiagnosed hashish allergy symptoms to boost consciousness and higher put together physicians. 

“If you have a look at a examine performed out of Colorado, about 10 p.c of individuals simply with passive publicity did have [cannabis] allergy signs,” Dr. Sussman stated. In the identical CTV report, Dr. Sussman stated that pores and skin contact with the hashish plant may cause irritation starting from a gentle itch to hives and puffy eyes. Smoking hashish or inhaling marijuana pollen can result in sneezing and a runny nostril in addition to wheezing, shortness of breath, and bronchial asthma signs. When marijuana sufferers eat hempseed or different hashish merchandise, it is also potential to expertise anaphylactic signs

It can be potential to have an allergy to the pollen present in hemp. One examine out of Nebraska discovered as much as 35% of the pollen within the space was from hemp and a number of sufferers skilled signs of rhinitis when uncovered to hashish in the summertime months. 

What to do when you’re allergic to hashish

Sussman informed CTV News that merely avoiding marijuana is the one “really efficient strategy to cope with a marijuana allergy.” The excellent news is, when you check optimistic for hashish allergy symptoms and expertise frequent allergy signs, a physician or allergy specialist might be able to prescribe frequent allergy remedy strategies — i.e. nasal spray, antihistamines, or EpiPens if obligatory — to cut back or eradicate signs

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