Weed Allergies 101
Have you ever met someone who claimed they get skin rashes from weed? Bad reactions to bad indicas or hemp allergies are rare, but when they happen they can skew a person against cannabis as a whole. Allergic reactions to marijuana can come in many different forms: skin rashes from weed topicals, puffy eyes or swollen throat from smoking, nausea/irritated bowels from ingesting an edible. Just like any kind of allergies, a person’s genetics, overall health, nutrition/diet and fitness can play major roles in how adverse their reactions might be. What causes someone to have an allergic reaction to weed?
What Kinds of Allergic Reactions to Marijuana Are There?
Many people mistakenly think that marijuana allergies are like other allergies, but this is not true. Marijuana allergies are more like food-borne allergies, which can happen suddenly and without warning. This is unlike other allergies, which usually develop gradually over a period of time. This lack of understanding and research has led to the stigma surrounding marijuana, which has kept people from learning about the possible problems associated with using this substance.
Since the 1800s, demonization of cannabis and hemp has led to the suppression of these plants. However, recent attention to this plant and its many varieties has led to greater understanding of it, and we’ve discovered that some of the supposed allergic reactions to cannabis or hemp are actually caused by cannabinoids.
Even though some people do experience skin rashes from smoking marijuana, other people also suffer from various allergic reactions to marijuana. Some of these allergic reactions are mild, while others are more persistent.
If you experience any rashes, skin irritation, or hives, please speak to your doctor.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it might be time to seek medical attention: queasiness, nausea, cramping, or bloating.
This feeling of dizziness, fatigue, and lethargy makes it difficult to function.
Marijuana allergies are quite common, and can be caused by consuming different types of cannabis products. For example, people with skin rashes from using weed topicals might also experience them from smoking or ingesting edibles or oils. Other common symptoms include scratchy throats and difficulty breathing. However, because allergies to cannabis can be serious, it’s important to watch for these signs and consult a doctor if they develop.
The problem with diagnosing cannabis allergies is that there are other ingredients or additives in cannabis products, as well as the conundrum of what the plants might’ve been grown with- chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other processing agents. Many people have had reactions to cannabis or hemp and have mistakenly assumed that the plant itself caused their allergic symptoms. Whether you’ve ingested an edible, smoked a joint, rubbed on cannabis oils or creams, or consumed cannabis in any other way, it’s important to keep in mind the other inputs that might have contributed to how you’re feeling.
There are fewer varieties of hemp plants than there are varieties of cannabis plants, so it is less likely that someone will develop an allergy to hemp. However, the same sorts of allergic reactions that can occur with cannabis can also occur with hemp. Some of the causes of allergic reactions to marijuana that have been researched include the presence of various chemicals in the plant, the way hemp is grown, and the way it is processed.
What Causes Allergic Reactions to Weed?
As you know, cannabis research hasn’t kept pace with the community’s knowledge and practices, but as it becomes increasingly legalized and regulated, we can expect the flow of data on cannabis allergies to increase. At present, what is known about cannabis allergies is that many cases can be attributed to a few causes: LTPs, plant protein cross-reactivity and cannabinoid/terpinoid sensitivities.
LTPs are a plant protein that has been shown to cause allergic reactions in people across multiple studies. LTPs are also found in many plant-derived foods, some pollens and other plant spores. So, LTPs aren’t unique to cannabis, but they are known to trigger a reactive response in our systems whenever they’re introduced. LTP sensitivity from cannabis seems to trigger this immune-response in varying degrees. LTPs hint at the possibility of further targeting peoples’ allergic reactions to marijuana with more research.
As researchers study reactions to cannabis and hemp, they’ve found that people who have food allergies – such as allergies to nuts, fruits, or other plant-based foods – might be more susceptible to allergic reactions from weed. Some plant proteins, called LTPs, can cause cross-reactivity in people, especially if they are already sensitive to certain plant proteins. This connection provides more questions than answers, but it suggests that people with food allergies might be more likely to experience allergic reactions to cannabis and hemp.
Some people can have a sensitivity to specific terpenes or cannabinoids, which can lead to an allergic reaction. However, this is rare and requires further study to determine the cause.
Cannabis is known to be effective in reducing the effects of conditions like arterial disease, heart attacks, and diabetic retinopathy. Damage to the eyes related to these conditions include weakening sight, blurring or loss of vision. The use of cannabis has been linked to avoiding these issues. Cannabis can lead to reduced inflammation and a decrease in oxidative stress, which can make a difference between maintaining healthy vision or experiencing blurriness or blindness.
If you experience any symptoms of a hemp allergy or reaction to cannabis, it is important that you remain calm and seek medical attention if necessary. Most allergic reactions manifest themselves as mild symptoms such as itching or a rash from the weed, drowsiness, or mild nausea. If any of these symptoms occur, stop using the cannabis product in question and sit/lie down to rest.
If you experience these symptoms for more than an hour or if your condition continues to worsen, please go to the doctor. It’s important to bring the packaging or a sample of the cannabis you consumed with you when you go to the doctor’s office or emergency room. Always try to remain calm and relax your mind and body. Even though many people use CBD to relax, in this case we advise against taking CBD to relax yourself, even if it is derived from hemp.
If you are allergic to marijuana, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its many benefits. If you experience an allergic reaction to marijuana products, consult with your healthcare practitioners to see if there is a different strain or product that might work better for you. Sometimes switching to a different type of cannabis can help avoid repeated reactions, but be sure to get support from your medical professionals.