If someone asks, “can you be allergic to weed?” it may be the most absurd thing you’ve ever heard. With the growing number of states legalizing marijuana, it’s become a question people ask often.
Unfortunately, many allergies run across humanity, and they don’t discriminate. You may be shocked to learn that people can be allergic to weed. It can happen even if you’re a long-time cannabis user.
Does this mean you’ll never enjoy your favorite plant again? Not necessarily.
Join us to explore this phenomenon, why it happens, and how to diagnose it. We also go over the signs and symptoms and how to treat a marijuana allergy. If this happens to you or someone you know, don’t worry! There’s hope, so keep reading before you lose confidence.
Can you be allergic to weed? Weed-related allergies
We know the question, “can you be allergic to weed?” is scary. Being allergic to your favorite plant may have never crossed your mind. Human beings are strange creatures, and, unfortunately, can develop different allergies throughout their life.
Humans—specifically scientists and doctors—still have to do more research on this specific allergy. So far, people have found that a weed allergy occurs under different circumstances. The symptoms vary depending on one’s contact with different aspects of cannabis.
Most often, the pollen from marijuana plants causes reactions in some people. Allergic reactions can happen when you touch, eat, smoke, or even accidentally inhale the cannabis pollen. It could also happen because you’re allergic to certain proteins in weed.
Some signs you’re allergic to weed include vomiting or stomach problems. Some people may get different skin reactions, and some may experience symptoms similar to hay fever. These may happen when you come into contact with THC, cannabidiol, or even edibles.
Let’s go over each one.
Can you be allergic to THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the popular chemical that produces the euphoric effects we all know and love. Can you be allergic to THC? Yes, but it’s not exactly an allergy—it’s more an increased sensitivity.
What does that mean? Well, some allergies only develop later on in a person’s life. With increased exposure to something, the body may become sensitive to it. This can happen with marijuana as well.
You could become allergic to THC if you often smoke high-THC strains because of the increased exposure to the chemical. It’s possible to lose your tolerance, which results in adverse reactions. While these reactions aren’t necessarily fatal, they’re still uncomfortable.
There may be occasions when our immune system goes through a tough time. In this case, a THC allergy occurs acutely. The weakened immune system doesn’t want any foreign chemicals in the body while it tries to recover.
You may not react to the THC but rather to other particles or contaminants. If the marijuana buds have dust, mold, or other pollens, you could be allergic to those. Consider these factors before assuming you have a THC allergy.
Allergic reaction to CBD oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the chemical in marijuana that people revere for its medicinal properties. We extract and use it in the form of CBD oil, which you can use to treat various medical conditions.
An allergic reaction to CBD oil can happen because CBD has a similar structure to THC. If you react to THC, you may be allergic to CBD. This isn’t always the case, though, as someone can use an isolated CBD product that doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction.
Can you be allergic to weed in the form of CBD oil? Yes, you can, but sometimes it may not be the CBD causing problems. Certain contaminants or even extra compounds may come into contact with the oil when people are extracting or creating it.
If you experience symptoms, it may not be an allergic reaction to CBD oil. It could be ingredients in the product such as coconut, plant wax, or pollen.
Avoid the potential risk of a reaction by getting your CBD oil from a reputable source. Some full-spectrum CBD products have added ingredients such as more THC, additional terpenes, and other cannabinoid compounds. You could be allergic to any of these.
Broad-spectrum CBD products may be the better choice for you. They generally don’t contain THC or any additional compounds. Read the ingredients of your CBD oil to ensure you aren’t allergic to anything it may contain.
Allergic reaction to edibles
If you have an allergic reaction to edibles, it could be for several reasons. Edibles come in all shapes and forms, and you may be allergic to certain ingredients in the treat you’re having.
Many baked products contain gluten, wheat, or dairy—common allergies today. If you think you’re experiencing weed allergy symptoms, check the ingredients of the edible. It may contain flour, milk, eggs, or other products you could be allergic to.
Cannabis edibles are a great accompaniment at parties and events. If you invite people over and want to treat them to some delicious weed brownies, consider any potential food allergies. Bake gluten-free, wheat-free, and dairy-free brownies to avoid an allergic reaction to edibles.
And yes, they’re just as delicious.
What causes a weed allergy?
There are a number of reasons why you might hesitate and ask, “can you be allergic to weed?”
There are causes to consider before, or even after, you consume or touch cannabis. These can include:
- Sensitivity to marijuana after prolonged, continuous use.
- Allergy to certain proteins present in marijuana and other food such as apples, bananas, tomatoes, and chestnuts.
- Terpenes in the strain (Caryophyllene, Pinene, Linalool, and Limonene can cause a weed allergy).
- Allergic reactions to dust or mold that might form on stored weed.
- Pollen from marijuana or other plants.
- Specific allergy to cannabis sativa (use other strains instead).
- Increased asthma symptoms from smoking cannabis.
- A low or compromised immune system automatically tries to fight off the chemicals in marijuana. This can result in a marijuana allergy.
Four signs you’re allergic to weed
Each person is different, and certain allergies can present themselves in various ways. One person may throw up, while another breaks out in a weed rash all over their body.
Consuming marijuana can cause some common side effects, which you may be used to by now. These include red eyes, a dry mouth, mild paranoia, and an increased appetite. These aren’t usually indicative of an allergy, so you don’t need to worry about them.
There are more specific signs you’re allergic to weed to look out for the next time you consume it. Let’s go over four of them below:
Excessive sinus issues
Tell-tale symptoms to indicate you’re allergic to weed are any worrying sinus-related issues. Similar to hay fever reactions, you experience a runny, irritated nose and itchy, red eyes. You sneeze a lot and have a sore, congested, itchy throat.
Contact dermatitis occurs when you come into direct contact with something you’re allergic to. An allergic reaction to weed includes red, itchy skin, inflammation, and blisters.
Avoid smoking a marijuana bud if you experience any reactions after touching it. Wait until you speak to a doctor and get something to alleviate the symptoms.
Anaphylaxis or hemp allergy
In extremely rare cases, someone might get anaphylaxis when exposed to a marijuana plant, hemp, or cannabis smoke. Severe hemp allergy symptoms include struggling to breathe, itchy skin, and a swollen throat or tongue.
Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction that can even result in a coma or death. The likelihood of this happening is low. If you experience any of the following weed allergy symptoms, go to the hospital immediately:
- Dizziness and fainting
- Decreased blood pressure
- Rapid or weak pulse
- Breathing difficulties
You may have experienced a bad reaction to a specific strain of marijuana before. Cannabis sativa strains are particularly guilty of causing marijuana allergy symptoms. If this is the case, you might not experience allergic reactions from other cultivars.
Some bad reactions to weed include:
- Intense paranoia or panic attacks
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Excessive coughing
- Feeling light-headed
- Visual or auditory hallucinations (someone may have laced your weed if this happens)
- Intense headaches or migraines
Experiencing one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you’re allergic to weed. It may only happen once and never again, especially if it’s a reaction to a specific strain.
There are also common side effects of marijuana that shouldn’t cause concern, as listed at the beginning of this section.
If you enjoy smoking weed, get to know yourself and which strains work best for you. Avoid potential weed allergy symptoms by sticking to your favorite cultivars. Buy seeds to grow your own cannabis crop at home, and don’t accept weed from strangers.
How to diagnose a marijuana allergy
Marijuana allergy is a fairly recent discovery that many have been surprised by. Unfortunately, recent decades of study show that humans can be allergic to just about anything. Luckily, there’s hope—if you suspect you’re averse to weed, you can get a diagnosis in several ways.
Asking your allergy doctor, “am I allergic to weed?” will prompt him to run some tests on you to determine this. He’ll conduct a simple skin test using a diluted marijuana allergen. If your skin reacts badly within 15 minutes, this may indicate an allergy.
He could also inject a small amount of the diluted marijuana just under the surface of your skin. You may have an allergy to marijuana if your skin breaks out in hives, itchiness, or red spots.
Skin tests and injections produce fast results, but getting a blood test is safer and more accurate. It won’t interact with any medications and won’t result in a severe allergic reaction. It may be more expensive and take a few days, but it’s generally a better option.
The doctor tests for an allergy to weed by drawing some blood from you and sending it to a lab. The lab tests your blood for specific antibodies that may be reactants to marijuana allergens. The more these antibodies you have, the more likely you have an allergy.
Of course, you can diagnose a cannabis allergy yourself by paying attention to your reactions when consuming it. You know yourself better than anyone. You can diagnose an allergy if you feel bad after smoking or ingesting marijuana.
How to treat a cannabis allergy
Humanity has come far through the progress of technology and medical treatment. Luckily, if you’re allergic to weed, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid it altogether—except in extreme cases.
The most common cause of an allergic reaction is the pollen from the marijuana plants. If you’re sensitive to pollen, grass, or dust, antihistamines may be your answer. Consider buying some over the counter and take them to alleviate weed allergy symptoms.
Before you buy them, chat to your doctor about it. Some antihistamines cause drowsiness, so they may negatively interact with the effects of marijuana and result in further dizziness or disorientation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a non-drowsy medication.
If you struggle with asthma, get some asthma medication to alleviate symptoms. Try to avoid smoking marijuana and consume it in other forms. These include edibles, tinctures or cannabis oils, or weed capsules and tablets.
Prescription or over-the-counter treatments for a weed allergy include:
- Albuterol inhalers
- Inhaled or intranasal corticosteroids to treat inflammation
- Nasal decongestants
- Allergy shots
Speak to your doctor or allergy specialist about specific treatments. They may advise you to avoid weed altogether, but, hopefully, they’ll direct you to the right medicines or preventatives.
These won’t exactly cure a cannabis allergy, but they at least help alleviate some of the symptoms.
If you’re allergic to weed, it’s not the end of the world
Unfortunately, the answer to “can you be allergic to weed?” is yes. If you’ve never experienced this, you’re probably thanking your lucky stars you’re not ‘that unfortunate person.’
Finding out you’re allergic to weed, might make you want to break down and cry. While this would be an understandable reaction, it’s not the end of the world! As you’ve seen, there’s hope in the form of various treatments.
The best way to avoid a possible allergic reaction to weed is to grow your own crop. It’s never been easier to do this—order high-quality cannabis seeds right here from Homegrown Cannabis Co. We guarantee the purest marijuana strains with stable genetics.
The possibility of being allergic to marijuana is low. Pay attention to your reactions, but don’t worry too much. Sit back, light up your favorite strain, and laugh those worries away.