Did you break out in a rash after being around someone smoking weed? Did you get angry hives after touching some buds? Your allergist has the final say, but it’s very likely you’re allergic to weed.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from some type of allergy, making allergies the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.
These include allergies to dust or pets, pollen, or irritants like perfume. Just as flowers, weeds, and grasses can be an allergen for many people, so can marijuana.
Cases of people being allergic to weed have been coming out at a rapid rate since widespread marijuana legalization.
For example, here is the experience of a woman (72) who has always been allergic to weed:
“The moment I’m around it, I start to get a headache. Then, I get itchy. And, then the hives come. Even just being around someone who has been smoking affects me, and I can’t get [kief] anywhere on me. I’ve never tried smoking it because of the reaction I have from just being around it. I don’t have to touch it to break out, and I’m sure smoking it would be even worse.” – LH
Considering how many people are seemingly allergic to weed, there needs to be more information available for consumers.
So, we created this post all about cannabis allergy.
Allergic to Weed: Overview
Various types of pollen shed by plants such as flowers, trees, and grasses can trigger allergic reactions in those with allergies. Cannabis is no different.
Cannabis flowers produce pollen that can adversely affect people with allergies, and can irritate their skin and / or respiratory system. The cannabis allergy involves touching, smoking, vaping / dabbing, or eating cannabis or cannabis products.
Symptoms of Being Allergic to Weed
A cannabis allergy can cause skin problems if the plant, or parts of the plant, are touched or handled by someone who is allergic to weed. It’s also an airborne allergy, meaning individuals who are allergic to weed are adversely affected after inhaling cannabis pollen.
Symptoms of being allergic to weed include:
- Rash / hives
- Spotty vision
- Dry, scaly skin
- Itchy, runny nose
- Sore or inflamed throat
- Nasal congestion
- Respiratory problems
Cannabis Allergy Diagnosis
Your physician mainly relies on your report of cannabis exposure and experiencing the symptoms of being allergic to weed.
Doctors can perform a skin test to diagnose a cannabis allergy, but it’s not always easy to obtain the extracts required to perform the test, due to legal limitations. Specialized laboratories offer blood tests, but they are not likely to be covered by insurance.
Because of these obstacles, your doctor takes what you say into account in order to make a cannabis allergy diagnosis.
Cannabis Allergy Treatment
If you believe (even if not confirmed by a doctor) that you are allergic to weed, it’s best to avoid exposure or contact with cannabis entirely.
If you are around someone who uses marijuana, this may be difficult. Same goes for if you have been using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Speak to your doctor for the best advice on how to handle being allergic to weed and being around it. There may be effective alternative therapeutic options.
If you absolutely cannot avoid being exposed to marijuana, ask your doctor to prescribe strong antihistamines and / or decongestants to alleviate cannabis allergy symptoms.
If you experience an anaphylactic reaction, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.
If you worry about severe reactions from being allergic to weed, it may be best to carry an Epi-pen if you know you will be exposed to marijuana.
Not Allergic to Weed?
Fortunately, not everyone is allergic to weed. If you’re one of those people, take a look at how you can intensify your marijuana high.
Curious about how edibles would affect you? Read this guide.
Just want some dank flower? Check out our menu!
Disclaimer: Marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of Marijuana. Marijuana, in any form, should not be used by individuals that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Marijuana is intended for use only by adults 21 and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. This product may be unlawful outside of Washington State