For some people, cannabis is an innocuous drug that offers little to no meaningful harm. For others, it can be a serious health threat. Before learning more, it is important to understand the science behind cannabis allergy.
The cannabis allergy is a rare condition that causes allergic reactions upon contact with cannabis. The most common symptoms of a cannabis allergy include: itchiness, hives, difficulty breathing, and a racing heart rate. The reaction can vary from mild to severe and can even result in death.
People with an allergy to cannabis sometimes experience a reaction similar to an allergic reaction to other substances. Read more about hemp pollen allergy and let us know what you think.
The cannabis industry is expanding as more states legalize recreational and medicinal cannabis in the United States.
However, as more individuals use cannabis, possible side effects, such as cannabis allergy, are becoming more apparent.
What Is Cannabis Allergy and How Does It Affect You?
Some cannabis users may develop a cannabis allergy, which is an immune system response to the plant. Because of recent legalization in the United States and Canada, it has lately become important.
Despite the fact that research on cannabis allergy is still in its early stages, we can highlight the most important features.
Cannabis sensitization is a common occurrence. Humans may be allergic to virtually anything, and numerous allergies are also conceivable. Hempseed may be found in meals and beverages, exposing people to it. They may, however, become sensitized as a result of breathing, smoking, touching, or ingesting cannabis.
Dr. Gordon L. Sussman is a professor of medicine and an allergist at the University of Toronto in Canada. He stated that cutaneous or skin symptoms, such as hives, are common indications of cannabis allergy.
Cannabis allergy sufferers may also develop respiratory symptoms such as allergic rhinitis (nasal inflammation), conjunctivitis, and asthma. “Asthma may be linked to occupational exposure, while anaphylactic responses to hempseed are common,” he said.
In terms of occupational exposure, a research found that workers at one indoor cannabis grow facility in Seattle, WA, had a significant frequency of work-related allergy symptoms. Another research discovered that the causes of the observed respiratory and cutaneous symptoms after cannabis exposure are unknown, owing to non-immune responses.
As described by an article published by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), some people suffering from cannabis allergy may experience rashes, hives, or swellings by being in contact or touching a cannabis plant. But even breathing or inhaling cannabis allergens may lead to nasal, ocular, eye allergy symptoms, including runny nose, sneezing, itching, swelling, and watering eyes.
Dr. Sussman stated that consumption of hempseed may cause severe anaphylaxis, multisystem allergic responses, and food cross-reactivity in certain individuals.
There is currently no standardized test for the diagnosis of cannabis allergy. The clinical history, on the other hand, is the foundation of its diagnosis. To confirm an allergy, Dr. Sussman recommends prick skin testing using homemade allergy extracts.
A skin prick test, often known as a puncture or scratch test, examines over 50 chemicals at once for rapid allergic responses. This test is used to determine whether or not a person is allergic to pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites, or certain foods. Dr. Sussman said, “The cannabis skin test is produced by extracting buds and leaves in 5ml of saline and retesting with a conventional prick test, which is extremely safe.”
However, allergy antibody blood testing is becoming more widely accessible. “In the United States, a few laboratories developed blood tests. We’ll send a blood sample to the lab since we’re working on research projects to check into this further,” he added.
People may also may develop allergies to selective cannabis strains. In a case report published in the Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology journal, a 31-year-old male patient suffered from several episodes of localized pruritus and erythema after direct contact with various strains of cannabis. He developed a severe swelling around the eyes (bilateral periorbital edema) shortly after coming into direct contact with one particular strain. However, he didn’t refer to any adverse symptoms when smoking cannabis. The study concluded that this was the first reported case of selective cannabis strain allergy. The patient had positive testing to three of five strains, and he appeared to be more sensitized to Sativa dominant strains.
Cannabis Exposure Through Passive Means
As we’ve seen, cannabis allergies may develop when people are exposed to certain strains. However, investigations have shown instances of cannabis exposure from a distance. The consequences of passive exposure to cannabis smoke as a possible pathway of allergy sensitization are unknown to researchers.
A instance of a 5-year-old kid suffering from cannabis-related allergies as a result of passive exposure to cannabis allergen was described in a research. Others have had cannabis sensitivity and allergy as a result of passive cannabis smoke exposure and/or indirect cutaneous transfer.
Legalization Of Cannabis And Cannabis Allergies
Cannabis allergy is still a mystery to scientists. Case studies and trials, on the other hand, provide additional information about how it works. It’s expected to grow increasingly frequent as more states legalize marijuana.
“We’re seeing a rise in the number of instances. This includes recognition and testing. Legalization would also increase exposure and sensitization, according to Dr. Sussman.
In 2019, the number of cannabis users in the United States was projected to reach 40.3 million. According to Statista, the number of cannabis users is projected to reach 46.6 million by 2025.
There are over 100 known allergens in cannabis, the most common being molds, pollens, and dust mites.. Read more about allergic reaction to weeds and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you be allergic to edibles?
Yes, it is possible to be allergic to edibles.
Can you have a bad reaction to CBD?
CBD is not addictive or toxic, and it has been used for medicinal purposes.
Can I be allergic to hemp?
Yes, you can be allergic to hemp.
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