Cannabis allergies have become more common. If you inhale cannabis, you can experience a number of different allergy symptoms.

Cannabis is a plant used to create a euphoric high. It’s commonly used recreationally, although in recent years it’s become popular as a medicinal treatment for certain conditions.

Despite its reported benefits, cannabis is also an allergen that can trigger pollen-like allergy symptoms. Read on to learn more about cannabis allergy risk factors, diagnosis, and prevention.

Language matters

We use the term cannabis instead of marijuana.

We avoid the word “marijuana” because it has racist roots and connotations. The word “marijuana” first became popular in the United States during the cannabis prohibition movement, as it appealed to the widespread xenophobia against Mexican immigrants at the time.

Considering that members of historically marginalized races are more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than their white counterparts, it’s especially important that we’re mindful about the language we use and how it can add to, or stem from, racist stereotypes.

If you smoke and have a weed allergy, you may experience it.

Cannabis allergies can also resemble contact dermatitis if the plant is tampered with or handled. In an older 2007 study evaluating cannabis allergy symptoms, a skin prick test revealed that cannabis can cause specific skin irritation. Some of the most common irritations include:

In more severe cases, an allergic reaction to cannabis can cause anaphylactic shock, a life threatening condition that causes your blood pressure to suddenly drop and your airways to close. If left untreated, a cannabis allergy could be fatal.

Your body views allergens as a threat. While it works to protect against foreign bacteria and threats, your immune system will also cause a number of reactions or allergic responses. There are a few risk factors that could increase your likelihood of developing a cannabis allergy.

Allergen cross-reactivity

If you are allergic to a food or substance with similar properties, you can be more likely to have cannabis allergies. This is also called a reaction to an allergy. Some foods have similar allergy properties to the cannabis plant.

Sensitization

Increased cannabis exposure can make you more sensitive to the plant. This is more common in areas where cannabis is grown.

The cannabis plant has a pollen content that can cause allergy symptoms. Since its legalization, cannabis sensitization has increased.

Increased THC content

Cannabis is dioecious because it grows both male and female plants. Female plants produce the drug thc and other compounds.

The chemical found in cannabis flowers is called Thc.

Female cannabis plants are isolated from being pollinated in order to control the quality of the crop. When the female plant has flowers that come into contact with a male plant, seeds will develop. The flowers are lower in quality.

Female cannabis plants that are grown in isolation tend to have higher levels of essential oils and terpenes in their flowers. Although this is prized by growers, it could affect your sensitivity to the plant.

In order to identify an allergy, a doctor or allergist can perform a skin prick test. This test can help you figure out whether or not you’re sensitive to a particular substance.

There is no standard skin test for cannabis allergy, but a doctor or allergist can prepare a test for you.

Your doctor will give you a small amount of an allergy medicine. If you are allergic, your body may respond with an allergic reaction within a few minutes. If you are not allergic, you will probably not show any symptoms.

“These tests are not perfect. If you have a reaction to a skin test, it doesn’t mean you’ll have an allergy when exposed to the substance.”

It is possible to have a negative result on a skin test if you are allergic to a substance.

While blood tests like ELISA and RAST can help diagnose certain allergies, there’s no specific test to check for a cannabis allergy.

“A blood test that looks for signs of a general allergy response is called an IgE allergy test. It shows the amount of IgE in your blood. If you have an IgE test result that shows you allergies, it can help you find out, but it can’t tell you what’s causing it.”

A blood test is considered a safer option for allergy testing because it comes with a lower risk of having a severe allergic reaction. The options for cannabis allergy are not conclusive and results are not available for a few days.

It is the best way to avoid having an allergic reaction to cannabis. Doctors recommend that you stop using medical cannabis, smoking it recreationally, or consuming it if you have a severe reaction.

If you work with the cannabis plant regularly for work, doctors recommend wearing gloves, face masks, and using allergy medication to help reduce or prevent symptoms. Doctors also recommend carrying an inhaler in case the cannabis pollen affects your breathing.

If you have become severely allergic to cannabis or have a breathing problem, you should go to your doctor immediately.