Is being “allergic to marijuana” an actual thing, or is this just something people say because of peer pressure? Because they don’t want to appear uncool? Believe it or not, while uncommon, some people do have allergic reactions that are triggered by marijuana. These reactions can range from being very mild, to severe. As the stigma around cannabis consumption is lessoning, more information is becoming available as to why some people don’t tolerate cannabis well.
Some People Are Allergic to Marijuana
Yes, it’s true. Some people really are allergic to marijuana. Pollen from the marijuana plant can trigger allergy symptoms in some people. This can be triggered by several means including inhaling pollen in the air from living flowering plants, smoking cannabis, touching fresh or dried parts of the cannabis plant, or eating/ingesting the plant internally. In other words, cannabis allergies can be similar to those of other plants.
Research published in 2013 indicates that sativa dominant strains tend to be particularly irritating. People that are allergic to other plant pollens, cat dander, molds, and dust mites tend to be susceptible to allergic reactions from cannabis.
If someone is really allergic to marijuana, common symptoms will generally present as follows: dry cough, congestion, itchy eyes, nausea, red, itchy watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, sore or itchy throat. Some may experience skin reactions after touching the plant including blisters, dry skin, hive, itchiness, or red, inflamed skin. Symptoms can come on immediately after exposure to the plant, or they may take a few hours to take effect.
What Should You Do If You’re Experiencing Allergic Reactions to Marijuana?
If you or someone you know is experiencing an allergic reaction, the first thing to do is stop all contact with the plant immediately, stop smoking, change out of any clothing that has been in contact with the plant or smoke, you may even want to take a shower, as long as you are not having a severe reaction. Although very rare, it is possible to have a severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.
Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, fainting, itchy and flushed or pale skin, low blood pressure, swelling of the tongue or throat, weak or rapid pulse, and vomiting are all signs of anaphylaxis, which can lead to coma or death if not treated. It is essential that you seek emergency medical attention right away if any of these symptoms present themselves.
How Do You Know if You’re Allergic to Marijuana
Doctors are able to test to see if you are allergic to marijuana by doing a simple skin prick test. This is a common allergy test in which the doctor applies a diluted sample of the allergen to the surface of the skin with a needle. If a red bump, itching, or redness develops within 15 minutes of the test, the person may be allergic to that substance. Marijuana allergies can also be determined via a blood test. A sample of blood is drawn in order to test for the presence of antibodies.
Currently, there is no treatment if someone is allergic to marijuana. Antihistamines can be helpful for reducing discomfort and symptom management. There are not any allergy shots available for those who are allergic to marijuana pollen. Due to insufficient treatment options, those who are allergic to marijuana should avoid smoking, eating, or touching the plant in order to prevent allergy symptoms. If your allergy is severe, it is advisable to keep an epinephrine injection such as an EpiPen on hand, in case of accidental exposure, to prevent anaphylaxis.
More than Allergies
Some people may not be allergic to THC but they may still experience a negative reaction. New studies are beginning to reveal that there are highly divergent psychological reactions to THC depending on the sensitivity on the part of the individual. While some people experience a euphoric high after smoking or ingesting cannabis, others have a strikingly opposite experience that can include a feeling of panic or paranoia.
A recent study out of the Western University of Ontario made some interesting discoveries as to why this could be. The study was conducted on rats, that the reaction depended on which part of the brain was most sensitive to THC. If the front part of the brain was the most sensitive, a feeling of ease, reduced anxiety, and joy would be experienced.
If the back portion of the brain is most sensitive to THC, negative reactions such as fear and paranoia were triggered. These reactions varied depending on the individual. Scientists are still just beginning to understand some of the more intricate details of how cannabis affects the brain, but this suggests that reactions to THC are based more on biology than mental attitude.
The Bottom Line About Marijuana Allergies
Long story short, some people are more genetically predisposed to be extra sensitive to marijuana and that’s ok! With more states legalizing cannabis, and recreational use becomes more mainstream, there is less stigma. You may notice more of your friends and neighbors are partaking in cannabis in social settings now that it is legal for recreational use in the state of Nevada. There is no need to feel pressured to smoke or ingest marijuana if you don’t enjoy the effects. No friends should ever be making you feel excluded because you don’t share their enjoyment of cannabis.
If you truly are allergic, they should do everything possible to help you avoid having an allergic reaction. If you simply don’t enjoy how you feel under the influence of THC, that is OK too. There’s no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed about this. It could be that your brain chemistry is predisposed to have a negative response to THC. Your friends should support you in feeling great and living your best life, with or without THC.
About OMG THC
We’re homegrown in Las Vegas, Nevada. We embrace niches others in the Cannabis market ignore or reject. Vegan? Diabetic? Gourmet cook? Old-school hash connoisseur? Looking for a specific ratio of CBD and THC in your products? You got it!
Additionally, we care about quality and the effects our products have on people’s lives & health. OMG THC use only CO2 and ethanol extraction methods. We NEVER use butane or other petrochemicals to extract our oils. We want our products to be easy on the body and safe for our team to make.
Our products are simple and they are great. From the cannabis oils, we use to the packaging and the varieties of our products. Finally, and best of all, our edibles are damn delicious! In other words, if we wouldn’t want to eat them, we aren’t going to sell them to anyone else. We NEVER cut our concentrates with anything – period! EVER! We use top-of-the-line C-Cell hardware – always. We ensure quality and purity.
For Adult Use Only
OMG THC products are intended for use by and available to adults 21+ and over. Keep our products out of reach of children and pets. Furthermore, be smart about handling and use, and dosage. Be Vigilant. Keep yourself in check. Finally, enjoy our products responsibly and keep everyone safe.
As always, feel free to Contact OMG THC with any questions or comments you might have. We’re here for you and we’re responsive to your needs. If you’d like to locate OMG THC products, check out our dispensaries list. You can also find out more about OMG THC on Leafly.