How to Know If You’re Allergic to Weed [Definitive Guide]

Your Guide to Cannabis Allergies and Symptoms
MarijuanaBreak Staff MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on April 9, 2017

Allergic to Weed

Throughout the world they are plenty of substances that humans can become allergic to. Plenty of individuals suffer with seasonal allergies as well as food allergies, and some of them can be as serious as a threat to one’s life. With more than 50 million Americans alone suffering from allergies, it’s no surprise that symptoms could develop from just about anything, but is an allergic reaction to marijuana actually a real thing?

As the number of individuals consuming marijuana for medical or recreational purposes rises each and every day, and as tolerance towards cannabis consumption increases, scientists studying allergies are looking into what causes weed allergies and the downside to potentially possessing a negative reaction to this medicinal crop.

How can you know if you are allergic to Marijuana?

Understand Your Symptoms:

The first step to recognizing if you have a sensitivity, or maybe even are allergic reaction to marijuana, is to understand the symptoms. What happens after you smoke or consume cannabis? Are your symptoms a natural reaction to smoking weed, or do they seem abnormal? Most importantly, do you have a legitimate reaction to the marijuana plant itself, or could it possibly be a reaction to any mold that could be growing on the buds?

Commonly, when an individual possesses a sensitivity or allergy to marijuana, their symptoms will be some of the following:

  • Hay fever
  • Pink eye
  • Asthmatic symptoms when inhaled through the mouth
  • Itching throat
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion.

Additionally, some individuals can also have skin reactions when coming into contact with the cannabis or hemp plant. Some of these skin reactions includes:

  • Hives,
  • Swelling
  • Itching

Understand What Causes a Marijuana Allergy:

There are typically 3 root sources as to why a person might believe they are allergic to marijuana:

  • If there are large amounts of cannabis grown in your area, during the peak seasons you may be experiencing a reaction to the weed pollen in the air. This reaction is typically quite similar to when your friends during certain times of year talk about “having allergies”, or maybe you even have been experiencing these seasonal allergies yourself. The pollen of marijuana is no different, it can cause a reaction as well, especially in a region with a high (no pun intended) density of pot plants growing. Symptoms that often occur due to this pollen allergy include, post-nasal drip, runny nose, red eyes, congestion in the nasal area, sneezing and itching eyes/nose.
  • You might actually be allergic to the mold on the cannabis you’re consuming. This fact might seem rather disturbing, but just as an apple left uneaten for too long can develop mold and bacteria, so can your marijuana. If for some reason the bud hasn’t been dried or cured properly after harvest, there is a possibility that it could contain mold. Additionally, mold can grow on bud left in sealed jars if spores were already present. Many buds that are tested in labs have even just a small presence of mold, and this issue is one that has been deeply affecting the quality of crops from cannabis growers world wide.
  • The least likely possibility, you could actually be allergic to the components in the cannabis plant itself. This is the least likely of the three options, but nevertheless, some individuals are actually allergic to the elements that are in the marijuana plant. These reactions are typically more serious.

I Think I Might Be Allergic to Marijuana. What Should I Do?

The most important thing to do if you think you might have a marijuana allergy is to stay calm and get evidence before making any assumptions. Your negative reactions to marijuana could be caused by a number of different factors as mentioned above, so it’s best to consult a professional for real answers and not make any self-diagnoses.

Consulting with an allergy specialist can provide you with some much needed answers, even if the conversation of marijuana might be an uncomfortable one to have with a medical professional. Thankfully, doctors have to keep your information confidential by law, and many states are already recognizing medical legality of cannabis, as well as recreational legality. Consuming marijuana is not nearly as taboo as it was even just 15 years ago, so don’t feel uncomfortable about being honest with your allergy specialist- they are here to help, it’s their job.

Your allergist will most likely need to conduct a skin test, for this is typically the most accurate way of understanding cannabis allergies and sensitivities. These tests involve skin pricking and are typically a non-invasive method of testing that produces fairly quick results (as compared with other methods). Best of all, it will hopefully provide you with the answers you desire.

Luckily for cannabis lovers worldwide, marijuana is considered a mild allergen, requiring quite a significant level of exposure in order for an allergic reaction to be produced. More likely than not, if you are sensitive to the good green stuff, you are actually reacting to either pollen or mold and not the plant itself.

I Really Feel I Have a Sensitivity to Marijuana; What Are My Alternative Options?

There are alternative options to those who are trying to remove smoking cannabis from their lives, either due to smoke being harmful for their asthma, or negative reactions because of pollen and mold.

If you think you are sensitive to the pollen, this reaction can often be tough.
Just as millions of Americans deal with seasonal allergies, your reaction to cannabis pollen will have similar solutions. If you are around bud, try only consuming edibles and condensed forms of marijuana which are less likely to have pollen particles. Investing in a good air filter can also help to keep any of the particles out of your house or living space. If all else fails, over the counter antihistamines that are recommended for the treatment of seasonal allergies or eye drops (if you get itchy eyes), can assist in lessening the uncomfortable symptoms you might be experiencing.

If you think you are sensitive to the mold, then it is best to switch the way you consume cannabis.
By consuming cooked or processed marijuana in exchange with “raw bud” (the type you smoke), you are minimizing your chances of being exposed to the possible remnants of mold that can be inhaled by your lungs when you are smoking ganja. The heat and high temperatures kill all the possible mold particles, making it safe for those sensitive to this factor. Mold on your marijuana might sound disgusting, but studies have shown that a large percentage of weed on the market have some level of mold particles on them. This is actually pretty natural, just as potatoes and carrots are normally covered in dirt when you first pick them. Switch to raw bud alternatives, for example: edibles, concentrates, tinctures and more if you think you might be sensitive to this mold!

If you have gotten testing and your allergist believes you have an allergy to the actual cannabis plant itself,
then this is typically when you might need to cut marijuana out of your life. We are so sorry, and this really sucks, but luckily this allergy is quite mild and not too common. If your symptoms aren’t so bad, try switching over to edibles and processed forms of cannabis too, your allergy might actually be a pollen or mold problem in disguise. If you don’t mind doing a little experimenting and you feel personally that it is safe to do so, explore your other weed options and see if any of them make your body react in a different manner.

Final Thoughts About Marijuana and Allergies:

Weed allergies are certainly no fun, but it’s good to get your facts straight and grasp a better understanding of what might actually be the problem. If you really want to keep marijuana in your lifestyle, keep your other options open and try not to jump to conclusions too quickly without hardcore evidence. Most of all, listen to your body and truly observe the ways you are reacting and don’t be afraid to get allergy testing done if you believe you may have a real issue.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and that our guide has provided you with some useful information regarding cannabis sensitivities and allergies.

  1. William Menard
    Try it

    Although weed is quite popular, but many people out there are allergic as well. And you would know when you consume it. For those who are allergic, even small consumption can cause severe outbursts of rashes or cough or breathing problems etc. So as a new one, you can start with a test dose, and it that is okay, you can gradually increase your dose.

  2. Lara Crommelin
    Change and see

    I smoked Northern Lights and developed severe acne or some type of rash. And then I tried ACDC when I recovered, that was absolutely okay. So better change your strain if you are allergic to one.

  3. Anais Esquivel
    Looking for help - Severely allergic

    I am apparently severely allergic to it. I break out in hives, blisters, rashes, severe dry skin and swelling underneath the skin. Unfortunately I have to wait for all of it is out of my system to have full relief. my dermatologist doesn’t really believe that that is what it is. I have to get steroid shots to get relief for a short time. I start to have a flare ups after two or three months even if I’m not smoking. I’m guessing because I still have some of it in my system.
    Is there something some one might know how to detox myself from this to speed up the healing. I really am in a lot of pain, I learned to live with it but i can’t take it anymore. How can I get my body clean fast rather than just waiting, I smoked for a while before realizing what it was causing my skin condition. I’m guessing from the amount I was smoking and the time it will take to clear out my body it should take about 6 months.
    ******Does anyone have answers?******

  4. Jojo

    Not an allergy but every single time I try weed, I have paranoia and shakes. I cannot understand how this drug relaxes people, it is by far the lowest on the scale of drugs I liked. Only one time did I have an okay exp but by the end of the night it still had my heart racing and the inevitable paranoia set in or was set off my just one wrong word from someone. Who the hell wants to do a drug where one wrong word can set off paranoia, especially because you cannot control what other people say so it could happen at any time. Nope, no thanks

  5. Stacey Schick

    I have an itchy throat, please help me

  6. Deb

    I have become highly allergic to the plant itself. It causes my blood pressure to drop extremely fast and I pass out immediately after being exposed.
    I have also learned that I am allergic to other foods that would fall into the same category… tomatoes, grapefruit, eggplant, bananas, certain nuts, apples, and peaches.
    I’m so skeptical of even trying CBD oils.

  7. Carrie Cooper

    The reason behind sudden itching is unknown. But through this article, I got to know that I am allergic to marijuana.

  8. Mike

    I’m skeptical about people even coming across marijuana pollen. If there were a lot of outdoor marijuana being grown the male plants are culled before they mature specifically to stop pollen and seeding of the weed.

  9. None ya

    I’ve been smoking for years, and sadly I just started to become allergic. I have a severe mold AND pollen allergy. After smoking I go into anaphylaxis… it’s scary. Glad to read that there are alternatives.

  10. Ruthie A. Chang

    I was so relieved to read that there are no symptoms that I am at risk for! I can continue my marijuana use 🙂

  11. Sherry Lund

    Amazing article. Got complete information on marijuana allergies. Well done!

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