Can You Be Allergic To Marijuana?

can you be allergic to marijuana

Because everybody’s born unique, a lot of people have been showing various allergies toward certain things including plants. Likewise, the signs and symptoms of such conditions vary, too. It can be mild to severe.

As marijuana comes to fame ever since its complete legalization, it’s been part of that long list of allergy-causing elements. Can you be allergic to marijuana? Studies show it’s possible and that’s because of the properties that marijuana contains. 

A lot of reports have been about marijuana allergies among several people. Cannabis is highly medicinal but because of the pollen, it contains, the allergic reaction among users became a rampant issue. Can you be allergic to marijuana? The answer is yes.

What is Allergic Reaction?

In this modern world, there’s what you call as allergies. It is a reaction that the body produces every time. If ever you experience any issue with your body after consuming cannabis, then it only means you have an allergy.

The extent and type of allergy also differ from person to person. The part of your body that must be blamed for this is no other than your immune system. Apart from reacting to cannabis pollen, the immune system also plays another important role inside the body.

It is responsible for defending the body from foreign elements that invade your body like viruses and bacteria. Once your immune system actively fights against something inside, it shall send a message to the brain. It simply says, “Stop the invader!”

Each antibody acts separately on targeting one allergen at a time. That is the reason why some people have specific allergies.

Symptoms: How Can You Be Allergic to Marijuana

So if one is allergic to marijuana, how would he/she know about it? There are signs and symptoms to rely on for diagnosing themselves whether they are allergic or not. The best move is to consult a doctor still but to be aware of what’s happening, you may need to look into the list below for the common symptoms experienced by cannabis smokers with allergy.

  • Red, watery eyes
  • High fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Congestion

Some cases of marijuana allergy also resemble signs of dermatitis as the beginning of the allergic reaction to the herb. Through the skin prick test in 2007, experts found that cannabis is an element which can lead to skin irritation and which presents problems like:

  • Inflamed skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Hives
  • Itchiness

Causes of Cannabis Allergy

  1. High exposure to sun and water
  2. Increased THC level
  3. Habitual use of cannabis for smoking

Risk Factors

Aside from people who are in danger of anaphylaxis or the life-threatening kind of allergic reaction to foods, insects, meds, and others, more risks await those who dare to smoke marijuana. The said other effects are what you call cross-reactivity of the allergens from cannabis to that of other allergens from other products.

For your awareness and safety, marijuana has similar allergens as the following foods:

  • Apples
  • Chestnuts
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Tomatoes
  • Almonds
  • Eggplant

If possible, try not to consume any of the food while also smoking cannabis for they might bring you dangerous effects later on. 


Like any ordinary allergies, cannabis allergy can be diagnosed easily through any of the two effective methods such as skin and blood tests. You may choose one of the two methods and still get the same effective result.

–         Skin Test is preceded by a physical examination by a physician and a background check of one’s history of allergic reactions in the past before they are advised to get skin tested. The result of this test arrives faster than with other tests. With a skin prick test, a dissolved allergen from marijuana will be applied onto the skin using an ordinary needle. You have a marijuana allergy if a bump or redness appears on that same spot in your skin after 15 minutes.

–         Blood Test is done by getting a sample of blood from you to check for antibodies that will react to marijuana. People who are allergic to marijuana have more antibodies than normal people do. The result from this kind of test is better but may take a lot longer period to be completed.

Possible Treatment

Again, the allergy you feel towards marijuana does not have any cure until now. Temporarily, an antihistamine will help with reducing the discomfort and others. 

For other pollen-caused allergies, doctors also recommend allergy shots to be given to patients to reduce their sensitization to the substance. However, such a cure is still not applicable and effective for cannabis allergy. In this case, you should refrain from eating, smoking, or vaping cannabis to prevent unwanted reactions.

How to Prevent

No matter how much some people love to smoke and indulge in cannabis, it’s just not possible. The only way to avoid this allergic reaction is to stay away from it and never be exposed to it. For patients who have found marijuana as the best cure to their illnesses, consulting your doctor for an alternative medication is important.

Non-smokers who have this kind of allergy and are still being exposed to marijuana often may use the following tools to protect themselves.

  • Inhalers
  • Usual meds for allergy
  • Face mask
  • Gloves

Other Types of Allergies and Their Effects

Insect sting allergy – large area swelling plant, anaphylaxis, itching, and coughing

Food allergy – tingly mouth, hives, swelling areas like the tongue. 

Drug allergy –the itchy skin, hives, wheezing, facial swelling, rash, and anaphylaxis

Hay fever – runny stuffy nose, watery or yellowish eyes, sneezing, 

Anaphylaxis – unconsciousness, weak pulse, lightheadedness, lower blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, and shortness of breath. This type of allergy is the worst because it can take someone’s life instantly while taking delight in your favorite cannabis strain, too.

Final Thoughts

Not everything you take is good for your body. Whether it’s food or medication, sometimes it’s just not possible for your body to accept. Can you be allergic to marijuana? Of course, you can. And so you must consider yourself very lucky if you’re not. There’s a lot of things you’ll miss when you can’t taste even a joint of cannabis.