1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
Daniel More, MD

Marijuana Allergy

By April 12, 2011

Follow me on:

Just when you think you've heard it all, the latest allergy might surprise you -- some people are actually allergic to pot. Or, maybe this isn't that surprising, at least not to allergists. Marijuana is a weed, and like other weeds, may cause allergies. When we think of weed allergy, we typically think of the cause being airborne pollen, although various studies have shown that pollen allergens can be present in other parts of plants. A recent study documented people experiencing various allergic reactions to marijuana, from hay fever caused by smoking pot to anaphylaxis from consuming a tea made from marijuana. Skin testing to an extract made from marijuana buds and flowers was positive.

Other non-pollen parts of plants have been known to cause allergic reactions as well. For example, certain people with ragweed allergy have experienced allergic reactions from consumption of herbal teas containing chamomile. I published a study showing that people allergic to mesquite pollen are at risk for allergic reactions to foods barbecued over mesquite wood, and my colleagues have shown that people with tobacco allergy can be allergic to cigarette smoke.

Read more:

Comments
April 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm
(1) Tammy says:

What a situation this could leave someone in. Imagine they are in a state where pot is illegal, they are having an allergic reaction and are high all at the same time.

December 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm
(2) banished jester says:

Though no documentation has ever revealed a death from marijuana directly it is not surprising that allergies to it exist. That does not detract from the beneficial qualities that can be utilized from the plant. Violent reactions to marijuana are still undocumented and personally I think it is unlikely to be found any time soon. Cost / Benefit analysis indicates that this plant should be legal and available both as a recreation, medicine and industrial asset. No real valid arguments can detract from several thousand years of established history.

August 2, 2012 at 4:57 am
(3) Maharaja says:

I know two people who are severely allergic to exposure to MJ. Smokers who have smoke ‘residue’ on them is enough to set one off…almost immediate hives and anaphylaxis. She’s gotten a couple hospital stays because someone on the bus had been smoking and somehow touched her in passing, or whatever. A VERY severe reaction. Hug someone, shake their hand. Whatever.

August 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm
(4) longtimetoker says:

I have smoked for years, however i do have bad allergies at certain times during the year. dust, ragweed, etc all get to me. during the summer months when weed pollen is at its worst i will sometimes suffer an allergy attack from the marijuana . it is rare for it to last more than 24 hours, and its usually a very minor sickness, unless of course i smoke more weed. some tea with lots of lemon, a couple of cough drops, some grape tomatoes, and staying away from marijuana usually does the trick for me. i used to use over the counter things for my attacks but since i have been toughing it out with the natural ‘medicine’ they have become less frequent and less severe. im not saying it would be the same for everyone, this is just what i have found to work for me.

February 6, 2013 at 8:31 am
(5) No Pot says:

I’m deathly allergic to pot smoke! My teenage stepson started smoking in the house. Can’t breath!! Thought I was going to die. Even a small amount, not enough for anyone else in the house to smell, gives me the shakes & instant headache. Stepson used a water bag to blow smoke in, one afternoon, husband came home & found me passed out, no feeling in hands or feet/legs. Over 20 minutes before I could speak to him. ER told me I had a very mild high & the next time I might not wake up & die. It should never be legal or used in public! I test positive for grass allergy, pot is a grass.

February 27, 2013 at 8:21 am
(6) marysmom says:

My daughter is allergic to almost all varieties of trees, grasses,weeds, tobacco, dogs/cats and about 12 foods/spices. She is adamant about not being exposed to anything in these groups however she smokes pot four or five times daily. She has not been tested for an allergic reaction to pot but I think it is likley that she is allergic given the other results. Should I insist she be tested and if so, will revealing this information to her allergist put her in danger of being reported to the police? She insists sharing this information will cause negative effects.

March 9, 2014 at 6:28 pm
(7) Loralovesartie says:

so pot should “never be legal or used in public” because some people have allergies? GTF outta here. mental case.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.