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.