Can You Be Allergic To Marijuana?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Like with all medications, it is possible to become allergic to medical marijuana. As more patients gain access to the medication, more is being discovered about marijuana allergies. The most recent study surrounding marijuana as an allergen was published in 2015 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.  Led by Dr. Thad Ocampo, researchers expanded on previous research and identified the proteins, like RuBisCo, luminal binding protein, and parts of ATP synthase, that are responsible for causing marijuana allergies. They found these proteins could trigger abnormal immune responses in some people.

A case study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2012 exposed 17 patients to skin-prick tests that used marijuana extract. All of them developed allergic reaction symptoms from the prick, which included skin reactions like rashes and hives. Fifteen of them also developed a runny nose and wheezing. Those symptoms are common, but more serious allergies can lead to anaphylactic shock. That being said, if you suffer from marijuana allergies, you're likely used to dealing with other allergies as well. Allergist Dr. Lori Connors explains, “It goes along with pollen allergies, and there are some individuals who have oral allergies, which are a cross reaction between a pollen and a food that someone is ingesting. It’s called a pollen-food allergy syndrome. It seems that those individuals seem to be the ones getting marijuana allergies.”

Marijuana is not unique in producing allergies, but if you would like to use the medication. be mindful of allergic reactions that may develop. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.