Allergy to Marijuana – Is it Common? Is It Fatal?
Cannabis offers a lot of benefits. It helps control several symptoms – from chronic, intractable pain to even treatment-resistant seizures. Without a doubt, the legalization of medical cannabis is benefiting millions of patients. But not all patients will benefit from cannabis though. Some patients are allergic to cannabis. Their allergy to marijuana can even trigger life-threating symptoms.
What is marijuana allergy?
Allergy to marijuana resembles other types of allergies. Its symptoms also depend on how you were exposed. For example, direct contact with the plant causes skin itching and rashes. Inhaling its pollens result in respiratory problems like shortness of breath, wheezing, runny nose, and sneezing. It also causes watery, swollen eyes. Ingestion causes you to break out in hives or develop breathing problems. It also causes abdominal pain.
Most people with an allergy to marijuana develop mild to moderate symptoms. But some develop severe adverse reactions though. Symptoms to watch out for include rapid and weak pulse rate, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and difficulty breathing. You also need to look out for facial swelling with swollen lips, tongue, and throat.
These symptoms mean an anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening reaction to an allergen. Should you develop these symptoms, you need to go to the hospital immediately. Anaphylactic shock can be pretty fatal if you don’t receive proper medical attention.
Marijuana Allergies on the Rise
Allergy to marijuana is still quite uncommon. But its prevalence increased in recent years. Unfortunately, the flourishing marijuana industry contributed to this increase. Cannabis pollens from farms travel great distances, triggering allergic reactions in people sensitive to pollens. Plant handling, cannabis exposure (direct and passive), and ingestion also contribute to marijuana sensitization. Even medical marijuana patients are at risk.
According to one study, THC seems to play a role in marijuana allergy. However, a more recent study suggests that a certain protein in cannabis may be the allergen. This protein, called Can s 3, was also seen in other cases of cannabis allergy.
Allergy to Marijuana – Problems to Come
Experts warn that the legalization of cannabis and allergy to marijuana will create legal problems. As cannabis consumption becomes more common, we are going to see an increase in marijuana allergy.
It’s a problem that needs to be addressed as this conflict is going to create a case of competing for human rights. On one hand, patients need their medical cannabis to control their symptoms. On the other hand, people with marijuana allergy need a marijuana-free environment to prevent allergic reactions.
This is exactly what’s happening in a condominium in Mississauga, Ontario. One of their residents, Adele Schroder, suffers from an allergy to marijuana. She stuffs towels under her door to control the smell. But despite her efforts, it still leaks through the ventilation system, increasing her fear of developing anaphylactic shock.
Schroeder raised the issue with the board, only to find out that the building also houses several medical cannabis patients. Their dilemma puts the condo board in a bit of a bind since they have to protect both parties.
For now, the condo board is still looking for a solution that benefits both parties.