Your worst nightmare: after smoking a fat bowl you suddenly you start coughing (not in the normal getting-you-high way), you feel itchy and your throat starts to close up. You might have developed an allergy to cannabis. The question is though, why did this happen to you?
There’s More Cannabis Around Now Than Ever
Attitudes toward cannabis are changing around the globe and with more places legalizing it, there is now more cannabis than ever before. Dr. Purvi Parikh an immunologist at the non-profit Allergy and Asthma Network, actually believes that allergic reactions to cannabis have been underreported because of the legal status of the plant. “Now as the prevalence [of marijuana use] is increasing, and with the legalization in many states, it is going to become increasingly more common, and all these cases will surface that were not recognized before,” Parikh said.
Cannabis Is A Pollinating Plant
Pollen allergies are common and cannabis contains pollen like any other plant. Some people who cultivate cannabis for dispensaries have reported allergic reactions after handling the plant. This will probably not affect those who smoke cannabis because the plant has already been trimmed and dried by the time it reaches you.
There Are Now More Strains Than Ever
Now that cannabis is legal in more areas of the world, there is not only more cannabis, there are now more strains than ever before. Many different compounds are being used to cultivate these new strains. Since people have different reactions to these chemical compounds, you might be allergic to a particular compound used in the strain you are smoking. Switching to a different strain may help in this case.
It Could Be The Smoke
As I’m sure you’re aware by now, smoke is an irritant and some people are prone to allergic reactions from it. The smoke produced by the combustion method of using cannabis is just as much of an irritant as smoke from a cigarette. This is why some people prefer to vape their cannabis. It really is better for your lungs.
So What Can I Do?
Sure, there are things that you can do to attempt to treat an allergy to cannabis, but first and foremost: if you are experiencing an allergic reaction, you should go see your doctor. I am not a trained physician, so I am not giving you medical advice. If you think you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis, stop reading this right now and go see a doctor. Cannabis has never killed anyone, but people do die from anaphylactic shock, if it goes untreated. Some people have reported that taking allergy medication has helped them when they’re having a mild allergic reaction, but that is purely anecdotal. If you think that you are allergic to cannabis the best idea to me, would be to quit using it. This is why it is a good idea to see a doctor. They can figure out what is causing your allergy and determine if it’s even cannabis causing it. You are your own person, so you should do what you think is best. Use good judgement!
Have you experienced an allergic reaction to cannabis? How have you coped with it? Share below in the comments!