You may be allergic to marijuana

Allergy and hemp: Cannabis plants and their seeds can cause allergic reactions

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From: Anna Katharina Küsters

They really do exist: Allergic reactions after consuming cannabis have been proven (symbol image). © Oliver Berg / picture alliance / dpa

Allergy to cannabis: Not only cannabis users can be affected by a hemp allergy. Touching or passive smoking can also cause allergic reactions to the plant.

  • A Cannabis allergy there are reliable figures as to how many people are affected but not yet.

  • The Symptoms are mostly similar to hay fever, in some cases the allergy also leads to asthma.

  • Most of them also arise from an allergy to cannabis Cross allergies. The allergy can only be treated to a limited extent.

Berlin - possession, trade and cultivation of cannabis are prohibited in Germany according to the Narcotics Act. However, consumption does not. Many young people and adults therefore consume regularly Cannabis. A concomitant phenomenon: In the past few years, it has become more and more common allergic reaction or allergy-likeSymptoms after this Cannabis use to be watched. How many people actually from one Cannabis allergy scientists can only estimate that are affected.

Cannabis allergy: increasing number of people affected

Time applies cannabis asMedicinal plant, the consumption of which has anti-inflammatory and relaxing effects. Sometimes they stand out damage to health in the foreground of the public debate. Regardless of the attitude towards the drug, the estimated number of users is impressive: In a position paper of the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) in Berlin Experts estimate that there are around 600,000 abusive or dependent adult consumers in Germany. In addition, consumption among young people rose from 2.8 percent (2011) to 6.4 percent (2014).

In addition, the experts refer to a number of health effects of consumption. So, in addition to psychological and neurological side effects, there can be too allergic reactions come. For example, regular consumption often leads to one chronic bronchitis. You can also allergic reaction on cannabis causing asthma. At a allergy that reacts immune system hypersensitive to certain proteins (allergens) of the cannabis plant. Initially, there is a sensitization: the immune system classifies the allergens as foreign and forms antibodies. With repeated contact it comes to allergic inflammatory reaction. Because of this, you can Cannabis allergies occur even after years of consumption.

Cannabis allergy: symptoms that may indicate an allergic reaction

The Symptoms at a Cannabis allergy can be very different. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the response depends in large part on how people came into contact with the allergen. For example, if you only touch the plant, you can use a allergic reaction of the skin suffer like rash. Hives and pustules are also possible. People who passively inhale or smoke cannabis may react with a blocked or runny nose, sneezing fits, and swollen or red, itchy eyes. Frequent consumption can lead to asthma and shortness of breath. Anaphylactic shock has also been reported in rare cases.

The problem is that the reactions continue even after consuming Hemp seeds may occur. Hemp seeds are located in Food like oil, chocolate bars or spreads. Although these are small amounts, people with allergies should still be careful when consuming them.

Cannabis allergy: Cross allergies are not uncommon

Some studies show cases where people with a Cannabis allergy also be allergic to certain foods. The reason: certain ones found in cannabis Allergens can also be found in food. So it's a Cross allergy. In the study "Cannabis sativa: the unconventional, weed’ allergen ", the scientist Thad L. Ocampo describes the case of a 28-year-old cannabis user. This showed violent allergic reaction when consuming cannabis regularly. Beside his Cannabis allergy the man also showed allergic reactions to apples, figs, pepper, almonds and eggplant. Common allergic reactions with cannabis allergy are:

  • Allergic reactions to tomatoes
  • Allergic reactions to peaches
  • Allergic reactions from hazelnuts

Also allergic reactions to the Pollen the Cannabis plant could already be observed.

Cannabis allergy: these therapies can help

The effectiveness of Treatment methodsat a Cannabis allergy has not yet been scientifically proven. Already the diagnosis turns out to be difficult because there are no standardized procedures. In so-called prick tests, patients are given ingredients of the cannabis plant in liquid form on the skin, which is then pierced with a small needle. The doctor will then see whether the body reacts to the substances with a red rash or itching. A Self test can not.

A Desensitizationfor a cannabis allergy is not yet standard and is only rarely carried out. A healing in the classical sense is therefore not possible. Those affected usually only have the option of avoiding cannabis and corresponding foods (allergen avoidance). In addition, scientists are calling for further studies and research on the topic of cannabis and allergies in order to be able to advise and make better decisions about the health effects and the use of the plant.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. Under no circumstances does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.