All you need to know about THC cannabis allergies (and how to avoid them)

With the development of the cannabis market, more and more consumers dare to talk about the benefits, but also sometimes about their problems following the consumption of hemp or the use of a derivative. This concerns in particular the appearance of allergic symptoms. The Weedy teams return today to the allergy risks associated with the consumption of THC cannabis : do they exist, what are they and how to manage them?

Can you be allergic to THC cannabis?

Cannabis allergens are released into the air or during consumption

Let’s break a taboo right away: yes, cannabis contains allergens. The first description of allergic symptoms linked to the consumption of hemp dates back to 1971. Due to the illicit nature of the substance in most countries, there are nevertheless relatively few studies on the subject. It also appears that very few users develop allergic reactions to THC or other components of cannabis. Between the lack of visibility and the low risk of allergy identified to date, it is therefore difficult to comment clearly and precisely on allergies to cannabis THC.

It seems safe to say, however, that yes, it is possible to have a cannabis THC allergy. However, the risk, like the majority of symptoms, does not justify being overly concerned. Researchers have also identified that the allergens in hemp are found in both in the smoke, in the plant and in the pollen.

Cannabis THC allergy: different symptoms depending on the method of consumption

cannabis allergy respiratory problems min
Like many other plants, cannabis can cause conjunctivitis

The way we take it, or in any case the way we come into contact with cannabis or one of its derivatives, can influence the possible symptoms caused.

  • Inhalation of allergens (by smoking a cannabis joint or inhaling pollen for example): it can cause respiratory problems and in particular inflammation of the nasal mucosa, conjunctivitis, asthma or swelling of the eyelids.
  • Application locale: it can lead to skin reactions and other symptoms, for example edema or hives.
  • Ingestion : it can cause some rare violent reactions in consumers prone to allergies, including anaphylactic shock. This mainly concerns the ingestion of cannabis seeds or marijuana tea.

Be careful, however, just because your body reacts unexpectedly to the use of a cannabis product does not mean that you are allergic to hemp itself. Always remember to take a close look at the list of ingredients: many allergens can hide there. An example ? If your skin turns red or you suffer from a rash after applying a CBD sunscreen product or CBD oil for acne relief, the oil may be to blame, and not cannabis. Certain oils are indeed said to be “comedogenic” and have the annoying tendency to clog the pores of the skin.

Cross-allergies to hemp and cofactors

The chemical structure of allergens in hemp is similar to that of allergens in other fruits and vegetables. This chemical proximity leads to a risk of cross-allergies with certain fruits and vegetables. More precisely, the phenomenon has been named “cannabis-fruit-vegetable syndrome” [lien en anglais].

What scientists have been able to highlight is the common presence in many fruits and vegetables as well as in cannabis of lipid transfer proteins (or LTPs, for Lipid transfer proteins). More simply, these proteins are in charge of transporting fatty acids through the body. The LTP present in cannabis is called Can s 3. Combined with other LTPs of very similar structure, it presents a risk of cross-allergy.

This is particularly the case of the combined consumption of cannabis with other plants such as cherry, apple, tomato, grapefruit, hazelnut, chestnut and even latex.

hemp cross allergy min fruit
The combination of cannabis + fruits or vegetables can intensify an allergy

The role of cofactors in hemp allergies

Allergists also warn us against so-called cofacteurs : some behaviors that can promote the severity of an allergic reaction. Trivially, if an individual reacts only very weakly to the allergenic nature of cannabis, it is possible that certain elements put together amplify this reaction. Some cofactors have already been identified and in particular:

  • The alcohol consumption,
  • L’sports activity before taking cannabis,
  • The premenstrual period,
  • The taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (Ibubrofen, Nurofen, Arthrocine for example).

To conclude: is cannabis allergy an allergy to THC?

Here again, the lack of sources and comprehensive research calls for caution. Some indicate a predisposition of sativas to be more irritating than indicas. Others that the level of THC would contribute to the intensity of the allergic reactions. So, the more THC the hemp variety contains, the greater the allergic risk could be, suggesting that THC alone could be an allergen.

These first conclusions, like many others, therefore encourage us to turn to products less loaded with THC, which also has the definite advantage of not causing psychotropic effects and also of eliminating the risk of addiction to the substance. A good point for the legal CBD cannabis, whose THC level is strictly controlled and must be below 0.2% to be able to market the product. The extracts are generally guaranteed without THC. This is particularly the case with our CBD oils, our crystals and our CBD e-liquids.

It is advisable in all cases to take precautions and therefore to be attentive to possible symptoms. If you notice an unusual reaction following taking cannabis, legal or not, seek advice from a healthcare professional without further ado. It also appears that many allergic reactions to cannabis are caused not by the plant itself but by the plant itself. presence of mold on flowers, in particular caused by poor storage. So always be sure to use quality products and store your CBD properly. You will thus avoid the majority of the risks of allergy to cannabis!

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