Am I Allergic to Weed?
It is totally possible to be allergic to weed. Trust this, coming from a girl with tons of weird allergies herself! (I'm allergic to more types of grass and trees than I can remember).
Did you know that many people suffer from asthma triggered by exposure to marijuana? The pollen and the smoke found in pot can cause those poor few to suffer greatly. The numbers of people expected to report allergies to marijuana are increasing as its popularity increases. Weed allergies are rare, for now, but they are very real.
Just as people wondered if they'd ever be able to shop without risk of an asthma attack inflicted by cigarette smoke exposure, some worry if they're bound to be exposed to marijuana smoke more often than their allergies can handle. I, personally, hope people are educated and respectful enough to know not to expose any strangers to their smoke... I'm logical enough to know that's a bit far-fetched, though. With weed seeming to become as acceptable (or more accepted than) cigarettes, are we putting innocent people at risk?
Let's see what people suffering from weed allergies typically have to deal with.
Weed Allergy Symptoms
If your immune system feels under attack by marijuana's smoke or pollen, you'll likely experience:
- Stuffy (inflamed) nostrils
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
If you come into contact with the plant itself, your reaction may include any of the following:
- Inflamed, itchy, red eyes
- Skin irritation / itchiness / rash
- Hives (bumpy, itchy, uncomfortable rashes caused by an allergic reaction)
Anaphylactic shock is also a possibility, but (usually) only for people with severe allergies to marijuana. Many people with allergies (to anything) this extreme are made aware of their susceptibility to anaphylactic shock by their doctors. There are still some unfortunate people that haven't had an allergy screening to know what they need to really avoid! But if they have been informed of the seriousness of their allergies by their doctor, they've also probably been equipped with an epi-pen. If you want to know what it might feel like, going into anaphylactic shock, think of people who are extremely allergic to venoms. The reaction takes the body over quickly, so quickly it's ridiculous. Before you know it, your heart is racing and everything seems to be closing off. Your throat, your tongue swells, it gets incredibly hard to breathe. You start to lose circulation. Hives could also be spreading furiously across your body. If you ever think you're experiencing this, please alert the nearest person or try to make it to an epi-pen!
Nausea and vomiting are also some reported allergic reactions to pot. Smoke, of any sort, commonly causes nausea.
Avoid living in the land of green ganja if you think you have allergies. If you're allergic to the pollen, you're in for one heck of a ride if you do move beside a medical marijuana field.
Some people are allergic to hemp seeds. Other cannabis-allergic people are allergic to all forms of the plant and its secretions [or excretions].
Watch out for mold on your marijuana. The dankest nugs are often the ones you need to obverse the most. They could be laced with leftover chemicals, or worse, a mold-farm! Not that anyone was farming mold on your weed, but mold loves the conditions weed is stored in. Cool, dark, slightly humid place... mold party, commence!
A lot of people are seriously allergic to fungi and fungus. Mold is a fungus. If you can't eat mushrooms (the food kind, silly!), you might be allergic to other fungi as well... so beware when you get your fresh, dank bag of bud from the mountains. The more you know, the healthier you can be. There are some videos floating around online telling you how to spot if weed has mold or excess chemicals on it, and if (or how) you can remove it.
- If you're allergic to ragweed, Russian thistle, or cocklebur, you could be allergic to weed.
- Hazelnut, wheat, and yeast-allergic people could be sensitive to some of the proteins in cannabis, as well.
Allergic to tomatoes? What about tobacco? Peaches? You'd likely be allergic to weed, too! Is this a lot to absorb? It is, for me! If there's one thing I don't understand about the human body (as an allergy-sufferer, myself) it's allergies! Why must you exist, you evil things?!
In Short, What to Do When You're Allergic
Most importantly, see your doctor. If you touch, eat, or smoke weed and suddenly can't breathe or can't stop sneezing, let your doctor know. They can get you the medicinal help you may need, and also run an allergen screen test!
If you have trouble breathing, and you've come into contact with marijuana, grab some allergy medicine (antihistamines), your inhaler, or your epi-pen. Invest in an allergen-reducing air purifier! (I've been looking at a few of those, myself. I'm allergic to my own cats, for crying out loud).
Avoid being around the smoke or the plants. If you must, because it's your job or some other important reason, be responsible and cautious for your own health and safety. Wear full-body armor! I don't mean any shiny armor, I just mean put on some thick, long-sleeved shirts and some thick, long pants. Don't leave your wrists, hands, ankles, or feet exposed. Don't leave your fact exposed... yes, that means wearing a mask and goggles, if you must!
It really sounds like a lot more work than it's worth, doesn't it? But if you feel you need to stay in your situation, those tips should help. Wouldn't hurt to keep emergency medicine nearby, though.
Quit smoking weed or exposing yourself to marijuana altogether, to avoid every possible allergic reaction you could have to it! It's probably easier said than done, but if you see someone smoking a joint, exit the room (leaving the place completely would be best). If your irresponsible roommate has left his bag unattended and the A/C kicked on and blew it (spilling the entire contents) around, just vacuum it up. He'll get over it, or he's a bad roommate because preventing an allergy outbreak is more important than his need to get high!
You're important. Your health is important. Love yourself, guard yourself. Most importantly, accept and be yourself! Allergies and all!