While, as cannabis lovers we know that the plant has dozens of therapeutic uses and zero possibility of overdose, there is a concern that people, especially those new to its use, need to keep in mind. Like any plant, people can, and are, allergic to it. Check out the video to see one such terrible tale of suffering from a cannabis allergy.
The saddest allergy in the world
Yes, not only can people suffer from a cannabis allergy, as with other common allergies, regular exposure to the plant over time can cause the allergy to develop in people who have enjoyed it for years. Take Conor Purdon for example. At 25, he has used cannabis for almost a decade with nothing but positive and pleasant effects. Then one day he tried a dab.
I actually took a hit of what we call concentrate. So it’s high-concentrated THC. I hit one of those, and I’m not sure if I rubbed something in my eye, or what happened, but I had a heavy kind of allergy reaction to my face. – Purdon
It turned out he had experienced an allergic reaction. Dr. Gordon Sussman, an allergy specialist in Toronto, says with the growing acceptance of cannabis in the mainstream, more cases of people with the allergy are coming to light.
Symptoms of having a cannabis allergy
The symptoms are generally due to inhaling marijuana or touching marijuana. So if you inhale the marijuana, you can have a running [nose] and sneezing and itchy watery eyes and coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. If you touch marijuana you can have hives and swelling. – Dr. Sussman
Like ragweed and other pollens, the flowers of the plant that many prize can be a bane for others. Because of the illegal nature of the plant over the years, many believe the reactions go underreported.
Not just cannabis users are affected
The other group of patients you might want to recognize are people who work in the industry, people who work with marijuana, because they can be sensitized and have allergies, because they work with it all the time. – Dr. Sussman
For some, taking an antihistamine or allergy medication may be enough to avoid negative reactions at work. For others, it might be worth considering another vocation.
It really happens
For Purdon, who not only medicates for medical reasons but owns several dispensaries in Toronto, while holding a master’s in ethnobotany, avoiding it is not an option.
As medical use becomes more prevalent, Sussman is working on a simple skin or blood test to help people catch this allergic sensitivity before complications occur. As this really can be a serious side effect of even second-hand exposure, it puts the responsibility on the cannabis community to be sensitive to the potential of this occurring.
Do you know someone who suffers from a cannabis allergy? Is it severe? Share their plight on social media or in the comments below.
His other positions include Co-founder and product design for Cool Vapes and Creative Director for Ergrow Systems.
He is also Founder / President / Creative Director for The Official Cannabis Book of World Records.
Unity through Compassion!