If a person experiences an allergic reaction to marijuana, he could experience the same types of allergy symptoms as he would with pollen, bee stings, or other common allergens. He might develop skin rashes or hives or breathing difficulties and throat problems. For many people, these reactions aren’t dependent upon how they come into contact with the marijuana. This means they could have allergic reactions if they smoke it, ingest it, or even touch it. Not all experts are in agreement as to exactly what causes the allergic reactions, but anyone experiencing a reaction should seek immediate medical attention.
Signs of an allergic reaction to marijuana are similar to some of the same types of allergic reactions to other allergens. Common skin problems include itching, rashes, and hives. People also have reported wheezing, swollen and sore throats, and sinusitis. Extreme cases have included nausea and vomiting, chest tightening and anxiety attacks, and intestinal cramping. Some patients have even reported flu-like symptoms including body aches, chills, and fatigue.
Smoking marijuana might not be the only way to experience an allergic reaction. Some people have reported reactions from touching the plant. People who consume marijuana in other ways have also reported allergic reactions. For example, a person who injects liquids or eats food with marijuana in it can experience an allergic reaction.
Some experts believe that this type of allergic reaction isn’t at all surprising, given the fact that marijuana is a plant and plants are allergens for many people. Others speculate that the reaction isn't actually caused by the marijuana, but rather to any chemicals used to grow it. Since some people use pesticides and other chemicals while growing marijuana, some people might have a reaction to these chemicals.
Whenever a person experiences any kind of allergic reaction to an unknown substance, or for an unknown reason, he should seek medical attention. Smoking marijuana might make a person hesitate to seek medical treatment, but like other kinds of allergic reactions, one to marijuana could become dangerous. While some allergy symptoms go away on their own, others require prescription medication. Skin rashes might go away in a few hours, for example, but chest tightening and difficulty breathing could become life-threatening.