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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Marijuana?

By Alicia Sparks
Updated Jan 31, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments

By anon996920 — On Oct 25, 2016

I've been experiencing really large, itchy hives whenever handling certain varieties, usually Sativas. Bought some Benadryl, Caladryl, mask and gloves.

By anon992539 — On Sep 15, 2015

Paranoia feeds ignorance as knowledge.

By anon992476 — On Sep 10, 2015

I experience burning of my lips and face when I smoke marijuana also the corner of my mouth seen to be turning white. Has any one else experienced this?

By anon976663 — On Nov 04, 2014

Is facial numbness a symptom? I smoked a few hours ago to calm my anxiety and the last time I did it my lips got tingly and my eyes did, too. but this is persisting. I'm thinking of taking benadryl.

By anon971464 — On Sep 26, 2014

Epinephrine is used for allergic reactions. Epinephrine is pretty much adrenaline. Another thing that helps is laying your friend down and raising their feet up to pump blood to the heart.

By anon352208 — On Oct 20, 2013

I was pruning a few of my plants. The next day I had a huge rash on both forearms. I lasted for six days and itched like hell.

Then my friend tells me, "Oh yea, that breed always made me itch but not like that. Next time, wear long sleeves and then wash it before you wear it again" Thanks. I will have to remember that next time.

By anon343507 — On Jul 30, 2013

I have a sister who is allergic to the smell. It causes her eyes to swell and burn and water, a severe headache, chest tightens and pain, her throat swells, and it makes her very tried. What can I do to help her as far as meds or treatment, or cure?

By anon271669 — On May 28, 2012

Thanks for this, really. I panicked when I touched some bud and touched my chest. Well, I ended up with hives wherever I touched. Just took some benadryl.

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