An allergic reaction can be developed as a result of contact with any organic or inorganic compound. Certain allergens commonly lead to allergies. For example, many people are allergic to dust mites, birch pollen, bee bite, and grass pollen. During the first contact with an allergen, antibodies are formed against it and the immune system becomes sensitized. That is why each subsequent contact produces more severe symptoms. Some people report allergic reactions in response to the use of marijuana, which is not very common according to current research.
What Causes An Allergy To Marijuana?
Marijuana is a psychoactive substance prepared from the plant Cannabis sativa. The active substance is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and it is responsible for the feeling of euphoria, as well as for adverse effects, such as memory impairment, an increased heart rate, and the development of addiction. You can be hypersensitive to any constituent of the cannabis plant, although scientists are not certain which substances are commonly responsible. It can be THC, the pollen of the plant, or any other compound. The symptoms can occur with first use or prolonged use can sensitize the immune system to react inappropriately. As marijuana is already legalized in many countries and is gaining more and more users, hypersensitive reactions will surely become more commonly reported.
Symptoms Of A Marijuana Allergy
Symptoms and signs depend on the way of administration. With oral use, the most common symptoms are indigestion, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. After inhalation, the symptoms appear in the form of cough, sneezing, and shortness of breath. Even contact with the skin can cause a local reaction manifested as skin inflammation and swelling. Generalized symptoms include a rash, low blood pressure, and swelling. The symptoms usually appear shortly after taking any form of marijuana and may range from mild to very severe, requiring urgent medical help.
Treatment Of Marijuana Allergy
First of all, if you notice some of the above symptoms, please remove the cause first. The symptoms may be caused by another agent and just coincide with marijuana use, but if the same scenario happens more than once, you should refrain from using it. The treatment for an acute marijuana allergy attack includes antihistamines, corticosteroids, and adrenalin in rare severe cases of anaphylactic reaction. An effective prevention or long-lasting treatment is not available, and the only way to avoid future attacks is abstinence. In some cases, the immune system may adapt and desensitize itself to allergens that are commonly present.
Allergy to marijuana is not common according to scientific evidence, but there are probably many unreported cases due to the illegal status of this drug, so the current data cannot be entirely trusted. Also, in areas where marijuana is legalized, the antigens are abundant in the environment, which can trigger hypersensitivity of the immune system. People who work in facilities for processing of marijuana, therefore, are at the highest risk.
Apart from allergic reaction, marijuana smoking can trigger some other allergies, as shown in recent studies. For example, marijuana can potentiate allergy to some fungi, such as Aspergillus. This means that smoking marijuana possibly disturbs and alters the local immune response in the lungs.
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