Food allergies are more common today than ever. You probably know at least one person who is allergic to strawberries, nuts, milk or a similar, otherwise safe food.
Even foods that are very healthy for most of us can be life-threatening for a small percentage of the population. It is therefore particularly important for allergy sufferers to know which substances could trigger an allergy.
Although CBD is being used more and more to treat allergies and asthma, there are still a small number of people who are allergic to it.
Luckily, there are methods for recognizing the symptoms of a cannabis allergy in good time before you start taking CBD.
WHAT DO WE KNOW SO FAR ABOUT ALLERGIES TO HEMP AND CBD?
In the past, many lies have been spread about the effects and side effects of cannabis. Very little has been researched about this particular plant.
So, it’s not surprising that our knowledge of cannabis is still in its infancy. It will definitely take a few more decades until we have sufficiently researched this diverse plant.
However, it is already known that a hemp allergy is quite possible. Like most other plants, cannabis contains certain substances, some of which can trigger an allergic reaction.
If you are allergic to many different plant foods or to pollen, you might also notice similar symptoms when consuming hemp products.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ALLERGY AND AN INTOLERANCE?
Most sufferers initially have difficulty distinguishing whether they have an allergy or an intolerance to a food. The symptoms can be very similar.
An intolerance occurs when your intestine lacks important enzymes that are required for the digestion of substances that are contained in certain foods. Some people cannot tolerate milk sugar (lactose), fructose or gluten.
The following symptoms may indicate intolerance:
- Gas or flatulence
- Stomach pain
However, allergies are linked to our immune system. They occur when our immune system “exaggerates” and reacts too aggressively to a harmless substance for no good reason. This leads to an allergic reaction.
Common symptoms of an allergy are:
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy and/or watery eyes
- Gastrointestinal complaints
Studies on potential allergens in cannabis
In recent studies, lipid transfer proteins (LTP) have been identified as probable allergens in cannabis.
These proteins are said to be a weapon in the plant’s defense against pests and pathogens. In addition to hemp, they are found in many other plants.
A study published in early 2019 concluded that around 80% of the subjects who had a known cannabis allergy were allergic to a specific LTP contained in the plant (called Can s 3 ).
There are said to be other allergens that could cause the allergy, but these are much rarer. For example, some people are allergic to terpenes – natural substances that are a component of essential oils.
KNOWN CROSS ALLERGIES
If you have any of the following food allergies, you could potentially be allergic to hemp:
- Nuts, legumes
- Cabbage and lettuce
It is interesting that all subjects in a study (2013) who were allergic to tomatoes also had a reaction to cannabis. However, only 32 people were tested in total, so the findings are by no means conclusive.
ARE HEMP ALLERGIES BECOMING MORE COMMON?
In parts of the world where cannabis has been legalized in all forms, the number of people diagnosed with hemp allergy is also increasing. The reason for this is obvious: More and more people are consuming cannabis.
A similar development could also occur in other countries. Food and supplements with hemp are currently in vogue.
Many people who have never come in contact with hemp even a few years ago regularly buy hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and even sweets and drinks that contain the “Super Foods”.
THE SYMPTOMS OF A CANNABIS ALLERGY
If a person who is allergic to hemp comes into contact with it or consumes hemp products, common allergy symptoms can occur.
When skin come in contact with the cannabis plant, allergic swelling of the skin can occur with mild itching and swollen eyes.
The smoking of cannabis or the inhalation of cannabis pollen can cause sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, shortness of breath and even asthma symptoms.
The consumption of hemp seeds or other cannabis products can trigger allergies as well as shortness of breath, drowsiness or swollen mucous membranes in the mouth.
If you notice any allergy symptoms after taking CBD oil, you should stop taking it immediately and consult your doctor.
For most of us, the risk of an allergic reaction when using hemp products is very low. The number of allergy cases only increases because more and more people come into contact with the plant.
If you have had hemp flower tea in the past and may have consumed other hemp products without experiencing any symptoms, you are unlikely to be allergic to CBD.
People who are prone to allergies to plant-based foods and do not want to do without the potential positive effects of CBD should still take care when taking CBD oil. For example, some people drop the oil on their skin first and then watch for swelling or a rash.
In any case, allergy sufferers should first consult their doctor in such cases to inquire about possible cross allergies and possibly carry out an allergy test.