When allergies are involved, life becomes complicated.  Yes, it’s bad when it’s “allergy season”, but I’m talking about something more complex.  People who suffer from substance allergies can have it a little worse than those with environmental ones.  When MMJ is involved, there is the potential for a little of both of these factors.  For those who have been prescribed MMJ to medicate a condition, this can be detrimental.  Let’s diagnose the symptoms of an allergy and discuss what we can do to control a reaction.

An allergy is defined as a damaging immune response by the body to a substance.  People can grow out of allergies or they can develop them over time, so sometimes you may get over one only to pick up another.  Mild symptoms typically include runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing.  This can become more severe if your particular allergies are worse, resulting in nasal congestion, eye inflammation, coughing, wheezing and/or sneezing.  These are common with seasonal allergies and can usually be mitigated with antihistamines in most cases.  Some of the more serious symptoms can consist of hives, swelling and anaphylaxis (allergic shock).  Less common substance allergies will trigger intense reactions such as these and they can be fatal if not treated.  All in all, allergies can be debilitating if no measures are taken against them, but we do have a few options here.

The previously mentioned antihistamines can be the best way to knock the mild symptoms out.  They work by blocking the histamines created by the body to stop the allergic reaction.  Decongestants can help clear up an excessively runny nose and these can be sometimes combined with antihistamine medications.  Hives and swelling can be addressed with cortisol (usually administered as a skin cream), these have varying strengths and can be extremely effective, though higher doses would require the recommendation of a doctor.  Anaphylactic shock is an extremely dangerous condition and should be handled with haste and care.  During this condition, your blood pressure drops and airways narrow.  It can be helped using an epinephrine shot or epi-pen and should be used immediately to avoid permanent damage or death.

Marijuana allergies can range from mild to dangerous, not only depending on the severity of one’s allergies, but also the way it is administered.  Some people are allergic to chemicals only activated when MMJ is burned, but others are allergic to even physical contact with the substance itself.  Even hemp clothing can cause skin irritation in certain individuals and there is the problem of pollen being a prevalent factor.  Mold is also an allergy effect worth considering, as some dispensaries leave their plants in less-than-ideal storage conditions, allowing them to mold.  When in doubt, ask your dispensary or your doctor.  Marijuana allergy cases remain uncommon for now, but it’s likely they will rise as the legality of this medicine increases.  If you find yourself having an allergic reaction, make sure to wash the affected area and seek the proper care.  It’s always best to have a plan in place in case this happens, stay educated and ask questions when you have any doubts.


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