CBD Oil Cause Hives

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Can CBD cause a Rash? CBD is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant that’s gaining a high momentum with every passing day. CBD Oil is a highly safe and effective compound that doesn’t You're having a negative reaction to weed. Could it be an allergy? It's possible. Learn the symptoms and how a weed allergy is diagnosed.

Can CBD cause a Rash?

CBD is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant that’s gaining a high momentum with every passing day. CBD Oil is a highly safe and effective compound that doesn’t sedate you and works in a heavenly good manner to maintain homeostasis of the human body. It’s a great help for any ailment you are suffering from and helps to boost normal body functioning for a better and healthier life. In this article, we will discuss the most asked question “Can CBD cause a Rash”.

It has a hundred years old history but it’s getting hype nowadays because every second person in today’s life is sick and tired and tensed and stressed. Even medications don’t seem to work properly and in these situations, CBD works like a magical healer and helps in reclaiming the drained spark.

CBD extracted from the cannabis plant and there is a number of patients/users who are reporting cannabis allergic reaction. Cannabis allergy is a commonly reported occurrence and hence CBD is also a cannabinoid, it can also impose allergic reaction.

Before diving deep on can CBD cause a Rash, let’s first understand what is a rash.

Can CBD cause a Rash

What is Rash?

A rash is usually a symptom of an allergic reaction happening due to any underlying factor. The underlying factor or stimuli that cause an allergic reaction is known as Allergen. Upon exposure to an allergen, the human body may react in many ways as a sign of allergy, one of them is redness and rash over the skin which itches and gives a burn like sensation.

How did allergies happen?

Our bodies are gifted with the strong defensive immune system that keeps us protected and fights with external particles unexpectedly entering the body and keep all other organ systems safe of danger.

An allergic reaction occurs when our defensive immune system overreacts to a ‘harmless’ external substance known as an allergen. The immune system is here to protect our body from infections, pathogens, viruses, and diseases. However, an allergic reaction happens in response to a harmless material. The allergic person gets sensitized to that specific allergen and even minute exposures to this allergen can produce an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of an Allergic reaction:

Allergic reactions are disturbing and stressful. Common symptoms associated with an allergic reaction are:

  • Sneezing and an itching, running or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
  • Red, itchy, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing
  • Raised, itchy, red rashes (hives)
  • Swollen and itchy lips, tongue, eyes or face
  • Abdominal pains, vomiting or diarrhea
  • dry, red, scaly and cracked skin
CBD and Allergic Reaction:

Researchers have proved that the cannabinoids of Marijuana plants do execute allergies. If we consider this case, there are chances that CBD can also impose allergies to users because of being a part of the cannabinoid family.

Exposure to the cannabis plants in any form like smoking, eating, or touching can trigger cannabis allergies. Also, inhaling pollen grains of the plant can cause a severe allergic reaction which is named Hay Fever in medical terminologies.

A study was conducted in 2018 for allergic reaction and common allergies and researches found out that anyone who is allergic towards cat dander, mold, dust mites, and plants is at a relatively higher risk of developing cannabis allergy.

Also, if you think/know that you could be allergic to weed, pollen or mold, there are high chances that contaminants in CBD products could be a concern for you.

In 1971, a study revealed that THC could produce an allergic reaction. CBD and THC have almost similar molecular structures and also, there are a lot of chances that your CBD product has traces of TCH, which means that CBD has the potential to cause a reaction.

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But before confusing CBD’s side effects with allergy, you should consider differences between both.

Allergic reactions with CBD oil:

Allergic reactions are never the same for every person and not every person using CBD is at risk of having an allergic reaction. However, if someone has a sensitive immune system, he can experience an allergic reactions even from the safest and non-toxic CBD.

It’s also necessary to distinguish between side effects, adverse effects and allergic reactions. Side effects are mild disturbances that never need a separate treatment or follow up like lethargy, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and a dry mouth. Adverse effects are severe kinds of side effects and to our good, there are no adverse reactions ever witnessed associated with CBD oil whereas allergic reactions are way different and are previously explained in the article.

CBD oil allergies have different effects, mainly:

  • Skin irritations: When you use a CBD product you may experience hives, but the important thing here is, another ingredient of the mixture could also cause an allergy so need you need to look twice before marking CBD as an allergen.
  • Dry, itchy, or red eyes: Here THC is the culprit, not CBD but some users may experience this after using CBD.
  • Migraines: Experience a slight headache for the first few uses is a common side effect but if you are experiencing heavy migraines, it could be an allergy.
  • Respiratory problems: These problems are the main symptoms of allergic reactions. Breathing issues with CBD may be the result of poor-quality products that contain contaminants like pollen or mold.
Precautionary Measurements:

People with plant allergies are advised to avoid CBD products especially full-spectrum ones as they contain so many compounds and any of them could be an allergen but is impossible to point out.

CBD isolates could help in avoiding allergic reactions as an isolate is a product that contains nothing but pure CBD and usually, CBD itself rarely causes allergy. It’s good to start on CBD with a very small amount so you can see if you’re allergic or not.

The Bottom Line:

It’s a confirmed and witnessed case that allergic reaction primarily due to CBD itself is a quite rare thing to happen. But allergic reactions are seen with CBD products and the reason could be the impure solution having trace TCHs, weed or pollen due to poor manufacturing. Although an excellent way to mitigate CBD’s allergic reactions is to buy from a high-quality, trusted and reviewed brand.

Right now, there is only limited research on CBD allergies hence saying something with authenticity is not possible yet.

We recommend talking to your physician about your allergies so he can better guide you for using a CBD product.

Can You Be Allergic to Weed?

Angela Morrow, RN, BSN, CHPN, is a certified hospice and palliative care nurse.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist with a background in internal medicine.

Each year, more than 50 million Americans experience allergic reactions to all kinds of substances, including plants like cannabis (marijuana). Not only can you be allergic to weed, but a reaction can occur even after you have used pot for some time.

It is unclear how many people are allergic to weed. As a growing number of states legalize the use of medical and recreational marijuana, it is likely there will be a better understanding of how widespread the allergy is.

This article explains the symptoms of a weed allergy, which can differ depending on whether you handle it, smoke it, or consume it. You’ll also learn about the challenges of diagnosing the allergy and what you can do if you have one.

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Verywell / Cindy Chung

Weed Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms of a marijuana allergy are similar to symptoms of other allergies. They can vary depending on how you come in contact with the allergen.

Marijuana and hemp are different types of the cannabis plant. They differ in the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol —THC, the chemical that makes you “high”—they contain.

It’s important to note that, if you have an allergy to marijuana, you may also be allergic to hemp. You may also be allergic to products containing cannabidiol (CBD), another chemical found in the cannabis plant.

Skin Contact

For some people, a marijuana allergy can cause a skin reaction that occurs when they touch or handle the plant or its flowers.

Symptoms of skin irritation might include:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Rash or hives
  • Dry, scaly skin

Airborne Exposure

Like other plants, cannabis plants produce pollen that might be an airborne allergen for some people.

Dust from industrial processing of hemp or marijuana may also trigger an allergic reaction, as can marijuana smoke—even if you’re just breathing it in secondhand.

Symptoms of this type of reaction can include:

    or rhinitis (itchy, runny nose)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Respiratory problems, such as asthma

In some cases, mold may also be a culprit. Mold can develop on marijuana leaves during storage.

Consumption

As the legalization and use of medical marijuana have become more widespread across the United States, so has the popularity of cannabis-infused edibles.

Symptoms of a weed allergy that may arise after consuming marijuana products include:

  • Eye redness or swelling or hives
  • Skin swelling
  • Difficulty speaking

While it is rare, there are reported cases of anaphylaxis from eating hemp seeds. This is a life-threatening reaction that causes breathing issues and a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

Recap

Allergy symptoms can vary, depending on how you interact with an allergen. For instance, skin contact can cause a rash, and airborne exposure can cause a runny nose. If you have symptoms of anaphylaxis (such as difficulty breathing, lightheadedness or rapid heartbeat), seek medical treatment right away.

Causes

Your immune system is to blame for a weed allergy—or any allergy, for that matter.

Your immune system is responsible for protecting your body from harm. When it detects something harmful, like a virus, it releases proteins called antibodies to defend itself. These antibodies then release chemicals that trigger symptoms like sneezing and runny nose, which are intended to help clear the “invader” from the body.

Allergic reactions happen when your immune system overreacts to substances that do not normally cause a problem. For some people, this may be tree or flower pollen. For others, weed.

It’s important to note that if you have certain allergies, you might have an allergic reaction to weed as well.

There is a known cross-reactivity between tomatoes, peaches, bananas, citrus, eggplant, almonds, chestnuts, and weed. That means that if you’re allergic to any of these foods, you may also have an allergic response to weed because it shares similar proteins. The reverse is also possible.

In one study, marijuana use was also associated with the development of allergies to mold, dust mites, plants, and cat dander.

You may be surprised to have symptoms after using weed if you’ve done so for some time without any issue. Know that it’s possible to develop an allergy after years of not having one. It’s also possible to “outgrow” an allergy that you had when you were younger.

Recap

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system overreacts to generally harmless substances, like weed. Your body mistakes the substance as an invader and works to fight it off. Proteins in weed are also found in certain foods. Being allergic to one can make you allergic to the other.

Diagnosis

In most cases, your doctor would make the diagnosis of marijuana allergy based on a details of your exposure and symptoms. They may also conduct allergy tests to confirm your exact allergy/allergies.

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These tests aren’t standardized for marijuana allergy, however. But in theory, your allergist could prepare an extract or mixture using the leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant that they can then use to perform a standard prick test.

This test involves applying a small amount of allergen to a break (or “prick”) in the skin and monitoring any reaction that occurs.

Blood tests measure the levels of certain antibodies in your blood. This will help your allergist assess whether you’re likely to be allergic to a specific substance.

Treatment

If you suspect that you have developed an allergy to marijuana, the best thing to do is avoid the plant. This includes all forms of contact, including smoking, touching, eating, and environmental exposure.

If you have been using marijuana for medicinal purposes, you should speak with your doctor and seek professional medical advice. They might suggest alternative treatment options for your condition.

Sometimes, you may be unable to avoid airborne exposure to marijuana. This is often true for people who live with someone who smokes or who work in the cannabis industry. If that’s the case, discuss options for treating your allergy with your doctor.

They might recommend antihistamines or decongestants to prevent or treat symptoms such as a runny nose and red eyes. They may also recommend wearing or using protective equipment like a respirator or mask to limit exposure.

If you have experienced a severe reaction to marijuana, you may need to carry an epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-pen) at all times. This medication acts quickly to treat severe symptoms, such as impaired breathing and a drop in heart rate. Some people may need to carry more than one to be safe.

Recap

The best treatment for any allergy is to avoid coming in contact with the allergen. If you’re allergic to weed but can’t avoid it, talk with your doctor about treatments that can reduce symptoms and options for limiting your exposure.

Summary

Some people may be allergic to weed. If you’re allergic to marijuana, you may experience symptoms such as itching, redness, hives, or runny nose. Your symptoms may vary depending on whether you touch, eat, or breathe in smoke, dust, or pollen from the plant.

If you think you’re allergic to weed, the best solution is to avoid it. If you use marijuana for medicinal purposes, consult with your doctor to see if there are alternative treatments you can try.

Frequently Asked Questions

Specific proteins in cannabis pollen and cannabis smoke are known to trigger cannabis-related allergies. While THC is not currently considered a cannabis allergen, more research is needed to determine what role (if any) THC plays in triggering allergic responses in cannabis-sensitive people.

Yes, but it’s rare and has mainly been found to occur when someone with an allergy eats hemp seeds.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. Allergy Facts.

Ocampo TL, Rans TS. Cannabis sativa: the unconventional “weed” allergen. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015;114(3):187-192. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2015.01.004

Faber M, Van Gasse A, Sabato V, et al. Marihuana allergy: beyond the joint. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2015;25(1):70-72.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Marijuana cannabis allergy.

Cleveland Clinic. Can allergies go away or develop as you age? Adult onset allergies & the immune system.

Decuyper II, Van gasse AL, Cop N, et al. Cannabis sativa allergy: looking through the fog. Allergy. 2017;72(2):201-206. doi:10.1111/all.13043

By Angela Morrow, RN
Angela Morrow, RN, BSN, CHPN, is a certified hospice and palliative care nurse.

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