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Know the symptoms of hemp allergy

May 4, 2023 · Health

Hemp is a plant from the Cannabis sativa family grown for industrial purposes and used in a variety of manufactured goods such as clothes, skincare, beauty and food products. This versatile crop has gained visibility recently due to its beneficial properties and low impact on the environment. Although hemp allergies symptoms are rarely mentioned in medical literature, some people can be allergic to the plant, and it is necessary to know which symptoms to look out for. If you suspect you are allergic, see a medical professional and try to manage your condition by avoiding direct exposure. 

How common is hemp allergy?

Cannabis sensitivity is usually rare, and there are not many studies that have reviewed or researched this type of allergy. However, in recent years hemp-based products have become more widely available in the market so there is a possibility that a higher number of cases are being reported and more cases will be diagnosed in the future. People who have other respiratory-based allergies or conditions such as asthma could be more likely to develop hemp allergy symptoms than others. As always, it is best to consult your doctor or allergist for a diagnosis. 

Can you be allergic to hemp?

Yes, it is possible to be allergic to hemp. People can develop an allergic reaction to the leaves, seeds or pollen of these plants. As mentioned before it is still rare to develop hypersensitivity with symptoms that can range from very mild to severe, depending on the individual. 

For now, let us review what products and by-products can trigger hemp allergy symptoms. The first one is raw hemp seed. This product is usually used for cooking as flour or simply raw as a topper for salads and yogurts. It can also be found in other food preparations such as hemp milk, protein powder and oils. As with many foods, it can cause a negative reaction such as skin rashes and digestive issues. Hemp pollen is another possible allergen which can give people hay fever symptoms. If you already have a history of seasonal allergies you might be susceptible to developing an allergic reaction to hemp pollen. Finally, even if it seems unlikely, you can develop an allergy to hemp clothes. Although uncommon, this type of clothing could potentially cause skin irritation or even contact dermatitis while the garment is in direct contact with your skin. 

What an allergic reaction to hemp looks like

An allergic reaction to hemp can cause a wide range of symptoms. Hemp allergy symptoms can appear immediately after being exposed or take a few hours to show. The most common ones are skin rashes which are itchy and red such as hives. It can also cause your eyes and throat to itch and give you a runny nose. In cases where the reaction is severe people can experience difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.

Is there a test for hemp allergy?

There are two different tests you can take. An allergist can perform a skin prick test or a blood test. During a skin prick test, a very small amount of hemp extract is placed with a small needle on a skin patch either on your arm or back. After waiting for some time the doctor checks if the area around the patch has triggered a reaction. There are also blood tests known as IgE tests that measure the antibodies in your blood in response to hemp exposure. These tests can give you a proper diagnosis and determine a treatment to deal with uncomfortable hemp allergy symptoms. 

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