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Could I have a cannabis allergy?

AAFA's "Ask the Allergist" is a free service provided by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Our allergist will answer your questions about asthma and allergies. We provide only general advice about managing asthma or allergies, medicines and treatments. "Ask the Allergist" does not answer questions about specific consumer products. This information is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Always talk with your doctor before changing your asthma or allergy management plan.

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I think I'm allergic to marijuana. Is it possible to have an allergic reaction if I touched or kissed someone who has recently smoked or eaten marijuana products?

Allergy to marijuana (cannabis) can occur. If you are allergic, the protein that is the allergen can cause an allergic a reaction if ingested or smoked. The odor itself would not likely cause an allergic reaction. But the smoke which can contain the allergen in the vapor can cause respiratory symptoms. The risk of reaction would be if you are around this person while they are actively smoking. If they are ingesting it, then kissing could potentially be as risk.

Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston D.O. FAAAAI, FACAAI

Reviewed and Answered

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Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, cannabis, and anything else that burns is indeed problematic for folks with asthma.

If and when possible, those with a legal prescription could use other forms of marijuana (e.g. edibles) which would avoid the trigger (i.e. smoke) that affects so many people.

JR Denson, EMT

Support Center Manager

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

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