I’m Allergic to Weed

Image: Nate Milton
I’m allergic to pot. One secondhand whiff of somebody else’s joint and my nose clogs up. I get a headache and I start to itch. And if I’m around enough of it—say at a concert or something—I’m sick the whole weekend, coughing and weak in bed.

By Terena Bell | MOTHERBOARD

I’m lucky. Immunologist Dr. Purvi Parikh with Allergy Asthma Associates of Murray Hill in New York says cold-like symptoms are on the milder end of marijuana allergy reactions. „Some people get full blown asthma attacks, rashes, and even anaphylaxis.“ To clarify, „anaphylaxis“ means anaphylactic shock—as in shutting down your organs, as in death. Now that weed is increasingly decriminalized and ubiquitous, this makes for a whole new issue.

While death by pot isn’t exactly common, allergies to it are. Scientists have known since the 1930s that if you’re allergic to pollen or mold, you’re likely allergic to marijuana. Back then, 22 percent of allergy sufferers also got sick around pot. But according to separate studies from 2000 and 2015, that number’s now 70-73 percent. An estimated 40-50 million Americans have seasonal allergies so—with a little math—as many as 36.5 million may be allergic to pot.

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