Hemp, Learn About Hemp

Allergic Reaction to Hemp: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

How to treat Hemp Allergy | Buy Hemp Oil in India | on ItsHemp
  • Save

The use of hemp as a food item is gaining popularity owing to its many benefits. Hemp seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition and in the form of oil and powder can work wonders for the body.

An increase in the use of hemp as a food item is shedding light on its potential as a possible allergen. Theoretically, the human body can be allergic to any food it consumes. Some common food allergies include reactions to peanuts, soy, cow’s milk, wheat, and fish. It’s not unusual, therefore, to have an allergic reaction to hemp foods.

However, it is important to identify if our body’s allergy is a reaction to the hemp plant or an additional substance that is not inherent to it.

Outline
Hemp Food Allergy
Common Allergic Reactions to Hemp
Which parts of hemp are most allergic?
How to manage hemp allergy?

What is an allergy?

A food allergy is an autoimmune response of the human body to a protein or pollen present in something the body consumes. The body can identify a harmless substance as a potential threat and acts accordingly to stop it.

The intensity of an allergic reaction differs from one immune system to another. It is possible for the human body to be allergic to any food it consumes. However, as research suggests, it is more likely to be allergic to food items that are high in protein.

Hemp Food Allergy

Hemp seeds are a rich source of protein. Hemp protein contains all essential amino acids that the body needs to function correctly. That too in an amount significantly closer to complete sources of proteins.

On average, a 100g serving of hemp seeds brings 34g of protein in the body. This is higher than our average sources of protein and can set off considerably noticeable reactions in the body.

With an increase in the use of hemp foods, science is learning more about the potential of hemp, and cannabis at large, as a possible allergen.

Common Allergic Reactions to Hemp

A true hemp allergy stems from a negative reaction to a substance present in the hemp plant. According to studies, inhalation of hemp pollen causes:

Hemp Allergy | Common Symptoms and Reactions | ItsHemp
  • Save
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy throat
  • Cough
  • Conjunctival injection (redness of the eye)
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchiness and swelling of the skin.

The inhalation of hemp pollen can also cause symptoms of asthma and conjunctivitis.

Though every human body reacts differently to an allergen, based on the available evidence, some common symptoms of a hemp allergy include:

  1. Irritation: itchiness, swelling, and puffiness of the eyes, and the skin in general.
  2. Hives: in the forms of skin rash, plaques, or pale red bumps.
  3. Allergic Rhinitis: sneezing, running nose, and nasal congestion.
  4. Asthma: difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, and abnormal lung function.
  5. Conjunctivitis: pink and/or red bloodshot eyes.
  6. Anaphylaxis: skin rash, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, and shock.

Which parts of hemp are most allergic?

Generally, the most common allergen is pollen—a powder released by trees, grasses, and weeds to fertilize the seeds of the neighbouring plants.

In theory, any part of the plant can trigger an allergic reaction in the body. However, the parts that contain a high amount of protein or pollen are the most likely offenders. That is to say, hemp seeds.

If you are allergic to hemp seeds, you are most likely to be allergic to hemp seed-based products. These include hemp hearts, powder, and secondary food products such as hemp milk.

Hemp seed oil, in contrast, is highly unlikely to be an allergen. This is because hemp oil is refined to be 100% fat. However, depending on a person’s biology, hemp oil may cause some of the above-listed symptoms.

Hemp Allergy with Additional Ingredients

The world is just beginning to embrace the manifold uses of hemp. Hemp, in many different forms, is continuously being used as a base ingredient in many staple food items as well as cosmetic products.

The combination of hemp with additional ingredients can, in some cases, spark an allergic reaction. However, in these cases, it becomes challenging to identify if the allergy is because of hemp or some other ingredient.

This principle explains to us cases where cosmetic products with hemp seed oil as an ingredient cause a reaction.

Is hemp allergy common?

Though it might seem otherwise, hemp allergies are just as common as other food allergies. It seems unusual because the use of hemp as food or wellness product is unusual. But at the bottom of it all, it is just a plant and may sometimes trigger an unwanted reaction in the body.

Who is more prone to developing hemp allergy?

Though any human body can set off an unexpected reaction at any time, some people may be at a greater risk of having a hemp allergy. A 2018 study suggests that people with allergies to dust mites, mould, and cat dander are at a greater risk of developing hemp or cannabis allergies.

How to manage a hemp allergy?

It is possible to control or reduce hemp allergy symptoms such as irritation, hives, and conjunctivitis both naturally and with medication. For instance, ice packs are a simple, natural solution to alleviate inflammation on the skin as well as pink eye.

It is in the case of extreme reactions such as asthma or anaphylaxis that one needs to be extra cautious. More often than not, the treatment for such reactions includes the use of antihistamines and steroids. These, however, should only be consumed in consultation with a certified physician.

Is there a medical test?

In case of severe symptoms, a physician may conduct a test. A hemp allergy test is often dependent on skin testing. A skin prick test determines if a person is allergic to one or more specific allergens.

If the body finds sensitivity, the immune system produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These IgE antibodies are unique to each allergen.

The physician conducts an allergen-specific IgE blood test to check if the person is actually allergic to that particular substance. Interestingly, a positive skin prick test does not necessarily indicate that a person will experience an allergic reaction. Doctors need to continually compare skin prick tests over time across the patient’s symptoms.

Can I avoid hemp allergy?

Since each human body reacts differently to each substance, offering a definitive way of avoiding an allergic reaction is unlikely. However, a good first step is to research and adopt products that are authentic and genuine.


  • 10 Reasons to Buy CBD in India
    The popularity of CBD as an all-natural, plant-based alternative to drugs and medicines is constantly rising in India. In this one, we take a look at the 10 most amazing reasons to buy CBD in India.
  • What is Hemp? | The Ultimate Guide to Hemp in India
    India is witnessing a speedy adoption of a variety of hemp products. From hemp seeds, oil, and protein bars to hemp shampoos, bedsheets, and clothes—consumers are discovering the versatility of hemp in a number of different ways. But, what is hemp? This is the Ultimate Guide to Hemp in India .
  • How to Use CBD for Senior Citizens?
    Senior citizens in particular have become a loyal base for CBD products. They are continually trading their conventional medications for CBD products which are naturally derived.
  • Allergic Reaction to Hemp: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
    An increase in the use of hemp as a food item is shedding light on its potential as a possible allergen. Theoretically, the human body can be allergic to any food it consumes. Some common food allergies include reactions to peanuts, soy, cow’s milk, wheat, and fish. It’s not unusual, therefore, to have an allergic reaction to hemp foods.
  • How to Buy Hemp Products in India (+101 Products to Buy)
    You can eat it, wear it, flaunt it, and you still won’t be able to do justice to the innumerable use cases of hemp. That’s how versatile this plant is. Hemp is an incredibly useful resource that can feed us, cloth us, build a home for us, make us fashionable, and more! If you’re looking to buy hemp products in India, here is a list of 101 products to check out!
  • Environmental Benefits of Hemp
    Hemp is not the wonder crop for no reason. It offers real, applicable sustainable solutions that we need in the world today. Industrial hemp is a very robust, competitive plant that can out-compete weeds. This is one of the many hemp environmental benefits.
  • Sustainable Fashion—The Need of the Hour
    The fashion industry does its part in contributing to the pile of waste lying around on the planet. Considering the pollution and scarcity that we are currently dealing with, it has become imperative for us to live sustainably.
  • How many products can Hemp make?
    From nutritional applications to fashion, textiles, fuels, and plastic replacement, the possibilities of the crop are expanding as we learn more about it. Industrial hemp can disrupt the agricultural medical, health care, pharmaceutical, energy, and tech industries.
  • Hemp Protein Powder in India | All You Need to Know
    Hemp Protein Powders is a vegan, plant-based source of complete protein. It is soy, lactose, and gluten-free. Regular use of hemp protein powder boosts metabolism, enhances immunity, and can aid in improving athletic performance. In this article, we understand the basics of hemp protein powder along with 7 product recommendations.
  • 5 Super Powers of Hemp Plastic
    Like Mother Nature does for every problem, she has provided us with a very natural and healthy alternative—Hemp Plastic—that can easily be used as a replacement without any of the damaging effects of current plastic.
  • What are the uses of Hemp?
    Hemp is gaining popularity with each passing day. We see the plant’s use in almost every sphere of life. This makes us stop and wonder, what are the uses of Hemp? But what about the present-day usability of the plant? Where do we use the wonder crop? What are its added advantages? Is Hemp probably our future super crop?
  • Nutritional Breakdown of Hemp | Facts about Hemp Nutrition
    This article is a summary of the research paper Nutritional Profile and Benefits of Hemp Seed, Nut, and Oil by Gero Leson and focuses on hemp nutrition facts.

4 thoughts on “Allergic Reaction to Hemp: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

  1. oprolevorter says:

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  2. Erika Anne Carrado says:

    Are those numbers the prices in USA dollars?

    1. Hey Erika!
      The prices are in Indian Rupee (INR)

  3. Logan Myers says:

    It is important to be cautious with hemp-based food products. I had a full-blown anaphylactic reaction to a hemp protein bar. Listed in the ingredients were hemp hearts and hemp pollen. It only took 2 bites and I had to be transported to the hospital and had to be administered epinephrine. I underwent a full allergy screen and the skin prick tests showed an 11×55 mm hive for the EVO bar, a 7×45 mm hive for dispensary grade cannabis, and a 15×60 mm hive for hemp. I was interpreted as “very allergic” and now carry an Epi-Pen and have to be very careful not to consume hemp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.