Key Allergens

Hemp is a weed of the family Cannabinaceae that produces flowers, leaves and seeds. Hemp seeds are added to cereals, granola and pressed to produce oil.

There are 4 airway allergens associated with hemp allergy.

Can s 2 is a profilin protein, this is a panallergen causing allergies in multiple plants.

Can s 3 is a Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP). This is another common panallergen which has been known to cause serious allergic reactions.

Can s 5 is a pathogenesis related protein, these proteins are also known as Bet v 1 proteins as they affect people already sensitised to birch tree pollen. This allergen gives oral allergy type symptoms like itching lips and an irritated throat.

Hemp is also strongly linked to thaumatin-like protein allergy.

Recent studies have linked hemp seeds to 7S seed storage proteins. These are proteins which are usually found in nuts and seeds. Hemp seeds can be used in cannabis edibles, so for those with severe allergies to nuts and seeds using cannabis in this way can lead to severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.

Cannabis tea is another method becoming increasingly popular, ingestion in this way is more likely to elicit allergic reactions than inhalation.

Associated Syndromes

A serious allergy to multiple LTP proteins may be a sign of LTP Syndrome.

You may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome if you are allergic to multiple tree pollens related to Bet v 1.

Cross Reactivity

Other plants containing profilin inhalant allergens are ragweed, wormwood, birch, sunflower, olive, plantain, poplar and oak. Profilins are also found as food allergens in kiwi, celery, peanut, chilli, watermelon, orange, hazelnut, melon, carrot, strawberry, soya, walnut, lychee, lupin, apple, cherry, almond, peach, pear, mustard, tomato and aubergine.

Other plants containing inhalant LTP allergens are wormwood, mugwort and plane. Foods containing LTP include kiwi, strawberry, sunflower, walnut, apple, mulberry, pea, apricot, cabbage, peanut, chestnut, celery, lemon tangerine, orange, lettuce, lentil, lupin, mustard, cherry, plum, almond, peach, pomegranate, raspberry, tomato and grape.

Other Bet v 1 pollens are alder, birch, chestnut, hazel, beech, olive and oak.

Other foods which contain 7S seed storage proteins include lupin, buckwheat, coconut, soya beans, hazelnuts, fenugreek, macadamia, pecans, peanuts and pistachio nuts.

Please note that these allergen lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.



Side Effects of Hemp Protein

Can you be allergic to marijuana?

Allergic Reaction to Hemp: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Articles and Journals

Cannabis use and the prevalence of current asthma among adolescents and adults in the United States, 2024

Imported allergens in Italy: an emerging issue, 2024

Proteomics-based approach for detailing allergenic profile of cannabis chemotypes, 2023

A review of cannabis allergy in the early days of legalization, 2023

Hemp seed: An allergen source with potential cross-reactivity to hazelnut, 2023

Physicochemical and Functional Properties of 2S, 7S, and 11S Enriched Hemp Seed Protein Fractions, 2022

Should cannabis be a higher priority for allergists? 2022

Production, digestibility and allergenicity of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) protein isolates, 2019

Exploring the Diagnosis and Profile of Cannabis Allergy, 2019

Cannabis allergy: what the clinician needs to know, 2019

Case Series of 5 Patients with Anaphylaxis to Hemp Seed Ingestion, 2016

Cannabis sativa allergy: looking through the fog, 2016

Anaphylaxis to ingestion of hempseed (Cannabis sativa), 2003

Cannabis (hemp) positive skin tests and respiratory symptoms, 2000

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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