Spring has officially arrived, and with the snow continuing to melt it won’t be long before seasonal allergens are in full bloom. Urgent care physicians are reminded, however, that symptoms of allergic reactions to pollen and ragweed can be identical to those seen in patients who are allergic to cannabis, ranging from mild sinusitis to acute exacerbations of asthma. Since allergy panels don’t typically test for reaction to marijuana, the only way to get a clear picture of what’s causing the patient’s symptoms is to do a thorough history, even if it seems like a simple case. The consequences of missing a cannabis allergy can be dire, as some patients who’ve been exposed may experience anaphylaxis in extreme cases. The authors of a new paper published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggest that allergies to cannabis sativa, the strain of marijuana that produces feelings of euphoria, are likely to be diagnosed more frequently as the drug becomes legal in more states.

Is Your Patient Allergic to Ragweed, or Weed?
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