“Could I be allergic to cannabis?”

Sandra Wieser
12.05.2022 | 5 min de lectura

If you are asking yourself this question, the ALEX2® multiplex allergy test can answer it for you. ALEX2® is the only in-vitro test system comprising Cannabis sativa extract and the major allergen Can s 3.

With the legalisation and increased use of cannabis (Cannabis sativa), also known as hemp (CBD) or marijuana by industry, medicine, and the general population, more reports of allergy will occur.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), a person can develop an allergy or allergic sensitisation to cannabis after exposure to the plant via inhaling pollen in the air, smoking, touching, or eating cannabis.


Allergies to C. sativa are diverse and cover the spectrum of hypersensitivity reactions, from rhinoconjunctivitis to skin symptoms to life-threatening anaphylaxis. However, severe allergic reactions seem to be less common.

A recently published study suggests that 80% of cannabis allergic patients are sensitised to the Can s 3 protein, a non-specific lipid transfer protein. 72% of cannabis allergics reporting about experiencing anaphylaxis are also sensitised to Can s 3. (1, 2)


Currently, the most effective and practical tests to confirm cannabis allergy are the in-vivo SPT with an Can s 3-rich extract and recombinant Can s 3 and the in-vitro test measuring specific IgE antibodies to recombinant Can s 3. Can s 3 sensitisation bears a risk of systemic reactions to plant-derived foods. However, as Can s 3 sensitisation is not absolute, other cannabis allergens probably play a role. So far, Can s 2 (Profilin), Can s 3 (nsLTP), Can s 4 (Oxygen evolving Enhancer Protein 2) and Can s 5 (PR-10) were identified as cannabis allergens. Due to cross-reactive proteins found in cannabis, fruits and vegetables, the term “Cannabis-Fruit-Vegetable-Syndrom” was established. Cannabis Can s 3 homologous proteins were found in bananas, peaches, grapes, cherries, tangerines, tomatoes, spinach, peanuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts. (3)


So far, the only therapy option for cannabis allergic patients is allergen avoidance.


  1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2018.09.017
  2. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2014.05.022
  3. doi: 10.1186/s13223-020-00447-9