Dear Stoner: What If You're Allergic to Marijuana?

Dear Stoner: Do marijuana allergies exist? If so, what happens if you’re allergic to marijuana and smoke it?

Dear Mick: Marijuana can cure many ills, but like pollen, peanuts or grass, it’s also capable of making some people swell up and turn red. According to a story in U.S. News & World Report, one woman required two EpiPens and hospitalization after just coming in contact with marijuana (she didn’t smoke it or otherwise ingest it). And according to a study featured in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, she’s not the only one with a severe marijuana allergy. “As expected with most plant aeroallergens, cannabis pollen inhalation has been noted to cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma,” the publication reports. Don’t be scared, though: That study also indicated that cannabis allergies are relatively uncommon.

The fact that a plant’s pollen or smoke can cause throat swelling, rashes and other reactions for an unlucky few is nothing new, but marijuana’s exposure and public acceptance is. All of that recently legalized and decriminalized pot around the world is sure to introduce some stuffy noses and watery eyes that might not have appeared in simpler times. I just feel bad for the poor souls who can’t enjoy the benefits of such a wonderful plant: Now I know how those lactose-intolerant kids felt on chocolate-milk day.

Dear Stoner: Does milk kill powdery mildew on plants?
’80s Dan

Dear Dan: A spray of milk diluted with water can be very effective when it comes to mildew, but like most fungicides, it’s best used proactively. Killing the disease once it’s rooted in the leaves of the plant is much harder than protecting your grow in the first place.

Scientists still aren’t exactly sure why the mixture is effective, though many believe the milk’s proteins create an antiseptic effect after sunlight exposure. Nor is there any real consensus on the perfect milk-to-water ratio (some use only 10 percent milk, while others go as high as 40 percent), but mix the two together and spray your plants lightly under a bright light once every week or so (before any signs of mildew appear), and you should be safe.

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