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Allergenicity to Cannabis sativa L. and Methods to Assess Personal Exposure

Abstract

Cannabis sativa, commonly referred to as marijuana, is popularly recognized as a medicinal and recreational drug. Although the legal status of the plant and its derivatives has been debated in numerous social and legal forums, very little is known about the immunological effects following personal and more recently, occupational exposure. Current studies have shown that direct handling and consumption of C. sativa and its derivatives can elicit allergic reactions and in very rare cases, life-threatening anaphylaxis. Initially, Δ9-THC and cannabinol were suggested to be the potential allergic sensitizers; however, recent reports have demonstrated that allergic reactions to C. sativa may be driven by type I hypersensitivity mechanisms. In this chapter, we will examine the scenarios and routes of exposure to C. sativa that may result in allergic sensitization and provide insights into the key allergic determinants. Finally, the methodological challenges associated with studying the plant and the biotechnological advances in exposure assessment will be additionally discussed.

Keywords

  • Food Allergy
  • Skin Prick Test
  • Allergic Sensitization
  • Lipid Transfer Protein
  • Positive Skin Prick Test

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Fig. 12.1

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by internal National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) funding 6927ZJVE. The findings and the conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIOSH.

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Nayak, A.P., Green, B.J., Sussman, G., Beezhold, D.H. (2017). Allergenicity to Cannabis sativa L. and Methods to Assess Personal Exposure. In: Chandra, S., Lata, H., ElSohly, M. (eds) Cannabis sativa L. - Botany and Biotechnology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-54564-6_12

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