Cannabis Science

Why Does Weed Make Me Sneeze?

woman sneezing after smoking weed

If smoking weed or touching weed makes you sneeze, you’re not alone. Here’s your answer to why does weed make me sneeze.

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Can Weed Make You Sneeze?

Yes, weed can make you sneeze.

Using your bong or a blunt could make you sneeze. Weed can even make you sneeze if you’re just touching it. 

It’s common for people to cough when they smoke weed; however, sneezing is less talked about. 

Even though it’s less talked about, there are many discussions on Reddit where cannabis enthusiasts complain about using weed and then sneezing. 

In some cases, the sneezing suddenly starts. 

One Reddit user said, “Honestly, I usually get one good sneeze every time I smoke. Sometimes it’s while I’m smoking, sometime on the comedown, but it’s always there….that one sneeze….”

Another chimed in with, “I commonly sneeze when I exhale through my nose when using my vaporizer. Doesn’t happen with combusted, kinda weird it’s only from vaped.”

In another Reddit thread, someone said, “I’ve been smoking daily for at least 6 months and overall for years, but only recently I’ve started to sneeze more right after I take a hit.”

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“Sometimes, after I take a hit from my bong, it doesn’t matter what size, I come away sneezing multiple times. like 5 and 6.” was commented in another Reddit thread. 

Why Do I Sneeze When I Smoke Weed?

So, why does weed make you sneeze? 

According to Dr. David Berger, owner of Wholistic ReLeaf, Wholistic Pediatrics & Family Care, and health education company, Dr. David, MD, you’re probably just allergic weed to weed or the substances in it. 

“Some people can be allergic to substances in cannabis. Those who are allergic are more likely to sneeze when they inhale cannabis, especially if the smoke gets into the nasal and sinus passages. Also, some in the cannabis industry, such as people who trim the buds or clean in rooms where this happens, can be exposed through particles in the air they breathe.”

Weed allergy can manifest in sneezing, runny nose, hives, and a host of other symptoms. 

A 2015 study states, “Cannabis pollen or smoke exposure has resulted in nasal congestion, rhinitis, sneezing, conjunctival injection, pharyngeal pruritus, coughing, wheezing, and dyspnea.”

(Just to be clear, pharyngeal pruritus refers to having an itchy throat, and dyspnea refers to shortness of breath.)

If you’ve been smoking blunts for a while and you suddenly start sneezing, it may be due to sensitization. 

Exposure to cannabis makes you develop an allergy. 

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says, “Allergic sensitization, including the development of specific IgE can result from inhaling, smoking, touching, and eating marijuana or cannabis allergens.”

Houston allergist and immunologist Ashwini Reddy, MD, representing Allergy & Asthma Network in a Fox 26 Houston TV interview, said that weed allergies can develop and worsen over time. 

In addition, according to the Allergy & Asthma Network, mold on weed can make you sneeze. 

If weed isn’t stored properly, it may grow, and we recommend avoiding moldy weed. Not only could mold make you sneeze, but it may make you sick if you’re immunocompromised. 

Of course, the pollen from the plant could make you sneeze, too. 

How to Stop Sneezing When You Use Weed

If you hate sneezing when you use weed, there are things you can do to help you stop sneezing.

The most effective thing you can do is to stop using weed and weed products. 

However, that may not be possible for many people. It’s also valid if you just don’t want to give up weed.

The Allergy & Asthma Network suggests speaking to an allergist. They can give you a course of treatment to help you. 

In addition to seeing a professional, you can opt for over-the-counter medication to treat sneezing and other symptoms.

The Allergy & Asthma Network says, “Prescription and over-the-counter asthma and allergy medications can help prevent and treat symptoms that arise from being around marijuana. These may include albuterol inhalers and inhaled corticosteroids for asthma and antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids and nasal decongestants for allergies.”

Other ways to stop sneezing, according to Healthline, include:

  • Saying a random word like ‘pickle’ to distract yourself from sneezing.
  • Pinch your nose
  • Blow your nose
  • Tickling the roof of your mouth with your tongue

Undoubtedly, one of these suggestions will help you stop sneezing. 

Takeaway

So, why does weed make you sneeze? Chances are you’ve developed an allergy to substances in weed. It’s perfectly normal if you’ve suddenly started sneezing despite consuming or handling weed for months or years. Sometimes, people develop allergies due to prolonged exposure. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to address this concern. Not using weed anymore is the most effective course of action. However, you can opt to speak to an allergist or use over-the-counter medications. You can do other things to stop a sneeze in its tracks, such as pinching your nose or distracting yourself.

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About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].