For more than a year in these pages, we’ve worked hard to bring you the latest information, history, how-to methods, and products surrounding cannabis. In this issue, we’re focusing a little more on people. One of the best parts about a budding industry like the marijuana industry is the personalities that emerge, including Jim McAlpine, founder of the 420 Games and Power Plant Fitness. We hope you enjoy reading about McAlpine’s efforts to help educate the world about marijuana and its benefits.
heal AS THE LEGITIMATE cannabis industry continues to grow and employ individuals to grow and harvest it, it is important that employers keep these in mind and ensure that appropriate protective equipment is in place for their employees.” including asthma and rhinitis. This is not unique to this part of the world. In the US Midwest, Nebraska residents are exposed to cannabis pollen levels comprising as much as 36 per cent of the airborne pollen in late summer to early fall. This area of the US now grows significant quantities of hemp. Studies in Spain and Italy report similar pollen counts when cannabis there blooms in August. In one unusual Canadian case, an individual showed severe allergic reactions to the ingestion of hemp seeds but no reaction to frequent consumption of recreational marijuana. Allergic reactions to hemp seeds, like cannabis in general, is not commonly found in medical journals. The individual in question drank a smoothie containing hemp seeds and almost immediately developed lip and facial swelling, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing, such that epinephrine was required to restore normal breathing. That same patient self-admitted as a regular smoker of cannabis. Individuals that physically handle the plant, even if they do not use it themselves, have been reported to have had topical allergic reactions. Cases of hives, pruritis (itching anywhere on the body due to exposure of an allergen), and swelling around the eyes have been reported. As the legitimate cannabis industry continues to grow and employ individuals to grow and harvest it, it is important that employers keep these in mind and ensure that appropriate protective equipment is in place for their employees. These same symptoms have been found to also occur in individuals that do not smoke cannabis, but chew or otherwise ingest it by ways other than smoking. Cross-reactivity Numerous studies, mostly European, have found definitive cases where cannabis use has caused allergic reactions in numerous food and fibre substances. This phenomenon has been dubbed “cannabis-fruit/vegetable syndrome” (as if we needed another excuse not to eat our fruits and veggies) or alternatively, “cannabis-plant syndrome.” Foods most commonly implicated with this syndrome include peaches, cherries, bananas, apples, nuts, and some citrus fruits. Allergic reactions to wheat, tobacco, wine, beer, or other foods with hops as an ingredient, and latex have all been reported as well. Unfortunately, there is not yet any cure for sufferers of this syndrome. Even the cessation of cannabis use does not reverse the food allergies that have developed; once it occurs, it seems to be there for good. Even worse, there is some evidence that the cross-reactions leading to food allergies can be caused by passive and indirect contact with cannabis, such that even if an individual that has never actively consumed cannabis and only encountered it unknowingly, such as through pollen inhalation or second-hand smoke, could develop these reactions. Chris Bond is the manager of the McKay Farm and Research Station at Unity College in Maine. His research interests are with sustainable agriculture, biological pest control, as well as alternative growing methods. He is a certified permaculture designer and certified nursery technician in Ohio and a certified nursery professional in New York, where he got his start in growing. 40 grow. heal. learn. enjoy. myhydrolife.ca
myhydrolife.ca grow. heal. learn. enjoy. 41