Sensitization and allergy to Cannabis sativa leaves in a population of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)-sensitized patients

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2008;146(3):195-202. doi: 10.1159/000115887. Epub 2008 Feb 11.


Background: Cases of allergy to Cannabis sativa have occasionally been reported, but both the allergenic profile and eventual cross-reactivity pattern remain unknown.

Objective: To analyze the allergenic profile of a population of patients from Spain sensitized to C. sativa and to characterize the C. sativa leaf extract.

Methods: A total of 32 subjects were enrolled in the study: group A, 10 individuals sensitized to tomato, reporting reactions by contact or inhalation to Cannabis; group B, 14 individuals sensitized to tomato, without reactions to Cannabis; group C, 8 individuals not sensitized to tomato and without reactions to Cannabis. Sensitivity to Cannabis, tomato and peach peel, Platanus hybrida and Artemisia vulgaris pollen extracts was measured by skin tests and specific IgE. Individual immunoblots and inhibition experiments with a pool of sera were conducted.

Results: All tomato-sensitized subjects (and 1 negative) had positive skin tests to C. sativa leaves and hashish. Specific IgE to C. sativa and peach peel was more common than to tomato. Immunoblot experiments showed 2 prominent bands of 10 and 14 kDa and 2 weakly recognized bands of 30 and 45 kDa. Tomato, peach and A. vulgaris extracts inhibited most of the bands present in C. sativa. P. hybrida inhibited only the high-molecular-weight bands.

Conclusion: Sensitization to C. sativa with or without symptoms is frequent among patients in Spain sensitized to tomato. C. sativa leaves are a potential allergenic source and their allergens may cross-react with other allergenic sources from plants (fruit peels and pollen).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Artemisia / immunology
  • Cannabis / chemistry
  • Cannabis / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / immunology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / immunology
  • Prunus / immunology
  • Skin Tests
  • Solanum lycopersicum / immunology*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Immunoglobulin E