HEMP Overview Information
Hemp is a plant. It is the same species of plant as cannabis. But unlike cannabis, hemp contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), less than 0.3%. It is legal to sell hemp and hemp products in the U.S. But it is not legal to isolate cannabinoids from hemp to include in foods or dietary supplements. This is because one of the cannabinoids, called cannabidiol, is approved as a prescription drug. Since it's a prescription drug, it can't be included in dietary supplements. Hemp flowers, leaves, seed, seed oil, and protein are used as food and/or medicine.
Hemp is used for constipation, high cholesterol, eczema (atopic dermatitis), arthritis, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Hemp is used to make cloth, cosmetics, rope, printer's ink, wood preservative, detergents, soaps, and lighting oil.
Don't confuse hemp with Canadian hemp, hemp agrimony, cannabis, or cannabidiol (CBD).
How does it work?
Hemp seed contains fats, protein, and other chemicals. The fats in hemp seed might help to reduce inflammation (swelling). Some chemicals in hemp seed help to promote bowel movements and lower blood pressure.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Taking hemp seed oil might relieve some symptoms of eczema, including dryness and itchiness. But it doesn't seem to work better than taking olive oil.
- Inherited tendency towards high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Early research shows that taking hemp seed oil doesn't lower cholesterol levels in children with familial hypercholesterolemia who are already following a low-fat diet.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Menstrual cramps.
- Other conditions.
HEMP Side Effects & Safety
When taken by mouth: Hemp is LIKELY SAFE when the seed, seed oil, or seed protein is taken by mouth as food. Hemp is POSSIBLY SAFE when the seed oil is used as medicine for up to 6 months. Some people are allergic to hemp seed. There isn't enough reliable information to know if hemp flowers, hemp leaves, or hemp oil made from the flower or leaf is safe or what the side effects might be.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if hemp is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: There isn't enough information to know whether hemp can be safely used by children. Hemp seed oil has caused rare cases of sleepiness and blood shot eyes in children.
Allergy to cannabis: People who are allergic to cannabis might also be allergic to hemp. Use hemp with caution if you are allergic to cannabis.
Low blood pressure: Hemp protein might lower blood pressure. In some people this might make blood pressure fall too low. Use hemp protein with caution if you have low blood pressure.
Surgery: Hemp protein might lower blood pressure. In some people this might make blood pressure fall too low, especially during surgery. Stop using hemp protein at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
The appropriate dose of hemp depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for hemp. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.