Hemp is sometimes confused with marijuana. Hemp, however, contains only trace amounts of THC, the main chemical in the marijuana plant that makes people get “high.” Because hemp contains little THC, it is grown for non-drug use.
There are three different plants in the Cannabis genus, also called the Cannabaceae family. These include Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Hemp varieties of Cannabis contain 0.3% or less THC. Marijuana varieties have more than 0.3%. Higher amounts of THC can produce a high.
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Lana Butner, ND, LAc, is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist in private practice in New York City .
Cardiac glycosides, such as Lanoxin (digoxin), help the heart beat strongly and can slow down the heart rate. They are used for treating heart failure (in which the heart can’t pump blood well enough to meet the body’s needs) and irregular heartbeats.
There is not enough clinical research data to prove that hemp is safe for use in people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. There is also not enough research to show it is safe to use topically on the skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids abundant in hemp seed oil can help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure). Research recommends using omega-3 fatty acid supplements along with blood pressure medicine to lower blood pressure.
If you are using hemp seed oil topically, be sure to try a small amount first to test for skin irritation. Hemp seed oil can also be used as a carrier oil for an essential oil mixture.
If you’re experiencing any of the health conditions listed above, speak to your doctor before using hemp seed oil.
Lowering cholesterol levels reduces your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
Advances in Pharmacological Sciences: “Review of Anti-Inflammatory Herbal Medicines.”
Harvard Men’s Health Watch: “Iron and your health.”
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.”
In studies, the CBD in hemp oil has been shown to reduce seizures in rare types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Regularly taking CBD can also reduce the number of seizures brought on by tuberous sclerosis complex, a condition that causes tumors to form throughout the body.
Potential Risks of Hemp Oil
GW Research Ltd.: “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cannabidiol (GWP42003-P, CBD) for Seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (GWPCARE6).”
Improved Cardiovascular Health
In general, hemp seed oil is safe to ingest or use topically, but there are a few things to note if you decide to start taking hemp oil. Pay attention to the following potential risks of hemp oil: