What Is Hemp?
Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is from the Cannabis Sativa plant species and is grown for industrial and health uses. Although it is from the same species of plant, hemp is not cannabis or a narcotic and does not possess the same psychoactive elements that make cannabis an illegal drug. Hemp, on the other hand, is an amazing superfood and was originally used over 10,000 years ago where the seeds were roasted to be eaten in food and the plant was spun into fibres for ropes and building materials. Whilst they can look quite similar, they have very different components and are both chemically and structurally different.
Does Hemp Have Side Effects?
Whilst hemp is known to have many excellent health benefits including for the heart, skin, hair, muscles, joints and circulation, it may also have some side effects, especially when taken in certain ways. If you take whole, it may cause these hemp side effects:
- Throat irritation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
However, most hemp supplements do not use whole hemp but instead the oil from the seeds or the entire plant (CBD oil) which makes it a lot safer to consume. However, as hemp does contain high amounts of fibre, it can lead to gas, bloating and diarrhoea if you take too much too quickly.
Who Should Not Take Hemp?
Whilst hemp is generally safe, there are a few people that should either avoid it or speak to their doctor first. These people include:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
- Those taking cardiac glycosides medication
- Those taking diuretic medications
Is Hemp Safe?
Both hemp seeds and hemp oil have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicines so whilst there may not be an abundance of modern research done on the plant, it can be seen to be both successful and effective. Therefore, hemp supplements should be safe to use if you follow the instructions and buy from a reputable manufacturer that uses high-quality hemp.
With all the uncertainty surrounding hemp as an ingredient, especially the confusion with the narcotic cannabis, it’s easy to see how this superfood can raise a lot of questions. You should, however, now know what hemp is, how it differs from cannabis as well as any potential side effects you may experience. Remember though, side effects are not guaranteed for everyone and when used in measured amounts, such as in supplements, there shouldn’t be any problems!