Are There Any Known Health Risks of Hemp Use?

A lot of things we know as beneficial has side effects too; maybe benefits or risks. Especially on what we consume and take in our body, it may heal a specific condition by it also affects other aspects of health that creates complication. Studies say that almost all drugs have side effects because it works inside the body. Different side effects may differ from people to people. It is said that the most common side effect involves the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Doctors suggest that drugs can cause nausea, and in some cases, drugs can cause skin irritation.

Even the most beneficial treatment has side effects too. Chemotherapy is the best example, as it is an effective medication for cancer patients with harsh side effects. Many would say that side effects suffered from chemotherapy is worth it because it can prolong people’s lives. Based on some interviews to oncologists, side effects of chemotherapy may last up to 10 days.

However, there is another drug that many people also considered the most beneficial treatment for not only a specific disease but various diseases. It is the hemp. You might ask what hemp is, well, technically, hemp and marijuana are not the same. They are just both part of the cannabis family. The two is different regarding many factors such as purpose, application, and cultivation. While marijuana is used for medical and recreational uses, hemp is known to contribute to skin products, clothing, accessories, dietary supplements, and oils.

Hemp’s leaves are skinnier that marijuana’s and taller up to 20 ft. Concerning its chemicals, marijuana usually has a 5-20% THC content. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant. In some cases, it has 25-30% of THC. On the other hand, hemp only has 0.3% THC content. Also, hemp has high CBD content. CBD or cannabidiol is also a cannabinoid compound but has the therapeutic properties beneficial to many people who are suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, endometriosis, and many more. This means that hemp does not have a psychoactive effect but only a high medicinal value. In addition, many people are searching and enjoying hemp because of its high CBD content which was found to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety properties, and many more.

Before revealing hemp’s health risks, one should be familiar with its uses and its benefits in order for people to measure the risks and benefits; to figure it out if its worth it.

The hemp is known for its various health benefits, and not all people know that these good things can be acquired from different parts of the plant. First, the seeds are mainly used in dietary products such as milk, protein powder, and many more. It is also the primary source of hemp oil which is used for paint, ink, salad dressing, and, body care products. Second, the hurd or the woody core of the hemp plant stem. This hurd is rich in cellulose which is beneficial in digestion. However, this part of the hemp is usually used for industrial products including paper, cement, and plastics. In addition, concrete made of hemp is gaining popularity in Canada and Europe as a natural substitute for concrete. It is called hempcrete that promotes strong insulation, low carbon footprint, and windproof properties. Lastly, the bast or the fiber that is mainly used in clothing and other industrial materials like construction supply. Also, one can make bags, rope, canvas, carpet, and more from these fibers.

Now that we discuss its benefits, here is the list of its health risk.

1. Digestive problems – Hemp oil, when consumed may cause digestive issues to a person. These issues include stomach cramps and diarrhea. Experts warned people that if an individual is suffering from a bowel movement disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or bowel obstruction, hemp oil may not be the best option for medication. Doctors need to be consulted before taking hemp oil.

2. Fatty acids – Hemp oil contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that many people know that can increase good cholesterol, improve heart health, and reduce blood pressure. These fatty acids are classified as polyunsaturated or dietary fat. However, excess intake of these fatty acids may cause cardiac dysfunction, bacterial infections, and cancer growth.

These two things in the list are the leading health risk of hemp use. The almost absence of THC did not give users psychoactive effects that may alter one’s memory, cognitive function, learning, and more. However, if an individual smoke hemp, obviously, it has harmful effects on the lungs. It is said that anything smoked that is inhaled by a person is considered lung irritants. Regular smoking of hemp may cause bronchitis. The carcinogens produced by smoking can cause cancer. In addition, mixing hemp and tobacco is much more dangerous as it increases the risk of a person to have a chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (OCPD) and lung cancer. Also for pregnant women, smoking hemp increases the risk of the baby to be premature. These health risks are not because of hemp’s chemicals, but the way smoke can affect the overall health.  

In addition, experts have been studying the link between fertility and hemp use as studies suggest that it can interfere with ovulation and sperm production. Also, hemp can interact with other substances such as medications and alcohol. Experts suggest that alcohol and hemp do not mix as it has various side effects such as digestive problems and many more. Concerning medications, hemp can have an impact on the effect of the medication one is consuming.

In summary, excess consumption, interactions, and smoking can be bad for health. However, if taken in moderation with the right method to consume, one can benefit from this wondrous drug. Also, an individual can maximize its benefits if doctors are consulted. Many experts in the field of hemp are ready to help for suggested dietary supplements, body care products and many more. On the plus side, hemp is very beneficial concerning the industrial goods sector.

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