SEP 20, 2018 10:46 AM PDT

Hemp or Hype? Is Hemp the Real Deal?

Hemp is a form of the cannabis plant that was specially bred for its use in textiles. It contains very little of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp seeds are now the new diet craze and are touted to have many beneficial health effects. Specifically, the seeds of the hemp plant, and the oil produced from them, are said to be a great source of a number of nutrients such as essential fatty acids, gamma linoleic acid (an important essential fatty acid for cellular health) Vitamin E and a great source of chlorophyll (a substance that supposedly has anti-cancer effects). Scientific studies have shown that it is also good for your skin and is useful in treating atopic dermatitis

The market for hemp products has surged in recent years. There appear to be a variety of uses for hemp-based products such as shampoo, facial cream, all types of clothing, protein powders, hot dogs, beer and liquor, dog toys, and even, yes, sports carsMany of these products do not need FDA clearance if they are sold as supplements. So are companies legitimately using the (small amount) of data on hemp and health to guide them in producing their products? Or is hemp the new snake oil?  

In 2007 a study was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) which tested 84 hemp products and found that only 26 met their claims. The FDA also commissioned a study looking at 24 products and found only 2 out of 24 products met their claims. Other than these false claims, there are a few risks with hemp seeds, especially hemp seed oil. If you are at risk for heart attacks, the large number of fatty acids in hemp seeds could lead to cardiac problems if too much is ingested. Large amounts of hemp seed or oil can act as a laxative and cause diarrhea. Other problems include blood clots, an increased risk of prostate cancer, immune suppression, and problems with brain development. However, as the pharmacologist saying goes, "the dose determines the poison". If anything, you should consult your physician if you are thinking about making hemp seed a large part of your diet.

Thus, just like any other "miracle cure" of the day, the hype seems to be based on testimonials rather than scientific evidence. This is not to say that there are no legitimate studies supporting hemp's benefits on health. But just be sure next time you go shopping to take the claims made on that bottle of hemp shampoo with a grain of salt. 
 

Sources: JAMA, Journal of Dermatological Treatment, Ministry of Hemp, Farmers' Almanac, Nutrition & Metabolism, StyleCraze.com

About the Author
You May Also Like
SEP 06, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
SEP 06, 2018
First FDA Approved Drug Derived From Marijuana Used to Treat Two Rare Forms of Epilepsy
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the first oral cannabidiol solution called Epidiolex in June of 2018. This medicine was approved as a treat...
SEP 13, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
SEP 13, 2018
The Physiology of the Munchies
It's known that marijuana makes people crave food in a phenomenon commonly called the munchies; until now, we didn't know much about why....
OCT 07, 2018
Neuroscience
OCT 07, 2018
Marijuana and Anxiety
Like many neurotransmitters in the brain (dopamine, serotonin, etc.) the when and the where they are released in the brain is of utmost importance in deter...
OCT 11, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
OCT 11, 2018
How Marijuana Will Affect Your Workout
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) has been found to give exercise an extra boost as the body burns off fat. THC the main psychoactive ingredient in cann...
OCT 31, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
OCT 31, 2018
Pot Stocks: What Investors Should Know
It was only a matter of time. With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada and 9 states in the US plus Washington DC, the marijuana industry i...
NOV 20, 2018
Videos
NOV 20, 2018
Legal marijuana sales begin today in MA
Massachusetts opened its first dispensaries for legal recreational marijuana sales today. The companies, one called Cultivate Holdings in Leicester and ano...
Loading Comments...