It may seem like Hemp is a relatively new product to introduce to our diet but in reality it has been consumed for thousands of years. It has been a staple of diets in China for millennia. However in the last few years Hemp products have been increasingly popular with millions of pounds worth of products sold across the globe each year, with consumers of all ages from children to adults. 

But how safe is hemp? 

We have discussed some of the great points of hemp in our previous articles, such as Hemp nutrition and Hemp seeds, and have seen all the great things hemp can do. But how safe is this plant for consumption and ingestion.
The research out there is showing us that although hemp isn’t particularly harmful, as with most things, there are a few exceptions that mean for particular people they may need a word of caution before using hemp. There is still a lot of research being completed and we are learning more every day.

What do we know already?

Hemp and Medications – 

In recent years, research is showing that hemp can react with your body in a similar manner to some medications. If you are taking any of these medications, it is advisable to be wary of the levels of hemp you consume. If you take any of the following then it would be wise to consult a medical professional to see how they could affect you. 

  • Anticoagulants – Anyone using Anticoagulant medications are advised to consume hemp with caution. This is because Hemp can also suppress platelet adhesion. Using platelet inhibiting drugs and foods together could cause complications.
  • Diuretics – Hemp can also work as a diuretic and lower potassium levels in the body, If you are taking any diuretic medications, Ingestion of Hemp is not advised as low potassium levels can be dangerous.
  • Cardiac Glycosides – Hemp can slow the heart rate down, so consuming hemp when taking cardiac glycosides is also advised against.

Hemp and the body – 

There haven’t been many adverse effects on the body reported from Hemp consumption, however there are a few notable issues to be wary of.

  • Lungs – If you choose to inhale Hemp, then there are further implications for your health. As with any kind of smoke, it isn’t great for your lungs, Although there are benefits to using Hemp, the smoke may still be an irritant to the lungs. If you have any kind of lung compilations, diseases or issues, smoking hemp would not be advisable, as with all other smokable products.
  • Bowels – We know that Hemp contains a range of healthy Polyunsaturated Fats and these are great for you, in moderation. But because hemp seeds can contain as much as 4g of fat per tablespoon of seeds, the high levels of fat can be an issue, As with any fats, introducing higher levels to your body can cause mild stomach discomfort and diarrhea. You can combat this by introducing the seeds slowly and gradually, then your body can build a tolerance to the new levels of fats. If you suffer with any bowel issues these could be aggravated by the inclusion of higher levels of fat to your diet.

Can you be allergic to Hemp?

Hemp allergies aren’t a very common thing but they do exist.
The allergy can manifest in various ways, depending on the type of exposure.

  • Inhaling the plants pollen could cause symptoms similar to those of asthma, and or Conjunctivitis.
  • Smoke Exposure could cause sneezing, coughing, itchy throat and breathing difficulties.
  • Ingestion can cause hives, swelling and breathing issues, In some cases they ingestion of hemp can cause more serious anaphylactic reactions.
  • Skin contact with hemp could cause itching swelling and redness to the skin. 

And finally as hemp seeds are technically nuts they could trigger anaphylaxis in those with a nut allergy. As hemp seeds are being used more commonly it’s always best to read labels to prevent a severe reaction.

So there you have it, was there anything you didn’t know? Comment below!

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