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hemp effects on health

Using cannabis frequently can lead to a pattern of problematic use or use disorder. This can result in dependence or addiction.

Quitting is not always easy. If you are struggling with your cannabis use, you can:

Cannabis can be consumed in different ways. Two common ways are:

The effects of cannabis on pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you’ve consumed cannabis and are experiencing particularly unpleasant or harmful effects:

For more information, please see the lower-risk cannabis use guidelines developed by Canadian experts in mental health and addiction.

To help you and your health care provider make informed decisions about the potential benefits and risks, we have published information on using cannabis for medical purposes.

It is also easier to be poisoned when ingesting (eating or drinking) cannabis compared to inhaling cannabis (smoking or vaping). This is because some of these products may be confused with similar non-cannabis products. It can also take much longer to feel the effects. The result is that people consume more before they feel the full effects.

According to a review published in 2019, regular marijuana smoking is also associated with respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and recurrent lung infections.

According to a review published in 2015, one study found that marijuana smokers were three times more likely to develop cancer of the head or neck than non-smokers, but that study could not be confirmed by further analysis.

Teen marijuana use is also linked to an increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior.

Lung Health

Studies also show that children born to mothers who use marijuana during pregnancy exhibit some problems with neurological development. These can include:

According to a 2017 study, heavy marijuana use on a regular basis may reduce bone density. Specifically, researchers found those who used marijuana heavily (more than 5,000 times during their lifetime) had a 5% lower bone density than those who did not use marijuana at all.

On the flip side, other studies suggest that THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids accelerate bone healing and can make bones stronger after a fracture.

Marijuana use during pregnancy can be harmful to a baby’s health and cause some serious problems. Specifically, babies born to those who use marijuana are more likely to be underweight at birth and be born prematurely. Marijuana use during pregnancy can also increase the risk of stillbirth.

Yes, hemp seeds are legal in the United States, but the seeds must contain a minimal amount of THC (the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that gets a person high).  

Hemp oil is often used as a hair conditioner, a skin moisturizer. Some studies found that hempseed oil may improve dry, itchy skin and help symptoms of eczema, reducing the need for prescription medication.  

No. Hemp hearts have had the fibrous shell removed and, thus, are lower in fiber and other nutrients than whole hemp seeds. Hemp hearts not as nutritionally beneficial as the whole hemp seed. However, hemp hearts are very high in healthy polyunsaturated fats.


Always consult with your healthcare provider before taking hemp (or any other herb) regarding the recommended dosage. When taking herbal preparations, never exceed the dosage or other recommendations on the package insert.

Cooking hemp seeds or heating the oil to temperatures above 350 degrees Fahrenheit can denature the fats, destroying the healthy fatty acids. Hemp seeds and oil are best eaten raw; if cooking with hemp oil, use low heat.

Cardiac glycosides, such as Lanoxin (digoxin) help the heart beat strongly and can slow down the heart rate. Hemp is also known to slow the heart rate; this could result in bradycardia. Do not take hemp when taking Lanoxin without consulting with the prescribing physician or another healthcare provider.

A 2016 study discovered that GLA has very strong anti-inflammatory properties and has a “great potential to dampen [the] inflammatory processes and improve signs and symptoms of several inflammatory diseases.”