In this day and age of Big Pharma, we are used to hearing long list of side effects with prescription drugs, even as devastating as death.  We should always ask what the potential side effects are of anything we use in or on our body.  The potential side effects of hemp oil are thankfully very rare and very minor.

We have been gifted with the presence of phytocannabinoid rich plants like hemp, which is part of the cannabis family.  After years of an illegal ban of its use, its healing benefits can no longer be denied, and its use is finally permitted again.  Hemp Hemp Hooray!  Sorry … I had to ?

So let’s be real and face the fact that with absolutely any pill, potion or lotion in this world, there is the potential for unwanted side effects or reactions to occur. 

Let’s also be clear about a few other important things …

In this article we are talking about pure, clean hemp oil.  Not hemp seed oil.  Not marijuana.  Not CBD isolate (because that is now a pharmaceutical drug and cannot be sold as a supplement). 

Hemp oil does not come with the “intoxicating high” associated with marijuana, so its use and dosing is going to be slightly different and comes with even less risk because of the significant difference in THC concentration. 

Full spectrum hemp oil may contain up to 0.3% THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the substance in cannabis plants that is responsible for that “intoxicating high” I mentioned earlier. I prefer this terminology over “psychoactive” for a reason – psychoactive is not always a bad thing.  The definition of psychoactive is something that “affects the mind or behavior” and there are many things that can positively affect one’s mind and therefore behavior. Deep breathing, meditation, herbal tea … coffee … these things all hold potential to affect us in positive ways, just like cannabis.

Now, let’s put this THC concentration in better perspective.  Some marijuana produced these days can have up to 20%-30% THC … a much higher dose than 0.3% that naturally occurs in hemp.  This is the reason we talk about “the healing without the high with hemp”. 

ALLERGIC REACTIONS

THC is a known allergy itself to some.  So yes, it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to cannabis and products that contain THC.  The potential side effects with hemp oil via allergic reactions are more rare since it contains such low levels of THC.

It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to the other parts of the hemp plant as the plants contain many components and proteins that for some people can trigger a reaction if they are sensitive to many other plants, too. 

Ironically, hemp oil is also used successfully to treat allergies through its activation of the ECS and ability to create balance and homeostasis in numerous systems, especially the immune system … so please don’t immediately assume if you have allergies hemp oil is off limits! 

The most common reported “problem” with taking hemp oil in individuals with a hemp allergy is the signs commonly associated with any allergic reaction:  itching, redness and irritation of the skin, rash, hives, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, swelling.  

If you notice any of these when taking hemp oil, there’s a good chance your immune system is creating a histamine response against hemp.  We’ll discuss more on this later.

DROWSINESS

For those not allergic to hemp that take full spectrum hemp oil, some people report drowsiness as a potential side effect of hemp oil.  Again, a very small percentage of people using hemp oil. 

I’ve got a couple of comments on this … keeping in mind that the purpose of the ECS is to restore homeostasis and balance to the body …

If your body has been shifted to a state of high stress and overdrive for a long period of time, like commonly seen with people dealing with chronic anxiety or adrenal hyperfunction, this type of response would actually be a positive sign and a “good” thing for your body.  We are hardwired with a sympathetic nervous system (that is commonly associated with the “fight or flight response”) and the parasympathetic nervous system (associated with “rest, digest, heal and cleanse”) which are in a constant dance with one another.  The two must remain in proper balance for our human homeostasis. 

In situations like anxiety and hyperadrenia, the sympathetic nervous system becomes overactive, throwing us out of homeostatic balance.

When the ECS is activated through the use of hemp oil, the signals of the sympathetic nervous system downregulate and result in a feeling of less anxiety.  At the same time, an overdue activation of the parasympathetic system can shift the body into a healing space which can result in symptoms of feeling tired or “drowsy” because the body needs more rest in order to heal, detox and clean up from all that time that you have been burning the candle at both ends and living in a state of sympathetic dominance. 

If this sounds like you, then it may be best to keep up with the support of the hemp oil.  If it is interfering with your ability to function at work or in life and you are not able to allow your body that time and relaxation it craves, then I suggest to simply lower the dose the effects also decrease but the helpful support isn’t withheld from a depleted and deprived system. 

MEDICATIONS

I won’t cover this in depth here but do want to be completely transparent and offer full disclosure as it is discovered on potential side effects of hemp oil and possible interactions.  Medications have a profound way of altering normal physiology … this is why they work so well … at one specific task.  The problem is, they often do that one task so well that it is of detriment to the body as a whole working organism.  This is why they all come with side effects! 

You can read more in the Cytochrome P450 link article, but the use of high dose CBD with medications can cause problems of how these substances are metabolized.  I realize that I said I wouldn’t talk about CBD isolate here but I think this is too important to not mention while we’re on the subject.  I have not found any studies that suggest that full spectrum hemp oil has this same impact and I honestly feel that this explains the “negative reactions” that are noted throughout many research articles on PubMed that are talking about the isolated form of CBD. 

Another reason why I am such an advocate of the whole plant source of hemp!

 

 

MEDICATIONS

I won?t cover this in depth here but do want to be completely transparent and offer full disclosure as it is discovered on potential side effects of hemp oil and possible interactions. ?Medications have a profound way of altering normal physiology ? this is why they work so well ? at one specific task.? The problem is, they often do that one task so well that it is of detriment to the body as a whole working organism.? This is why they all come with side effects!?

You can read more in the Cytochrome P450 link article, but the use of high dose CBD with medications can cause problems of how these substances are metabolized.? I realize that I said I wouldn?t talk about CBD isolate here but I think this is too important to not mention while we?re on the subject.? I have not found any studies that suggest that full spectrum hemp oil has this same impact and I honestly feel that this explains the ?negative reactions? that are noted throughout many research articles on PubMed that are talking about the isolated form of CBD.?

Another reason why I am such an advocate of the whole plant source of hemp!