Last update Aug. 27, 2017

Industrial hemp

Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

Agricultural, textile or industrial hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa with low content of Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although both are the same plant (Sawler 2015), the term “Hemp” is used for the agricultural variety with industrial uses, textiles and foodstuffs leaving the denomination “Cannabis” to the variety that is cultivated for recreational purposes.
Agricultural hemp must contain less than 0.2% to 0.3% of THC to be considered legal depending on the country (Avico 1985, Leson 2001,
Hemp is used on textile industry for manufacturing of fabrics, paper, insulating elements, motor fuel, paint and cosmetics, among other uses.

In human food the seeds (cannons), whole, raw or roasted and ground in the form of flour or its oil are used. In 100 grams there are 32 g of protein (all essential amino acids), 49 g of fat (practically all polyunsaturated, linoleic and linolenic acids, ω-3 and ω-6), 5 g of carbohydrates (4 g of fiber), vitamins and minerals with a total of 586 calories.
In Chinese medicine it is used on the treatment of constipation (Cheng 2011)

It would be advisable to garantee the origin of the seeds and the quality of supplier because there are three possible sources of higher risk with its consumption:
1- Confusion at selection of plants with a higher content of THC can lead to positivity on drug testing that would result in poisoning (Fortner 1997, Lehmann 1997, Meier 1997, Alt 1998, Chinello 2016).
2- A likely bacterial contamination has led to food poisoning (Willis 2009, Stöcker 2011)
3- Hemp is a plant that has been used as a "soil cleaner", because of its high capacity of metal and toxin absorption. Its content in Cadmium, Zinc, Iron and other contaminants may be high (Campbell 2002, Mihoc 2012).

There is no evidence of its effectiveness on preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, overweight and others (Kaul 2008).
At latest update no published data were found on its excretion into breastmilk.
Provided a reliable source is available, moderate consumption during breastfeeding would pose little or no risk.
Hemp is not considered as an essential supplement whenever a healthy balanced diet is followed.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Industrial hemp is also known as Hemp. Here it is a list of alternative known names::

Industrial hemp in other languages or writings:


Industrial hemp belongs to this group or family:


  1. Chinello M, Scommegna S, Shardlow A, Mazzoli F, De Giovanni N, Fucci N, Borgiani P, Ciccacci C, Locasciulli A, Calvani M. Cannabinoid Poisoning by Hemp Seed Oil in a Child. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 Abstract
  2. Sawler J, Stout JM, Gardner KM, Hudson D, Vidmar J, Butler L, Page JE, Myles S. The Genetic Structure of Marijuana and Hemp. PLoS One. 2015 Abstract
  3. Mihoc M, Pop G, Alexa E, Radulov I. Nutritive quality of romanian hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.) with special focus on oil and metal contents of seeds. Chem Cent J. 2012 Abstract
  4. Stöcker P, Rosner B, Werber D, Kirchner M, Reinecke A, Wichmann-Schauer H, Prager R, Rabsch W, Frank C. Outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo associated with a dietary food supplement flagged in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) in Germany, 2010. Euro Surveill. 2011 Abstract
  5. Cheng CW, Bian ZX, Zhu LX, Wu JC, Sung JJ. Efficacy of a Chinese herbal proprietary medicine (Hemp Seed Pill) for functional constipation. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Abstract
  6. Willis C, Little CL, Sagoo S, de Pinna E, Threlfall J. Assessment of the microbiological safety of edible dried seeds from retail premises in the United Kingdom with a focus on Salmonella spp. Food Microbiol. 2009 Abstract
  7. Kaul N, Kreml R, Austria JA, Richard MN, Edel AL, Dibrov E, Hirono S, Zettler ME, Pierce GN. A comparison of fish oil, flaxseed oil and hempseed oil supplementation on selected parameters of cardiovascular health in healthy volunteers. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Abstract
  8. Campbell S, Paquin D, Awaya JD, Li QX. Remediation of benzo[a]pyrene and chrysene-contaminated soil with industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa). Int J Phytoremediation. 2002 Abstract
  9. Leson G, Pless P, Grotenhermen F, Kalant H, ElSohly MA. Evaluating the impact of hemp food consumption on workplace drug tests. J Anal Toxicol. 2001 Abstract
  10. Alt A, Reinhardt G. Positive cannabis results in urine and blood samples after consumption of hemp food products. J Anal Toxicol. 1998 Abstract
  11. Fortner N, Fogerson R, Lindman D, Iversen T, Armbruster D. Marijuana-positive urine test results from consumption of hemp seeds in food products. J Anal Toxicol. 1997 Abstract
  12. Lehmann T, Sager F, Brenneisen R. Excretion of cannabinoids in urine after ingestion of cannabis seed oil. J Anal Toxicol. 1997 Abstract
  13. Meier H, Vonesch HJ. [Cannabis poisoning after eating salad]. Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1997 Abstract
  14. Avico U, Pacifici R, Zuccaro P. Variations of tetrahydrocannabinol content in cannabis plants to distinguish the fibre-type from drug-type plants. Bull Narc. 1985 Abstract

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