Negative Side Effects of Hemp Oil

By Matthew Cote

If you're considering hemp oil as a medical treatment, then it is important to focus on the possible side effects of its use as well as the potential benefits.

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Learn about the side effects and benefits of hemp oil.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA)

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Hemp oil may contain as much as 70% PUFAs.

Hemp oil may contain as much as 70 percent Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids; this, in combination with the large amount of PUFAs consumed in the American standard diet, could negatively affect your health.

The Brain

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Hemp oil can cause developmental problems in children.

A study conducted by the Child And Family Research Institute discovered that neurons require Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA )—an Omega 3—to develop in a culture; however, omega-6 fats are an insufficient substitute. This evidence suggests that a major fatty acid imbalance in the brain could lead to developmental problems.

Nitrosative Damage and Cardiac Dysfunction

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Cardiac dysfunction can be caused by consumption of a high fat diet rich in omega-6 for only four weeks.

The Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of British Columbia found that consumption of a high-fat diet rich in omega-6 for only four weeks causes cardiac dysfunction at high afterloads.


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Polyunsaturated fats are immunosuppressive.

According to Dr. R. A. Newsholme of Oxford University, polyunsaturated fats are greatly immunosuppressive, which means they reduce the activation or effectiveness of the immune system.

Tumor Promotion

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Linoleic acid can promote tumors by increasing the rate at which existing cancer cells reproduce.

According to Professor Raymond Kearney of Sydney University, diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids—namely linolenic acid—promote tumors by increasing the rate at which existing cancer cells reproduce.

Breast Cancer

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Polyunsaturated fats can increase the risk for breast cancer.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Jan. 1998), found further evidence to suggest that polyunsaturated fats increase the risk for breast cancer.