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    Cannabis and Gluten

    Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD
    • Hemp is one of the world's most nutritious foods with high quality protein and essential fatty acids found in its seeds.

    Cannabis and Gluten
    Caption: Image: CC--Mike Mozart

    Celiac.com 04/13/2018 - Is cannabis gluten-free? That is a frequent question I receive now that over 50%  of the United States has approved medical cannabis and some states have also included recreational cannabis. Let's begin be describing cannabis as an oral medicine that has been used since the Chinese treatise on pharmacology described Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BCE using it. 

    In 1850 cannabis was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a cure for many ailments. By the early 1900's Squibb Company, Eli Lilly and Park-Davis were manufacturing drugs produced from marijuana for use as antispasmodics, sedatives, and analgesics (pain medication).

    Today, hemp seed and hemp oil products are widely available. They provide CBD or cannabidiol - the non-psychoactive cannabinoid from various Cannabis sativa strains grown for high CBD levels. In order to be legal in the U.S. these products must contain less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. CBD products can be consumed as capsules, tinctures, "gummy" chewables, lollipops, and numerous edibles like brownies, chocolates, and granola bars.

    The nutritive value of cannabis is presently described as that of hemp seed since no scientific analysis of Cannabis sativa has been done. Hemp is one of the world's most nutritious foods with high quality protein and essential fatty acids found in its seeds. Hemp contains all eight essential amino acids and can be sprouted for use in salads and shakes.

    Celiacs with protein allergies to eggs and soy need to be cautious when adding hemp and CBD products to their diet regimes. The major proteins in hemp are albumen and edestin. Hemp is a nut so those celiacs with nut sensitivities need to consider that. Others may be limiting their lectin intake and need to limit CBD products until processing evaluations can indicate levels resulting in the products.

    CBD oils contain linoleic and linolenic fatty acids which are important in reducing inflammation. They can be used in salad dressings, mashed potatoes and substituted for olive oil in recipes. Since these essential fatty acids must be obtained in the diet, using hemp or cannabis CBD products can enhance health.

    Cannabis products- particularly CBD- have been overlooked by individuals needing symptom relief from neurological (Parkinson's, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, migraine), immune (cancer), and gastrointestinal disorders (Crohn's disease, IBS). When choosing cannabidiol-CBD products be sure to check that they have been tested for pesticides, heavy metals, and microbiological contaminants. 

    Today, more hemp is sold to pet owners as bird seed than used by humans. But as more individuals learn of the botanical benefits of cannabis, they should consider adding it to their diet and supplement regime. My book, Cannabis-A Clinician's Guide (CRC Press 2018) reviews the science and clinical uses of cannabis along with how to use it in recipes.  


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    HUGE issue with hemp is that in my experience 80% of hemp meal. hemp seeds. hemp protein is gluten contaminated. The issue stems from the major take off of the hemp industry and farmers starting to grow it now in Canada. It is commonly grown in rotation with and in former wheat fields....and utilizing the same harvesting, transporting,and storage equipment before it reaches the "dedicated" hemp facilities. Used to be easy to get hemp and not get sick, now days I am up to 15lbs of hemp meal/protein I have gotten in the last year....12 out of the 15 have tested positive for gluten. 2 from Just Hemp Foods came back negative...2 positive. While Jarrow used to be safe last few have been CCed, Manitoba, Nutiva hemp is always contaminated. And I just tried Foods Alive and it was contaminated. ONLY SOURCE of hemp products I can get now are Mygerbs.com Whole hemp seeds and grind my own meal...I still test them by milling a small batches into butter then testing that and each time comes back gluten free for the past few years.

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    Guest Karen B.

    Posted

    Wow.  Thank you for the information. This contamination is unreal -- not just in the Hemp as you mentioned, but in many other foods. That is the most annoying part (using a polite word) of being gluten-free is the contamination. And, never would I have even considered the albumen in hemp seed --- eating has become sooooooooo difficult and is no longer fun.

    Karen B.

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    Guest Laura

    Posted

    Good to hear from Ennis regarding cross-contamination.  This is an ongoing problem with growers & transportation services. Regarding THC: noted many people admitted to the hospital for its toxic effects.  Had some friends in the 1970's who used cannabis. I would watch their mannerisms & speech.  I concluded that it temporarily turned people in to "idiots".  I understand using it to prevent seizure, glaucoma or for pain in malignancy. My view of drugs is unique since my father suffered from Parkinson's disease with severe & frequent delusions/hallucinations & paranoia.  When lucid he said; "It's not fair, I've never abused my body while other people with healthy bodies do so willingly.  I'd give anything to be well again."  I have read of  young people putting many "unwholesome" chemicals into their healthy bodies.  How sad for them.

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    Guest Nero T.

    Posted

    THC: noted many people admitted to the hospital for its toxic effects.  

    THC is not toxic. Literally. There are no documented cases of death by THC.

    It IS possible to consume so much that you become quite sick.  However, that would require quite a high dose. This, by the way, is one of the benefits of legal cannabis -- labeling that allows consumers to make better choices about how much THC they're ingesting.  

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    Guest Dee

    Posted

    I've been taking Hemp/Cannaboid Oil from HempWorx out of Kentucky, for about 3 weeks thus far.  I have not had any gluten contamination from the product. 

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    Guest RockyMtnFactCheck

    Posted

    Guest Laura,

    You're perpetuating propaganda. Fun Fact: No one in recorded human history has ever died from marijuana; in fact, it is medically impossible for it to happen. Scientists in lab settings can't force an overdose on lab animals. Why? Because you would need to consume 15-20 times your body weight in less than 10 minutes.

    What does parkinsons have to do with Marijuana? 

    I'm a diagnosed Celiac since 12/2014, and marijuana is one of the main reasons I've been able to live a normal healthy life. 

    Next time open a book before posting such ridiculousness 

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    Guest LoriS

    Posted

    Laura, yes the psychoactive properties of cannabis do dull people's perception temporarily, however I will hazard a guess that those experiencing bad results from smoking "back in the day" probably had some additional substances in what they were smoking.  I recall numerous news stories about everything from toxic weed killer (Paraquat!) being sprayed on the crops to dealers who deliberately added things like PCP to their product.  Modern, legalized, quality-controlled MJ is undoubtedly safer that the "shady" sources my generation had to deal with.

     

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    Guest Julie

    Posted

    Ennis_TX - do you test it yourself (how) or do you submit it somewhere for testing.... and do you need to get an prescription for the hemp or seeds?  (newbie with this and looking for relief!) 5 years with Celiac and my intestines are always inflamed and sore... IBS meds aren't helping!  thanks

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    31 minutes ago, Guest Julie said:

    Ennis_TX - do you test it yourself (how) or do you submit it somewhere for testing.... and do you need to get an prescription for the hemp or seeds?  (newbie with this and looking for relief!) 5 years with Celiac and my intestines are always inflamed and sore... IBS meds aren't helping!  thanks


    First you might want to keep a food diary it is not uncommon for us to get other food sensitivies...it could be something common like nightshades, peppers, soy, dairy, etc. I often rotate to a bland nut flour/butter porridge with no sugars/starches to go easy on my gut.
    I get my seeds fromhttps://www.mygerbs.com/shop/unsalted-roasted-hemp-seeds/
    Might be better for you with https://www.mygerbs.com/shop/raw-hemp-shelled-seed-hearts/

    They are very high in fiber and rough...I mill them into a paste or blend them into a hemp cheese for ease of digestion. They do not contain THC but natural CBD which does not require a prescription. You can get CPD products from most health food stores to help with inflammation without RX just look up stuff like CBD Gold oil on good reputable sites like luckyvitamin.com I use the stuff in a vape pen for stress....I should probably try some in food for my Ulcerative Colitis...

    I use Slippery elm taken throughout the day, and marshmallow root powder, aloe vera inner fillet taking twice a day for my inflammation issues....I still get flare ups when I have to much of a spice, acid, or nightshades. Small amounts are OK but I often over do it and notice the repercussions later. >.> I do chef work with gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, and grain free foods...and I tend to taste them more then I should >.<

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  • About Me

    Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD is Assistant Professor, NY Chiropractic College, MS Clinical Nutrition Program Nutrition Assessment Course & Food Science Course.  She is author of the following books:

    • Fast and Simple Diabetes Menus, McGraw Hill Companies
    • Diabetes Meals on the Run, Contemporary Books
    • Living With Food Allergies, Contemporary Books
    • Diabetic Desserts, Contemporary Books
    • Quick & Easy Diabetes Menus Cookbook, Contemporary Books
    • American Diabetes Association Holiday Cookbook and Parties & Special Celebrations Cookbook, Prentice Hall Books

     

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