Applications of Cannabis Sativa L. in Food and Its Therapeutic Potential: From a Prohibited Drug to a Nutritional Supplement

Molecules. 2021 Dec 20;26(24):7699. doi: 10.3390/molecules26247699.


Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a herbaceous anemophilous plant that belongs to the Cannabinaceae family. The cannabis seed (hemp) has long been utilized as a food source and is commercially important as an edible oil source. In this review, the positive and negative health effects of cannabis, the relationship between cannabis and various diseases, and the use of cannabis in various food products have been discussed. In addition, the scientific literature on the potential use of cannabis and its derivatives as a dietary supplement for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory and chronic degenerative diseases in animals and humans has been reviewed. Cannabis is being developed as a key ingredient in a variety of food items, including bakery, confectionery, beverages, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and meat. Hemp seeds are high in readily digestible proteins, lipids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), insoluble fiber, carbs, and favorable omega-6 PUFA acid to omega-3 PUFA ratio and have high nutritional value. The antioxidants of cannabis, such as polyphenols, help with anxiety, oxidative stress, and the risk of chronic illnesses, including cancer, neurological disorders, digestive problems, and skin diseases. Cannabis has been shown to have negative health impacts on the respiratory system, driving, and psychomotor functions, and the reproductive system. Overall, the purpose of this research is to stimulate more in-depth research on cannabis's adaptation in various foods and for the treatment of chronic illnesses.

Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabis; cannabis products; cannabis-infused foods; hemp; tetrahydrocannabinol.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Food Additives*
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Polyphenols / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Food Additives
  • Plant Oils
  • Polyphenols