Canadian Hemp

What other names is Canadian Hemp known by?

Apocino del Canadá, Apocyn Chanvrin, Apocynum cannabinum, Bitter Root, Cáñamo Canadiense, Cáñamo Indio, Catchfly, Chanvre Canadien, Chanvre du Canada, Chanvre Sauvage, Dogbane, Fly-Trap, Honeybloom, Indian-Hemp, Indian Physic, Milk Ipecac, Milkweed, Wallflower, Wild Cotton.

What is Canadian Hemp?

Canadian hemp is an herb. The root of Canadian hemp is used for medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, Canadian hemp is used for arthritis, asthma, coughs, bloating, and syphilis. It is also used for heart problems including valvular insufficiency, "senile heart," and weak heart muscles following pneumonia. Canadian hemp is also used to flush fluids out of the body by increasing urine flow.

Some people apply the fresh juice of Canadian hemp directly to the skin for warts.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Heart problems.
  • Increasing urine production.
  • Asthma.
  • Coughs.
  • Swelling.
  • Syphilis.
  • Warts, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Canadian hemp for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

How does Canadian Hemp work?

Canadian hemp contains chemicals that may slow the heartbeat, lower blood pressure, increase the strength of the heartbeat, and increase urine. It may work similarly to the prescription drug digoxin (Lanoxin), but is less effective and causes more side effects.

Are there safety concerns?

Canadian hemp is UNSAFE to take by mouth because of its effects on the heart and other side effects.

Canadian hemp is irritating to the throat, stomach, and intestines; and can cause nausea and vomiting. It can slow the rate of the heartbeat, which can cause the body to release substances that cause the blood pressure to increase.

There's not enough information to know if it is safe to apply Canadian hemp to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE for anyone, including pregnant and breast-feeding women, to take Canadian hemp by mouth. The chemicals it contains can harm the heart.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Canadian hemp also seems to affect the heart. Taking Canadian hemp along with digoxin can increase the effects of digoxin and increase the risk of side effects. Do not take Canadian hemp if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) without talking to your healthcare professional.



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Canadian hemp might affect the heart. "Water pills" can decrease potassium in the body. Low potassium levels can also affect the heart and increase the risk of side effects from Canadian hemp.

Some "water pills" that can deplete potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosing considerations for Canadian Hemp.

The appropriate dose of Canadian hemp depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Canadian hemp. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors