FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Hemp Seed
Hemp?! Yes, and now that I have your attention…
“You are what you eat, so eat well.”
Hemp Seed is one of nature’s most perfect foods!
Hemp seed contains all 10 Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s) – the building blocks of protein –
and is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) in the near perfect ratio
of 1:3. These nutrients are termed “essential” because our bodies require them to function
and cannot manufacture them. We must get EAA's and EFAs from the foods we eat or
supplements. Hemp Seeds are also the highest vegan source of edestin, a simple protein
that is responsible for the natural and acquired immune system. Hemp is high in
magnesium, with natural antioxidants like vitamin E and chlorophyll. And because hemps
seeds are nutrient rich in a balanced way, you will not tire of the flavor – making this potent
health food something you can eat daily.
This is Not Your Hippie’s Hemp…
Hemp Seed's Nutrition Profile
To attain optimum health we must eat foods that contain live enzymes, active
phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids. These
elements are termed "essential" because the human body does not produce them. They
must come from the food we eat. Hemp seed is one of the plant kingdom's most
concentrated, complete and balanced sources of essential amino acids and
essential fatty acids. Hemp seeds are high in essential nutrients including chlorophyll,
magnesium, potassium, sulfur, phytosterols, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber,
histidine, iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.
Hemp Seed Protein Profile
Hemp seed is an excellent dietary source of easily digestible, gluten-free protein.
Its overall protein content of 34.6 g/100 g is comparable to that of soy beans and better
than that found in nuts, other seeds, dairy products, meat, fish, or poultry.
Hemp seed contains all 10 essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Hemp
seeds contain about 33% pure digestible protein, providing readily available amino
acids for building and repairing tissue. Hemp seed protein is comprised of 65% high-
quality edestin protein, the most potent protein of any plant source, 35% albumin protein
and glutamic acid. The globulin edestin in hemp seed closely resembles the globulin in blood
plasma, and is compatible with the human digestive system. It is vital to the maintenance
of a healthy immune system and is also used to manufacture antibodies. Albumin is a
protein manufactured by the liver that is supportive of liver and kidney health.
An important aspect of hemp seed protein is a high content of arginine (123 mg/g protein)
and histidine (27 mg/g protein), both of which are important for growth during
childhood, and of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine (23 mg/g protein) and
cysteine (16 mg/g protein), which are needed for proper enzyme formation. Hemp
protein also contains relatively high levels of the branched-chain amino acids that are
important for the metabolism of exercising muscle.
Hemp Seed vs. Soy Protein
Hemp seed protein has many advantages when compared to soy, the most
commonly used form of supplemental plant protein. Soy protein contains high levels of
enzyme inhibitors blocking the uptake of trypsin and other enzymes the body uses for
protein digestion. Eating a diet high in enzyme inhibitors, such as those contained in soy,
can result in chronic amino acid and protein deficiencies.
Hemp Seed Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Profile
Hemp seed is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids as well as being
one of the few plant sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). EFAs are utilized by
many of the body's systems to maintain proper tissue function. EFAs are required for
energy production, proper functioning of the nervous system, brain development
and function, skin health and elasticity, digestive efficiency, normal cardiovascular
function, hormone production, and efficient immune response.
Studies have shown that GLA improves memory, and overall mental health, as well
as reducing symptoms of skin ailments like eczema and even fibrocystic disease.
Additionally, GLA has been found effective for treating rheumatoid arthritis and active
synovitis, and the GLA and vitamin D content of hemp foods may make them beneficial in
preventing and treating osteoporosis.
Due to the popular misconception that fat is "bad" for the body, many people have adopted
a low or no fat diet. Low and no fat coupled with the widespread consumption of processed
and genetically modified foods have created EFA deficiencies. Leading researchers are
finding significant links between EFA deficiencies and disease. Supplementation with
EFA's is an integral part of a healthy nutritional program.
Omega-3 to Omega-6 Ratio
A variety of studies have documented the importance of the ratio of Omega-3 to
Omega-6 consumption. Hemp seed oil is the closest to this optimum ratio of any naturally
occurring oil. Hemp seed oil has a ratio of at least one-to-three, Omega-3 to Omega-
6. Oils with unbalanced ratios have been shown to have detrimental physiological effects.
Hemp in Cosmetics and Processed Food Products
The critical importance of EFAs, and especially GLA, for healthy skin makes hemp seed oil
a highly effective skin care and cosmetic product. Its lipid constituents allow it to
permeate through intact skin and to thereby nourish skin cells directly while also
carrying therapeutic substances with it into the skin. These properties have led to a
multitude of soaps, shampoos, skin lotions, lip balms, conditioners, and other skin-care
products containing hemp seed oil.
Among food products made from hemp seed, oil, and flour are beer, pasta, cookies, waffles,
granola, candy, ice cream, milk, and others, with new products now being regularly
For some creative and delicious recipes using hemp seed and hemp foods, check out:
If you still have questions about HEMP, this amazing food that is not (just) for Hippie’s, then
read the FAQ below.
Eat & Be Well,
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds are the edible part of the cannabis sativa L plant. They are a tiny fruit-like nut
covered by a hard shell and part of the "achene" family (similar to sunflower seeds). Hemp
seeds can be pressed for oil, milled into a protein powder, roasted or shelled and made into
Hemp milk. Hemp seeds have been cultivated as a food for centuries, from China to Europe
2. Is hemp the same as marijuana?
No. While hemp and marijuana are both varieties of cannabis sativa L, hemp is grown for
food and fiber, and contains only trace amounts, if any, of THC (delta-9-
tetrahydrocannabinol), the psycho-active component of marijuana.
Hemp foods are legal and safe to consume.
3. Will I flunk a drug test or get “high” if I consume hemp food
No. You will not flunk a drug test by eating hemp food products nor will you get you “high”.
Respectable companies manufacturing hemp foods & oils use a variety of hemp seed that
has undetectable amounts of THC. These special hemp seeds are further cleaned and
processed to ensure that these food products have 0.00% THC.
4. Why should I eat hemp foods?
Hemp seeds are one of the plant kingdom's most concentrated, complete and balanced
sources of all 10 Essential Amino Acids and Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids.
Our bodies need these essentials for life. Hemp seeds contain important nutrients including
chlorophyll, magnesium, phytosterols, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, histidine,
iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and live enzymes.
5. What do hemp seeds taste like? How can you use hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds have a delicious, rich, nutty sunflower flavor that can easily be incorporated
into your daily meals. Indulge in a glass of hemp milk, or pour it over cereal. It's delicious in
coffee, or added to soups, casseroles and in your baking. Sprinkle hemp seeds on salads,
cereal, sweet potatoes, put in trail mix, or eat them straight from the bag. Drizzle hemp oil
on steamed vegetables, make a salad dressing with it, use it as a dipping oil with bread, or
add it to a smoothie.
6. What does hemp milk taste like? How is it made?
Hemp milk tastes rich and creamy with a slight nutty flavor. It's unlike anything you have
tried before. Tasting is believing! Hemp milk is made from shelled hemp seeds using only
the whole hemp nut inside. It is usually sweetened with brown rice syrup, but occasionally
cane sugar is added.
7. Tell me about the type and quality of the protein in hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds contain 33% pure digestible protein, providing readily available amino acids for
building and repairing tissue. Hemp seed protein is comprised of 65% high-quality edestin
protein, the most potent protein of any plant source, 35% albumin protein, and glutamic
acid. The globulin edestin in hemp seed closely resembles the globulin in blood plasma and
is compatible with the human digestive system. It is vital to the maintenance of a healthy
immune system and is also used to manufacture antibodies. Albumin is a protein
manufactured by the liver and it makes up a large portion of blood plasma protein. Albumin
is essential for regulating body fluid in body tissues. Glutamic Acid is an amino acid that
plays a key role in cellular metabolism. It is also the most abundant excitatory
neurotransmitter in the nervous system.
8. How does Hemp Protein compare to Soy Protein?
Hemp protein does not have enzyme inhibitors which makes it very digestible. Soy
protein contains high levels of enzyme inhibitors that block the uptake of trypsin and
other enzymes the body uses for protein digestion. Eating a diet high in enzyme
inhibitors, such as those contained in soy, can result in chronic amino acid and
Hemp protein does not have phytates: Soy protein contains phytates which can
interfere with the proper assimilation of essential minerals.
Hemp seed allergies are fairly uncommon: Soy allergies are almost as common as
Most hemp protein is certified organic, raw and cold-processed without chemicals or
solvents. Soy protein powders are heavily processed, usually with hexane or other
chemical washes. Isolated soy protein is a source of protein but it is highly refined,
denatured and a "non-living" material. There are also valid concerns about GMO
contaminated soy crops.
Hemp protein is highly digestible, unlike soy protein that contains oligosaccharides
which cause flatulence and stomach distress.
9. Tell me about the kind and quality of the fats in hemp seeds?
Compared with most nuts and seeds, the 46.5% fat content of shelled hemp seed is
relatively low and is a good source of the natural phytosterols that help manage cholesterol
levels. Hemp seed oil has, on average, the highest polyunsaturated fat content of any plant
oil and a highly favorable unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio. Hemp seeds offer a well-
balanced ratio of 1:3.75 of Omega-3 to Omega-6 EFAs, as well as being one of the few
plant sources of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). GLA is an Omega-6 isomer. Studies have
shown that GLA improves memory and overall mental health. As well, it reduces symptoms
of skin ailments like eczema, heart health, and even fibrocystic disease.
10. Don't we need more Omega-3's than Omega-6's in our diet?
Hemp is higher in Omega-6's. The typical modern diet, heavy in soy and corn oils, is often
lacking in EFAs, particularly Omega-3's. However, the debate revolves around what is the
correct amount of Omega-3's our bodies need. Experts in the field suggest that the EFA
ratio found in hemp seeds and hemp oil are in proportions most suitable for long term use
(almost a 1:4 ratio of Omega-3's to Omega-6's). Hemp seed oil can be used over the long
term to maintain a healthy EFA balance without leading to either EFA deficiencies or
imbalances. This is because it contains almost 2% GLA, the Omega-6 derivative that is a
key active ingredient in evening primrose and borage oils.
11. How does hemp oil compare with flax oils as an EFA source?
Hemp oil is a better-balanced oil for long term use according to leading experts in the field
such as Udo Erasmus (Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, Udo Erasmus c 1993 Hemp Seed:
Nature's Superfood). Hemp oil also contains GLA, phytosterols, and antioxidants like vitamin
E complex, protein and trace minerals not found in flax. Hemp oil is considered to be a
more-stable oil and tastier than flax oil that can be used in a variety of recipes from salad
dressings to baked goods.
12. How much shelled hemp seed should I eat in a day?
3-5 Tbs for an adult. 3-5 tspn for a child.
13. How much hemp seed oil should I take in a day?
1-2 Tbs for an adult. 1-2 tspn for a child.
14. What do you mean when you say that hemp foods & oils are safe
for long-term consumption?
Hemp foods & oils are balanced food sources of protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty
acids. This means that if you eat hemp seed products over a long period of time, you won’t
run the risk of setting your body out of balance.
15) How long is the shelf-life of most hemp seed products?
Hemp seed oil and hemp seed butter have an 8 month shelf-life. Shelled hemp seed and
hemp protein powder have a 12 month shelf-life. Once opened, it is recommended to eat
the product within 8 weeks. You can extend the shelf life by keeping the products in the
freezer in an air-tight container.
16) Should hemp food products be kept refrigerated?
For optimum freshness, it is recommended to refrigerate as much as possible. Once the
product seal is broken, the product should be refrigerated.
17) Why are most hemp seed oils and hemp seed butter so green?
Hemp seed oil contains a high amount of chlorophyll. Due to low temperature processing
the chlorophyll is not destroyed. Chlorophyll is a rich green color thus hemp seed oil is
green, along with hemp seed butter which also contains the oil.
18) Can I cook with hemp foods/oil?
Hemp seed products can be cooked with provided that the temperature does not go above
350 degrees F. Never use the oil for frying due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated
Eat and Be Well,
Personal Touch Nutrition
"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from
now and make a brand new ending."