Thanks to the massive increase in awareness of topics such as Veganism, seeds as a food have started gaining a lot of popularity. As a result of this increase in popularity, the market has seen an increase in the types of seeds available, ranging from pumpkin seeds to chia seeds. Of all the new seeds that are coming up, there is one type of seed, which seems to have some stigma attached to it, thanks to its relation to the infamous cannabis plant or marijuana. This relation has caused many people to question the usage of this particular seed, without properly examining the commonalities between the two. We believe in knowing all the facts before coming to a conclusion and so, we’ll be talking about the different aspects of these seeds and will also be comparing them to some of their counterparts so that you can come to an informed decision on your own. Let us start at the beginning.
What are Hemp Seeds?
Instead of boring you with a lot of detailed information about Hemp seeds, we’ll just focus on the basics and on the points which may affect your decision.
Hemp Seeds (also popularly known as hemp hearts) are seeds of the Hemp Plant and are technically nuts, but are referred to as seeds because of their diminutive size. They can be consumed as seeds, consumed or applied as oil and can also be used as hemp extracts. Now coming to the main question running through everyone’s mind, lets talk about whether these seeds could cause any psychotropic reactions. Depending on the estimates, these seeds contain anywhere from no THC to 0.3% THC or less, while the hemp seed shells do contain trace amounts of THC, though nowhere near the 20% THC concentration found in regular Marijuana. So, to answer the question going through everyone’s mind, no these seeds will not get you high. Now that we’ve gotten this out of the way, let us talk about the nutritional aspects of Hemp Seeds.
Nutritional Characteristics of Hemp Seeds
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds (approx. 10 grams) contains:
- Calories - 55.3g
- Protein - 3.15g
- Fat - 4.87g
- Carbohydrates - 0.87g
- Fibre - 0.4g
- Sugar - 0.15g
In addition to these, Hemp Seeds are also a good source of:
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids
What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids you ask? Find out in our blog - Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Benefits, Deficiency, and Sources – Vegan Dukan.
Now that we’ve covered the nutritional benefits, let’s look at the various benefits and uses of Hemp Seeds
Uses of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are one of the most widely utilized seeds industrially, thanks to their tough fibres and these seeds can be converted into a wide category of products for regular day-day use as well. These are the ways in which these seeds can be used or consumed:
- The seeds can be consumed raw, roasted or cooked.
- They can be shelled as hemp hearts
- They can be Cold-pressed to produce hemp seed oil
- Used for non-dairy hemp milk, hemp cheese or hemp nut butter
As seeds, they can be consumed in any of the forms listed in the first point, making them an extremely nutritious and light snack that you can munch on for as long as you like (or for as long as the packet has seeds left in it :P)
They can be converted into Hemp Seed Oil which could be used as a cooking oil or a finishing oil, and can even be applied to moisturize one’s skin, reduce signs of aging and promote hair health.
They can also be used to make hemp milk, hemp cheese and hemp nut butter. While all of these products would be rich in protein, the cheese and butter can be used to make delicious sandwiches, while the milk could be used as an extremely healthy alternative to regular dairy milk.
Now that you know the forms in which you could incorporate hemp seeds into your daily routines, let us focus on the positives and the negatives associated with their consumption.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Consumption
- Hemp seeds are extremely nutritious - Hemp seeds are rich in two essential fatty acids, omega-6 and omega-3 and contain 30% fat. They are a great source of protein. While 25% of their calories come from protein, for chia and flax seeds, this number drops to 16-18%. They are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron and zinc, and also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits
- Hemp seeds and Hemp oil could improve skin conditions - Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats. They have the 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is said to benefit skin diseases and provide relief from eczema and its uncomfortable symptoms. It may also reduce the need for skin medication, relieve dry skin and improve itchiness.
- They could reduce symptoms associated with Menopause or PMS - Hemp seeds may reduce symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, thanks to their high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which may regulate the hormone imbalances.
- They could reduce chances of a heart disease - These seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which lead to a lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease. The gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seeds has also been linked to reduced inflammation, which may decrease your risk of diseases like heart disease.
- They are a great source of plant-based protein - Hemp seeds provide about 25% of their calories from protein and also have a complete amino acid profile, which makes them a complete protein source.
- Whole hemp seeds may aid digestion - Whole hemp seeds are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre, which in turn is linked to better digestive health and is also considered to be a crucial part of one’s diet. While soluble fibre helps in reducing blood sugar spikes and in regulating cholesterol, insoluble fibre helps in proper functioning of the digestive system and is also linked to a reduction in one’s chances of contracting diabetes.
Let us now look at any potential side effects which may result from the same.
Possible Side effects of Hemp Seed Consumption
- Interaction with other medication - Hemp seeds may interact with anticoagulants, as they themselves have shown to reduce blood clotting.
- Digestive issues - The fibre content present in hemp seeds can lead to digestive discomfort if consumed in excessive quantities.
- Cannabis Dependence - Hemp seeds can contain up to 0.3% of THC. While this is not high or worrisome by any measure, it could affect people with previous cases of dependence on Cannabis.
One more question that potential hemp oil buyers often have in mind is whether there is any difference between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil. This confusion is completely understandable as both these oils come from the same plant. Let us now look at some of the aspects in which 2 oils differ and which one of the 2 would be better for you.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil
In recent years, CBD Oil has gained a lot of popularity, thanks to its medicinal properties and its non-intoxicating nature. While CBD and hemp Oil are extracted from, the same plant, they are pretty different.
One of the main factors which differentiates these 2 oils is how they are made. While Hemp seed oil is made by crushing seeds and collecting the thick, dark oil which is nutrient rich and highly concentrated. CBD oil on the other hand, is made through different processes such as ethanol or CO2 extraction, which draw the oil from the plant and create a product which contains more beneficial plant compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes.
The other factor which differentiates these oils is the difference in their benefits. Hemp oil is rich in some vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. It contains these fatty acids in the ideal ratio for a healthy diet. In addition to this it could also slowdown the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which would help in reducing blood pressure and ultimately lead to better heart health. CBD oil on the other hand has health benefits which go far beyond the scope of hemp oil, due to the absence of Cannabinoids. CBD oil has been shown to effectively reduce stress, alleviate symptoms of joint pain and arthritis and even promote good sleep.
On the basis of this information, the oil that be best for you depends entirely on your needs as they cater to two different use cases. If general well being and nutrition is what you’re looking for, then Hemp oil will be the better choice whereas if you need oil for a specific medical purpose such as difficulty sleeping or arthritis inflammation, then CBD oil would be the better choice for you.
To make your search easier, we’ll list a few products from our catalogue, which can help you in beginning your search for the products that best suit your needs.
- India Hemp Organics Hemp Hearts - This superfood is rich in Omega 3 & 6, Antioxidants, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin E. They are also high in fibre and have all 20 amino acids.
- Hemp Healthy Harvest Hemp Seed Oil - This oil could be used to enrich food and also to nutrify your skin and hair! A drizzle of this oil on your meals, will give you a boost of energy while benefiting your gut health.
- Boheco Hemp Seed Powder - This powder is a 100% plant-based source of protein with the ability to provide you with a wholesome source of nutrition. It makes its protein from Edestin, a highly digestible protein that stimulates the production of antibodies.
- Cannabliss Arthritis Relief - This oil is precisely formulated for offering therapeutic relief naturally, for fast relief from painful arthritic symptoms, so that you get to regain your freedom of movement.
If you'd like to explore some other Vegan Products too, check out our blog - 35 Vegan Products You Must Try – Vegan Dukan