Hemp Seeds Are Part of the Present Day Seed Revolution
Posted on June 22nd, 2021
You Hemp seeds and cannabis: can we separate the two from each other? That’s an important question, because industrial hemp is a controversial plant. After all, as a variety of cannabis, we associate the plant with its psychoactive effects more than its potential health benefits.
In fact, cultivating hemp wasn’t permitted for years. Even now, you need permission from authorities to grow this plant. (Plus, you need to work with strains that keep THC concentrations at permissible levels, below 0.3%.) Still, because of the plant’s possible benefits, farmers are pushing through and growing this crop.
Today, CBD (a hemp extract) gets more attention than other products. But, years before we learned about cannabinoids, people cultivated hemp as a source of fiber, for its oil, and also for its nutritious seeds. Even better? Like bamboo, it’s a fast-growing plant, making it a great source for cloth, rope, cosmetics, soaps, and so much more.
Hemp Seeds Benefits
Hemp seeds are part of the hemp plant, a variety of Cannabis sativa. Because of legal growing restrictions, its extracts contain only trace amounts of THC. (And that’s important, because it’s the psychoactive component of cannabis plants.)
Thanks to low THC concentrations, we can legally grow hemp in many places around the world, enjoying many parts of the plant. One favorite component? Its seeds, which are very nutritious, thanks to their healthy fats, protein, and other mineral content. Thanks to these important ingredients, researchers believe eating hemp seeds could offer important health benefits.
Also called hemp hearts, this “seed” has a fat concentration that’s greater than 30%. Now, dieters may get nervous about those levels, but here’s the good news. The fats found in hemp seeds are actually two essential fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid or Omega-3, and linolenic acid r Omega-6.
Also inside these seeds? Gamma-linolenic acid, which research links to many health benefits, including improved heart health. Plus, 25% of the seed’s total caloric value comes from high quality-protein. Add in mineral content that includes phosphorus, sodium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and iron, (and a good dose of Vitamin E) and it’s one nutrient-rich food source.
Plus, it’s versatile. You can consume raw hemp seeds. Or you can roast or cook them. Finally, you can extract hemp seed oil, a healthy oil alternative that’s been used as food and medicine for over 3000 years.
Hemp Seed Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Eating hemp seeds can reduce the risk of heart disease, a leading cause of death in the world. This health benefit is linked to arginine, an amino acid that produces nitric oxide, a major need for the human body. Heart disease is linked to the C-reactive protein (CRP), which acts as an inflammation marker. But eating hemp seed (and its arginine content) decreases CRP levels in your body.
Then, that gamma-linolenic acid we mentioned earlier goes into action, reducing inflammation. And that’s why early animal studies suggest that hemp seed oil reduces blood pressure, decreases blood clot, and can even help you recover after a heart attack.
Hemp Seed Oil Benefits the Skin
Our immune systems depend on the balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. And hemp seeds contain a 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, considered ideal for health benefits. As a result, hemp seed oil can balance acids in your body, possibly helping manage eczema and other skin diseases.
Great Source of Plant Based Protein
Hemp seeds have a relatively high protein content, almost equivalent to meat sources such as lamb and beef. So, it may be valuable to vegetarians in search of a protein boost. In fact, you’ll get 11 grams of protein in just 2-3 tablespoons of hemp seed.
It’s also considered a complete protein source, because provides you with all the essential amino acids. And we need amino acids in our diets, since the body can’t produce them. The amino acids in hemp seed are cysteine, methionine, arginine and glutamic.
An added benefit? Hemp seed protein is very easy to digest. So many people have an easier time with this plant-protein than with legumes, nuts, or grain.
Reduction in PMS and Menopause Symptoms
Up to 85% of women of reproductive age live with PMS. And this may be because they’re sensitive to prolactin, a hormone. Luckily, Prostaglandin-E reduces the effect of prolactin. And we find it in hemp seed’s Gamma-linolenic acid!
For that reason, many women see PMS symptoms significantly reduce with just 1 gram of essential fatty acids. So, since PMS is associated with tenderness, breast pain, fluid retention and irritability, eating hemp seeds could reduce these unwanted symptoms. Also, high acid levels in the seed may reduce menopause symptoms by helping regulate hormonal imbalances and inflammation.
Hemp Seed as a Digestive Aid
Your digestive health is linked to your dietary fiber intake. And hemp seeds contain 20% of soluble fiber, and 80% insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can reduce sharp changes in your blood sugar, also helping regulate cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools, helping it pass through your digestive system. Just remember, most of the fiber lives in hemp seed shells. So you not enjoy this benefit if you shell your seeds.
Hemp Seeds vs Hemp Extract
Hemp seeds (which are actually nuts) are very similar to chia seeds or flax seeds. They are full of nutrients and contain fiber, minerals, protein, and fatty acids like Omega-6 and Omega-3. Hemp seeds can be eaten like nuts or added to cooking and are better eaten with their shells, which contains most of the fiber.
Hemp extract refers to any compound you take out of the plant. If you press hemp seeds, you’ll get hemp seed oil, which contains little to know CBD. But if you want to enjoy cannabinoids, you can extract CBD, CBG and more from the plant’s leaves and flowers.
Hemp Seeds and CBD
Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. It occurs naturally and is found in both marijuana and hemp varieties. Marijuana plants have higher THC concentrations, which makes it a psychoactive compound. As such, it’s considered a drug that gives you a high. In contrast, the hemp plant contains negligible portions of THC and CBD concentrations. Which is why CBD extracted from hemp plants is therefore considered a legal chemical compound. And it’s found use in many applications, especially for its reported anti-inflammatory properties. Legal CBD is extracted from the stalks, stems, and flowers of the hemp plant, while no use is made of the seeds. Hemp seed oil , on the other hand, will not contain CBD. CBD can have all THC removed from it giving you broad-spectrum CBD or isolate extracts.
While we’ll review hemp seed benefits in a minute, here’s a brief word on the potential benefits of CBD. Already, its use and effectiveness in treating certain forms of epilepsy led to an FDA approved CBD-based drug. But research on its use for other purposes like pain relief, anxiety reduction and other therapeutic purposes is still in its early stages.
In contrast, hemp seed benefits are more widely known and accepted, as detailed below.
Proven Effects of Hemp Seeds
You can roast, cook or eat hemp seeds raw. They can be shelled and eaten as hemp hearts. They are also used as milk and converted to cheese. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds, a 30 gram serving, contains 166 calories, 9.47 grams of protein that makes for 25 percent of its calorific value, 14.6 grams of fat, 2.6 grams of carbohydrates, 1.2 grams of fiber, and 0.45 grams of sugar. They are also a good source of Vitamin E, iron, manganese, B-vitamins, and magnesium. There are also high levels of the fatty acids, Omega-3 and Omega -6.
We have already reviewed many of the benefits of hemp seeds, such as heart and skin health, and these claims can be backed up by researcher. Still, you should eating them should in moderation, as their high fat content can lead to diarrhea or nausea. They can also react with certain medications. A recommended daily dose of hemp seed is two tablespoons. Hemp milk is a great source of protein and calcium, while its seeds make for a great protein substitute for vegans. You can sprinkle hemp seeds on salads, in yogurt, or even over rice and vegetable dishes. Their nutty flavor and crunch make them easy to eat. Store them in your refrigerator, and eat as quickly as possible.
Hemp is rich in fiber and may thus function as a natural appetite suppressant. It can help you to feel full for longer and reduce your cravings for food when you are hungry. This can help you to control your calorie intake, and thus may help in losing weight.
Sourcing Hemp Seeds and Other Extracts
Want to explore the exciting world of hemp seeds? Head over to your local natural foods market. Or, if you’re ready to try adding other hemp extracts to your daily routine, check out our online CBD store. We’ll help you gain first-hand experience into the world of hemp, which is the best way to truly understand how this plant and its compounds really work!