What is Hemp?
There are many different varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp—also called industrial hemp—refers to the non-intoxicating (less than 0.3% THC) varieties of Cannabis sativa L. Both hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis species, but are genetically distinct and are further distinguished by use, chemical makeup, and cultivation methods.
Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops known to man. It has been used for paper, textiles, and cordage for thousands of years. In fact, the Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a scrap of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC.
It is the only plant that can feed you, house you, clothe you, and heal you. Hemp is cultivated for making a wide range of products including foods, health products, fabric, rope, natural remedies, and much more. The various parts of the hemp plant are used to make different products.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF HEMP
Hemp seeds are a good source of protein, and are packed full of beneficial oils, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients. They are widely considered to be a superfood.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 2 tablespoon serving of hemp seeds weighing 20 grams (g) contains:
6.31 g of protein
9.75 g of fat
1.73 g of carbohydrates (including 0.8 g of fiber and 0.3 g of sugar)
14 milligrams (mg) of calcium
1.59 mg of iron
140 mg of magnesium
330 mg of phosphorus
240 mg of potassium
1.98 mg of zinc
22 micrograms (mcg) of folate
Hemp seeds also provide vitamin C, some B vitamins, and vitamins A and E.
Hemp Seeds are, pretty much, as the name implies—the seeds of the hemp plant. They are high in insoluble and soluble fiber, rich in GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) which has been linked in studies to many health benefits, offers a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Note that hemp hearts have had the fibrous shell removed and, thus, are lower in fiber and other nutrients than whole hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds contain the perfect 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is considered the optimal ratio for heart and brain health.
Hemp protein powder is made by grinding hemp seeds into a fine powder. It has an earthy, nutty taste and is often added to shakes or smoothies to boost protein intake because it contains over 25% high-quality protein.
Hemp is a high-quality vegan protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, plus fiber, healthy fats and minerals, and it is a good choice for those who prefer less processed protein sources.
In general, animal proteins are more easily digested than plant proteins, but research shows that 91–98% of the protein in ground hemp seed is digestible.
Hemp oil (also called hemp seed oil) comes from the seeds of the hemp plant; it is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp seed oil differs from CBD oil in that CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant and then combined with a base oil (such as coconut, MCT or olive oil).
Hemp seed oil, which comes from the seeds only—and not from a hemp variety of the Cannabis plant itself—does NOT contain any psychoactive properties (such as those from THC which cause a person to get high). Hemp oil has its own unique properties and health benefits.
Hemp oil is used in foods for its high level of healthy nutrients such as:
-Essential fatty acids (EFA’s)
-Minerals (such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron and more)
-Antioxidants (such as Vitamin E)
Hemp oil can be added to foods such as salads, dips, and spreads.
Animal studies have shown that hemp seed oil may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Hemp oil is often used in cosmetic as a hair conditioner, a skin moisturizer. Some studies found that hemp seed oil may improve dry, itchy skin and help symptoms of eczema, reducing the need for prescription medication.
How to Use Hemp in Your Daily Diet Plan
Hemp seed hearts and hemp protein powder are versatile ways to add the benefits of important vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein, and fatty acids to your system. You can sprinkle hemp hearts on any meal or snack that you want to boost the nutrition of. Similarly, you can mix hemp protein powder into foods and beverages or even as a partial flour replacement for making baked goods. Hemp seed oil can be incorporated into your diet as a nutritious replacement to other oils like olive oil.