Hemp seeds are the edible seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Although hemp is from the same species as marijuana, the seeds themselves do not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Hemp seeds are a rich source of nutrients and can be eaten raw or used to make milk, oil, cheese substitutes, or protein powder. Hemp hearts are seeds that have had their shells removed and are softer but still slightly crunchy.
Hemp seed powder is commonly found in plant-based protein powders. Hemp has been cultivated for fiber since 2800 BC in China and was spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. Hemp flowers can be used for ornamental purposes or to obtain products of cosmetic and pharmaceutical interest, such as essential oils composed of pure extracts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).Hemp seeds are a great source of nutrition for humans. They contain essential fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), stearidonic acid (SDA), and linoleic acid (LA).
Studies have shown that hemp seed oil supplementation can help regulate hormonal imbalances and inflammation associated with menopause. Whole hemp seed or its derivative products, such as hemp flour or hemp protein isolate, can be considered a good source of plant-based and viable protein for the human diet. Hemp seed oil may also help treat acne due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. It is important to note that hemp seeds stored in certain ways may contain unhealthy trans fats, a type of fat especially related to heart disease. Therefore, it is important to store hemp seeds properly to ensure they remain healthy and nutritious.
Research is ongoing on the potential health benefits of hemp seeds, but it is clear that they are a great source of nutrition for humans.