Photo of hemp seeds in a small short tin, for E1011's page on the chemical makeup. nutrition and health benefits of the hemp seed.

Do You Know What’s in a Hemp Seed?

E1011 Labs breaks down the makeup of a hemp seed.

The hemp plant has a myriad of different uses that range from industrial textiles to dog treats. In recent years, the wellness community has been using the curative properties of hemp-derived CBD to treat ailments, sleep better, and promote overall well-being. This surge of popularity is why E1011 labs have developed an incredible CBD delivery system that makes consuming hemp flower easier and more efficient than ever before. However, those beautiful buds aren’t the only part of the plant that can help boost your personal health.

Although their popularity seems relatively recent, hemp seeds have been used as food and nutrition sources for thousands of years. Hemp seeds are derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, which has often led people to confuse hemp with marijuana. However, hemp plants are grown to contain little to no THC (the compound that produces intoxicating effects), and any trace amounts are contained in the leaves rather than the seeds themselves. In reality, hemp seeds are simply a healthy food item with loads of nutritional value. Keep reading to learn more about the rich history and nutritional breakdown of hemp seeds as well as all of the ways you can use them to improve your overall health.

History

Despite the recent boom in cannabis culture, hemp has actually been around a lot longer than you think. Historians have found evidence to suggest that hemp seeds were used as a food source for early humans as far back as six million years ago. It was used to make cloth throughout the Middle East, and early Chinese civilizations were the first to see hemp’s potential in papermaking. Hemp also played a significant role in North America’s history and development before being overtaken by cotton as the most useful and lucrative cash crop.

Nutritional Breakdown and Health Benefits

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The nutritional value and potential health benefits of hemp seeds are actually quite astounding. Here we will discuss some of the vital nutrients found in hemp seed as well as the scientific research surrounding its potential for promoting certain bodily functions and improving overall health and wellness.

Proteins and Amino Acids

What scientists find the most fascinating about hemp seed is its protein composition and amino acid profile. Amino acids are essential for maintaining adequate protein levels, and hemp seeds contain all 10 of the essential amino acids required for a balanced diet. This is also why hemp seed is an excellent protein source for vegans and vegetarians, especially those who struggle to get adequate nutrition from other non-meat protein sources. Even better, hemp seed doesn’t contain the phytates that are often found in non-meat proteins and can hinder proper mineral absorption. The two main proteins in hemp seed are edestin and albumin. These proteins resemble those that are naturally found in your blood, and this makes hemp seed extremely easy to digest. Hemp seeds also contain a uniquely beneficial ratio of these proteins that results in increased blood flow and more regulated blood pressure, making hemp more effective in promoting cardiovascular health compared to other popular protein sources.

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Healthy Fats

You may have heard of omega-3 fatty acids as a reason to consume more fish, and this is because these fatty acids are critical for preventing heart disease, maintaining eye health, improving mental disorders, and so much more. Therefore, vegetarians or people who simply don’t like fish are at a greater risk of not getting enough of these essential nutrients. Luckily, hemp contains a concentrated amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it a great meat-free go-to. In addition to containing these vital fats, hemp also contains what’s known as phytosterols, and these help lower cholesterol levels by helping to remove fat that may build up in your arteries.

Magnesium

Very few people realize the important role magnesium plays in maintaining your health and preventing harmful diseases. People who suffer from magnesium deficiency are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, insulin resistance, heart disease, and other ailments. Magnesium is also essential for promoting food metabolization and protein synthesis, as well as neural activity and muscle relaxation. Hemp seeds, like many other types of nuts, are an excellent way to get the recommended daily amount of magnesium. Research has even suggested that magnesium can help women who suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome alleviate symptoms such as bloating, insomnia, weight gain, and more!

Additional Health Benefits

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If all of that isn’t enough to convince you that hemp is worth its weight in gold when it comes to nutrition, here are even more reasons to consume this special seed.

Hemp seed contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, both of which are an important part of maintaining a healthy diet. While getting an ample amount of soluble fiber is relatively easy, insoluble fiber is a commonly lacking aspect of many people’s diets. This is because we often don’t eat foods that are difficult to break down and digest, so hemp seed can help you get enough of this important nutrient and improve your overall digestive health.

If you’re someone who struggles to consume enough of a particular nutrient or protein due to a food allergy, hemp may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Research has found that hemp seeds appear to be a low-allergen food material, meaning that people with food allergies are unlikely to suffer an adverse reaction due to hemp seed consumption.

Research has found that one of the most important health benefits of hemp seeds is their ability to protect your brain and overall cognitive functioning. This 2018 review of hemp seed extract suggests that the cannabidiol found in hemp seeds, in addition to other important compounds, may help prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and it may even help alleviate symptoms of childhood seizure disorders.

Overall, hemp seeds are an amazing source of many essential proteins, fats, and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy diet and prevent harmful diseases. However, the hemp plant is comprised of more than just seeds! The hemp plant's stalk, fibers, leaves and flower all have their own attributes and benefits. For example, the hemp flower is rich in cannabinoids. Hopefully, as more research is conducted on hemp’s nutritional value, more and more people will begin to see past misinformation surrounding this wonderful plant and recognize its incredible potential and all that it has to offer.