Hemp seeds: uses and nutritional benefits

Hemp is a plant of the Cannabinaceae family. Native to Central Asia, this plant is one of the oldest crops of humanity. The Hemp plant is commonly used for industrial purposes: textile industry, construction, plastics, etc.. Since the knowledge of its nutritional benefits, Hemp has been experiencing a renewed interest. Indeed, the seeds, or rather, the achenes of Hemp are full of benefits. Although they are devoid of THC and CBD, they contain magnesium. The latter gives them their relaxing properties. The lipid profile of hemp seeds is also surprising: rich in omega-3, they have an excellent omega-6/omega-3 ratio (estimated at 3.7). Hypocholesterolemic, hypotriglyceridemic, antioxidant, remineralizing... so many therapeutic properties which easily give to Hemp seeds a place in health nutrition. Latin name: Cannabis sativa L. Botanical family: Cannabinaceae. Part used: Seed.

Recommended consumption

Due to the energy density of hemp seeds and their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, daily consumption recommendations are defined:

  • for pleasure: 15 g of Hemp seeds per day, or 4 to 5 teaspoons per day.
  • as a cure: 50 g of Hemp seeds per day, or 15 teaspoons, for three weeks. Due to their richness in fiber, please increase the doses gradually.
In what form?

To make the most of their benefits, you can use them :

  • Whole
  • Roasted, toasted
  • Ground, crushed
At what time of day?

We advise you to use them during the following meal(s) to take full advantage of their benefits:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner
What modes of use?

You can incorporate them into the following preparations to make them easier to take:

  • Salad
  • Soup
  • Dessert
  • Yoghurt, dairy
  • Aperitif
  • Dish
Precautions for use
  • In case of diverticulosis, whole hemp seeds are strongly discouraged.
  • Allergen: traces of gluten.

Health Nutrition Benefits

15g of Hemp seeds contain a significant portion of the Population Nutritional Reference (PNR) for the following nutrients: Fiber, Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese and Phosphorus. They also contain, to a lesser extent, Protein, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B9.

As such, hemp seeds can supplement your healthy and varied diet.


Rich in fiber, protein, lipids and low in sugar, hemp seeds are perfect to fight against hyperglycemia. Indeed, this mixture gives them a low glycemic load. Therefore, they prevent all diseases related to repetitive hyperglycemia: diabetes, obesity, overweight, retinopathy, nephropathy, etc.

Concerning lipidic disorders, Hemp seeds increase the HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol). The HDL-cholesterol is a marker of protection of the cardiovascular pathologies. In addition, they reduce LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol), triglyceridemia and the risk of oxidation of cholesterol: a predictive factor of atherosclerosis.

Nervous system, well-being

The body continuously produces energy called ATP, to allow the cells to function. This energy production is possible thanks to macronutrients, such as lipids. Lipids are the macronutrients with the highest energy density. Half of the nutritional composition of hemp seeds is represented by lipids.

Energy synthesis also requires micronutrients that act as enzyme cofactors. These substances are necessary to maintain the structure of the enzymes. Among these micronutrients, we find iron and magnesium, both present in large quantities in hemp seeds. Moreover, iron and magnesium reduce the feeling of fatigue.

The brain also benefits from iron to function normally. Since an iron deficiency leads to a decrease in intellectual performance.

Urogenital system

An anti-inflammatory food source diet is recommended in case of painful premenstrual syndrome. Hemp seeds are full of alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3): these inhibit the production of inflammatory compounds (prostaglandins).

Hemp seeds can therefore be integrated into your diet, varied and balanced, to prevent the following ailments. Obviously, follow-up and medical care are required for these pathologies, but diet is a support to consider to maintain good health.

Immune system

Thanks to the presence of Edestine, Hemp seeds contribute to the production of immune cells. Edestine is a vegetable globulin. It is a precursor of immunoglobulins: antibodies. Antibodies neutralize pathogens. On another level, hemp seeds contribute to the intake of iron, a trace element essential to the functioning of white blood cells.

Thus, hemp seeds can be part of a varied and balanced diet to maintain the immune system.

Muscles and joints

Hemp seeds participate in the construction and reconstruction of muscle fibers. Hemp seeds provide vegetable proteins and magnesium that promote protein synthesis. Muscle contraction disorders can be caused by a deficiency in magnesium and potassium. Hemp seeds are extremely rich in magnesium and potassium, they fight against these deficiencies, restoring muscle function to its normal (see our guide muscle cramps and diet).

Digestive system

Hemp seeds are largely composed of insoluble fiber. This type of fiber accelerates intestinal transit (see our guide constipation and diet). Thus, Hemp seeds fight against digestive transit disorders, to integrate, obviously, within a varied and balanced diet.

Bone system

Hemp seeds are a carrier of magnesium, phosphorus and protein. These last three contribute to bone strength, promoting mineralization and bone strength (see our guide osteoporosis and diet).

Oral system

Hemp seeds protect the teeth, since they provide phosphorus and magnesium. These micronutrients contribute to the mineralization of the dental enamel. Not to mention that Hemp seeds are low in sugar. They do not contribute to the cariogenic activity of oral bacteria.

Children and babies

Growth inevitably involves successive cell divisions. The good progress of the process of cellular division requires optimal food contributions in iron and magnesium. By providing these minerals, hemp seeds contribute to the process of cell division. Within the framework of a varied and balanced diet, the nutrients of Hemp seeds support growth.

Nutritional properties

Main properties

  • Anti-atherogenic (omega-3, vitamin E, phytonutrient): hemp seeds are full of omega-3. Omega-3 is truly essential in cardiovascular protection: it promotes blood fluidity, while limiting inflammation of the arteries. The whole makes it possible to act on a preventive and curative basis on the plaques of atheromas. Let us recall that the ratio omega-6/omega-3 is excellent in hemp seeds, an important index to ensure the maintenance of good health. Finally, the antioxidants in hemp seeds prevent the oxidation of cholesterol.
  • Intestinal transit regulator (fiber): in the intestines, the fiber in hemp seeds absorbs water, which increases the mass of stool and accelerates intestinal transit.
  • Hypolipidemic (lipid, fiber, phytosterol): hemp seeds have a perfect lipid profile: a high content of omega-3, which is hypotriglyceridemic and cardiovascular protector; a moderate contribution of omega-6, having a hypocholesterolemic power. Moreover, the fibers and phytosterols found in hemp seeds reduce the absorption of cholesterol from food.
  • Antioxidant (vitamin E, phytonutrient): hemp seeds are a source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant: it neutralizes free radical activity. In addition, studies show high levels of total polyphenols, flavonoids, flavonols and carotenoids in Hemp seeds. These compounds are known for their antioxidant effects.
  • Immunomodulating (iron, edestin): hemp seeds are carriers of iron and edestin. Adequate iron intake supports the immune response. Edestine is a precursor to immunoglobulins (antibodies): the first line of defense of the adaptive immune system, they detect and neutralize pathogens.
  • Appetite regulator (fiber, fat, protein, low sugar): hemp seeds have a low glycemic index, which encourages feelings of fullness. In fact, fiber, fat and protein make up over 90% of Hemp seeds. These reduce the bioavailability of carbohydrates. Thanks to Hemp seeds, the increase in postprandial glycemia is soft and will not induce a brutal fall of glycemia.
  • Controls blood sugar (fiber, fat, protein, low sugar): hemp seeds reduce the glycemic load of the meal due to their low glycemic index.
  • Contributing to energy metabolism (lipid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus): hemp seeds provide the body with enough to produce energy: iron, magnesium and phosphorus contribute to the functioning of energy metabolism enzymes. Moreover, the majority of their macronutrients are lipids. Lipids have a high energy density: 9 kcal for 1 g of lipid.

Secondary properties

  • Participating in muscle function (protein, magnesium, potassium): through their protein intake, Hemp seeds participate in muscle contraction and synthesis. In addition, they are rich in magnesium and potassium which contribute to muscle function.
  • Anti-fatigue (iron, magnesium): hemp seeds participate in the magnesium and iron intake. An adequate intake of iron and magnesium helps reduce fatigue.
  • Nervous system regulator (magnesium, potassium): the propagation of the nervous message is possible thanks to ion displacements. Hemp seeds contribute in the contribution of its ions, explaining its participation in the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Skin regenerator (iron, magnesium, phosphorus): hemp seeds contribute to the process of cell division by providing iron and magnesium. In addition, they provide phosphorus, which enters the composition of phospholipids. Phospholipids form the membranes of cells, including the skin.
  • Decontracting (magnesium, potassium): although Hemp seeds are devoid of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc.), they will nonetheless promote relaxation of the body. The seeds are extremely rich in magnesium: 60 g of seed fill in totality the daily needs in magnesium. Magnesium decreases the muscular tone, thus limiting the muscular tensions. Moreover, potassium confers a hypotensive effect to the seeds of Hemp.
  • Remineralizing (magnesium, phosphorus): hemp seeds are extremely rich in phosphorus and magnesium. These two minerals are stored in the bones and teeth, which participates in their mineralization.

Nutritional values

*Recommended Daily Allowance

To know more about the plant : Hemp

Hemp is an angiosperm plant belonging to the Cannabinaceae family. This annual plant is generally 1 to 2 m high. It likes bright environments and a basic pH soil. It is estimated that its culture is among the oldest of humanity. Its exact origin is difficult to identify. Archaeobotanical studies have found the first traces of Hemp in Central Asia. Subsequently, Hemp would have been introduced into Europe, as an agricultural plant, during the Bronze Age (from 22ᵉ to 16ᵉ century BC).

Everything is good in Hemp! Indeed, all the parts of the plant are used to obtain paper, fabric, rope, biocompounds with strong insulating power, fuel, biodegradable plastic, antibacterial detergents and recently food products, such as oil, flour, beer, etc.

Hemp seeds are technically achenes. Recently, Hemp has seen an explosion of interest in food, and France is taking advantage of this craze as it is the largest producer of Hemp in Europe. From an international point of view, China is the world leader in Hemp. Concerning the inflorescences, these are not authorized to the harvest in France, because of the presence of molecule of the class of the cannabinoids.

Do hemp seeds contain THC?

Hemp's reputation is often linked to its relaxing and even hallucinogenic powers. However, it is important to distinguish between hemp grown in France for industrial purposes (food, construction, textile...) and cannabis, also called recreational hemp. Industrial hemp contains no or very little (less than 0.2%) of the psychotropic substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) compared to cannabis. The latter is very rich in resin in which this famous molecule is found, and is mainly used for its medicinal and psychotropic properties. No need to worry because the plots of land of the producers of Hemp used in food are the object of particularly strict controls in order to verify that the cultures are well resulting from varieties poor in THC (< 0,2 %). Your hemp seeds may therefore contain traces of THC, but these traces are minute. So tiny that to absorb 5 mg of THC, you would have to eat more than 2 kg of Hemp seeds per day. While knowing that 5 mg does not cause psychoactive effects on an individual of 68 kg... You will have a stomach ache before feeling any hallucinatory effect.

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