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As the emphasis of plant-based diets continues to rise, it’s always a good idea to look into different sources of protein. One type of protein that has become more popular are hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are derived from the hemp plant, but only contain trace amounts of THC that is found in cannabis, and do not register on drug tests. Today, we’re going to be talking about the possible benefits of hemp seeds and why it may be a great option for those looking to find alternative protein sources. 

  • Hemp seeds are high in nutrients such as essential fatty acids, Omega-6 and Omega 3 and dietary fibre. 
  • Foods containing essential fatty acids are important as our body cannot make them, and so we must get them from food. These fatty acids are critical for our biological processes and for our overall health
  • Omega-6 and Omega-3 are fatty acids that are needed to keep our heart health and brain health optimal. Omega-3 specifically is typically only found in fish sources, but is found in hemp seeds, making it a perfect source of Omega-3 for those who eat plant-based. 
  • Dietary fibre is necessary for our gut health, to regulate our sugar levels, and to regulate our hunger levels 

  • Hemp seeds are high in protein 
  • Hemp seeds are a complete source of protein, as they contain all of the essential amino acids (essential amino acids are building blocks of protein that we must obtain from food, as our bodies cannot make it) 
  • Typically, plant-based sources of protein do not contain all of the essential amino acids needed, but hemp seeds are an exception making it a great source of protein 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of hemp seeds can provide 11 grams of protein! 

  • Hemp seeds may be good for skin health 
  • Skin health is affected by fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6. Since hemp seeds are high in Omega-3 and Omega-6, it may prove to be beneficial for skin health
  • One study showed that an increased ingestion of hemp seed oil decreased skin itchiness and dryness
  • More research is needed, as there has been little research conducted in humans regarding skin health 

  • Hemp seeds may help with digestion 
  • Since hemp seeds are high in fibre (both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber), this can improve your digestive health
  • Soluble fiber: Forms a gel in your digestive system, slowing down the rate of digestion. This allows your food to digest slower, allowing your blood sugar to be regulated better
  • Insoluble fiber: Helps food to pass through your digestive system and increases fecal bulk

  • Hemp seeds may potentially help prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Like other seeds, hemp seeds are high in Omega-3, which can reduce inflammation, reducing your risk of diseases such as heart disease 
  • Some studies have also shown hemp seeds to increase the amount of good cholesterol, and lower bad cholesterol levels in animal studies 
  • Further studies are needed, since there are no clinical trials in humans thus far


All-in-all, hemp seeds are a great type of food to add to your diet if you are looking for plant-based proteins, and to add something different to your smoothies, cereals or salad, as there are many benefits to hemp seeds. For more information on foods such as hemp seeds, contact a Registered Dietitian!