August 23, 2022 5 min read


Ever wondered what hemp is? Do you know that hemp seeds are edible? Are you familiar with the benefits of hemp? Here is everything you need to know about hemp.

Hemp is grown for use in many different products. Hemp is made into health products, foods, fabric, rope, etc. Different parts of the hemp plant are used to make different products. Hemp seeds are edible and very nutritious. They have a high concentration of fiber. They also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are important nutrients for heart and skin health. Sometimes, hemp is confused with marijuana. However, hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, the main chemical in the marijuana plant responsible for making people high. It is grown for non-drug use because hemp only contains a little THC. This article discusses hemp's benefits, uses, and potential side effects.

What Are The Benefits Of Hemp?

There are three different plants in the cannabis genus including, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis federal. Hemp varieties of Cannabis have 0.3% or less THC, whereas marijuana varieties have more than 0.3%. Higher amounts of THC can make one high. The seeds are the main edible part of the hemp plant. The leaves can make tea, but most nutrients are in the seeds. Hemp seeds are over 30% fat, including important fatty acids. The health benefits of hemp come from its seeds.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp hearts are seeds that have had the shell removed. Hemp seeds are high in soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, whereas insoluble fiber does not. The two types of fiber are important for digestion. They are fibreless than whole hemp seeds since hemp hearts lack a fibrous shell.

Hemp seeds are also rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that has been proved to have many health benefits. GLA has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp seeds contain a 3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. The ratio is difficult to get in the western diet. Western diets are too heavy in omega-6 fatty acids in foods like vegetable oil. Many western diets don't contain enough omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in foods like salmon. Whole hemp seeds have 20% soluble and 80% insoluble fiber. The fiber in hemp seeds helps in digestion. The insoluble fiber in hemp seeds has also been linked to a lower risk of diabetes.

Hemp Oil vs. CBD oil

Hemp oil is also referred to as hemp seed oil. It is made of cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hempseed oil is different from CBD oil. CBD oil is removed from the cannabis plant and combined with a base oil. Examples of base oils include coconut and olive oil.

Hempseed oil comes from hemp seeds only. It's not extracted from the Cannabis plant itself. Hempseed oil does not contain any psychoactive properties. You can't use it to get high. Hemp oil has unique properties and health benefits.

Hemp oil contains the following health nutrients:

  • Proteins
  • Essential fatty acids, which are important for good health
  • Minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, and others
  • Antioxidants like Vitamin E

According to Callaway & Pate (2009), hemp oil can be used as a cooking oil and added to foods like salads and dips. Hempseed oil may lower blood pressure. It may also reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. However, this hasn't been proven in human studies.

Hemp oil is often used as a hair conditioner and skin moisturizer. Hemp seed oil may help improve dry, itchy skin and help symptoms of eczema, as Nickles & Lio (2020) noted. The study above noted that it might reduce the need for prescription medication when used for eczema symptoms.

Hemp Protein

Hemp protein is a powder made from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp proteins contain the nine essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Hemp protein is a good choice for vegetarians because it contains essential fatty acids. Whole hemp seeds contain about 25% protein, higher than flax seeds, containing only around 20% and 18% protein.

Other Health Benefits

There isn't enough clinical research data to support claims that hemp is a safe treatment for any condition. However, people still use hemp to remedy illnesses such as Asthma, cough, bloating, syphilis, arthritis, heart problems, pneumonia, and urinary conditions, as Al-Snafi (2018) revealed.

How Hemp Works

Hemp has chemicals that may affect the heart and help reduce blood pressure, as Grotenhermen (2007) noted. Hemp also contains terpenes, compounds that give plants their distinctive odors. Some of the benefits of terpenes include:

  • Neuroprotective or brain-protective benefits
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Anti-tumor properties

Potential Side Effects of Hemp Seed

Taking whole hemp seed by mouth can cause side effects such as:

  • Throat irritation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slow heart rate
  • Hypertension

There is not enough clinical research to show that hemp is safe for use for pregnant or breastfeeding women. There is also insufficient research to prove it's safe to use hemp topically on the skin.

Are Hemp Seeds Legal to Ingest in The U.S?

Hemp seeds are legal in the United States. Hemp seeds in the United States must contain a minimal amount of THC. According to the FDA, some hemp products are safe for food, including:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Hemp seed protein powder
  • Hempseed oil

Can Eating Hemp Seed Make You Fail A Drug Test?

Eating moderate amounts of hempseed oil, hemp seed protein powder, or hemp seeds can't cause you to fail a drug test. Hemp contains only small amounts of THC. Unless you are using other varieties of the Cannabis plant, such as marijuana, you are unlikely to fail a drug test. Hemp hearts don't contain any THC. The shells of whole hemp seed have trace amounts below 0.3% THC. Avoid eating whole hemp seeds if you are recovering from cannabis addiction or want to avoid exposure to THC in any amount.


Hemp seeds are a good source of protein and fiber. Hemp seeds may also have other health benefits, though there is not enough clinical research to confirm. Hemp may interact with some drugs and cause certain side effects, so consult your doctor before adding hemp seeds to your diet.


Al-Snafi, A. E. (2018). Traditional Uses Of Iraqi Medicinal Plants. IOSR Journal Of Pharmacy, 8(8), 32-96.

Callaway, J. C., & Pate, D. W. (2009). Hempseed Oil. In Gourmet And Health-Promoting Specialty Oils (Pp. 185-213). AOCS Press.

Grotenhermen, F. (2007). The Toxicology Of Cannabis And Cannabis Prohibition. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4(8), 1744-1769.

Nickles, M. A., & Lio, P. A. (2020). Cannabinoids In Dermatology: Hope Or Hype?. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research, 5(4), 279-282.