Hemp seeds are cultivated from the hemp plant, which is grown predominantly for its seeds and fibers.
For one, the marijuana plant is stalkier, while the hemp plant is taller and thinner. But more importantly, the hemp plant contains low levels (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana can contain anywhere from 5 to 30 percent.
What are hemp seeds, actually?
Here’s where the confusion comes from: The hemp plant looks a bit like the marijuana plant and it actually come from the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa L, but there are major differences between the two.
In the past few years, hemp seeds have gained popularity and have started moving into mainstream markets. These days, you can even find them at Trader Joe’s. People sprinkle them on their salads, blend them into their smoothies, bake them into granolas and even turn them into hemp milk.
As we sprinkle the seeds on top of our salads, we can’t help but wonder: what’s the deal with hemp seeds and THC?
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostatis: “Dietary hempseed reduces platelet aggregation.”
Hemp seeds are a great source of magnesium, which helps regulate your heartbeat and is linked to the prevention of coronary heart disease. They also contain Linoleic acid, which one study found reduced participants’ cholesterol levels by 15% and may act to reduce blood pressure.
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. “Cannabis sativa (Hemp) Seeds, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, and Potential Overdose.”
Potential Risks of Hemp Seeds
Studies have shown that hemp seeds reduce blood clotting, which can interact with blood-thinner prescriptions.
Hemp seed shells can contain trace amounts of THC, the active psychoactive compound in marijuana. People with a previous dependence on cannabis may consider looking for an alternative.
Hemp seeds are also good source of:
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They contain all nine essential amino acids, and research suggests that hemp’s protein content is well-absorbed by our bodies.