Hemp Seed (Cannabis Sativa) has been an important source of
nutrition for thousands of years in Old World cultures.
Technically a achene, (that is, a small, indehiscent fruit that is dry
and usually containing an oily germ. (Sunflower seeds are another
example of an achene)), Hemp Seed typically contains over 30% oil and
about 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fibre, vitamins
Hemp Seed Oil is over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and is
an exceptionally rich source of the two Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Linoleic Acid (18:2 Omega-6) and Alpha-Linolenic Acid
metabolic competition between the two EFAs for access to the enzyme
delta-6 desaturase , the significance of a dietary ratio for the intake
of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids is important to consider for optimal
The Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio (n6/n3) in Hemp Seed Oil is normally
between 3:1 and 4:1, which is considered to be optimal for human health.
In addition, the biological metabolites of the two EFAs, Gamma-Linolenic
Acid (18:3 Omega-6;‘GLA’) and Stearidonic Acid (18:4 Omega-3; ‘SDA’),
are also present in Hemp Seed Oil.
The natural dark colour of Hemp Seed Oil
is from chlorophyll within the mature seed, which can hasten
auto-oxidation of oil that is exposed to light.
The two main Proteins in Hemp Seed are Edestin and Albumin. Both of
these high-quality storage proteins are easily digested and contain
nutritionally significant amounts of all Essential Amino Acids. In
addition, Hemp Seed has exceptionally high level of the Amino Acid
Arginine. Hemp Seed has been used to treat various disorders for
thousands of years in traditional oriental medicine. Recent clinical
trials have also identified Hemp Seed Oil as a functional food.
seeds have an established place in history as a nourishing and delicious
food. Cultures from around the world have their local recipes. Russians
make porridge, sweets and a delicious butter said to be superior to
peanut butter. In fact, the medicinal properties of hemp seeds in
ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia are substantial. No other single plant
source can compare with the nutritional value. Both the complete protein
and the essential oils contained in hemp seed are in ideal ratios for
Ideal Vegetable Protein!
pound of hemp seed is said to provide all the protein, essential fatty
acids and dietary fibre necessary for a human to survive on for two
weeks. The protein in hemp contains all 20 amino acids, including the
eight amino acids essential to life and is easily digested. For this
reason it is used in many parts of the world for treating
Dangers of "low fat" and "no fat" diets
Recent trends to produce "low fat" and "no fat" foods present untimely
dangers to human biology. In an effort to reduce the intake of
saturated fats which typically provide little nutritional benefit
and are attributed to excess weight gain, food manufacturers are
producing products that contain no source of essential fatty acids. An
ideal fat source needs to contain a balance of essential fatty acids
(EFAs). They are known as Omega-3 or Alpha Linoleic Acid and Omega-6 or
Linoleic Acid. Hemp foods and Hemp Seed Oil will be at the head of the
"good fat" line, since they contain 80% EFAs. Fats and oils provide a
carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, B and K. They also produce
energy. As the trend towards "nutraceuticals" (nutritional foods or
substances which prevent disease) continues, the increasingly
sophisticated consumer will turn to hemp seed products.
High Fibre - little "colon cleansers"
Although little has been written about the fibre content of hemp seeds,
due to the fibrous outer husk, they are an excellent source of natural
fibre so essential for gut health.
Nutritional Analysis of Hemp Seeds - Approximated
Calories 503 per 100g
Dietary fibre 35.1% (3.0% soluble)
Essential Fatty Acid Profile - Approximated
Omega-3 (Alpha Linolenic)
Omega-6 (Linoleic) 57%
Omega-9 (Oleic) 12%
Carotene (Vit A) 16,800 IU per pound
Thiamine (B1) .9mg/100g
Riboflavin (B2) 1.1mg/100g
Pyridoxine (B6) .3mg/100g
Niacin (B3) 2.5mg/100g
Vitamin C 1.4mg/100g
Vitamin D 100 IU/100g
Vitamin E 3 mg/100g
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
absorb sunlight and keep membranes fluid. Their tendency to disperse
gives biological systems the power to carry substances such as toxins to
the surface of the skin, intestinal tract, kidneys, or lungs, where
these substances can be discarded.
are involved in producing life energy in our body from food substances
and moving that energy throughout our systems. They govern growth,
vitality and mental state. They hook up oxygen, electron transport and
energy in the process of oxidation. Oxidation, the central and most
important moment-to-moment living process in our body, is the 'burning'
of food to produce the energy required for life processes. EFAs are
involved in the transporting of oxygen to all our cells. EFAs can be
likened to oxygen 'magnets' that pull oxygen into our body. Linoleic
Acid and Linolenic Acid appear to hold oxygen in our cell membranes,
where it acts as a barrier to viruses, fungi and bacteria.
substantially shorten the time required for fatigued muscles to recover
after exercise. They facilitate the conversion of lactic acid to water
and carbon dioxide. This is especially important to athletes.
increase metabolic rates. They increase the metabolic rate and burn more
fat into carbon dioxide, water and energy sometimes resulting in weight
loss (dependant on overall diet).
Linolenic Acid and its derivatives can lower cholesterol by up to 65%.
It also produces smooth, velvety skin, increases stamina, speeds
healing, increases vitality and brings a feeling of calmness. It reduces
inflammation, water retention, platelet stickiness and blood pressure.
It also inhibits the growth of tumours and enhances some immune
functions, reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis and completely
reverses premenstrual syndrome in some cases.
Hempseed is an
excellent source of nutrition. Indications from traditional Chinese
medicine, recent scientific reports and modern human clinical trials
agree that hemp seed has health promoting properties - that are
supported by results from nutritional analyses of the seed, oil and seed
meal. In particular, the healing properties of hemp seed can be
attributed to high levels of EFAs and other PUFAs in the oil, in
addition to a rich source of important amino acids in an easily digested