Hemp Seed Benefits and Nutrition Profile

hemp seed health benefits titleIf you’re looking to improve digestion, balance hormones and improve metabolism, then hemp seeds may just be the superfood you’re looking for.

For a long time, hemp seeds we’re ignored for their nutritional benefits because it’s botanical relationship to drug/medicinal varieties of Cannabis.

However, hempseeds do NOT cause any psychotropic reaction and instead may provide significant health benefits with it’s unique nutritional profile.

Hemp Seed Nutrition Profile 

Here is what we know about the therapeutic benefits of hemp.

  • Excellent 3:1 balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which promote cardiovascular health.
  • High in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid found in borage oil and egg yolks that has been proven to naturally balance hormones.
  • “Perfect protein” not only containing all 20 amino acids, but also each of the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce.
  • Rich in soluble and un-soluble fiber which naturally cleanses the colon and reduces sugar cravings

Hemp seeds are also a rich source of phytonutrients including:


·      Calcium (145mg per 100 grams)

·      Iron (14mg per 100 grams)

·      Magnesium (483mg per 100 grams)

·      Manganese (7mg per 100 grams)

·      Phosphorus (1160mg per 100 grams)

·      Potassium (859mg per 100 grams)

·      Zinc  (7mg per 100 grams)


·      Vitamin A (3800 IU mg per 100 grams)

·      Vitamin B1 (0.4mg per 100 grams)

·      Vitamin B2 (0.11 mg per 100 grams)

·      Vitamin B3(2.8 mg per 100 grams)

·      Vitamin B6 (0.12 mg per 100 grams)

·      Vitamin D (22.77.5 IU mg per 100 grams)

·      Vitamin E (90 mg IU mg per 100 grams)

Uniqueness of GLA in Hemp Seeds

Also found in evening primrose oil, borage seed oil and black currant oil, gamma linolenic acid is one of the more confusing anti-cancer compounds being promoted by the American Cancer Society and natural healthy enthusiasts today.

Because it’s an omega-6 fatty acid, people get tripped up because we’ve been told ad nauseam that omega-6 fatty acids are bad for us and that an imbalanced omega-3/6 ratio is one of leading causes of disease in America today. Granted, most people don’t consume enough omega-3’s, but that’s not because naturally occurring omega-6s are bad for you.

The problem is that Americans rely too heavily on processed and fast foods made with commercial vegetable oils, which are high in omega-6’s. If everyone only ate fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds no one would ever have an omega-3/6 ratio out of whack and we wouldn’t even be having this discussion!

What’s the bottom line? You should boost your natural omega-3 intake, limit your vegetable oil consumption and enhance your omega-6’s with GLA-rich foods like hemp seeds!

According to the American Cancer Society, some researchers are providing evidence that many people with cancer, diabetes and skin allergies do not make enough GLA and could benefit from supplementation.

In addition to helping cancer drugs work better, studies have actually shown that GLA can slow or stop cancer as a standalone treatment!

GLA and GLA-rich foods like hemp seeds have also been observed to help people with:

  • ADHD
  • Breast pain
  • Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin allergies

7 Major Hemp Seed Benefits

 1. Hormones (GLA) 

Research in the 1980s observed that hormone-like substances called prostaglandins play a key role in helping the body function smoothly. It was discovered that prostaglandins help smooth muscles contract, control inflammation and body temperature, and are vital to other body functions.

Hemp seed-rich GLA is known to be a necessary building block for some prostaglandins, and researchers have surmised that GLA supplementation is necessary for proper hormone health, which is probably why many women suffering from PMS have been helped by it.

2. Arthritis and Joint Pain

A 6 month study published in the journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism found that consuming the stand alone GLA found in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms by 25% compared to the placebo at only 4%.  This along with the fact that hemp seeds have an ideal ratio of omega-3/6 fats along with it’s other minerals help naturally reduce inflammation.

For treatment take 1 tbsp of hemp seed oil daily along with a quality fish oil.

3. Weight Loss

Hemp is known as a natural appetite suppressant and can help you feel full longer and reduce sugar cravings. Some experts recommend that adding 4 tablespoons of the seeds to your breakfast will help curb excess hunger the entire day.

4. Digestive Health 

High in insoluble and soluble fiber, hemp seeds provide more than enough bulk to keep your gastrointestinal system regular. Additionally, this healthy mixture of roughage feeds the probiotics in your gut and helps secure a robust immune system.

5. Hair/Skin/Nails

Hemp seed benefits for skin and hair go a long way at improving dry, red, flaking skin. Mostly used in high-end cosmetic products, hemp oil is oftentimes included in lip balms, lotions and soaps. The oil in the hemp seeds is known to penetrate the inner layers of the skin and promote healthy cell growth; the recipe for smooth, soft skin.

Since hempseed oil is also good for skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema, it is a good idea to eat at least a couple tablespoons of hemp seed every day to maximize these benefits as well and then create a homemade skin cream combining hemp seed oil, shea butter and essential oils like lavender.

6. Cancer

Because of it’s perfect fatty-acid profile of omega-3 fats and GLA, this helps naturally balance inflammation levels and strengthen the immune system.

The British Journal of Cancer reports that the THC in hemp seeds can stop and possibly reverse glioblastoma multiforme (a deadly form of brain cancer). The journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment confirmed the THC in hemp seeds improved advanced stage breast cancer. Researchers from the University of Rostock, Germany discovered the same hemp seed benefits for lung cancer.

After evaluating the research consuming hemp seeds could be part of a healthy anti-cancer diet and natural treatment plan.

7. Heart Health

Some of the key ingredients in building a healthy heart include fiber, plant-based protein, healthy fats and eating less sugar.  And hemp seeds help in doing all of those things.

I recommend adding 2 tbsp of hemp seeds to a morning smoothie to naturally lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol and improve triglycerides.

Other Hempseed Uses

Hemp is, in fact, one of the most widely utilized and diverse industrial crops in the world. Its fibers are considered the longest and most durable of all natural fibers and it can even be grown without deadly herbicides and pesticides! Some of the more commercial uses include:

·      Body care products

·      Building materials

·      Cleaning products

·      Health foods

·      Plastics

·      Textiles

Hemp vs. Marijuana

You all know what marijuana is, so I won’t talk much about that. Industrial hemp, on the other hand, is confusing to some people because it comes from the same plant (Cannabis Sativa L.). 

Being a variety of the cannabis plant, hemp actually has a long history of use in the United States. Unfortunately, since the 1950s it has been lumped into the same category as marijuana because it contains a small amount of naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC), and its use has been marginalized to a great extent.

TCH has been researched extensively and science has shown us that when it’s not smoked, it has substantial health benefits with veritably no side effects. We’re talking about improving everything from asthma to cancer!

Not as powerful as marijuana, industrial hemp contains about 0.3% – 1.5% THC whereas marijuana contains about 5% – 10% or more THC. This means two things:

1.  Eating hemp seeds are extremely beneficial for you and your family.

2.  Eating hemp seeds and hemp products will not get you high like smoking a joint so they are completely safe, healthy and legal.

How about you? How do you like to use hemp seed for?


Josh Axe

Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!

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Sources & References:

  • Rodriguez-Leyva D, et al. The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Apr 21;7:32.
  • American Cancer Society. Gamma Linolenic Acid. [Internet]. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/pharmacologicalandbiologicaltreatment/gamma-linolenic-acid
  • McAllister SD, et al. Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Aug;129(1):37-47.
  • Ramer R, et al. Cannabidiol inhibits lung cancer cell invasion and metastasis via intercellular adhesion molecule-1. FASEB J. 2012 Apr;26(4):1535-48.
  • Guzmán M et al. A pilot clinical study of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. Br J Cancer. 2006 Jul 17;95(2):197-203.