What Is Hemp Seed?
At Cascadia Blooms, we work with all things hemp related. When we say that our plants are cared for from seed to harvest, we mean it. Today, we’ll be looking at the first part of that phrase- hemp seeds.
What do you think of when somebody mentions hemp seed? Hemp seed as an ingredient? Hemp seed as an essential component for CBD flower? Maybe it just conjures images of cannabis plants? For such a small object, your average hemp seed can be found in many different things, with a large range of potential applications.
As a grower of organic, high-quality CBD hemp flower, we know first hand just how beneficial these little seeds can be. Every one of our plants started its life as one, but the uses of hemp seed aren’t restricted to producing high-quality CBD. Hemp has been cultivated on planet earth for over 10,000 years. This long-standing relationship with hemp demonstrates our eagerness to harness its properties- it has been an important source of food and fiber with references dating back to ancient China and Mesopotamia. This positive relationship with hemp is due to many factors, and hemp seed is a large part of its success.
So what is hemp seed? In this article, we want to give the humble hemp seed a brief overview and explore just what makes it so special.
Hemp seed is extremely nutrient-dense. Just over one Oz. (30g) of hemp seed includes:
- 9 grams of protein
- 170 calories
- 15 grams of fat
- 3 grams of total carbohydrates
- 2 mg iron
- 14 mg of calcium
- 290 mg phosphorus
- 360 mg potassium
- 4 mg of zinc
- 215 mg magnesium
- 1 gram fiber
That’s an impressive range of beneficial nutrients for something so tiny. Cooking with hemp seed is popular for this exact reason, as hemp seed provides a quick, effective vehicle by which you can potentially improve your overall health and well being. A few things to consider:
Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).
Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein. They’re considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot produce essential amino acids and must obtain them from your diet.
Hemp seeds contain all the building blocks necessary to create healthy, useful hemp for thousands of different applications. Using them in their initial state allows us to redirect all of those beneficial nutrients, fats, and acids directly into our body, with equally beneficial results.
Hemp shares its genes with marijuana, making its public image slightly tarnished in certain states. While it’s still illegal for individuals to grow or possess marijuana in most US states, the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substance Act and recategorized it as an agricultural product.
Hemp products and hemp seeds contain negligible amounts of THC, the psychoactive substance most associated with marijuana. Any respectable CBD or hemp product manufacturer will have their products independently tested to ensure a THC level below the legal limit of 0.3%
In short, if you purchase hemp seed from a reputable vendor with transparent quality controls, there should be no issues whatsoever.
Hemp seed health benefits
Civilizations have used hemp seed in various ways for thousands of years, claiming that it can improve health and vitality. Luckily, science has caught up and is beginning to flesh out these claims as more than just folksy tales. Hemp seeds are bursting to the brim with high levels of omega-3, which is great news for your heart, skin, and overall well being.
Hemp seeds and your heart
Hemp seeds contain high levels of gamma-linolenic acid and arginine. Both have markedly beneficial effects on heart health- gamma-linolenic acid can reduce inflammation, while arginine aids in producing nitrous oxide, which in turn can help dilate your blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.
Hemp seeds and your skin
Hemp seeds are a great source of essential and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They have a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range and may benefit skin diseases and provide relief from eczema.
Studies suggest that maintaining a healthy balance of fatty acids may positively affect immune responses in your body. By improving blood levels of essential fatty acids, hemp seeds may indirectly improve your overall immune system. This in turn helps improve skin health.
Hemp seeds and digestion
Hemp seeds are an abundant source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber bulks out the body’s waste, making it easier to pass regularly. This has its benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes.
Soluble fiber sits in your gut, where the substance it breaks down into becomes a suitable environment for friendly digestive bacteria. It also helps provide beneficial nutrients and has been linked to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Hemp seed produce
With all of these studies providing evidence of hemp seeds beneficial health properties, how exactly do we consume it? Much like CBD flower, there is no one direct answer, and that’s a good thing. Something this potentially beneficial should have broad appeal, and thankfully it does.
A quick internet search will bring up a veritable cornucopia of hemp seed products, from creams and oils to milk and cheese. Hemp seed is the beginning of all hemp products, and while it’s applications may not be endless, it certainly feels like it.
Hemp seeds can be used as a quick snack, a key ingredient, a flour alternative, or a simple garnish. If you’re interested in the gastronomic possibilities, check out our blog for a guide on how to cook hemp-seed!
They’re also popular with vegans, both as a major source of protein and as the base of various alternative products. Hemp seed milk is becoming more popular, as is hemp seed cheese.
We would of course be remiss if we didn’t mention that hemp seed is the basis of everything we have worked so hard to achieve over the years. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to grow our CBD hemp flower!
No article can truly illuminate just how useful, powerful, and beneficial hemp seed is. Such a simple piece of flora, with almost boundless potential both nutritionally, horticulturally, and pending thorough research, medically.
It’s only natural that we love hemp seed, especially as we work with one of its most well-loved products. We love any opportunity to find healthy alternative uses for hemp, and hemp seed is one of the best examples.