Hemp Seeds Are Superfoods

Dear Pharmacist,

You posted a recipe on facebook recently, and it contains “hemp seeds.” Isn’t that related to pot, and isn’t it illegal? I’ve never heard of this, and my grocery store says they cannot carry it.

--G.K. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Answer: Your question is good, but it does crack me up. First of all, any grocery store in the country can carry this because there is nothing illegal about hemp seeds! You’re right though, hemp does come from the same plant as marijuana, so many people associate it with getting stoned. However, as I’ll show you, this is just another common misconception.

Hemp seeds are actually so good for your health, that I suggest daily consumption! These little seeds are composed mainly of a non-psychoactive compound called “cannabidiol.” This has been shown to actually block the effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the ingredient in marijuana that induces the “high.” Because of this, many scientists have actually nicknamed hemp as “anti-marijuana.”

These tiny seeds are jam-packed with important nutrients. They contain essential minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium which strengthens our bones. They also have an abundance of vitamin E, which protects our body tissues from damage. In addition, they can improve immune function, raise energy and relieve dry hair and skin. Guess what else? Hemp may even reduce the symptoms of PMS. Let’s go ladies!

Most importantly though, hemp seeds contain both omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids and I highly recommend those to keep your health in tip-top shape. They have been connected to attaining healthy cholesterol levels (naturally!), protecting against heart disease, and lessening the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately fifty-five percent of hemp is actually composed of linoleic acid, which is the major component of flax seeds -which you all know are great for you too.

In a 2008 Italian study, it was concluded that hemp seeds can reduce inflammation and lessen pain symptoms for those with muscular or skeletal inflammation. These effects, among others, occur because of the special ratio of the essential fatty acids in hemp seeds.

So you want to get more hemp into your diet? It’s easy -just do like I do. Buy hemp seed oil and replace your other oils. Nutiva makes a wonderful line of hemp products that most health food stores carry. Sprinkle the hulled hemp seeds on everything from salads, to yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, sandwiches and even batters for muffins and cakes. Hemp seeds have very little taste, so you’ll barely even know that they’re there! Hemp products are even okay for those of you who avoid gluten, animal protein, sugar, soy and dairy. Now that’s my kind of seed!


Did You Know?

Blueberries are full of antioxidants that can boost your immunity to common viruses, improve your eyesight and decrease your risk of urinary tract infections.

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About the author


I'm a graduate of the University of Florida and has been a licensed pharmacist for nearly 20 years.  People call me “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist” because I've spent the last 10 years writing a syndicated column on health which reaches millions of people each week.

Read more from Suzy at www.dearpharmacist.com


Anonymous's picture


I didn't see that you mentioned or not if the Hemp seeds were plantable

Anonymous's picture


Linoleic acid is the last thing you should be excited about in hemp seeds. It is an omega-6 fatty acid, and most vegetable oils have it in much-higher-than-good-for-you amounts. What you want is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, omega-3), which hemp seeds have at only about half the amount compared to flax. But they are so much tastier, that's for sure!

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