What is Hemp Powder?
The hemp plant is a herbaceous plant, native to Central Asia. Often confused with the marijuana plant, the hemp plant is another variety of Cannabis Sativa L. Both marijuana and hemp belong to the same plant family, Cannabaceae, which is probably the reason they are so often confused.
Hemp and all its products pose no psychoactive effects to those who consume them. This is due to their low concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical compound which is responsible for the feelings of elation and euphoria experienced by individuals who consume marijuana products in order to get “high”. The hemp plant often contains as little as 0.3% THC in total.
Hemp powder is one of the many products of the hemp plant. These powders are created by grinding raw, shelled hemp seeds until they resemble a fine powder. Hemp powder is also commonly called hemp protein or hemp protein powder.
Does Hemp Powder have Nutritional Value?
Hemp powder has a high nutritional value. These powders do not go through rigorous processing when being grinded into their final form. Given this fact, they retain most of the nutrients that were present when the powder was still in its seed form.
As reported by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) National Nutrient Database, a two tablespoon serving of hemp seeds weighing 20 grams (g) contains:
- 111 calories
- 6.31 g of protein
- 9.75 g of fat
- 1.73 g of carbohydrates (including 0.8 g of fiber and 0.3 g of sugar)
- 14 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 1.59 mg of iron
- 140 mg of magnesium
- 330 mg of phosphorus
- 240 mg of potassium
- 1.98 mg of zinc
- 22 micrograms (mcg) of folate
Hemp seeds also contain Vitamins A, C and E as well as some B vitamins. Hemp powders are also a complete protein. They contain all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids; which is extremely rare for a plant-based source of protein. According to a study, the amino acid profile of hemp powder is similar to both the profiles of egg whites and soy, which are well known for being high-quality sources of protein.
Hemp powders also contain notably high levels of polyunsaturated or ‘good’ fats, particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Health Benefits of Hemp Powder
There are many health benefits of hemp powders that have been thoroughly backed up by research. Some of those benefits include:
Improved Skin Conditions
Hemp powders are beneficial for treating and managing skin conditions. This can be attributed to the copious amounts of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids it contains.
Studies suggest that the immune system is highly dependent on the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These acids are responsible for overall body function and can boost the immune system. The ideal ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 acids is 1:3 – which happens to be the exact ratio of hemp powders.
Skin conditions such as Atopic dermatitis and acne can be caused by chronic inflammation. Hemp powders possess anti-inflammatory properties, making them beneficial for the treatment of these conditions.
These illnesses have also been linked to a deficiency in Omega-3 acids; a nutrient hemp powders possess in high concentrations. Hemp powders may aid in treating and managing acne symptoms. This view was also corroborated by a 2018 review.
Hemp powders possess exceptional neuroprotective properties. This can be attributed to their high concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which is a powerful antioxidant.
In a study published in the journal Food Chemistry, the antioxidants present in CBD – and by extension, hemp powder – aid in neutralising oxidants and free radicals in the body. Both oxidants and free radicals are responsible for the rapid degeneration of cell tissue which in turn, can lead to terminal and chronic diseases such as cancer.
A similar review published in 2018 suggests that CBD and other compounds present in hemp powders may have anti-inflammatory and immune-protective qualities. This aids in managing conditions including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Hemp powders are derived from the raw, shelled seeds of the hemp plant. These substances are chock full of essential proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This is extremely rare for a plant-based protein.
Hemp powders are beneficial for the management and treatment of numerous conditions including skin and neuropathic illnesses. As a health food that is easy to consume and full of health benefits, hemp protein is being included in the ranks of other nutritional supplements, and increasingly labelled a super food.