Seeds of the plant cannabis sativa, hemp seed, contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs.
The seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, made into hemp milk (akin to soy milk), prepared as tea, and used in baking. The fresh leaves can also be eaten in salads. Products include cereals, frozen waffles, hemp tofu, and nut butters, to name a few. A few companies produce value added hemp seed items that include the seed oils, whole hemp grain (which is sterilized by law in the United States, where they import it from China and Canada), dehulled hemp seed (the whole seed without the mineral rich outer shell), hemp flour, hemp cake (a by-product of pressing the seed for oil) and hemp protein powder. Hemp is also used in some organic cereals, for non-dairy milk, somewhat similar to soy and nut milks, and for non-dairy hemp “ice cream.”
Hemp seed may be one of nature’s most perfect foods. With a pleasant nut-like flavor and creamy texture, hulled hemp seed is a nutritious and delightful addition to cereals, salads and baked goods. Hulled hemp seed is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids and an excellent source of protein.