Hemp is possibly one of the earliest plants to be cultivated.[107][108] An archeological site in the Oki Islands near Japan contained cannabis achenes from about 8000 BC, probably signifying use of the plant.[109] Hemp use archaeologically dates back to the Neolithic Age in China, with hemp fiber imprints found on Yangshao culture pottery dating from the 5th millennium BC.[106][110] The Chinese later used hemp to make clothes, shoes, ropes, and an early form of paper.[106] The classical Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia would often inhale the vapors of hemp-seed smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation.[111]

Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses.[6] Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.[6] The legality of industrial hemp varies widely between countries. Some governments regulate the concentration of THC and permit only hemp that is bred with an especially low THC content.[7][8]

Shelled hemp seeds are becoming a popular dietary supplement because of their high protein content and healthful fatty acids. Hemp seeds come from the same plants, Cannabis sativa or C. indica, that produce marijuana, although the plants are cultivated and processed differently so that hemp seeds contain very low levels of psychoactive cannabinols such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Shelled hemp seeds are generally safe, but some people may experience some undesired side effects.

Hemp seeds are rather oily and high in fat. One tablespoon contains 3 g to 4 g of fat. The majority of this is polyunsaturated fat --- the good kind of fat --- and according to Blue Shield of California, shelled hemp seeds contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, all this fat can come at a price, and you may experience mild diarrhea when adding shelled hemp seeds to your diet. If your digestive system is sensitive to change, start with small amounts of hemp seed --- say, a teaspoon a day --- and slowly work your way up to the recommended serving of 2 tbsp.


Author Paoli Ranalli in the book, Advances in Hemp Research, states that one of the major minerals that one can find in hemp seed is iron, an integral part of red blood cell construction in the human body. Iron deficiency can result in anemia, so having a proper amount of iron intake from foods like hemp seed can help prevent anemia, which displays itself in symptoms like fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness, and a wide range of other symptoms. Iron also helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
The gamma-linoleic acid content of hemp seed works as a hormone regulator for the thyroid and pancreas, and it can reduce many of the symptoms that come from a hormonal imbalance, including severe menopausal symptoms, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. It also can help regulate the hormones that affect weight gain and hunger. Overall, by re-balancing your hormones, your body will work at its optimal and ideal level.
Hemp seed has a wide range of effects on heart health, including the proper balance of cholesterol or fatty acids in the body. Most specialists recommended a specific balance of 3:1 or 4:1 omega-6 fatty acid to omega-3 fatty acid. According to Dr. Delfin Rodriguez Leyva’s, ( Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba and Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St Boniface Hospital Research Centre, Canada) report in the Nutrition and Metabolism Journal, this seed is one of the only plant substances in the world where this is the normal balance already. The proper balance of saturated fats in the body is essential to the normal functioning of the body, and the prevention of various conditions, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Furthermore, since this seed has a high content of fiber, heart health is further boosted because fiber scrapes off excess cholesterol from the artery walls that also lead to heart conditions, and takes them to the excretory system where they can be processed and eliminated.
It is sometimes supposed that an excerpt from Washington's diary, which reads "Began to seperate [sic] the Male from the Female hemp at Do.&—rather too late" is evidence that he was trying to grow female plants for the THC found in the flowers. However, the editorial remark accompanying the diary states that "This may arise from their [the male] being coarser, and the stalks larger"[120] In subsequent days, he describes soaking the hemp[121] (to make the fibers usable) and harvesting the seeds,[122] suggesting that he was growing hemp for industrial purposes, not recreational.
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As of 2011, hemp seeds are not known to cause any interactions with common medications, but you should talk to your doctor or naturopath about any over-the-counter or prescription drugs you are taking before adding hemp seeds to your diet. Blue Shield of California recommends caution to anyone taking anticoagulant drugs, since hemp seeds inhibit platelets and may pose a bleeding risk.
Textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber summarizes the historical evidence that Cannabis sativa, "grew and was known in the Neolithic period all across the northern latitudes, from Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Ukraine) to East Asia (Tibet and China)," but, "textile use of Cannabis sativa does not surface for certain in the West until relatively late, namely the Iron Age."[112] "I strongly suspect, however, that what catapulted hemp to sudden fame and fortune as a cultigen and caused it to spread rapidly westwards in the first millennium B.C. was the spread of the habit of pot-smoking from somewhere in south-central Asia, where the drug-bearing variety of the plant originally occurred. The linguistic evidence strongly supports this theory, both as to time and direction of spread and as to cause."[113]
Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into hemp meal, sprouted or made into dried sprout powder. Hemp seeds can also be made into a liquid and used for baking or for beverages such as hemp milk and tisanes.[15] Hemp oil is cold-pressed from the seed and is high in unsaturated fatty acids.[16] The leaves of the hemp plant, while not as nutritional as the seeds, are edible and can be consumed raw as leafy vegetables in salads, and pressed to make juice.[17]
Hemp seeds are high in nutritional value and contain 20 different varieties of amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). Some essential amino acids can't be naturally produced by the body and these seeds have the capacity to supplement them in the body. They contain high amounts of protein, which helps in strengthening the immune system, thereby, reducing the instances of diseases, besides helping in excreting toxins from the body. Studies in the recent past have shown that consuming hemp seeds whether raw or in oil form, has the capacity to aid in the healing process of diseases related to immune deficiency. There is no other food substance which contains such high quantities of essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds, higher than even flaxseed and other nut or seed oil as well as containing high amounts of vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. This won't help correct your omega balance if it's off, but it gives you the right balance to start with.
Concrete-like blocks made with hemp and lime have been used as an insulating material for construction. Such blocks are not strong enough to be used for structural elements; they must be supported by a brick, wood, or steel frame.[28] However, hemp fibres are extremely strong and durable, and have been shown to be usable as a replacement for wood for many jobs, including creating very durable and breathable homes. The most common use of hemp lime in building is by casting the hemp and lime mix while wet around a timber frame with temporary shuttering, and tamping the mix to form a firm mass; after the removal of the temporary shuttering, the solidified hemp mix is then ready to be plastered with a lime plaster.[29]
Most health organizations agree that the human body needs a 3 or 4:1 balance of omega 6 over omega 3. Hemp seed is the only seed where this ideal balance occurs. It does not occur in flax, almond, walnut, soybean or olive oil. Daily use of flax seed can lead to dangerous imbalances since flax seed oil has a balance of 1:4 instead of a healthy 4:1 omega-6 over omega-3.
Concrete-like blocks made with hemp and lime have been used as an insulating material for construction. Such blocks are not strong enough to be used for structural elements; they must be supported by a brick, wood, or steel frame.[28] However, hemp fibres are extremely strong and durable, and have been shown to be usable as a replacement for wood for many jobs, including creating very durable and breathable homes. The most common use of hemp lime in building is by casting the hemp and lime mix while wet around a timber frame with temporary shuttering, and tamping the mix to form a firm mass; after the removal of the temporary shuttering, the solidified hemp mix is then ready to be plastered with a lime plaster.[29]

Concrete-like blocks made with hemp and lime have been used as an insulating material for construction. Such blocks are not strong enough to be used for structural elements; they must be supported by a brick, wood, or steel frame.[28] However, hemp fibres are extremely strong and durable, and have been shown to be usable as a replacement for wood for many jobs, including creating very durable and breathable homes. The most common use of hemp lime in building is by casting the hemp and lime mix while wet around a timber frame with temporary shuttering, and tamping the mix to form a firm mass; after the removal of the temporary shuttering, the solidified hemp mix is then ready to be plastered with a lime plaster.[29]


Hemp plants are cultivated for industrial use and harvested for their fibers, seeds, oils, and meal. Industrial hemp seeds are available in different forms. They can be sterilized, toasted, roasted, or cracked. Hemp can be pressed into oil or hulled into meal. Hemp thrives nearly anywhere, tolerating a variety of growing conditions. It's rarely affected by pests or disease, making hemp quite hardy. In fact, the plant provides numerous benefits.
Hemp plants are cultivated for industrial use and harvested for their fibers, seeds, oils, and meal. Industrial hemp seeds are available in different forms. They can be sterilized, toasted, roasted, or cracked. Hemp can be pressed into oil or hulled into meal. Hemp thrives nearly anywhere, tolerating a variety of growing conditions. It's rarely affected by pests or disease, making hemp quite hardy. In fact, the plant provides numerous benefits.
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