What's the Deal with Hemp?

Hemp products are becoming increasingly popular, but what exactly is hemp? To answer a few burning questions…yes, hemp is a species of Cannabis sativa, but no, it’s not the same as marijuana.
hemp

Food Network Kitchen's Hemp Seed for Healthy Budget Dinners, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All rights Reserved

Hemp products are making more appearances at health-food stores, but what exactly is the story with this plant? To answer just one burning question: Yes, hemp is a species of Cannabis sativa, but no, it's not the same as marijuana.

Health Attributes

Hemp is a complete plant protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. It's also brimming with good fats, including the Omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which may help decrease inflammation and control blood pressure. That's in addition to bringing a variety of other nutrients to the table, including fiber, iron, phosphorus, folate and magnesium.

5 Hemp Products

Stroll the aisles of any health-food store, and you're sure to encounter some of these hemp spin-offs.

1. Hemp seeds have a slightly nutty flavor and are packed with protein, Omega-3 fats, and minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium. Sprinkle raw shelled hemp seeds over a salad, cereal, yogurt or soup.

2. A fine addition to morning cereal bowls or smoothies, hemp milk has a creamy texture and is brimming with Omega-3 fats. Many hemp milks are also fortified with riboflavin and vitamins A, D and B12.

3.  Hemp oil, good for salad dressings, has a slightly nutty flavor and contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. Like any oil, hemp contain 120 calories per tablespoon.

4. Hemp granola  adds delicious crunch to parfaits. As with any granola, it's important to keep portions in check. Three-quarter cup of  Nature's Path Hemp Plus Granola contains 260 calories and a respectable 5 grams of fiber.

5. Hemp bread offers a decent way to help meet the daily recommended intake of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Make your favorite sandwich using a couple slices.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

Next Up

What's the Deal with Intermittent Fasting?

Here's what you need to know before you jump into IF.

What’s the Deal with Vitamin Patches?

Known as "transdermal patches," these supplements are administered through a patch on your skin rather than orally. But do they work?

When Is Amazon Prime Big Deal Days 2023? Plus, the Deals to Shop Now

Here's everything we know about Prime Big Deal Days this year.

The Best Kitchen Deals from CNN Underscored's 2023 Deals Fest

We found the best discounts for food lovers.

10 National Pizza Week Deals and Discounts

Yes, every week is pizza week, but this week, it’s official.

17 Eye-Opening National Coffee Day Deals

From Dunkin’ to Starbucks, Peet’s to Wendy’s — here are some great deals to look for on Friday, September 29.

10 Can’t-Miss Deals for The Solar Eclipse

Get ready for the moment with glasses, and plenty of snacks.

9 Deals to Grab on National Cookie Day

On Sunday, December 4, Subway is debuting the world’s first footlong cookie.

Wayfair's 5 Days of Deals Sale Starts Today

Snag up to 80% off deals on Le Creuset, Cuisinart, Breville and more!

Amazon Has a Secret Outlet with Amazing Kitchen Deals

There's a secret section on Amazon with great deals on name-brand products — and there are discounts every day.