Le chanvre, un  aliment santé encore méconnu

Hemp, a superfood »?

In recent years, hemp has been gaining popularity, and everything indicates that it will not diminish. It is commonly referred to as a superfood and is touted for its virtues and health benefits. We will shed light below on the differences between hemp and cannabis, its nutritional benefits as well as the research that has been carried out on it so far. Finally, you will see how to integrate it in several ways into your meals.s.

Hemp versus cannabis

Even though hemp belongs to the same family as cannabis, it does not have a psychotropic effect, as it contains very little delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the effects of cannabis on the body. and the brain. Indeed, in Canada, hemp refers to varieties of cannabis that contain less than 0.3% THC in their flowers, branches and leaves.

The nutritional profile of hemp

Hemp seeds are higher in protein than most other seeds, such as flax seeds or chia seeds. They also provide polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3s, which are beneficial for heart health. Hemp seeds also contain fiber that contributes to satiation and can help regulate intestinal transit, reduce cholesterol and better control blood sugar. Finally, they provide various minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. All theseminerals contribute to the maintenance of good bone health. Potassium,magnesium and calcium also promote the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. Magnesium is also involved in heart health and helps control blood pressure.


In terms of nutritional value, 30 mL (2 tablespoons or approximately 20 g) of hulled hemp seeds provide:




Protein (g)


Total polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)


Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (g)


Total Dietary Fiber (g)


Calcium (mg)


Phosphorus (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Potassium (mg)



Hemp seed studies

Studies investigating the effects of hemp seed consumption on human health are few. This is because most studies have been done on animals, and those involving human subjects only use hemp oil as a supplement.

In 2020, a literature review byFarinon et al.. assessed the state of the current scientific literature regarding the nutritional and functional properties of hemp seeds, as well as their potential use as a dietary supplement to prevent and treat inflammatory and chronic diseases.

The authors explain that the functional properties of hemp seeds come in part from the presence of active compounds, including phenolics and bioactive peptides. Phenolic compounds are naturally produced by plants and help protect them against various stresses, such as UV rays. These compounds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. As for bioactive peptides, they are short fragments of proteins. Studies, mainly carried out in vitro, demonstrate that they have antioxidant, antihypertensive, antiproliferative, cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Research has therefore focused on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties associated with hemp seeds to determine whether their use as a dietary supplement could prevent certain chronic or inflammatory diseases, such as neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.

For example, a study carried out on rats observed that supplementing a normal, balanced diet with 10% whole hemp seeds for one month did not lead to changes in blood lipids and inflammation. However, with the addition of 10% whole hemp seeds to a high fat diet, results show a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), triglycerides (a type of lipid found in the blood ) and inflammation. However, even though different studies observe beneficial effects of hemp seeds on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases in animals, more research is still needed to determine the mechanisms responsible, as well as the type and dose of hemp needed.s.

In humans, there is still very little research that has investigated the effects of hemp seed supplementation and its derivatives on health. Additionally, to date, only hemp oil has been used as a supplement in these studies. A randomized controlled trial observes that a daily supplementation of 30 mL of hemp oil for 4 weeks in healthy subjects leads, among other things, to a reduction in triglycerides. However, another randomized controlled trial observes that daily supplementation of 2 capsules each containing 1 g of hemp oil for 12 weeks in healthy subjects does not lead to significant changes in blood lipids (e.g. triglycerides, cholesterol LDL and HDL cholesterol). Finally, a clinical trial conducted with patients with atopic dermatitis observed that consuming 30 mL of hemp oil daily for 8 weeks can reduce symptoms (eg dryness, itching), improve skin quality and decrease the use of drugs to treat dermatitis. In summary, the studies currently available are inconclusive and not very comparable, as they use different methods, dosages, modes of administration and time periods. Additionally, there are no studies yet investigating the effects of consuming whole hemp seeds in human subjects. Therefore, more studies are needed to develop research and knowledge in this area.

The uses of hemp in the kitchen

Hemp seeds have a slightly nutty taste and a texture similar to that of sunflower seeds. On the sweet side, they can be added to yogurt, cereals, smoothies(see the article here:Top 3 smoothie bowl recipes ») or oatmeal. They can even be used to make vegetable milk. On the salty side, they can be used in salads, on soups or stir-fries, where they will add crunch.

Hemp conservation

Hemp seeds can be stored for a year in a cool, dark place. It is best to store them in the refrigerator to prevent oxidation.


  1. Farinon B, Molinari R, Costantini L, Merendino N. The seed of industrial hemp (Cannabis-sativa): Nutritional Quality and Potential Functionality for Human Health and Nutrition. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 29;12(7):1935. doi: 10.3390/nu12071935. PMID: 32610691; PMCID: PMC7400098.
  2. Canadian Nutrient File.
  3. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Natural-health-products/Commonly-used-natural-health-products.aspx
  4. https://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/food/food-and-nutrients/flax-seeds-chia-and-hemp/
  5. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Food-Sources-of-phosphorus.aspxaliaspath=%2fen%2fArticles%2fNutrients-(vitamins-and-minerals)%2fFood-Sources-of -Phosphoruss
  6. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Calcium/What-you-should-know-about-calcium.aspx
  7. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/What-you-should-know-about-potassium.aspx
  8. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medicines/cannabis/subject/cannabidiol.html#a9
  9. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/What-you-should-know-about-magnesium.aspx
  10. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medicines/cannabis/subject.html

Article written by:

Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist





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