Le chanvre, un  aliment santé encore méconnu

Hemp, a super food »?

In recent years, hemp has been gaining in popularity, and there is every indication that this will not diminish. It is commonly referred to as a super food and it is praised for its virtues and health benefits. Here we will clarify the differences between hemp and cannabis, its nutritional value, and the research that has been carried out on it so far. Finally, you will see how to incorporate it into your meals in several ways.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 which contributes to satiation and can help regulate intestinal transit, lower cholesterol and better control blood sugar. Finally, they provide various minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. All theseminerals help maintain good bone health. Potassium,magnesium and calcium also support 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 about 20 g) of shelled hemp seeds provide:




Proteins (g)


Total polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)


Total monounsaturated fatty acids (g)


Total dietary fiber (g)


Calcium (mg)


Phosphorus (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Potassium (mg)



Studies on hemp seeds

There are few studies examining the effects of consuming hemp seeds on human health. This is because most of the studies have been done on animals and those involving humans 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 phenolic compounds 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, show 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 in order 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 in rats found that supplementing a normal, balanced diet with 10% whole hemp seeds for a month did not cause changes in blood lipids and inflammation. However, with the addition of 10% whole hemp seeds to a diet high in fat, the results show a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood ) and inflammation. However, even though different studies are observing beneficial effects of hemp seeds on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases in animals, more research is still needed to determine the responsible mechanisms, as well as the type and dose of hemp needed.s.

In humans, there is still very little research investigating the health effects of supplementation with hemp seeds and its derivatives. Additionally, to date, only hemp oil has been used as a supplement in these studies. A randomized controlled trial observes that daily supplementation of 30 mL of hemp oil for 4 weeks in healthy subjects results in, among other things, a decrease in triglycerides. However, another randomized controlled trial observed that the daily supplementation of 2 capsules each containing 1 g of hemp oil for 12 weeks in healthy subjects does not cause a significant change in blood lipids (e.g. triglycerides, cholesterol LDL and HDL cholesterol). Finally, a clinical trial carried out on patients with atopic dermatitis observes that the consumption of 30 mL of hemp oil per day for 8 weeks can reduce symptoms (e.g. dryness, itching), improve the quality of the skin 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, strengths, modes of administration and time periods. In addition, there are no studies yet on the effects of consuming whole hemp seeds in humans. Therefore, more studies are needed to develop research and knowledge in this area.

The uses of hemp in cooking

Hemp seeds have a little 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.

Conservation of hemp

Hemp seeds can be stored for a year in a cool, dark place. It is best to keep 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.extenso.org/article/le-chanvre/
  4. https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Produits-de-sante-naturels/Produits-de-sante-naturels-communement-utiles.aspx
  5. https://www.diabete.qc.ca/fr/vivre-avec-le-diabete/alimentation/aliments-et-nutriments/graines-de-lin-de-chia-et-de-chanvre/
  6. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-et-Mineraux/Sources-alimentaires-de-phosphore.aspxaliaspath=%2fen%2fArticles%2fNutrients-(vitamins-and-minerals)%2fFood-Sources-of -Phosphoruss
  7. https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Calcium/Ce-que-vous-devez-savoir-au-sujet-du-calcium.aspx
  8. https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Vitamines-et-Mineraux/Ce-que-vous-devez-savoir-au-sujet-du-potassium.aspx
  9. https://www.canada.ca/en/sante-canada/services/drogues-medicaments/cannabis/sujet/cannabidiol.html#a9
  10. https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Vitamines-et-Mineraux/Ce-que-vous-devez-savoir-au-sujet-du-magnesium.aspx
  11. https://www.canada.ca/en/sante-canada/services/drogues-medicaments/cannabis/sujet.html

Article written by:

Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist





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