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While cannabis flower is known for its therapeutic effects, many are unaware of cannabis seeds’ health benefits. Yet, cannabis seeds have long since played an important role in medicine, dating back to ancient Chinese medical texts from nearly 2,000-years-ago.
Cannabis seeds are far more than just a trendy product using a pot leaf logo as a selling point. They’re a nutrient-dense, protein-rich superfood that aids in regulating blood pressure and weight.
What Are Cannabis Seeds?
Simply put, they’re the seeds of the cannabis plant, which also includes hemp: cannabis is a genus, and hemp is a species of the genus. Cannabis seeds are produced by female cannabis plants after being fertilized by a male cannabis plant’s pollen.
Due to the passage of the 2018 Farm & Hemp Bill, hemp is legal throughout the United States. This means hemp seeds are available at CBDistillery, your local grocery store, and your favorite build-your-own salad restaurant — and you don’t need a medical marijuana card to purchase them.
Unlike cannabis flowers, cannabis seeds don’t contain very much THC, if any. Thus, you can enjoy the health benefits of cannabis seeds without the high associated with traditional cannabis use.
6 Health Benefits of Cannabis Seeds
1. Cannabis Seeds Are High in Unsaturated Fats & Vitamins
Cannabis seeds are brimming with essential nutrients, including unsaturated fats and vitamins.
One serving of cannabis seeds is just 166 calories and contains 11.4 grams of unsaturated fats, the United States Depart of Agriculture reports.
This encompasses both omega-3 and omega-6, which are fats your body can’t naturally produce, so it’s vital to get them through your diet. Unsaturated fats are good for your heart and your mental health, and they can aid in weight loss.
Furthermore, one serving of cannabis contains:
- Calcium: 21 mg
- Iron:38 mg
- Magnesium: 210 mg
- Vitamin A: 3 IU
- Vitamin B-6:18 mg
- Vitamin C:15 mg
- Vitamin: 24 mg
- Zinc:97 mg
2. Cannabis Seeds Are Full of Protein
In addition to the macronutrients in cannabis seeds, they’re packed with protein. Just three tablespoons (30g) contain nearly 10g of protein. This makes cannabis seeds a very filling, calorie-efficient plant-based protein.
Compared to other plant-based proteins, an Agriculture and Food Chemistry Journal study found cannabis seeds have a Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score greater than or equal to grains, nuts, and other seeds.
Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Scores are the modern method of evaluating how much protein is in a serving of food based on how much amino acid is required to digest it.
3. Cannabis Seeds Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common health issue that can have serious consequences. If left untreated, high blood pressure puts you at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Stress, physical inactivity, a salty diet, and multiple chronic health conditions can cause high blood pressure. But a pre-clinical European Journal of Nutrition study found hemp seeds significantly reduce hypertension in rats.
The effects of their study show that cannabis seeds display promise as a dietary intervention for treating high blood pressure.
4. Cannabis Seeds Have Neuroprotective Properties
Recent research has demonstrated that cannabis seeds may protect your brain. Cannabis seeds contain different proteins with neuroprotective properties that reduce brain inflammation, according to a Food & Function Journal study.
Similarly, an International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition study found cannabis seeds have neuroprotective properties that could aid in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.
5. Cannabis Seed Oil is an Excellent Moisturizer
Whether you have dry skin or an inflammatory condition like eczema, cannabis seed oil is an excellent moisturizer. You could use the oil itself, or a cream infused with cannabis seed oil.
A Journal of Cosmetic Science study reported that cannabis seed oil has both moisturizing and anti-aging properties. Cannabis seed oil is antioxidative and rich in Vitamin E, which gives it such efficient anti-aging effects.
6. Cannabis Seeds Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Although CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis seeds hardly have any cannabinoids — and if they are present, it’s only in trace amounts.
However, cannabis seeds have other anti-inflammatory mechanisms. As mentioned earlier, cannabis seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. But the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 plays a key role in its anti-inflammatory effects. Cannabis seeds have a 3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, which is the perfect balance.
Additionally, cannabis seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid. GLA is also anti-inflammatory and has been used to treat conditions including:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Diabetic nerve pain
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The flower of cannabis plants is well-known for its array of therapeutic benefits thanks to the surge of emerging research on cannabinoids and terpenes in recent years. However, few are aware of the health benefits of cannabis seeds.
Incorporating cannabis seeds into your diet boosts your intake of essential nutrients, such as unsaturated fats, vitamins, and proteins. Cannabis seeds are also great for your heart, your brain, and their oil can keep your skin smooth and hydrated.
Lastly, cannabis seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce painful symptoms of inflammatory conditions, like autoimmune diseases.
- “Cannabis in Chinese Medicine: Are Some Traditional Indications Referenced in Ancient Literature Related to Cannabinoids?” via the Frontiers in Pharmacology Journal
- “Seed” via WeedMaps
- “Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill” via the United States Food & Drug Administration
- “Seeds, hemp seeds, hulled” via the United States Department of Agriculture
- “Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors” via The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- “Evaluating the Quality of Protein from Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L.) Products Through the use of the Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score Method” via the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
- “High blood pressure” via Mayo Clinic
- “Preventive and treatment effects of a hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) meal protein hydrolysate against high blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats” via the European Journal of Nutrition
- “Neuroprotective protein hydrolysates from hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) seeds” via the Food & Function Journal
- “Hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives isolated from hempseed and their effects on central nervous system enzymes” via The International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
- “Neurodegenerative Diseases” via the UTSouthwestern Medical Center
- “Hemp-seed and olive oils: their stability against oxidation and use in O/W emulsions” via the Journal of Cosmetic Sciences
- “The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids” via the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy Journal
- “Gamma Linolenic Acid” via RxList