Hemp, the Non-Taboo Cannabis and it’s amazing benefits!

3 min read

Today is April 20th, World Cannabis Day! And I am Soniya Nikam, a dietitian! So if you are expecting some kind of social commentary or Cannabis culture celebration/shaming, you ain’t gonna get it here. What you will be getting after spending your 3 precious minutes on this read is:- some interesting information that you can show off to your friends (and look extremely cool!),  and some nutrition bits (because you know, I’m a dietitian and all!). So, here we go-

Cannabis Sativa, one species two variants.  One contains high amounts of psychoactive phytochemicals, therefore is popular amongst the “High” enthusiasts and certain patients seeking relief from pain. It’s marijuana, popularly known as weed/pot, also भांग (in Indian subcontinent!).

And the other variant of the same species is a much-valued crop that is used for making oil, food, clothing, ropes, paper, plastic composite for automobiles and what not! It’s called “Hemp” and we will be looking at some Awe-inspiring uses of this somewhat lesser know Cannabis.

Hemp Seed Oil

Oil extracted from hemp seeds is an excellent source of essential omega 3 and omega 6 Fatty Acids. We call them essential fatty acids because our bodies are incapable of producing them but we need them for vital functions like maintaining heart health, reducing inflammation in the body, improving memory and cognitive functions, reducing joint pain etc. Some other comparable sources of omega 3 fatty acid are fatty fish, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds.

Suggested Read,

Walnut Oil V/s Fish Oil: Who wins the Omega Test?

And not only essential fatty acids, hemp seed oil is a good source of tocopherol (a more absorbable form of Vitamin E). As a matter of fact, hemp seed oil beats canola seed oil and also flaxseed oil in vitamin E content! And last but not the least, it is also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant flavonoids [1].

One expert tip though, don’t use hemp oil for cooking as it loses its nutritional benefits when heated. You can use it to make salad dressings, in your smoothies or even in chutneys.


Hemp Protein

Meat eaters probably will not get the appeal of it but for the Vegan and Vegetarian population, hemp protein is a great alternative to good old soy! Just like soy, hemp too is an oilseed and when most of the oil is extracted what is left behind is mostly protein and fiber.

2 Tablespoon of hemp protein powder provides ~15 gm of protein. AND if you choose to consume not the powder but just the hemp hearts (hemp seed minus the shell), you still get ~10 gm protein for 2 tablespoons of hemp hearts [2].

A note: coming from a plant, hemp is not a complete protein (means it does not provide all 9 essential amino acids in required amounts), so it is best to pair it with grains or other seeds and nuts while consuming [3].

Suggestion, try this tasty, nutty and hearty Hemp Seeds Chutney (भांग की चटनी ) with jowar roti 🙂

“Did you know that 2 Tbsp of hemp hearts provides ~25% of daily Iron needs?!”


Hemp Cloth

I’m a big fan of Jute ropes and furniture as they are not only durable but also adds a hint of vintage to the house. I’m sure you have all seen jute bags and ropes, but have you seen hemp ropes? What about hemp clothes?

Hemp ropes are less bulky and more resilient as a result hemp fabric is smoother and stronger than jute! It is closer to linen in feel and has been used for making clothes for centuries!


Some more uses of hemp:-

  • a plastic composite material in making parts of vehicles
  • hemp paper
  • hemp heat insulation bricks
  • hemp oil for wood polishing
  • hemp clothes, shoes, hats, chappals

So that was all on amazing (certainly), non-addictive (can’t guarantee! heard hemp protein is pretty awesome and addictive) uses of the Cannabis (the sober variety :P). If you know of any use of hemp that we missed, mention it in the comment section below.

Stay sober y’all 🙂


Soniya Nikam, MS, RD.

Soniya Nikam, MS, RD.

She is a Registered Dietitian who does not believe in dieting; She has a Master's Degree in Nutrition but she is not your "I know it all Nutrition Guru!"; She loves food but loves talking about food even more. Her articles are a direct reflection of her personal quest where nutrition science meets real life! Oh, and she is owned by a 3 m.o. naughty kitten :)

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