Want a controversial subject? Talk about marijuana, Cannabis or hemp and watch heads turn. That’s why hemp protein is such an interesting subject.
Hemp and marijuana are names for the different varieties of the plant species Cannabis (of which there are three types).
- Marijuana varieties of Cannabis are psychoactive and contain high THC content. These marijuana varieties usually come from either Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis indica.
- Hemp varieties of Cannabis contain a low THC content (usually 1% to 0.3% or even lower) and are mainly used for their fiber, oil, and seeds. Hemp normally comes from Cannabis ruderalis.
Why even bother with hemp protein when whey protein and others are widely available and time tested? Well, studies have shown there are clear benefits to using hemp. Here are just some of them.
- Hemp protein does not contain dairy. Vegans and lactose intolerants can rejoice!
- Hemp has no known allergens. Most proteins are derived from either dairy, soy or tree-nuts – all of which have been identified in the list of top 8 major food allergens by the FDA and FALCPA.
- Hemp contains an optimal ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids.
- Hemp also contains all the essential amino acids required by the human body.
- Hemp has plenty of fiber.
- Hemp is easily absorbed and digested by the body, no more bloating!
- And if it seemed impossible to get any better, hemp is a renewable resource.
Most of the hemp protein products available today contain an average of 13.5 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons. Specific hemp products contain a higher amount of protein per serving which would be equivalent to popular whey protein products on the market.
There has to be a catch, right? Well, you could say there are some cons.
- Taste: Since hemp has so much fiber, it isn’t particularly known for it’s great taste. It’s probably best to mix it to improve the flavor.
- Price: There is currently a premium for hemp when comparing to other proteins (protein per serving). This will eventually drop as demand increases and laws improve, allowing larger farming of hemp.
That’s some food for thought but as it stands, hemp is an excellent alternative to whey and one worth the price difference if you can afford it.