Hemp milk is a popular plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. It’s made from whole hemp seeds and is rich in high-quality plant protein, healthy fats and minerals. Drinking hemp milk may benefit skin health and protect against heart disease. This article discusses hemp milk, its nutrition, benefits, uses and how to make your own.
At Honest Marijuana, we think the various species of cannabis (sativa, indica, ruderalis) are darn near nature’s perfect plant. Forget corn, wheat, rice, and cotton. Cannabis has them all beat. It’s an industrial product (plastic and paint), a fuel, a textile (paper, rope, and clothing), a medicine (CBD), and the most fun you can ever have (THC).
Cannabis is even a foodstuff for humans and animals. So if you had to pick one plant to have with you when you’re stranded on an uncharted island in the south pacific, cannabis is the only intelligent choice.
In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana focus in on one particular product of the cannabis plant: hemp milk. We’ll tell you what it is and why it’s so awesome. We’ll also reveal eight benefits of hemp milk that you can’t get from other liquids and give you a simple recipe for making your own hemp milk at home. Bottoms up!
What Is Hemp Milk?
Hemp milk is made by blending water with the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.
This plant is also used to produce marijuana. However, hemp milk and other products made from hemp seeds do not cause mind-altering effects like marijuana and only contain trace amounts of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Hemp milk has an earthy, nutty flavor and a creamy consistency. It can be used in place of cow’s milk in, for example, smoothies, coffee and cereal.
While hemp milk can be made from just seeds and water, many commercial varieties contain sweeteners, salt or thickeners as well.
Due to the growing popularity of plant-based milk, hemp milk can be found in most grocery stores and online. You can also make it at home.
Hemp Milk Nutrition
Hemp milk is highly nutritious and loaded with proteins and healthy fats.
In fact, it has more protein and healthy fats than other popular plant-based types of milk, including rice and almond milk.
Compared to whole cow’s milk, hemp milk has fewer calories, less protein and carbs but roughly the same amount of fat .
One cup (240 ml) of unsweetened hemp milk contains approximately:
- Calories: 83
- Carbs: 1.3 grams
- Protein: 4.7 grams
- Fat: 7.3 grams
- Calcium: 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Iron: 7% of the DV
In addition to these naturally occurring nutrients, commercial hemp milk is often fortified with calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B12 and D. However, it may also contain added sugar, salt, thickeners or other additives.
Most of the fat in hemp milk is unsaturated essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), which are essential for building new tissue and membranes in your body.
What’s more, hemp milk provides protein that your body can easily digest and use. It’s one of few plant-based complete proteins, as it contains all of the essential amino acids that humans need from food.
Finally, hemp milk is naturally free of soy, lactose and gluten, making it a good option for people who need or want to avoid these components.
Benefits Of Hemp Milk
While you can gain many medicinal benefits from products with higher levels of THC and CBD, the benefits of hemp milk are largely nutritional. Here are eight of those benefits.
1) Contains Tons Of Vitamins And Minerals
Hemp milk is jam-packed with all the vitamins and minerals you need to stay happy and healthy. One cup (8 ounces) of hemp milk contains:
- Omega-3 fatty acid
- Omega-6 fatty acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Folic acid
- Vitamin D
But wait, there’s more! Check out the next benefit.
2) Provides A Complete Protein Source
Hemp milk contains all 10 essential amino acids. They’re called “essential” amino acids because your body needs them to function properly. And the kicker is you can only get those amino acids from the foods you eat. That’s why hemp milk is such a great addition to a healthy diet.
Hemp milk also contains four grams of digestible protein per cup. That — and the essential amino acids — makes hemp milk one of the few complete sources of protein other than animal products (i.e., meat and cow or goat milk).
3) Offers A Healthy, Vegan Alternative To Animal Milk
Regular cow or goat milk certainly does a body good, but many adults (and some children) can’t handle the lactose. Hemp milk is a healthy alternative to those animal products. Hemp milk contains no lactose, so you don’t have to worry about your stomach hurting after you drink a cup.
In addition, hemp milk is straight-up vegan. It’s not made from, nor does it contain, any animal products. It’s just seeds and water. So for anyone looking for a vegan alternative to animal milk, hemp milk is an excellent choice.
4) Improves Cognition
The high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp milk are known to improve aspects of brain function, including:
- Cognitive performance
Studies are currently underway investigating how these fatty acids affect those at risk for neurodegenerative diseases. Regardless of age, young and old alike can benefit from the vitamins and minerals found in hemp milk.
5) Strengthens Your Immune System
Free radicals have been proven to be a significant cause of cancer, aging, and other illnesses (don’t worry, it takes years, if not decades, for these to build up in your system).
Hemp milk contains antioxidants that help to rid your body of those harmful free radicals. It also strengthens your immune system, which helps stave off disease and sickness.
6) Benefits Your Heart
Hemp milk doesn’t contain bad cholesterol like animal milk does. Additionally, it carries a healthy dose of potassium.
Why does this matter? Because cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart disease and high blood pressure. Potassium helps dilate (open) your veins and arteries, which, in turn, lowers your blood pressure.
So you get less artery-clogging cholesterol and more open veins when you drink hemp milk. That makes hemp milk doubly good for your heart.
7) Promotes Healthy Skin, Hair, And Nails
Many of the vitamins and minerals in hemp milk contribute directly to the health of your skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin E and vitamin A are particularly beneficial in this regard.
These vitamins help reduce the oxidative stress placed on the exterior organs of your body that leads to wrinkles, inflammation, grey hair, hair loss, weak nails, and other signs of aging.
8) Contributes To Bone Growth
The calcium in hemp milk contributes to bone growth and improves bone density. That in conjunction with high levels of magnesium, zinc, potassium, and iron helps lower your risk of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.
How To Make Your Own Hemp Milk
Want to enjoy all the benefits of hemp milk without worrying about hidden sugars and chemicals? Make your own hemp milk at home. Here’s a super easy recipe to get you started.
- Hemp seeds
- Glass jar with lid for storage
- Measure ½ cup of hemp seeds into a blender.
- Add 4 cups of water.
- Blend thoroughly for two minutes.
- Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth into a glass jar.
That’s hemp milk — pure and simple! Store your new-found ambrosia in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. It’s best to consume your hemp milk in three days to get the maximum nutritional benefits.
If you don’t mind a bit of texture to your milk, you can skip the last step and just pour the mixture into the glass jar for storage. There will be some bits of seed here and there, but the extra roughage will do your body good.
And if you do decide to strain your hemp milk, keep the seed pulp. You can mix it with other ingredients to make a body scrub, skin mask, or gardening compost. Didn’t we tell you hemp was awesome?