Hemp Milk Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, For Babies, Is It Dangerous And Where To Get It
People have been using the cannabis plant for their health for centuries in some countries. In fact, in the USA, until recently, we have been using the cannabis plant for fabric and building materials for hundreds of years.
Cannabis isn’t just about making you high, however. The cannabis plant is a very flexible plant in terms of what you can do with it. Of course, most people think of cannabis and automatically assume that we are talking about smoking or eating it to get you stoned, but now we are beginning to see people appreciating the plant for some of its other qualities.
One variety of cannabis is the hemp plant. The hemp plant has been developed over centuries to possess very low levels of THC – or tetrahydrocannabinol – which is the compound in the plant that makes you high. This means that regardless of whether you smoke it, eat it, drink it or smear it on your face, you won’t get high. That doesn’t mean, however, that it won’t have an effect on your body.
Regardless of the level of THC, there are hundreds of other good things in the hemp plant. So much so that the government has changed the law to allow the sale, buying and using of hemp-derived products. That means materials such as fabrics and clothing made from hemp to CBD oil (oil made from the extract of the hemp plant, which is believed to have strong therapeutic qualities) to hemp seed oil. And of course, hemp milk.
Hemp milk is a great alternative to dairy products and is heralded by vegans or people who are lactose intolerant as being better than dairy milk.
In a similar way to almond or soya milk, hemp milk is made of two ingredients – hemp seeds and water. It is essentially ground up hemp seeds mixed with water (and then, of course, strained to remove the ‘bits’). Although hemp milk is dairy free, lactose-free, soy free and gluten free, the best thing about hemp milk is what it does have in it.
Hemp milk is jam-packed full of vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats. In fact, it can give you all of the nutrition that you need to stay healthy – and this is especially important if you are vegan, or intolerant of certain things in a healthy, balanced diet.
In other words, hemp milk is great for you if you are vegan, vegetarian, eat gluten-free or lactose-free, but also if you aren’t.
Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is very different from products which are made from its flowers – such as CBD products. CBD is a bit of a buzz word at the moment and is definitely something worth looking at if you want to boost your general health and well-being, but hemp seeds can help your health in a different way.
It also contains the complete profile of protein that you need to stay happy and healthy – meaning that its great for people who sometimes struggle to get enough protein in their diets – such as vegetarians and vegans.
The Ingredients of Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is easy to buy but also really easy to make. Of course, if you make it yourself, you know exactly what is in it, but if you buy it there might be a few more ingredients added to the hemp seed and water mix. Some people fortify it with vitamins or add salt or sugar for taste – and some people even add flavourings.
In essence, however, the hemp seed contains:
- Folic acid
- Omega-3 fatty acid
- Omega-6 fatty acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
According to nutrition experts, Nutritionix, a serving of 240ml will usually give you around:
- 83 calories
- 1.3 grams of carbohydrate
- 4.7 grams of protein
- 7.3 grams of fat
- 2% of the Daily Recommended amount of calcium
- 7% of the Daily Recommended amount of iron
Just for the record, that’s more calcium and protein than cow’s milk.
Is Hemp Milk Dangerous?
Some people are wary about hemp milk – mainly due to the fact that it is made from hemp seed and therefore linked to the hemp plant. There is, however, nothing dangerous at all in hemp milk. Unless you call healthy and nutritional dangerous.
There are no cannabinoids at all found in hemp seeds, so the milk won’t have any effect on you in terms of getting you high. However, it can offer you a good chunk of the nutrients that you need for a healthy body and life and has a delicious, nutty and natural taste.
The only potential dangers that there are to drinking hemp milk is if you buy your hemp milk with salt, sugar or preservatives added. Too much of these ingredients can be bad for your health – although they are fine in small amounts – so it is important to be aware of this.
You can avoid this by making your own hemp milk. Just finely blend up some hemp seeds with some water, mix them together then pass them through a cheesecloth or fine strainer to take out the ‘bits’ if you wish. What you are left with is pure, unadulterated, hemp seed milk.
This video will show you exactly how to make your own hemp milk.
Can Hemp Milk get you High?
In a word, no. The compound that is found in cannabis which makes you high is called THC. Firstly, the hemp plant in the UK will contain a maximum of 0.2% of THC to be legal – and far too little to make you high. Secondly, there are no cannabinoids in the hemp seed – which is what hemp milk is made from.
There is no chance of getting high from your hemp milk, due to the fact that it is made from the seed of the plant (which has no THC in) and that it is made from hemp – which has negligible levels of THC. You can rest assured that hemp milk will have no psychoactive effects on you. In fact, the only thing that it will give you is the nutritional goodness that will be beneficial to your health.
Can Hemp Milk Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Again, in a word, no. When people test for cannabis in your system, what they are actually looking for is THC. So, due to the fact that hemp milk has no THC in it, you shouldn’t fail a drug test. Unless you have been taking drugs as well.
Cannabis tests are actually looking for THC in your bloodstream, which is why anything that is made from hemp shouldn’t make you fail a drug test. Even CBD products when they are made from hemp shouldn’t make you fail a test you so can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be fine with hemp milk.
A 2001 study by Leson, Pless, Grotenhermen, Kalant & ElSohly looked at whether hemp food consumption affected workplace drug tests and found it to have had no confirmed positives at all. Whilst hemp milk is full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins, one thing that it doesn’t have is THC or anything else that would mean that you don’t pass an illegal drugs test.
Is Hemp Milk Anti-inflammatory?
Scientists believe that inflammation is the cause of many health problems in the human body. By eating products which have anti-inflammatory properties, therefore, you can help to protect yourself from these problems. Hemp milk is rich in Omega-3 and Omega -6 fats which, when they are in a certain ratio, can have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
As cited in this 2010 study by Rodriguez-Leyva and Pierce, the ratio between Omega-3 and Omega-6 in hemp is about 3:1 – which is considered to be highly effective in terms of its anti-inflammatory properties. This means that hemp milk can be a very good source of anti-inflammatory goodness. By including hemp milk in your diet, you can, therefore, help to protect yourself from the health problems which can arrive by excessive inflammation.
Your body might also be able to benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties by giving your skin a boost (reducing inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis or itchy skin.
What are the Calories in Hemp Milk?
The number of calories that you would get from hemp milk depends on what other ingredients are included. If you make it yourself, without putting anything else in with it, the hemp seeds and water mix will equate to roughly 83 calories per 240ml – which is roughly 35 calories per 100ml.
Of course, some hemp milk products which have had sugar or other flavourings added will have more calories than the plain milk. However, normal hemp milk has relatively few calories per 100ml at about 35 calories – with around half of those in full-fat cows’ milk (about 62 calories) and with orange juice coming in at about 47 calories.
Some flavourings won’t make too much difference, but flavourings such as honey, sugar or fruit are likely to add extra calories into the milk.
Is Hemp Milk Good for Weight Loss?
For people who are trying to lose weight, hemp milk can be a good option as a non-dairy and low-calorie alternative. With few calories, blood pressure and cholesterol-busting nutrients hemp milk also has fewer carbs – and, although roughly the same amount of fat, these are good fats which can be good for your general health.
As with everything that you consume when you are trying to lose weight, it is important to consume everything in moderation. However, hemp milk is a great, low calorie and low carbohydrate alternative to cow’s milk and can be an excellent aid to weight loss.
It is important to remember, however, that some hemp milk producers will add honey, sugar or other flavourings to it, meaning that the number of calories or carbs might be higher than in unflavoured or home-made hemp milk.
Can you take Hemp Milk for Cancer?
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to understand why some people get certain types of cancer, and with the prediction that half of the population is likely to develop cancer at some time in their life, it is important to do what we can to reduce the risks. Some people believe that consuming too much dairy can put you at higher risk of developing cancer.
We still don’t know enough about what causes cancer, but there is mounting evidence to suggest that too much dairy isn’t good for us. Substituting dairy products for plant-based versions even if you’re not vegan or lactose intolerant could, therefore, be an important step in trying to protect yourself from cancer.
Although it is impossible to say that hemp milk will prevent you from developing cancer, by using hemp milk when you would have traditionally drunk cows milk, it seems that you can start protecting yourself, whilst gaining all of the goodness which comes naturally in the hemp seed.
Can you give hemp milk to babies?
Whilst you shouldn’t use hemp milk as an alternative to breastfeeding, there is nothing wrong with giving hemp milk to babies in the same way as you would give them dairy milk or other plant-based milk. Babies can benefit from the additional Omega-3 and Omega-6 and it can often be beneficial to cut down on a baby’s dairy intake – meaning that hemp milk is a good alternative.
Many babies develop an allergy to cows’ milk and hemp milk can be given to babies from the age of 6 months as a substitute for dairy milk, according to allergyuk. It is important to remember, however, that if you are going to give your baby hemp milk, give them the milk with as little added to it as possible. Extra sugar and salt in food is not generally good for a baby’s health and should be tried to be avoided at all times.
As there are no cannabinoids in the hemp seed, there is no way that you will make your baby high (or you, for that matter!) and as long as you are sensible, you will be giving your baby a balanced amount of nutrients to help them grow up strongly and healthily.
Is Hemp Milk Better than Almond Milk?
In the world of plant-based milk, almond milk is up there with the most popular. In truth, one milk isn’t better than the other, but they do offer different nutritional benefits. Hemp milk will offer more protein than almond milk but other than that they are fairly similar.
Both hemp and almond milk offer similar levels of nutrients and are both low in calories. They are both brimming full of polyunsaturated fats, and other goodness.
Again, almond milk is also available in a number of different flavours, but is lower in protein than hemp milk, and will also separate when it is added to a hot drink such as tea.
If you are looking for a plant-based milk, you can’t go far wrong with either almond or hemp milk. However, just for its fewer calories, low carbs, and higher protein, it is thought that hemp milk might be the better option.
Is Hemp Milk Good in Coffee?
Some of the world’s biggest coffee aficionados cite hemp milk as being one of the best non-dairy products to use in a latte. Its flavour and texture, combined with its slightly higher fat content combines well with coffee, providing a delicious, nutritious non-dairy experience.
Hemp milk’s creamier consistency and nutty flavour mean that it is ideal for use in coffee. It combines well with hot drinks and can be an excellent source of both useful fat and the other nutrients that you need to keep you healthy.
It is important to remember, however, that although it is called ‘milk’ it actually tastes very different from the cows’ milk that many people have got used to.
Does Hemp Milk Spoil?
Yes, it will. If you leave your hemp milk out in the open without refrigeration it is likely that it will spoil pretty quickly. It reacts to oxygen and can, therefore, start to go off quickly. Just make sure that you keep it in an airtight container and in the fridge to give it more time. This way it can stay fresh for up to 10 days after opening.
If you have bought your hemp milk you will often find that it has had some additives added to help it stay fresh for longer. However, by keeping the lid tightly shut and then keep the container in the fridge, the hemp milk won’t spoil quickly.
If you notice the formation of lumps in the milk, then it’s probably time to make some more or buy a new carton.
Is Hemp Milk Bad for You?
If you make your own hemp milk or buy natural hemp milk, there is nothing bad for you in it, Of course, you should be aware of the other additives which are put into the milk, but on the whole, it is healthy, nutritious and generally good for you. Just like anything, it should be drunk in moderation.
The only things that you are likely to get from hemp milk are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which are great for your general health. Hemp milk is gluten-free, lactose-free, dairy free and generally has nothing in it which can be bad for you.
Of course, if you are buying hemp milk which includes a ton of other ingredients or haven’t stored it in the right way, there is a chance that it might not be as beneficial or healthy as expected.
Where can you buy Hemp Milk?
Hemp milk can be found easily in most supermarkets. As we are seeing a rise in the popularity of all things hemp and cannabis we are seeing more and more hemp milk becoming available both on and offline. Hemp seeds are also easy to get in your local health food shop or supermarket.
Both hemp seeds and the actual hemp milk are now easy to find on the high street and also online. Of those who prefer to buy already made hemp milk, many already have particular brands that they prefer – although it can be fun to experiment with different brands and flavours. Remember to check the ingredients list on the packaging to find out about any other ingredients which have been added.
For anyone who is looking for a healthy and nutritious alternative to dairy milk, hemp milk is a great option. With its rich mixture of vitamins, minerals, protein and other goodness, it can be the ideal accompaniment to a healthy and balanced diet, to be able to maintain good health, as well as help you to lose weight.
Whilst you have the option of making your own hemp milk, you can also buy ready-made milk, although you should keep an eye out for the added ingredients that, whilst often making it taste delicious, might not be particularly good for your health – especially if you take them in large amounts.
Hemp milk is delicious, nutritious and an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans, as well as those who are lactose intolerant, but is also a great option for those who are looking to incorporate a healthy diet into their life.
With so much to choose from, why not try out a range of different hemp milk to discover which one you like best?
Karen Asprey is a CBD writer and enthusiast who has made it her one woman mission to break down the taboo of cannabis, and make it more accessible to those who can benefit from it.