Best Hemp Seeds

Updated October 2021
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Buying guide for best hemp seeds

If you’re looking to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet, you have made a healthy decision. Presenting a rich nutritional profile, hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are high in fiber, protein, and fatty acids. This includes omega-3s and omega-6s, which are essential to healthy body function. In fact, hemp seeds are a complete protein source, containing all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce itself.

Hemp seeds are an excellent source of minerals such as potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron, as well as a good source of vitamin E. Chock full of antioxidant properties, they may help reduce the painful symptoms of a diverse array of physical ailments and improve the health of the skin, eyes, heart, and joints. They are especially rich in the amino acid arginine, which is integral to heart health.

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Rich in insoluble fiber, hemp seeds help maintain a happy digestive system and help keep your gastrointestinal system regular.

Key considerations

Healthy components

In addition to the vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids previously mentioned, hemp seeds contain a few other healthful components that make them highly valuable to humans.

Gamma-linolenic acid: The hemp seed is unique in that it is one of few plants in the world to contain significant amounts of gamma-linolenic acid, also known as GLA. GLA plays a key role in the etiology of disease. Research studies confirm GLA and its metabolites effectively suppress inflammation and the growth of cancerous tumors.

Globule edestins: Hemp seeds also contain a powerful protein known as globule edestins. Found only in the hemp seed, this protein is similar to globulin, an integral component of human plasma.

Health benefits

Heart protection: A healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, as found in hemp seeds, can support the health of the heart, possibly reducing the risk of arrhythmia and associated heart disease. As mentioned, hemp seeds provide a generous amount of arginine, which converts to nitric acid — an essential component for vein and artery dilation.

Immune system regulation: Hemp presents a unique fatty acid profile which, as mentioned, includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, GLA, and stearidonic acid (SDA). These can help combat inflammation and give the immune system an all-around boost.

Appetite suppression: High in fiber and protein yet low in carbs, hemp seeds act as a natural appetite suppressant.

Hair and nail growth: Hemp seeds are purported to stimulate hair and nail growth. If you want to promote blood circulation to your scalp and possibly speed the growth of your hair and nails, consider adding hemp seeds to your diet.

Taste, texture, and serving ideas

Hemp seeds deliver a crunchy texture to any dish to which they are added. The flavor is mild and nutty, rather like a cross between a pine nut and a sunflower seed. The seeds are the size and color of grains of tapioca. 

It’s easy to add hemp seeds to your daily diet. One ounce contains 160 calories and provides 10 grams of protein. You can sprinkle the seeds on salads, cereal, popcorn, omelets, and pizza. You can mix them in with your meatloaf, stew, soup, and stir-fry. They easily integrate into the breading of chicken and fish, and they can be blended into a smoothie, muffin mix, or granola recipe.

"Both Canada and the U.S. tightly regulate the cultivation of hemp to prevent THC cross contamination from the cannabis plant, restricting THC to no more than 0.3%."


Hemp seeds are available ground, shelled, or as split seeds. To remove the tough outer shells at home, use a food processor or a mortar and pestle.


When selecting hemp seeds, examine the the “best used by” date to ensure you are getting a fresh product. Unopened hemp seeds have a projected shelf life of 12 months from the date of production. Once opened, they will stay fresh for six to eight months if you store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

If an open package of hemp hearts smells rancid, toss them on the compost pile.


Most growers of hemp seeds utilize a mechanical process to remove the hard outer shell of the hemp seed. The seeds are then heat sterilized for storage. However, there are some hemp seeds that are sold raw.


Hemp seeds may be packaged in several different ways. Some are sold in bulk mylar bags with an airtight closure. Some are sold in stand-up plastic pouches that are resealable. Some come in glass or plastic jars or tubs. Many methods of packaging offer a handy pour spout or include a measuring scoop for your convenience.

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Did you know?
Medical research studies indicate that adding hemp seeds to the diet can help relieve the symptoms of many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's Disease.

Hemp seed prices

Hemp seed prices vary depending on the manufacturer and the type of packaging. When looking for hemp seeds, compare the cost per ounce. Cold-processed, raw hemp seeds generally sell for $0.10 to $0.52 cents more per ounce than seeds that are heat processed.

Budget-friendly: In the lower price range, hemp hearts cost from $0.46 to $0.77 per ounce.

Mid-price range: In this price range, hemp hearts cost from $0.83 to $0.92 per ounce.

Expensive: In the expensive price range, hemp hearts sell for $0.99 to $1.17 per ounce.


  • Munching on raw hulled hemp seeds can help lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol while elevating good cholesterol.
  • If you suffer from acne or atopic dermatitis, consider trying hemp seeds, which are known to help reduce inflammation.
  • Take your avocado toast to the next level by sprinkling some hemp seeds on top.
  • Hemp seeds will stay fresh for up to a year if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that 3 tablespoons of hemp hearts contain 9.47 grams of protein, 2.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 14.62 grams of total fatty acids.


Q. Are shelled hemp seeds legal in all states?
Yes. In fact, they are even shipped across international borders without a problem. Hemp seeds are exempt under the Controlled Substance Act. 

Q. Would consuming hemp seeds cause me to get high?
No. Hemp hearts, the edible interiors of the hemp seed, contain less than .3% THC, whereas the marijuana plant itself can contain upward of 30% THC. Hemp hearts will not get you high.

Q. For optimum health benefits, how much hemp seed should I add to my daily diet?
The suggested amount is 3 to 5 tablespoons daily, and many say they are best taken in the morning. At this dosage, a pound of hemp seeds should last you a week to ten days.

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