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?
At its most basic, “milk” is any liquid rich in vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein. When we talk about milk in regular conversation, we’re usually referring to the opaque white fluid secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young.
But if we go by the most basic definition (a liquid rich in vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein), then milk is so much more than just an animal product.
You’ve no doubt heard of soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and rice milk. But what exactly are these liquids, and where does hemp milk fit into that list?
Milk made from plant products is basically ground seeds or plant matter dissolved in water. That, in fact, is what hemp milk is: ground hemp seeds and water. It’s just that simple.
But the simplicity of hemp milk belies an important fact: it’s astonishingly good for you! Few people realize just how nutritious hemp milk is because they get hung up on the fact that hemp milk is made from the same plant that gets you high as a kite.
So will hemp milk send you on the same kind of trip as your favorite strain of ganja? We’ll answer that question in the next section.
Will Hemp Milk Get You High?
No, hemp milk will not get you high. Hemp is a non-psychoactive variety of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is non-psychoactive because it contains less than one percent of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). (THC is the cause of the “high” that has made marijuana the hotly-debated topic that it is today.)
In fact, hemp contains less of the cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBN, etc.), terpenes, and trichomes that make marijuana so much fun to be around. So even though hemp and marijuana come from the same species of cannabis, they are genetically distinct and differ in their chemical makeup, use, and cultivation methods.
In addition to the low cannabinoid count, hemp products (like hemp milk) are made from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The medicinal and recreational products you buy at your local dispensary are made from the flowers of that same plant.
It’s those flowers that contain the levels of cannabinoids necessary to get you high.
The bottom line is that hemp milk (and hemp products in general) won’t get you high. If you do experience some kind of psychoactive effect, it wasn’t hemp milk and there were more ingredients in the mix than advertised.
Now that you know what hemp milk is and can rest easy that it won’t get you high, let’s turn our attention to the myriad benefits hemp milk has to offer.
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
Example of improved cognition as a result of hemp milk
The high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp milk are known to improve aspects of brain function, including:
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.