The interest in hemp products is on the rise. And plant-based milks are following a similar trajectory. So, it only makes sense that combining the two would undoubtedly pique everyone’s curiosity and shake up the way the world enjoys plant-based beverages.
That’s precisely what happened with hemp milk, a popular alternative to cow’s milk made from whole hemp seeds. You can buy hemp milk in grocery stores and online retailers or make it yourself at home. If you’ve at least heard of hemp milk before, you’ve likely felt the temptation to test it out for yourself.
You may be wondering, “What is hemp milk?” When the average consumer hears hemp is involved, many questions tend to pop into their minds. Read this comprehensive guide to get all the details about this unique plant-based drink and see if you’d like to try it.
What Is Hemp Milk?
Hemp milk is a non-dairy milk made from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant — also called the hemp plant. If you recognize that name, you’re probably wondering if this milk causes any of the mind-altering effects of the THC in cannabis. But hemp milk or any product made from hemp seeds doesn’t cause you to feel high when you ingest them.
You can theoretically make your hemp milk by blending water and hemp seeds with a sweetener, vanilla, and a pinch of salt if desired. The method is similar to how you’d make oat or nut milk but will usually have a creamier consistency and earthier flavor. In many recipes, you can also use it as a direct replacement for other milk options.
Potential Hemp Milk Benefits
One of the reasons that interest in hemp milk is surging is its potential benefits and excellent nutritional value. Science suggests several benefits you could experience by adding hemp milk to your diet.
Hemp milk has naturally occurring nutrients like calcium, healthy fats, and iron, essential for your body’s health and development. While some of these numbers aren’t necessarily going to skyrocket you to perfect health, many commercial hemp milks have extra nutrients added to them.
You’ll typically see hemp milk in the store has added vitamins A, B12, and D and calcium or phosphorus. Adding fortified hemp milk to your diet could fill in some gaps in your daily nutrient intake or at least make getting the nutrients your body needs easier.
The nutritional boost also directly contrasts what some other popular plant-based milks offer. Almond milk lectins, or carbohydrate-binding proteins, could potentially cause adverse side effects in some people.
Many go so far as to call it an “anti-nutrient,” as it can hinder the absorption of essential minerals like iron, zinc, phosphorus, and calcium. While the topic of almond milk and lectin is complicated, hemp milk is naturally lectin-free!
Plant-Based Proteins and Amino Acids
Protein is another vital part of your diet. And since dairy is typically high in protein, finding an alternative milk that offers enough protein can be challenging. But that’s where hemp milk delivers. While it’ll have less protein than regular milk, one cup of unsweetened hemp milk still has almost 5 grams of protein. You can supplement hemp milk’s protein content with soy or pea protein if that’s why you plan to drink it.
Still, 5 grams of protein is significant, and many who want more protein while sticking to a plant-based diet will be excited about it, especially compared to other alternatives. Not only that, but it’s one of the only plant-based complete proteins, thanks to its high number of amino acids.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
“Good” fats, or unsaturated fatty acids, are essential for your body. They help you build new tissue, make hormones that help regulate blood clotting, prevent heart disease and stroke, and have a hand in preventing other conditions like cancer. However, the body doesn’t produce these essential compounds independently, so we have to seek them through food or supplements.
Hemp seeds have both of these omega fatty acids, so there’s certainly potential to see some benefits from adding more of them to your diet. These acids appear in hemp in the ideal ratio, meaning you’re getting a well-balanced amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Potential Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Hemp seeds contain even more critical amino acids. Arginine, an amino acid that could help some people respond to inflammation, is also found in hemp seeds. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids can also help reduce inflammation. Consuming anti-inflammatory components could help virtually every area of your body, including your skin.
Hemp Milk Potential Risks
As many good things as there are to say about hemp milk nutrition, some considerations could make you think twice before you buy. Here’s what consumers should know before they pick up a carton.
Hemp milk is usually an excellent alternative for those with food allergies; it doesn’t contain soy, gluten, or nuts like other plant-based milk. However, some people are allergic to hemp seeds, meaning they could have a reaction if they consume hemp milk. If you suspect this could be you, you should avoid hemp milk altogether.
Hemp could potentially cause an allergic response since it’s a higher-protein food. Hemp seed allergies are also on the rise, though that’s likely because of how much more readily available it is.
It’s worth mentioning at least that research suggests “major hemp seed allergens remain to be identified.” However, the possibility of cross-contamination with other common allergens like nuts or other seeds still makes it essential to double-check the label before consuming.
THC Content in Hemp Milk
While it’s true that hemp milk doesn’t contain enough THC to get you high, there are still trace amounts of the compound, even after production. These THC levels are incredibly low, so most people won’t have to worry about it. But if you want to avoid consuming any products with THC, be aware that hemp milk does have a small amount of it.
However, if you make the hemp milk yourself or buy non-commercial hemp milk, there’s less guarantee. It’s still improbable, but purchasing any hemp-derived products from a reputable supplier is an excellent way to ensure you’re buying ones that follow all FDA and safety guidelines.
Hemp Milk and Drug Tests
Fortunately, the potential risk is not much of a threat at all. The trace amounts of THC in hemp milk are too minimal to show up on a drug test. Any consumable hemp products, like seeds or milk, will not cause a positive drug test.
But those who opt to make their own or buy non-commercial hemp milk won’t have the same protection against these potential hemp milk dangers. Again, the risk is still likely low, but unless something on the label states it was made following all FDA regulations, there’s no way to be sure.
Potential Digestive Sensitivities
Commercial hemp milk will sometimes contain thickeners. The primary options are guar gum, xanthan gum, or carrageenan. They’re commonly found in many other things you’d typically buy at the grocery store, but some gelling agents may not agree with everyone’s digestive systems.
Hemp seeds also contain tannins and saponins. These can both cause stomach distress in some people when ingested. The issues are usually minor, like stomach cramps or bloating, but they can be uncomfortable. For most people, however, hemp milk is easy to digest.
One of the main disadvantages of organic milk is how challenging it can be for a person’s digestive system. It’s why so many people turn to alternatives like hemp milk. But if you know you’re prone to food sensitivities, it may be worth it to start small and see how your system handles a little hemp milk at first.
What Does Hemp Milk Taste Like?
Many people will inevitably compare hemp milk to cow’s and plant-based milk. So, how does it stack up against the other choices at the store?
Hemp has a light, nutty flavor profile that’s gentle enough to use in various applications. Many describe the flavor as similar to pine nuts.
It’s also slightly more subtle than soy or coconut milk and creamier than other nut milks. This pleasant, neutral flavor makes it similar to other nut milks in that it can often fade into the background of whatever you use it for. That said, the taste is unique enough that you could find a way to have it stand out on its own in specific recipes.
One of the best things about hemp milk compared to other options is that it doesn’t split when added to warm beverages, making it the obvious pick for anyone wanting to make themselves a plant-based latte.
You may need to make some adjustments if you want to use it as a substitute in recipes that call for cow’s milk. But swapping in for recipes that require other plant-based milks should be easy.
Is Hemp Milk Good for You?
There is some promising information surrounding hemp milk, primarily due to its nutritional makeup. But does that mean hemp milk is good for you?
So far, the results are very positive. Studies have shown that hemp milk is naturally high in amino acids and may help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
Much of the current research about hemp milk needs to be clarified since many hemp-derived products exist. Like all products, consumers should read labels to find the most beneficial option.
Regardless of what hemp products suggest their benefits are, it’s worth discussing with your doctor rather than taking the benefits at face value.
Where to Buy Hemp Milk
Now that you know what is hemp milk, you may be ready to try it. Hemp milk is becoming a household staple for many who live a plant-based or dairy-free lifestyle. But if you’re having trouble getting a hold of it, there might be a few easy ways to get your hand on high-quality hemp milk if you know where to look!
Local Health Food Stores
Your local health food stores likely keep their hemp milk supply well-stocked. However, health food stores may be challenging to access, depending on where you live. In this instance, it might be easier to go with other options to buy hemp milk.
Typically, hemp milk in health food stores is only sold one carton at a time, meaning it’s more expensive than purchasing through an online retailer where you could potentially buy in multiples, saving you money and convenience. Still, it can be a great way to try a few different brands to find the right option for you.
Still, if you’re craving that unique taste of hemp milk and are searching for “hemp milk near me,” stop into a health food store and see what they have on the shelf. You can ask the staff if they would consider stocking your favorite product.
Online retailers are an excellent way to buy hemp milk. You can shop from the comfort of your home and browse multiple kinds of milk to find one that stands out. You can compare your options to ensure you’re getting high-quality hemp milk or find a brand that omits specific ingredients that may be hard to digest.
Overall, purchasing your hemp products through online retailers is more straightforward and only requires you to get to know the competitor landscape. Some online stores may also make buying in bulk easy, which could be a convenient source once you find your favorite brand.
Explore Hemp Products With The Hemp Doctor
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We also take our role in selling these products seriously and always offer our customers descriptions, information, and nutritional labels so they can make an informed decision before they buy. Also, check out our blog, where we delve into topics like the benefits of Full Spectrum CBD and how long Delta-8 stays in your system.
If you’d like to experience more hemp products, know that you can trust The Hemp Doctor to provide nothing but the best. Browse through our collection of hemp-derived products today!