What Is Hemp Milk – And Why Aren’t You Drinking It?


Contrary to what you might think, hemp milk will not get you high. Instead, as the name suggests, it is a plant milk made by soaking and grinding hemp seeds in water. The result is a substance that resembles milk and is used in the same way.

You can add it to your coffee, use it to create delicious milkshakes, or enjoy it on its own. Hemp milk is here, and it is ready to take the U.S. and the rest of the world by storm.

Well-known brands such as Tempt and Pacific are the ‘face’ of what is set to become a multi-million-dollar industry. The seeds that create the drink come from the edible part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant. It is similar to weed but without the psychoactive high.

You can use these seeds to make protein powder, milk, oil, and a host of other food items. It doesn’t cause a high because it contains no THC. As a consequence, most manufacturers claim that hemp milk is legal across the United States. The legalization of industrial hemp in the United States solidifies these claims.

Hemp Milk Nutrition & Taste

There are a host of hemp milk benefits because it contains significant amounts of at least ten essential amino acids. It also includes trace amounts of several more. Reputable brands ensure their hemp milk contains no phytates. These are enzyme inhibitors found in certain types of soy protein known to interfere with the assimilation of essential minerals.

Hemp protein is also easier to digest than its soy counterpart because it doesn’t contain complex sugars (known as oligosaccharides). These sugars cause flatulence when they are not broken down properly during digestion!

Regarding taste, hemp seeds have a creamy and nutty flavor, which makes them similar to sunflower seeds. You create hemp milk by first pulverizing the seeds. Then, you blend the remnants of the seeds with water and strain the solid residue. Hemp milk has a very different taste than soy or rice milk and is a touch thicker than its counterparts.

Here is a quick overview of the nutritional value of unsweetened hemp milk (based on one U.S. cup, approximately 236 ml):

  • 70 calories
  • 5g of fat
  • 5g of saturated fat
  • 2g carbohydrates
  • 3g protein

As hemp milk is becoming more and more popular, you can find it in several flavors, including vanilla and chocolate. You also have the choice between ‘long life’ milk you store in the cupboard or ‘fresh’ hemp milk, which you refrigerate. Plain hemp milk contains no sugar or cholesterol and is also gluten and soy-free. It is an excellent choice if you have allergies to dairy products, but still miss the taste of milk.

Best Hemp Milk Recipe

Aside from its positive nutrition facts, hemp milk is easy to make.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • A cup of shelled hemp seeds.
  • Five cups of purified water.
  • A natural sweetener such as raw honey or stevia.

Overall, this recipe could make 6 cups, and it can stay fresh in the fridge for at least three days. We recommend keeping it in a sealed glass mason jar and shaking the container before each use.

Without further ado, here is how to make hemp seed milk:

  1. Put the water and hemp seeds into a blender.
  2. If you want thicker milk, use less water. If you would like your concoction to have a consistency similar to dairy skim milk, add more water.
  3. Turn the blender on full power for a maximum of three minutes.
  4. If you wish, sweeten the milk by adding honey or stevia after blending.
  5. Blend again if you add sweetener.
  6. Drain it through a cheesecloth to remove large seed particles.
  7. Enjoy your milk in good health!

Incidentally, you can use the leftover seed pulp as a facial mask or body scrub. Some users even find it useful as an addition to their compost heaps.

Are There Any Hemp Milk Dangers I Should Worry About?

As long as it comes from a reputable brand, hemp milk is perfectly healthy. However, an increasing number of non-dairy milk options contain processed ingredients that could threaten your health. As a result, we urge you to avoid hemp milk that includes any of the following:

  • Carrageenan: This is a seaweed-based additive. It is so damaging to your digestive tract; it is used to induce colitis in lab animals! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), carrageenan is a possible human carcinogen.
  • Natural Flavors: Be wary of any hemp milk that contains the phrase ‘natural flavors’ as part of its ingredients list. Companies that do so avoid the requirement of outlining its use of additives such as artificial sweeteners and MSG.
  • Vegetable Oils: Hemp milk that also contains canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, or safflower oil is bad news. Getting liters of oil from corn is hard work. It typically involves the use of high heat and high pressure, toxic solvents, and other unwanted agents. It is a combination that damages the delicate chemical structure of fatty acids. Sadly, soy and corn oils often come from GMO crops.

Hemp Milk vs. Almond Milk

Organic hemp milk is a relatively new phenomenon (at least where the general public is concerned). In contrast, almond milk has a long history as the health-conscious person’s go-to traditional milk alternative. We will go through the benefits of hemp milk in more detail below. First, let’s see what almond milk brings to the table.

Although creating homemade hemp milk is slightly easier, you shouldn’t have much trouble with DIY almond milk. Soak almonds in water for a few hours. Next, drain them and blend with more water until it has a milky texture. Drain the almond ‘milk’ and set the leftover bits aside. It is ideal for vegans or those who have an intolerance to lactose. Almond milk also has a lot of vitamins, minerals, and overall health benefits.

What Does Almond Milk Contain?

  • Magnesium: A mineral that breaks food down into energy and helps maintain healthy bones.
  • Vitamin E: A crucial antioxidant that stops free radicals from damaging cells.
  • Unsaturated Fat: Reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Potassium: Keeps blood pressure under control.
  • Manganese: Helps maintain healthy teeth and bones.
  • Selenium: Prevents tissue and cell damage by boosting the immune system.
  • Flavonoids: Essential for a healthy heart.
  • Little calories or fat: If you want energy but would rather steer clear of caffeine or regular milk, almond milk is an excellent low-calorie alternative.
  • No additives: Unfortunately, cows are sometimes injected with growth hormones and antibiotics to ensure they produce more milk. There are no such issues when you use almond milk.

There are relatively few hemp milk side effects, but we can’t say the same for its almond counterpart. While it is nutritious, almond milk offers the following disadvantages:

  • It is not suitable for people with nut allergies.
  • When produced commercially, almond milk contains more sugar than cow’s milk.
  • It doesn’t contain the right nutrition profile for infants. As a result, you can’t use it as a substitute for breast milk or formula.
  • It has ‘goitrogenic food’ classification. This means it contains chemicals capable of damaging the thyroid when you consume it in large amounts.

Overall, both forms of milk are good alternatives to cow’s milk for adults. It is not advisable to use hemp milk for babies or toddlers, however. Like almond milk, it doesn’t contain the right levels of nutrition. Hemp milk has a slight edge because it doesn’t contain sugar and has fewer calories. It is perfect for people with nut allergies and individuals with a compromised thyroid function.

Is Hemp Milk Good for Your Health?

The simple answer is ‘yes,’ hemp seed milk is ideal for most people. There are few calories in hemp milk, making it an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle. It is especially helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.

Regarding hemp milk ingredients, if you decide to make it at home, there are only two ingredients. You need water and shelled hemp seeds (although you could also add a sweetener if you choose).

Here is a list of hemp milk’s considerable benefits. Among other things, it contains:

  • Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Both are vital for healthy brain function. Unusually for an off the shelf product, hemp milk provides the ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 acids.
  • Vitamins: Just one cup of hemp milk contains 10% of your RDA for Vitamin A. It also has 25% of your daily Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 requirement, and at least 6% of your Vitamin E RDA.
  • Minerals: Most brands add calcium to hemp milk during processing, and you also benefit from high doses of magnesium and iron.
  • Amino Acids: Hemp milk contains 10 essential amino acids.

Benefits of Hemp Milk

The combination of all this natural goodness means you may benefit from:

Depending on the brand you use, however, there could be some hemp milk side effects. These may include:

  • Stomach ache from the tannins and saponins in hemp.
  • Nutritional deficiencies (if consumed by babies).
  • Allergic reactions, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, hives, eye irritation, and anaphylaxis. Such problems are rare, but they do happen.
  • Products containing synthetic B12 (also known as cyanocobalamin) could result in low potassium levels in the blood. This condition is also called ‘hypokalemia.’
  • If there are gelling agents in store-bought hemp seed milk, it could cause abnormal digestive activity. Examples of harmful gelling agents include carrageenan (Tempt and Pacific don’t use it anymore), guar gum, and xanthan gum.

Hemp Milk Versus Other Types of ‘Alternative’ Milk – Pros & Cons

Hemp MilkPros

●       Cholesterol free

●       Low in saturated fats

●       High in polyunsaturated fats

●       Filled with Omega-3 fatty acids

●       Good for the environment

●       Delightful ‘nutty’ flavor

Cons

●       Relatively low in protein

●       There are many sweetened versions on the market

●       It is not a good option if you have a nut allergy

Coconut MilkPros

●       Contains healthy fats

●       Boosts your metabolism

●       A good source of Vitamins A & D when fortified

Cons

●       Low in protein

●       High in saturated fat

●       A thick texture which makes it tricky to drink

Almond MilkPros

●       Low-calorie option

●       Excellent source of Vitamin A

●       Free from cholesterol and saturated fat

Cons

●       Low protein content

●       Contains lots of sugar

●       Isn’t the best option in hot drinks

●       Unsuitable for individuals with nut allergies

●       Almond growing uses a lot of water, so not good for the environment

Soya Milk Pros

●       High protein content

●       Low in saturated fat

●       Good source of Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin A

Cons

●       Many soya milk drinks are genetically modified

●       Its taste is not for everyone

●       Soya bean production is often cited as a chief cause of deforestation

Oat MilkPros

●       No cholesterol or saturated fat

●       Great source of fiber

●       A decent source of Vitamins A & D, and calcium when fortified

Cons

●       Low in protein

●       High in sugar

●       Unsuitable for coeliacs and those with a gluten intolerance

Rice MilkPros

●       No cholesterol or saturated fat

●       High carbohydrate level

●       Good source of B vitamins and magnesium

●       The sweet flavor will appeal to many users

Cons

●       Minimal protein content

●       Rice is a crop where pesticide use is prevalent

●       High level of sugar

Where Can I Buy Hemp Milk?

If you don’t want to make hemp milk yourself, you can purchase high-quality options such as chocolate hemp milk and coconut hemp milk online. There are a host of reputable brands, which is hardly a surprise given the growth of the market.

The confusing legal status of marijuana means many consumers have doubts over whether hemp milk is even legal. However, we don’t know of any instances where an individual got into trouble for drinking it! The Farm Bill has opened up the market in the United States. A recent report by ResearchandMarkets.com suggests the hemp milk market will have a value of $454 million by 2024.

Milk no longer refers solely to the dairy product we used to enjoy as kids. An increasing number of people are lactose intolerant, which means ‘traditional’ cow’s milk is off the menu. Fortunately, you can extract a delicious substitute from hemp seeds and derive an array of impressive health benefits. Hemp milk is easy to find online and is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Best of all, hemp milk tastes fantastic.

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