What you need to know about raw hemp hearts: Facts and Benefits

What do you need to know about hemp hearts? If that’s the question on your mind today, you’ve come to the right place. 

Bottom line up front: raw hemp hearts are the inner part of the hemp seed. Hemp hearts are cultivated from the Cannabis Sativa plant and they can be a part of a nutritious, healthy diet. 

This delicious superfood can provide benefits such as fighting inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and protecting your muscles and joints. 

Hemp hearts are a complete source of protein (this makes them unique!) and have tons of healthy fats and vitamins. Keep reading to find out even more about how raw hemp hearts can help you with your health and nutrition goals.

What are hemp hearts?

Hemp hearts are the inner part of the hemp seed. Specifically, they are raw, hulled hemp seeds. These hulled hemp seeds are small and range in color from pale beige to dark brown. They are not exactly the same as hemp seeds but do come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa. 

Cannabis Sativa is the plant most commonly associated with marijuana, but hemp and marijuana are not the same. Hemp hearts are collected from the Cannabis Sativa seeds, while marijuana is derived from the flowers, stems, and leaves of this plant. Hemp hearts do not contain any psychoactive compounds and will not produce a “high”. 

So if you’re eating only the inside of the hemp seed, you’d be eating the hemp heart. If you’re consuming the entire hemp seed, you’d be eating both the hemp seed (the hard shell) and the hemp heart (the soft center).



Are hemp hearts raw?

Hemp hearts are considered raw. Raw foods are considered as uncooked and unprocessed. As hemp hearts are the inner part of the hemp seed and are uncooked, they are considered raw.

Hemp hearts can be eaten right out of the package if that’s how you like them. These spicy hemp hearts would be delicious right out of the bag. 

They do not need to be cooked to be fully enjoyed, but you can eat them cooked or toasted. You can also incorporate hemp hearts into your favorite recipes such as smoothies, soups, salads, and more to give them added deliciousness and nutritional benefits.  

The only limit to how you can use hemp hearts is your imagination. 

Are raw hemp hearts crunchy?

This may come as a shock, but surprisingly, hemp hearts are not crunchy! Hemp hearts have a soft and chewy texture unlike hemp seeds, which have a hard outer shell.

If you want to add crunch to a recipe hemp seeds may be for you. They are just as nutritious as hemp hearts, but will give you that crunch that you crave. 

Do you have to soak raw hemp hearts?

Hemp hearts do not need to be soaked. The hearts are naturally soft and do not require soaking. Many people may soak their nuts and seeds to increase the nutritional value, change the flavor, or make them easier to use in cooking or baking.

If you’d like to try soaking your hemp hearts, you can certainly do so! To start the process, place your hemp hearts in an airtight glass jar and fill it with water. Close the jar and place it into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Soaking can also be done for larger periods of time, like overnight.

Experiment with soaking them to see if the hemp hearts take on the qualities that you desire. However, it is not necessary to soak your hemp hearts to get the maximum benefits.

What do raw hemp hearts taste like?

Hemp hearts, like hemp seed oil and hemp seeds, have a rich, delicious nutty flavor. It is sometimes described as if a sunflower seed and a pine-nut had a super baby. They can be added to any recipe or toasted to be eaten as a snack. 

Some also say that hemp hearts have a nice buttery taste. Buttery or nutty, either way, hemp hearts taste great. 

What health benefits do raw hemp hearts have? 

Hemp hearts have many health benefits that will make everyone want to include them in their diet. Hemp hearts are a mix of fat and protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source (one of the only plants that can claim this!).

When eating hemp hearts, you’ll get 10 grams of plant based protein with just three tablespoons and 15 percent of your needed daily iron. In addition to being a complete protein, hemp hearts also contain healthy fats like Omega-3 and Omega-6 in the ideal ratio (1:3). 

Some of the health benefits that you can get from eating hemp hearts are:

Decreased Inflammation

As mentioned, hemp hearts contain omega fatty acids which help in the fight against inflammation. Additionally, hemp hearts contain gamma linoleic acid (GLA) and stearidonic fatty acids which also help to protect against inflammation. 

This decrease in inflammation can also decrease joint and chronic pain that can come from arthritis. 

Relief from PMS symptoms

GLA also helps to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. It does this by helping to balance out hormone levels. The next time you’re experiencing PMS, try adding hemp hearts to your next meal.

Protection for Muscles and Joints

The fatty acid Omega-3 is essential for the healthy functioning of muscles and joints. Luckily, hemp hearts have Omega-3 in high supply. 

Hemp hearts also have other vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Magnesium - assists with muscle function
  • Manganese - an antioxidant that also helps with metabolism
  • Calcium - assists with healthy bone development
  • Vitamin E - supports hair, skin, nails, and metabolism 
  • Vitamin D - assists with healthy bone development 
  • Zinc - assists with nerve and muscle function



Are hemp seeds the same as hemp hearts? 

Hemp seeds and hemp hearts are similar but not the same. Hemp seeds have a hard outer nut-like shell and a chewy middle, while hemp hearts have the shell removed to leave the chewy center. 

Think of hemp seeds and hemp hearts the same way you would sunflower seeds. Both have a hard outer shell, with a delicious seed (heart) inside. 

Even though they are different, they still have many of the same benefits shared above.

Can you be allergic to hemp hearts?

You can be allergic to hemp hearts but this is an extremely rare allergy. Allergies to hemp and hemp products can appear in two different ways: 

  • An airborne allergy to the Cannabis Sativa pollen that can affect your skin or respiratory system
  • Food allergy from ingesting hemp product

Food allergies come from your body trying to fight off foreign proteins. Like many food allergies, an allergic reaction to hemp hearts can cause some of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anaphylaxis 

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that causes a significant drop in blood pressure as well as change in heart rate and breathing impairment. Speak with a doctor (or specifically an allergist) before ingesting hemp, or any food, if you’re worried that you might have an allergy.

If you know that you are allergic to hemp, hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, you should not consume any type of hemp product or products that include hemp. 

If you have a nut or seed allergy, hemp hearts may not cause an allergic reaction so it could be a good alternative to these products. However, your doctor or allergist may tell you to stay away from all nuts and seeds because of possible cross contamination. 

Do hemp seeds need to be refrigerated?

Hemp hearts do not need to be refrigerated. They are a wonderful shelf-stable snack solution. Because hemp hearts do not need to be refrigerated, you can take them to work, keep some in your car, or in your backpack for when hunger strikes. 

Can your body digest hemp hearts?

Hemp hearts are easily digestible by the body. The protein contained in hemp hearts comes from edestin, which is easily absorbed and used for essential functions that require protein. 

Some of the ways that you can use hemp hearts include:

  • Adding them to smoothies and other drinks
  • Sprinkling them on yogurt
  • Mixing them in cereal
  • Adding them on top of a salad


Hemp Hearts_ How to use


Can I bake with hemp hearts?

Absolutely! Hemp hearts can be added to nearly any recipe where you’d like an extra boost of protein, fat, or an additional nutty flavor. If you’re an avid baker, you may be interested in this recipe about how to make vegan donuts using hemp hearts. 

You could even try your hand at making hemp milk from hemp hearts and using it as a milk substitute in your baking. 

Can you put raw hemp hearts in soup?

Hemp hearts would be a delicious addition to any soup. The best part about adding hemp hearts to a soup, is that it is easy to do! Just the hemp hearts as you would with any soup. If you need a soup idea, try out this sweet potato with red lentil & hemp heart soup that adds hemp hearts for a nutty flavor. 

Can babies and toddlers have hemp hearts? 

Simply put, yes, hemp hearts are safe to feed to babies and toddlers. Hemp hearts can provide essential nutrients for babies and toddlers. If you would like to introduce hemp hearts to your child’s diet, you should wait until they are at least 7 months old.

However, before introducing your baby or toddler to a new food, you should check with your pediatrician. Hemp hearts pose little allergy risk to your child. 

Your baby or toddler will get the most nutrients from hemp hearts when they are eaten raw. One way to introduce hemp hearts to your baby or toddler is to grind them up and incorporate them into a vegetable puree, fruit puree, or even applesauce. This will give your child an extra boost of protein as well as other vital nutrients.

Which is better chia or hemp seeds? 

Both chia seeds and hemps seeds have their benefits, but hemp seeds are the clear winner. Hemp seeds have a delicious nutty flavor, are a complete source of protein, are low in carbs, and pack full of other nutrients like vitamins and omega fatty acids.  

Can you eat hemp seeds and chia seeds together?

You can definitely eat hemp seeds and chia seeds together to make a yummy snack. Using both chia seeds and hemp seeds in your recipes will give you the benefit of both amazing seeds. 

Are hemp hearts keto-friendly?

Like hemp oil, hemp hearts are super keto-friendly! When you’re on a keto diet, you want to make sure that you’re getting enough protein and fat. Hemp hearts are full of good fat (like Omega-3 and Omega-6) and protein with zero carbs, making them the perfect keto snack. 

Can you get high from hemp hearts? 

To be clear, hemp (and products derived from hemp) are not marijuana. Though both come from the same plant, to be classified as hemp, Cannabis Sativa plants have to have less than 0.3% of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the compound that causes the “high” feeling that you get when using marijuana. 



THC is not found in the parts of the Cannabis Sativa plant that hemp hearts come from (the seeds). So, you will not get high from eating hemp hearts nor will they cause you to fail a drug test.

It is normal to be hesitant about consuming hemp hearts because of its association with marijuana. The FDA actually did a study of foods containing hemp seeds and found that they are all safe to consume and will not get consumers “high”. So, the FDA says that you’re in the clear.  

Summary: What you need to know about raw hemp hearts

So there you have it. Everything that you need to know about raw hemp hearts. Raw hemp hearts are the inner parts of hemp seeds and can be a great addition to anyone’s diet. Raw hemp hearts are safe to consume and will not get you “high”. Instead, they’ll help with lowering your blood pressure, balancing out your hormones, and fighting inflammation.

If these sound like great benefits to you, try adding some hemp hearts to your diet today with Humming Hemp hemp hearts.   



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