You may have seen them sprinkled into smoothies or onto salads in photos all over social media and food blogs. If you are new to the subject, incorporating hemp seeds into one’s diet for nutritional purposes may seem like a relatively new practice. However, this isn’t the case.
Hemp seeds have been a staple of a healthy, well-balanced diet for decades in the Western world. While this may seem like a long time, the timeframe pales in comparison to how long people have been consuming hemp seeds in the East. Historical research indicates that hemp seeds were consumed in Ancient China thousands of years ago.
In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of hemp and discuss some of the nutritional benefits of consuming hemp seeds. We’ll also let you know whether consuming hemp seeds can make you tired and sleepy. If you have insomnia, then you’ll likely be eager to find out.
What Are Hemp Seeds?
Before we go into what hemp seeds are, it’s essential to understand what hemp is. Hemp is commonly confused with marijuana. However, while they belong to the same Cannabaceae plant family, the two plants are, in fact, very different.
The most notable difference is the THC ( delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol) level. THC is the cannabinoid compound that produces intoxicating effects when consumed. In other words, it’s the cannabis compound that is responsible for making cannabis users “high.”
Whereas marijuana can contain very high THC levels, hemp only contains trace amounts of the intoxicating phytocannabinoid. In simple terms, hemp seeds are healthy to eat and do not cause any intoxicating effects.
Hemp seeds come from the hemp plant, which belongs to the plant species, Cannabis sativa. Typically, hemp plants are cultivated for their industrial use and harvested for oils, fibers, and seeds.
Hemp thrives nearly everywhere and is grown in many parts of the world. The largest producer of hemp in the world is China, which accounts for approximately 70% of the world’s output.
In the United States, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 brought an end to hemp cultivation for almost five decades. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill formally recognized hemp as an agricultural commodity that is separate and distinct from marijuana. Since then, many states have developed pilot industrial hemp programs and began cultivating the crop once more.
Hemp Seeds: Nutritional Content
It’s incredible just how much nutrition one little hemp seed contains. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein and contain all nine essential amino acids. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of:
- Vitamin E
Hemp seeds are also high in two essential fatty acids, namely omega-3 and omega-6. With such an impressive nutrient profile, it’s not surprising that more and more people are incorporating hemp seeds into their diets.
In terms of their flavor, hemp seeds have a mild and slightly nutty taste. They can be paired with savory or sweet ingredients to make delicious and nutritious meals and snacks.
Hemp Seeds: Possible Adverse Reactions
It’s important to note that as hemp seeds are high in fat, consuming too much can cause mild diarrhea. Therefore people with sensitive digestive systems should be careful with how much they consume in one sitting.
Some people start by consuming just one teaspoon of hemp seeds before gradually increasing to two tablespoons. By carefully measuring how much you consume it can help to prevent any laxative-type effects.
Another critical fact to be aware of is that hemp seeds are known to inhibit platelet formation. They can also interact with anticoagulant medications and cause a higher risk of bleeding. It is strongly advised that if you have been prescribed an anticoagulant medication by your doctor, and you want to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet, that you discuss it with your doctor before doing so.
But can hemp seeds make you tired and sleepy? Read on to find out.
Do Hemp Seeds Make You Tired and Sleepy?
If you’re struggling to sleep at night, you may be wondering if hemp seeds could help you sleep better. Many believe that as hemp seeds are high in magnesium, they could help to improve sleep.
There has been some research carried out to see if magnesium intake could benefit those with insomnia. However, according to Dr. William Kormos, Editor in Chief at Harvard’s Men’s Health Watch, “the scientific evidence for its [magnesium] use with insomnia is not strong.”
The reason for this is due to the limitations of the studies that have been conducted. Some of the limitations of the studies that have suggested that magnesium may be beneficial for insomnia include:
- Small sample size: these studies contained less than fifty participants.
- The research was carried out over a short period (eight weeks).
- These studies only showed small benefits in sleep quality in elderly participants.
- One study was limited to nursing home residents.
As Dr. Kormos points out, “with such limited evidence, it is difficult to strongly support regular use of magnesium for insomnia.”
Do Hemp Seeds Make You Tired and Sleepy? Final Thoughts
The simple answer is that there’s no clear empirical data to suggest that hemp seeds make you tired and sleepy. One of the main reasons why people believe that hemp seeds may have some soporific effects is because they are high in magnesium.
Some studies have looked at whether magnesium intake can benefit those with insomnia. However, the studies that have shown a possible benefit have had some limitations, as outlined above. Therefore, it is impossible to definitively say that consuming hemp seeds can help with insomnia or make you tired and sleepy.