Hemp protein contains healthy nutrients for the body. It contains significant amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. It also contains 21 amino acids, including all of the essential amino acids. With the addition of vitamins and minerals plus easily digestible proteins, hemp protein has many touting it as a superfood; however, there are potential side effects to be aware of when consuming it. Always check with your doctor before adding this or anything new to your diet.
Interactions with Other Compounds
The University of Michigan Health System warns that the use of hemp products can inhibit platelet formation. This effect is due to its high omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acid content. Therefore, individuals taking anticoagulants are warned that increased bleeding could occur. Scott Goodnight, M.D., reports in the November issue of “Blood” that consuming omega-3 fatty acids can alter platelet function and increase bleeding time.
One of the side effects of consuming hemp protein is gastrointestinal distress. For example, a person may experience a loosening of stools, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and bloating. These symptoms are generally mild in nature and lessen over time with continued use. However, individuals with intestinal disorders should be wary as hemp protein consumption may exacerbate already present symptoms. They should consult their health care provider before eating hemp protein.
THC Metabolites in Urine
Although low in concentration, hemp contains the psychoactive chemical, THC. This has raised concerns as to whether daily dietary consumption of hemp could contribute to testing positive on drug tests. Studies have confirmed the presence of THC metabolites in urine after consuming hemp products. A study published in the November-December 2001 issue of the “Journal of Analytical Toxicology” mimicked daily consumption rates of hemp and investigated THC metabolite levels. They established that THC metabolites in urine remained low, even after extended use. Therefore, consuming the average daily amount of hemp should not pose a risk to testing positive on drug tests.
Although rare, individuals that are highly sensitive to THC may experience its effects, such as hallucinations or feelings of well-being, especially when consuming hemp protein in the greater than normal daily amounts. Never take more than the recommended amount, and again, always consult your doctor before adding this to your diet.
- University of Michigan Health System: Shelled Hemp Seeds
- "Blood"; The Effects of Dietary Omega 3 Fatty Acids on Platelet Composition and Function in Man: a Prospective, Controlled Study; Goodnight SH, Harris WS, Connor WE; November 1981
- "Journal of Analytical Toxicology"; Evaluating the Impact of Hemp Food Consumption on Workplace Drug Tests; Leson G, Grotenhermen F, Kalant H, ElSohly MA; November-December 2001