Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Hemp Milk Bad For You?



Short answer

Hemp milk is not bad for you. It is a nutritious, plant-based milk alternative offering a balance of proteins, essential omega fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals. Suitable for vegans and those with lactose intolerance, it is also beneficial for heart, brain, skin health, and hormonal balance. However, it contains less protein than cow's milk and may have phytic acid and tannins, which can affect nutrient absorption. Always consider the whole diet and choose unsweetened, fortified hemp milk for the best benefits.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Nutritional Profile of Hemp Milk

Hemp milk, made from the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, is a plant-based alternative to traditional dairy milk. This non-dairy beverage is free from cholesterol and lactose, making it a suitable option for individuals with lactose intolerance or those following a vegan diet. Hemp milk's nutritional profile boasts a balance of proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that can contribute positively to a balanced diet.

One of the key attributes of hemp milk is its protein content. Unlike some other plant-based milks, hemp milk contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. This is particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans who may need to focus on obtaining sufficient protein from a variety of plant-based sources.

Here's a breakdown of the typical nutritional content found in one cup (about 240ml) of unsweetened hemp milk:

  • Calories: 60-80
  • Protein: 2-3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 0-1 gram
  • Sugars: 0 grams (unsweetened varieties)
  • Total Fat: 4.5-8 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 gram
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,000-1,200 milligrams
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: 3,000 milligrams

Hemp milk is naturally rich in essential fatty acids, notably omega-3 and omega-6, in a healthful three to one ratio. These fatty acids are known for their role in brain health, reducing inflammation, and supporting a healthy heart. Notably, the omega-3s in hemp milk are primarily alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a plant-based form of this essential nutrient.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, hemp milk is an excellent source of the following:

  • Calcium (often fortified): Varies – check the label
  • Vitamin D (often fortified): Varies – check the label
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Magnesium: 10% of the DV
  • Iron: 7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 2% of the DV

Many commercial hemp milks are fortified with additional nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, to enhance their nutritional benefits and make them competitive with the nutrients found in cow's milk. However, the actual content of these additional vitamins and minerals can vary between brands, so it is advised to review product labels for the specific amounts.

In conclusion, the nutritional profile of hemp milk represents a nourishing beverage that is dense in essential nutrients, making it a valuable addition to a variety of diets. It should be noted, however, that homemade hemp milk may lack the fortification present in commercially available versions, potentially affecting its overall nutritional value.

Allergen Concerns: A Safe Alternative to Dairy and Nuts?

Hemp milk is a plant-based alternative to traditional dairy milk that's growing in popularity, especially among those with allergies or intolerances to dairy or nuts. It's derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is a variety of Cannabis sativa. Unlike dairy milk, which contains lactose, or nut-based milks, which can trigger nut allergies, hemp milk is naturally free of these common allergens. This makes it a potentially safe option for individuals with dietary restrictions.

However, it's crucial to understand the broader spectrum of allergen concerns associated with hemp milk:

  • Hemp Seed Allergies: While rare, some individuals may have an allergy to hemp seeds themselves. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, so it's important to pay attention to your body's response when trying hemp milk for the first time.
  • Cross-Reactivity: In a phenomenon known as cross-reactivity, people who are allergic to certain proteins found in other plants may also react to hemp proteins. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests that individuals with allergies to certain plant-derived foods should approach hemp products with caution as they might experience symptoms due to this cross-reactivity.
  • Production Facilities: It's also worth noting where and how the hemp milk is produced. Cross-contamination can occur if the facility also processes dairy, nuts, or other allergens. Always check the label for notes on potential contamination or allergens present in the facility, and reach out to manufacturers for detailed allergen information if necessary.
  • Federal Regulations: Hemp milk and other hemp-based foods are subject to federal regulations, which dictate safe production practices and labeling for allergens. These guidelines help ensure consumer safety, but individuals with severe allergies should always exercise due diligence.

For those with lactose intolerance or an allergy to cow's milk, hemp milk is often a digestible and non-reactive alternative. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, approximately 2.5% of children under the age of three are allergic to milk. While most children outgrow this allergy, many adults continue to suffer from lactose intolerance or avoid dairy for ethical or health reasons.

Similarly, nut allergies are among the most common food allergies, particularly in children. Since hemp milk doesn't come from nuts, but rather seeds, it generally doesn't present the same risks as almond or cashew milk might. This makes it a more inclusive option for schools, daycares, and other public facilities looking to cater to individuals with allergies.

Overall, while hemp milk is a welcome alternative for many with dietary restrictions, it's still essential to consult with a healthcare provider if you have a history of severe allergies. Conducting an allergy test prior to incorporating hemp milk into your diet is a prudent step. As with the introduction of any new food into your diet, start with small amounts and monitor your body's response closely.

Potential Benefits of Omega Fatty Acids in Hemp Milk

Hemp milk, a plant-based alternative to dairy milk, has gained popularity due to its nutritional profile, particularly its content of omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fats that are essential to human health, meaning our bodies cannot produce them, and we must obtain them from our diet.

The omega fatty acids found in hemp milk include both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known for their health-promoting properties. Hemp milk is especially rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is thought to be around 4:1 or lower, and hemp milk typically offers a ratio close to this, making it a balanced source of these fats.

  • Heart Health: The inclusion of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet can support cardiovascular health. Studies suggest that these fats can help reduce blood pressure, lower triglyceride levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease. For instance, a review published in American Heart Journal observed that omega-3 fatty acids could reduce the incidence of cardiac events.
  • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in hemp milk, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to a range of health issues, including arthritis, heart disease, and certain cancers. Incorporating hemp milk into one's diet might help manage inflammation in the body.
  • Brain Health: Emerging research has connected omega-3 fatty acids with brain health, including a potential role in decreasing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. A study in Neurology suggests that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with better brain function in aging populations.
  • Skin Health: Omega-6 fatty acids, while often consumed in excess in typical Western diets, are also essential in balanced amounts and promote healthy skin. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp milk, may have beneficial effects on skin disorders such as eczema.

It's important to note that while hemp milk can be a great source of omega fatty acids, the concentration of these nutrients can vary between brands. While some brands fortify their hemp milk with additional omega fatty acids, others may have less. It is recommended to check nutrition labels and opt for hemp milk with no added sugar or unhealthy additives to maximize health benefits.

Despite the clear benefits, it's crucial to incorporate hemp milk into a well-rounded diet, rather than relying on it as a sole source of omega fatty acids. This approach ensures a balance of nutrients and supports overall dietary harmony.

Anti-Nutrients in Hemp Seeds: Cause for Concern?

When considering the benefits of plant-based milks, such as hemp milk, a crucial aspect often overlooked is the presence of anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are compounds that naturally occur in various foods, including hemp seeds, which can interfere with the absorption of minerals and digestion of proteins. Here we will dissect the presence of these compounds in hemp seeds and determine if they should be a cause for concern.

Firstly, let's identify the main anti-nutrients found in hemp seeds:

  • Phytic acid: Also known as phytate, this is common in seeds and grains. Phytic acid can bind with minerals in the gut, such as calcium, iron, and zinc, reducing their absorption.
  • Tannins: These are polyphenols that can decrease the digestibility of proteins and may inhibit the absorption of iron.

Now, let's dive deeper into how these affect our health:

The concentration of phytic acid in hemp seeds is less than what is found in many nuts and seeds. According to research, the phytic acid content in hemp seeds can influence mineral bioavailability, yet it's important to consider the overall diet. Studies suggest that the impact of phytic acid on mineral absorption is not significant in individuals with a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of foods (Reference: Food Chemistry, 2019).

Regarding tannins, while they can be concerning in large amounts, the level present in hemp milk is generally low, and the overall intake through hemp milk is unlikely to pose any health risks. Moreover, the potential effects of tannins are mitigated by consuming a diverse diet and not overly relying on a single food source for nutrients.

Another point to note is that the processing of hemp seeds into milk may reduce the levels of these anti-nutrients. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that certain processing methods, such as soaking and fermentation, can significantly lower the phytic acid content in seeds and grains.

The actual impact of anti-nutrients from hemp milk needs to be considered in the context of an individual's entire diet. If one consumes a diversified diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein, and grains, the anti-nutrients in hemp milk are less likely to have a negative impact:

Dietary Habit Impact on Anti-Nutrient Concern
Variety in Diet Reduces potential for negative effects from anti-nutrients
High Mineral Foods Counteracts mineral-binding effects of phytic acid
Regular Consumption of Fermented Foods May lower phytic acid levels in the gut

In conclusion, the presence of anti-nutrients in hemp seeds does not automatically render hemp milk a bad choice for your diet. Most individuals should not experience any adverse effects from the anti-nutrients in hemp milk if they are consuming a varied and balanced diet. Nevertheless, those with concerns about mineral deficiencies or absorption issues should consult with a nutrition expert to assess their specific needs and dietary adjustments.

Hemp Milk and Hormonal Balance: Myths vs. Facts

Hormonal balance is a critical component of overall health, and diet plays a significant role in maintaining this delicate equilibrium. In recent years, hemp milk has gained attention as a non-dairy milk alternative, but there's some confusion about its effects on hormones. Let's explore what the research says to separate myths from facts.

Myth: Hemp Milk Contains Estrogen

One common myth is that hemp milk can introduce estrogen into the body, potentially disrupting hormonal balance. However, it's crucial to understand that hemp seeds don't contain human hormones. Plants do produce their own forms of hormones, such as phytoestrogens, but the type found in hemp seeds does not mimic human estrogen in the way soy phytoestrogens can. Current evidence suggests that the consumption of hemp seeds or hemp milk does not have estrogenic effects on the human body.

Fact: Hemp Milk Offers Essential Fatty Acids

Hemp milk is rich in essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, in a ratio that's considered optimal for human health. These fatty acids are known to play a role in hormonal health by supporting cell membrane structure and function. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry indicates that essential fatty acids can influence the production of hormone-like substances called eicosanoids, which help regulate inflammation and blood pressure.

Myth: Hemp Milk Can Lead to Hormonal Disorders

The concern that hemp milk could lead to hormonal disorders such as thyroid dysfunction is unfounded. The amino acid profile of hemp seeds includes glutamic acid, which may support healthy thyroid function the nutritional content of hemp seeds — especially their amino acid profile, which includes glutamic acid — supports healthy thyroid function. There's no scientific evidence linking hemp milk consumption to an increased risk of hormonal disorders. In contrast, hemp proteins could actually support the thyroid gland's functions owing to their amino acid composition.

Fact: Hemp Milk Contains Gamma-linolenic Acid (GLA)

Another fact to consider is the presence of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp milk. GLA is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that has been studied for its potential to help with hormone-related issues, such as PMS and menopause symptoms. A study in Reproductive Health found that GLA can have a positive impact on reducing the severity of PMS symptoms by modulating the inflammatory response and hormone production.

Myth: Drinking Hemp Milk Affects Testosterone Levels

There is a misconception that hemp products, due to their association with the cannabis plant, might affect testosterone levels negatively. However, no clinical evidence supports the claim that hemp milk consumption significantly influences testosterone levels. A well-balanced diet that includes hemp milk should not disrupt the endocrine system or testosterone production, given the absence of psychotropic substances like THC in commercial hemp products.

Understanding the nutritional impacts of hemp milk on hormonal balance involves discerning between established scientific findings and pervasive myths. Every individual's hormonal system reacts differently to various foods, so it's important to monitor how your body responds to dietary changes. For those with specific concerns about hormonal balance or conditions, consulting a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance.

Hemp Milk in a Balanced Diet: Recommendations and Limitations

Integrating hemp milk into a balanced diet has its share of recommendations and limitations. Below is an in-depth look at how you can incorporate this plant-based alternative into your nutritional routine.


  • Diversify Your Nutrient Sources: Hemp milk is a good source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, essential for heart health and reducing inflammation. Ensure to pair it with other nutrient-dense foods to cover all necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Ideal for Dietary Restrictions: For those avoiding dairy, nuts, or soy, hemp milk is an excellent alternative. It is naturally free of common allergens and suitable for vegan diets.
  • Fortification is Key: Choose hemp milk varieties that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D to support bone health, especially crucial for individuals who do not consume dairy products.
  • Protein Considerations: Hemp milk has lower protein content compared to cow's milk and some other plant-based milks. Consider consuming additional protein sources to fulfill your daily intake requirements.


  • Caloric and Fat Content: Some hemp milk products may have added sugars and higher fat content compared to other milk alternatives. Always check labels and opt for unsweetened or light versions to manage caloric intake.
  • Phytic Acid Content: Hemp seeds contain phytic acid, which can bind minerals and reduce their absorption. While the effect is usually minimal, it's worth pairing hemp milk with a diverse diet to ensure adequate mineral intake.
  • Cost and Accessibility: Hemp milk can be more expensive and less readily available than other milk alternatives. This may limit its practicality as a daily staple for some individuals.
  • Flavor Profile: The distinctive, nutty flavor of hemp milk may not be to everyone's taste, which could affect its use in various recipes or as a direct substitute for other milks.

When considering adding hemp milk to your diet, it's essential to evaluate the nutritional label for each product. Nutrient content can vary greatly between brands, and it's important to select options that align with your health goals. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, choosing fortified hemp milk can significantly contribute to meeting daily nutrient recommendations.

In summary, while there are many positive aspects to including hemp milk in your diet, attention should be paid to its nutritional profile and how it fits into your overall dietary pattern. Balancing hemp milk intake with other sources of nutrition can help in reaping its benefits while mitigating potential drawbacks.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, hemp milk can be used as a substitute for dairy milk in cooking and baking. Its creamy texture and nutty flavor can enhance recipes, but keep in mind that the flavor may slightly alter the taste of your dishes.

Unopened shelf-stable hemp milk does not need to be refrigerated until it's opened. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and typically lasts up to 5-7 days. Always check the expiration date and storage instructions on the package for guidance.

Not all brands of hemp milk are fortified with additional nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. It's important to check the label of the hemp milk you're buying to see if it is fortified, especially if you rely on it as a significant source of these nutrients.

Hemp milk contains 2-3 grams of protein per cup, including all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. However, compared to cow's milk and some other plant-based milks, it has a lower protein content, so vegans and vegetarians should include additional protein-rich foods in their diets.

Ask a question about Hemp Milk and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Ingredients to be aware of


  • complete protein source
  • rich in omega-3 and omega-6
  • supports brain, heart, and skin health
  • may reduce inflammation
  • suitable for lactose intolerance and nut allergies
  • fortification with vitamins and minerals
  • may help hormonal balance

Healthier alternatives

  • other plant-based milks
  • dairy milk for non-vegans/non-allergic individuals
  • fortified alternatives

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Pacific Hemp Milk

  • Keto-friendly
  • Plant-based milk
  • 0g added sugars
  • Unsweetened variety
  • Non-dairy alternative
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-15-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-15-2024

Random Page

Check These Out!