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eating cannabis seeds

Eating cannabis seeds
Hemp seeds contain fatty acids, which offer health benefits. iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Cannabis and hemp seeds: To eat or not to eat

Are there potential health benefits to consuming hemp and cannabis seeds? And what are the differences between the two?

Hemp seeds contain fatty acids, which offer health benefits. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Eating raw cannabis has been a thing for some time now, but what about eating cannabis seeds?

Munching on these crunchy bits could be a new health trend, but before cracking open a pricey bag, consider if pot or hemp seeds are the best choice for you and what you’re hoping to achieve.

Recent reports claim that cannabis seeds can aid in weight loss, reduce risk of heart disease and help with maintaining overall health. There is even praise for the nutty or chocolate flavour of certain cannabis seed strains.

Cannabis seeds are one of the five classes of cannabis that can be legally sold by authorized retailers, says Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge, a Health Canada media relations officer. “These seeds would theoretically be for the production of cannabis,” Legault-Thivierge reports. “However, we wouldn’t regulate what buyers do with them.”

Growing at home may be the most cost-effective

Cannabis seeds gathered from a home plant may be the most economical way to get enough seeds to snack on. However, marijuana plants are typically grown in the absence of male plants, are not fertilized and, therefore, do not produce seeds, notes information gathered by the Cannabis Council of Canada.

Cannabis seeds sold legally for growing can come at a hefty price tag. For example, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) lists Argyle at $60 for a pack of four seeds. The seeds for sale at OCS and at private retail stores are intended for germination and flower cultivation purposes, says Amanda Winton, corporate communications manager for OCS. “It is recommended that they are used only as instructed,” Winton says.

Hemp seeds are sold in Canada for consumption and come at a much lower cost. For example, a 454-g bag of Hemp Hearts is $13.49 (free shipping on orders over $35) on

A participant pulls seeds from a marijuana plant at the annual Hemp Parade (Hanfparade) on August 9, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Hemp and cannabis: some things different, some things the same

The trend of eating cannabis seeds may just be an attempt to latch on to the popularity of cannabis.

Hemp seeds and cannabis seeds differ in the type of plant they will produce, but they are both varieties of the cannabis sativa plant, a 2017 study reports.

Hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products, the study states. It found that hemp seeds “produce negligible, if any quantities of THC,” but in the harvesting process, hemp seeds could become contaminated by material from other parts of the plant.

Seeds produced from hemp have been bred for specific purposes, including food or oil while cannabis seeds that consumers buy online for growing have been bred for cultivating drug-type marijuana plants, the Cannabis Council of Canada states. Marijuana seeds can be substituted for hemp seeds, but the council recommends eating hemp seeds because there is little information on the nutritional value of marijuana seeds.

“Similar to how a Granny Smith apple will have a different chemical profile to a Macintosh apple, the amount and ratio of carbohydrates, dietary fibre, minerals and cannabinoids found in seed products derived from hemp or marijuana is subject to vary,” the council notes. “It will largely depend on the genetic make-up of the plants producing the seed, as well as the environment in which the plants are grown. The way in which the seeds are processed post-harvest will also affect the nutritional make-up.”

The council’s view is that it is better to consume seeds derived from hemp as these crops have been optimized for food production.

What are the health benefits of hemp seeds?

The health benefits of hemp seeds have long been known, says Laura Lagano, an integrative clinical nutritionist, author of The CBD Oil Miracle, and co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Academy. A 2010 study found hemp seeds are a rich source of amino acids.

Lagano, who eats hemp seeds daily, says they are an excellent source of protein, fibre and fatty acids.

Timothy Lau, a registered dietitian with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority who has served on the Board of Director of the Dietitians of Canada, often suggests that his patients eat hemp seeds. “I would absolutely recommend eating hemp seeds, as they are a great source of protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. I don’t like to label foods, but if I did, this is as close to a ‘superfood’ as it gets,” he says.

There isn’t really a toxicity danger from eating too many hemp seeds, Lau notes, other than, perhaps, some bloating and an upset stomach. Although he doesn’t have information on cannabis seeds, he cautioned about the side effects of consuming cannabis, including that it impairs cognitive and behavioural function.

Hemp seeds are a great source of protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids Getty Images/iStockphoto

Seeds can be part of an overall healthy approach

As for claims that hemp seeds can help with losing weight or improving cardiovascular health, Lagano cautions that seeds, on their own, will not solve health issues. To lose weight, she says, the seeds need to be “part of an appropriate food plan.”

About two to three tablespoons of hemp seeds a day could contribute to a balanced diet, Lau suggests.

Two tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about two g of fibre, five g of protein and 300 mg of potassium, Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian and author of the The O2 Diet: The Cutting Edge, Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin and Beautiful, notes in a WebMD article. The fatty acids, along with gamma linoleic and stearidonic acids, can fight inflammation, help keep the heart healthy and improve the immune system, Glassman contends.

Lau suggests adding the seeds to cereal, oatmeal, salads, pasta sauce or smoothies. Pressed seeds are made into hemp oil, which is another way to ingest the healthy fatty acids, Lagano says.

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Anyone else ever eat their marijuana seeds?

Ever Eat Marijuana Seeds?


Well-Known Member

Anyone else ever eat their marijuana seeds?

I don’t sell my weed, its all for me, and due to plant numbers I don’t keep clones, so if I want to regrow something I pollenate it with a male (normally from another strain for hybrid vigor) and pass the genetics forward.. I can’t all the seeds only will grow 2-3 during the viability of the seeds (maybe more if it turns out super amazing that I dont want to try anything else, but haven’t found that one yet). So I eat the seeds. They taste great.

No, eating seeds doesn’t get you high. But its healthy, easy to digest, and tastes really good and sweet. You get great protein and helps dilate your arteries so that you don’t die of a heart attack or stroke. There really is no reason not to snack on these suckers, especially if I got the munchies but nothing I can eat that won’t cause stronger nausea or stomach probs. Marijuana seeds, especially after being cured with my medical cannabis, just plain taste great.