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hemp seeds for sprouting

Seeds that have been gamma radiated or sterilised won’t germinate. But what about the seeds that do germinate? Is every hemp sprout equal?

Cannflavin & 10 Facts on Hemp Sprouts

by Viola Brugnatelli · Published December 6, 2017 · Updated December 6, 2017

We have already touched upon the topic of hemp sprouts in a short article titled: “10 reasons for eating hemp sprouts”. It’s an old article, dated june 2014 which I wrote few minutes after the illuminating discourse of Professor Giovanni Appendino at the plenary seminar of the annual ICRS symposium.

Many of you have asked to provide a more in-depth insight, and I agree that the topic is really important, that’s why I am teaching about it in a continuing medical education (CME) course in my homecountry.

Talking about hemp sprouts means talking about daily diet, and prevention, so it should be a knowledge accessible & understandable to all: so that’s why I decided to make this video on 10 facts on hemp sprouts, enjoy!

Hemp seeds anti-inflammatory effects

With a complete source of all essential amino and fatty acids, hemp seed is a complete nutritional source. Well over 80% of its total fat content its composed of PUFA Omega 6 (like LA) and Omega 3 (like ALA). Hemp seeds are amongst the only edibles seeds containing significant concentrations of other 2 PUFA, ω-6 GLA & ω-3 SDA . These compounds decrease the formation of inflammatory prostanoids from arachidonic acid. There is substantial evidence to show that consumption of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) is associated with health benefits. (1, 2)

Hemp seeds, and so hemp seed oil, offer the unique property of:

  • Increasing tissue concentration of anti-inflammatory ω-3 PUFA
  • Decreasing the production of inflammatory eicosanoids

And you might be wondering, what does all of the above has to do with sprouts & cannflavins?
WAIT! We are getting there…

Sprouts are nothing else than seeds allowed to grow. Many of us include in our daily diet hemp seeds; Either whole, de-hulled, hemp seed oil or flours are becoming increasingly popular foods amongst the health-conscious.
Hemp sprouts are less known of, so here are at least 10 good reasons for including them in your daily staples:

1) Sprouting makes seeds more digestible

Sprouting inhibits phytic acid, & neutralises enzyme inhibitors helping to avoid bloating (the number one reason people don’t like to eat so much legumes and pulses).
Sprouting also generally lowers the total fat content & converts the dense vegetable protein to simpler amino acids, helping our bodies to assimilate easier their nutritional contents. (3,4)

2) Sprouting makes seeds become more alkaline

Seeds and oils aren’t very alkaline compared to other plant based food, like vegetables. When we sprout seeds, these become closer to the “state” of vegetables, and hence becoming more alkaline, which it’s an important quality of foods that help us maintain a balanced physiology free from inflammation. (5)

3) Sprouting increases vitamin & nutrient content available

This is true for any kind of sprout: vitamins like vitamin C increase after sprouting. It is such an old knowledge that Chinese sailors used to carry mung beans when on long journeys at sea to sprout them in order to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin C & prevent scurvy. (6)

What happens with hemp sprouts? The anti-inflammatory ɣ-linolenic acid (GLA) which we mentioned earlier increases of 30% from seed to sprout! (7)

Fatty acids composition of seeds and sprouts from the Ermo variety of hemp

Each data represents the mean of three replicates ± standard deviation (7)

Fatty acid (relative %) Seeds Sprouts
Linoleic 57.53± 0.2 58.00± 0.31
α-Linolenic 24.53± 0.14 24.55± 0.17
Oleic 9.97± 0.06 10.01± 0.07
γ- Linolenic 1.08± 0.01 1.42± 0.03
Palmitic 4.96± 0.13 4.18± 0.207
Stearic 1.94± 0.01 1.85± 0.04

4) Sprouting does not induce formation of cannabinoids

This is pretty straightforward: with sprouting the plant does not produce cannabinoids, meaning that there is no psychotropic effect, making it a safe product for use as a dietary item for anyone, from children to elderly to pregnant women.

5) Sprouting induces the formation of unique flavonoids

In some hemp varieties sprouting induces the formation of prenylated flavonoids like cannflavins, cannabispiranes, canniprenes, which are present in the leaves and flowers of hemp and not the seeds.

Flavonoids are secondary metabolites of plants. Plants produce them to protect against oxidative stress, pathogens and from UV radiation. Flavonoids found in Cannabis plant present anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuro-protective properties.

6) Cannflavin is a flavonoid unique to hemp sprouts

Cannabis produces about 20 flavonoids (that we identified), some in common with other plants (like apigenin, kampferol or quercetin) & other unique to the cannabis plant like Cannflavin, which is actually a mix of two closely related flavonoids, CFA and CFB. (8,9)

Flavonoid Also found in
Apigenin Cooking herbs
Cannflavin Only cannabis
Kampferol Capers, kale
Luteolin Spices & herbs
Quercetin Green vegetables
Vitexin Pseudocereals

7) Cannflavin has considerable anti-inflammatory activity

The anti-inflammatory effect of cannflavin was found already in 1985 and shown to be higher than that of aspirin. Cannflavin is equipotent to cannabinoids in inhibiting inflammatory prostaglandins & leukotrienes.
Cannflavins are in fact the first flavonoids having direct inhibitory activity on the two crucial enzymes in the biosynthesis of these pro-inflammatory mediators, (5-LO & PGES-1). (7,10) Such dual inhibition is considered a pharmacological strategy in order to intervene with inflammatory diseases and might be superior over single target in terms of:

  • increased efficacy
  • lower side effects

8) Daily hemp sprouts consumption offers potential clinical benefits

Flavonoids have a long elimination life from our bodies, meaning that it is possible to achieve bio-active concentrations of cannflavins in plasma and tissues with a regular consumption, for example from our diet.

Although this is hasn’t been tested in more details yet, the scientists studying cannflavins suggest that the best intake for cannflavins is within their fatty omega-3 matrix, (like when they are found in sprouts) & could help increase the activity & absorption of cannflavins. They suggest that 20 g of daily fresh hemp sprouts are probably sufficient for obtaining significant concentrations of these anti-inflammatory molecules. (7)

9) Not every hemp sprout is the same!

Seeds that have been gamma radiated or sterilised won’t germinate. But what about the seeds that do germinate? Is every hemp sprout equal?

10) Sprouting is easy & cost efficient

The best part of all is that in order to obtain all these wonderful nutritional benefits we don’t really need much!
Think about sprouting seeds like imitating springtime:

  1. Make sure your hands and all surfaces are clean & sterile
  2. Allow your seeds to keep constant moisture & sufficient warmth (the cooler the T, the slower the germination)
  3. Leave the seeds in peace & dark for 4 to 5 days
  4. Be very gentle when touching them (avoid touching their taproot).

It sounds way more complicated than it is.

I believe they are so cost effective & easy to make that could become part of meals in hospitals & could really make a difference in supporting the health of elderly or chronic patients.


I hope you liked this insight on hemp sprouts as a dietary item, if you would like to learn more you can check the references down below, or get in touch with us: we provide a donation-based consultation so that is up to you to decide how valuable is for your life the information we provide.

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Hemp seeds for sprouting
As discussed here, consuming low levels of dietary fats is not only fundamental for metabolic and cardiac functions, but is also a pivotal point for cognitive performance.

10 reasons for eating hemp sprouts

by Viola Brugnatelli · Published June 29, 2014 · Updated December 6, 2017

Today I have been fortunate enough to attend a plenary seminar at annual ICRS symposium by Giovanni Appendino, PhD. (Baveno, 2014)

He is a bright professor in organic chemistry whom investigated biological profiles of cannabinoids with the likes of Vincenzo Di Marzo and Raphael Mechoulam.

His talk was incredibly stimulating and covered a broad target of topics.

With today’s post I will attempt to summarize his viewpoint on hemp as a super food (supported by 2 decades of studies and a substantial number of publications).

1. Hemp sprouts are a safe super food.

To contrary of other super foods, such as soy, there is no contraindications with high amount of consumption.

2. Hemp sprouts contain and maintain a stable ratio of omega 3 and omega 6

Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids or PUFAs, for short, are the kind of plant-based fats considered to be great neuroprotectant, effectively preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

For an insight on Omegas benefits, click here.

3. Hemp sprouts have a low percentage of fats compared to other seeds (only 30%)

As discussed here, consuming low levels of dietary fats is not only fundamental for metabolic and cardiac functions, but is also a pivotal point for cognitive performance.

4.Hemp sprouts provide all amino acids

This is an incredible profile for an unmatchable super food. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins, making hemp products the most complete form of vegan protein. (Ps. A steak does not contain all 20 amino acids!)

Amino acid values for hemp seed (cv Finola) and rapeseed in Table 3 were derived experimentally at MTT (the National Agricultural Laboratories in Jokionen, Finland). Other amino acid values in Table 3 were obtained from an authoritative literary source (Scherz et al., 1986).

Hemp also contains Edestin, an unique globular protein that is easily absorbed by the human body and can deliver a quick boost of energy.

5. Hemp sprouts contain high levels of cannaflavins

Cannaflavin is a underrated flavonoid which has an unique anti-inflammatory property .

(Its efficiency is well higher than aspirin)

6. Hemp sprouts taste good

Think hazelnuts taste. Making them not only more potent than aspirin, but also more desirable.

7 .Hemp sprouts do not contain THC.

The % of decarboxylated THC are as low as 0,1 %, making hemp sprouts incredibly safe to consume, showing no psychotropic properties.

8. Hemp sprouts contain high levels of phytoestrogens

Due to the cannaflavin contained in hemp sprouts, it present an unique property: a similar chemical structure to a related plant (Hop- see the evolution patterns of these two plants here), which has been recognised as the plant with the greatest levels of phytoestrogens.

Oestrogen is a potent neuroprotectan as you can find here.

Intake of phytoestrogen is also great at preventing PMS symptoms in women.

9. Hemp sprouts are bursting with antioxidants

Thus helping the body vs Reactive Oxygen Species (or ROS for short). Read here to know more on the disease-preventing effects of having a diet rich in antioxidants.

10. Sprouting can occur in your home!

With a little care you could demolish the cost of this superfood almost to zero!

Either it is for prevention or as a cleansing therapy, how did you introduce hemp sprouts in your diet?

Share your tips on your best recipes below!

Did you like this article?

This original content has been offered for free without advertisements thanks to our readers’ contributions. You, too, can support us in many ways. Check out how here! Thank you