As the name suggests, hemp protein powder is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant.
The hemp plant, or Cannabis sativa, is grown specifically for industrial purposes, such as making textiles, paper, building materials, and food products like hemp-derived CBD, salad dressings, cereal, and margarine.
Hemp protein powder is made by extracting the oil from whole hemp seeds and grinding the remaining seed meal into a fine powder. The final product contains all nine essential amino acids, beneficial minerals, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and is an excellent source of fiber. It has a nutty flavor and a slightly grainy texture.
Since hemp protein powder doesn’t provide enough of the amino acid lysine, many experts do not consider it a complete protein. Regardless, it’s still a high-quality plant-based protein and a popular alternative to other vegan protein powders such as soy, pea, and rice.
Hemp contains low levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. But the levels of THC in hemp are so low that they cannot produce intoxicating effects or cause a “high.”
The research on hemp protein powder is limited compared to other protein powders like whey and pea, potentially because hemp used to be wrongly lumped together with marijuana.