Hemp Seeds (Cannabis sativa L.) as a Valuable Source of Natural Ingredients for Functional Foods-A Review

Molecules. 2024 May 1;29(9):2097. doi: 10.3390/molecules29092097.


Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) has experienced a significant resurgence in popularity, and global interest in diversifying its use in various industries, including the food industry, is growing. Therefore, due to their exceptional nutritional value, hemp seeds have recently gained increasing interest as a valuable ingredient for obtaining high-quality foods and dietary supplements. Hemp seeds stand out for their remarkable content of quality proteins, including edestin and albumin, two distinct types of proteins that contribute to exceptional nutritional value. Hemp seeds are also rich in healthy lipids with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid (omega-6), alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), and some vitamins (vitamins E, D, and A). Polyphenols and terpenoids, in particular, present in hemp seeds, provide antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. This review examines the scientific literature regarding hemp seeds' physicochemical and nutritional characteristics. The focus is on those characteristics that allow for their use in the food industry, aiming to transform ordinary food products into functional foods, offering additional benefits for the body's health. Innovating opportunities to develop healthy, nutritionally superior food products are explored by integrating hemp seeds into food processes, promoting a balanced and sustainable diet.

Keywords: Cannabis sativa L.; antinutritional compounds; bioactive compounds; functional foods; nutritional components.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cannabis* / chemistry
  • Functional Food* / analysis
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Seeds* / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.