Big announcement: add hemp to the list of things without a breast that has milk-making capabilities. That's right. You've heard of soy milk. Almond milk. Rice milk. Coconut milk. Well, add hemp milk to the roster, because it's here to stay and play – this trend is hitting consumers for all the right reasons, whether they include veganism, innovation, or just pure curiosity.
What is Hemp Milk
Hemp milk, also known as hemp seed milk, is a plant milk made from hemp seeds that has a milk-like flavor, color, and texture. Hemp, as you might have heard, comes from a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, known mostly as the source of the drug marijuana.
Here's the difference: hemp is specially grown and used for industrial uses. It has been cultivated for centuries, since it can be spun into a usable fiber and made into many different kinds of products, including everything from paper to clothing to textiles to biodegradable plastics to biofuel to animal feed and beyond.
It can also, apparently, be made into food. Specifically, hemp milk.
And while most people correlate cannabis to getting high, hemp is different. There are different strains and types of cannabis, which contain varying amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the compound directly responsible for psychoactive side effects; without it, there is no high. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC, and instead higher percentages of CBD (cannabidiol), which is the compound that generates the healing properties of cannabis.
In English: Hemp has barely any THC, so you won't get high when you drink its milk.
The government regulates hemp cultivation, which is why its legal to buy hemp-derived products throughout the United States. Hemp oils and creams that contain CBD, as well as other hemp products, are safe to purchase, just like milk.
Benefits of Hemp Milk
There are many reasons that contribute to the greatness of hemp milk, starting with taste. Thanks to its creamy and thick consistency, hemp milk is a delicious treat that stands out against options like skim and other nut milks, known for being thin and watery. The nuttiness of the hemp seeds is an extra dose of flavor, and additives like vanilla and sugar can heighten the sweetness.
Hemp milk is also a great additive to coffee. It has built a reputation in coffee making circles as a solid choice for making latte art, thanks to its thick texture and consistency. You don't necessarily have to draw pot leaves in every cup, but you at least have the option.
Beyond taste, the number one factor that draws people to hemp milk has to do with its origin. It's an ideal solution for anyone with milk, lactose, or soy intolerances, and makes milk a little more accessible.
If you need the low down on hemp milk nutrition, look no further. Hemp seeds are packed with ALA, a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. If the hemp milk is bought commercially, there's likely also hemp oil added into the carton, which is a known source of omega-3 benefits. These fatty acids are great for helping with cholesterol and blood pressure. Many manufacturers also add doses of calcium and vitamin D as well, which is a potential source of protein.
And while hemp milk nutrition is worth mentioning, be aware of its higher fat contents. With sweetened and flavored versions, there tends to be more sugar and calories added.
How to Make It
If you love a good Do It Yourself project, hemp milk is an ideal candidate for an at-home venture. It is easy and quick and requires very few tools and ingredients. If you are looking for the health benefits listed above, however, it is wise to look for hemp milk at a local grocery or health food store – it’s carried by many major suppliers as well, including Target and Amazon.
Here's the gist: The recipe for hemp milk involves soaking and grinding hemp seeds. The seeds are blended with water, and then the mixture is filtered.
The basic recipe involves hemp seeds, water, a blender, and some kind of filtration device. Many recipes recommend adding vanilla extract or ground extract into the mix for an added douse of flavor, as well as a sweetener, such as stevia or sugar. The filtration step comes after blending all of the ingredients together; many hemp milkers use a cheesecloth and a strainer to catch any residue. This step results in more of a milky texture—smooth and creamy, without any floating chunks.
Hemp Milk Lover 4 Life
If you are on the search for a milk-alternative with a thicker consistency and creamy, delicious taste, hemp milk is a viable, non-high-producing option. Whether you make it at home or buy a batch (filled with the beneficial hemp milk nutrition), hemp milk is a trend worth chasing.