Hemp Line Journal, July-August 1992, pp. 14-15, Vol. I No. 1
Hemp Seed: The Most Nutritionally Complete
Food Source in the World
by Lynn Osburn
Seeds of the plant cannabis sativa, hemp seed, contain all the essential
amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy
human life. No other single plant source has the essential amino
acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty
acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs.
The importance of hemp seed nutrients to human health
cannot be fully appreciated without some understanding of bio-chemistry
in life. Unfortunately, any attempt to understand the flow of life
leads into the realm of the most troublesome of the three infinities
-- the infinitely complex.
Some deep thinkers believe life is a paradox not to
be understood but experienced to the fullest. However, the Sages
have said, "Know thyself." At any rate it is paradoxic to attempt
simplifying the infinite complexity of flowing life. Yet, it is
far better for the health and development of any thinking and feeling,
uniquely individual human being, to pursue knowledge than to lounge
One out of two Americans will die from the effects
of cardiovascular disease (CVD). One out of four Americans will
die from cancer. Researchers believe cancers erupt when immune system
response is weakened. Pioneers in the fields of biochemistry and
human nutrition now believe CVD and most cancers are really diseases
of fatty degeneration caused by the continued over-consumption of
saturated fats and refined vegetable oils that turn essential fatty
acids into carcinogenic killers. And if this is not scary enough,
more Americans are succumbing to immune deficiency diseases than
ever before. Sadly it is ignorance of human nutritional needs that
will cause this overwhelming majority of Americans to die slowly
from these afflictions -- the greatest killers in affluent nations.
HEMP SEED PROTEINS AND THE
BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE AND IMMUNITY
There are eight amino acids the human body cannot make and two more
the body cannot make in sufficient quantity, so they are essential
to life. A diet without any one of them will eventually cause disease
and death. These essential amino acids, along with eleven others
the body can make from them, are chained together in accordance
to genetic guidelines, via RNA formats from DNA blueprints, into
structural proteins that give body to life, and into enzymes (globular
proteins) that carry out the mechanics of living.
Nearly three quarters of body solids are proteins.
The body is literally constructed and maintained by an infinitely
complex system that simply builds proteins from amino acid sub units.
Every amino acid consists of an amine and a carboxyl bound to the
same carbon atom. All but the smallest amino acid have one, more
or less complex, carbon containing side chain connected to the carbon
atom shared by the amine and carboxyl groups. The amine group, ND,
is slightly basic; the carboxyl group, COOH, is a mild acid. The
amine group of one amino acid unites with the carboxyl group of
another forming a peptide link. Proteins are made of amino acid
peptide chains in specific sequences. The number of possible amino
acid peptide combinations is infinite.
Peptide chains can bend, twist and unite with other
peptide chains by forming weak hydrogen bonds between nitrogen and
oxygen atoms along the chain. Amino acids can also form bonds through
side chain linkages. All three types of amino acid bonding methods
contribute to the infinite possibility of protein shapes and reactivity
potentials. Though each species builds proteins unique to itself,
life can tailor new ones if challenged by the pressures of existence.
Hemp is not unique in having all the essential amino
acids in its embryonic seed. Flax seeds also contain all the essential
amino acids as do many other seeds in the plant kingdom. What is
unique about hemp seed protein is that 65% of it is globulin edistin.
That is the highest in the plant kingdom. Globulins are one of seven
classes of simple proteins. Simple proteins are constructed from
amino acids and contain no non-protein substances.
Globulins are in seeds and animal blood. Edistins
are found in seeds; serum globulin is in blood. Edistins are plant
globulins. And globulins along with albumins are classified as globular
proteins. All enzymes, antibodies, many hormones, hemoglobin and
fibrogin (the body converts fibrogin into non-soluble, fibrin, a
blood clotting agent) are globular proteins. They carry out the
main work of living.
Albumin, globulin and fibrogin are the three major
types of plasma proteins. Plasma is the fluid portion of blood that
supplies nutrients to tissues. And the three protein types: serum
albumin, serum globulin and fibrogin, compose about 80% of plasma
solids. These plasma proteins serve as a reservoir of rapidly available
amino acids should any body tissues be in need.
Plant seeds contain albumin and globulin but no fibrogin.
Albumin is the nutritive material that fills the space in the seed
between the embryo and the seed coat. The embryo needs albumin to
fuel its initial growth until photosynthesis begins. Globulin edistins
within the embryo guarantee this new life has the enzymes necessary
for metabolic activity.
Globulin is the third most abundant protein in the
human body. Globulins perform many enzymatic (causing reactions
to take place) functions within the plasma itself. More importantly,
they are responsible for both the natural and acquired immunity
a person has against invading organisms. The body uses globulin
proteins to make antibodies which attack infecting agents (antigens)
that invade the body. Globulins like gamma globulin are absolutely
essential to maintain a healthy immune system. They neutralize alien
microorganisms and toxins.
Globulins are divided into three classes: alpha, beta
and gamma globulins. Alpha and beta globulins operate as transport
vehicles by combining with other substances and carry protein from
one part of the body to another. They haul the materials needed
to build new and replace worn or damaged bodily structures. Gamma
globulins are divided into five classes of antibodies called immunoglobulins.
All are formed to combat specific cell invading antigens. They comprise
the body's first line of defense against disease and infection.
Immunoglobulins are produced by B lymphocyte (white blood cells)
plasma cell clones located in lymph system nodes. Infecting antigens
normally must pass through the lymph system before entering the
Regarding human protein requirement: "Qualitively,
it is considered desirable to secure amino acids similar to those
of human tissues, both as to kinds and relative quantities of the
various kinds." [Textbook of Anatomy and Physiology, Kimber, Gray,
During digestion proteins in food are broken down
into amino acids. The amino acids are then taken into the body and
reassembled into human proteins according to need and the availability
of the amino acids necessary to make specific proteins.
The body needs the necessary kinds of amino acids
in sufficient quantity in order to make proteins such as the globulins.
Proper quantities of the right kinds may not be available to the
body much of the time. So even though the body has enough essential
amino acids available to prevent deficiency diseases, it may not
have enough to build quantities of immunoglobulins necessary for
the immune system to repel infection.
The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid
material to make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin
proteins. Since hemp seed protein is 65% globulin edistin, and also
includes quantities of albumin, its protein is readily available
in a form quite similar to that found in blood plasma. Eating hemp
seeds gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain
health, and provides the necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids
the body needs to make human serum albumin and serum globulins like
the immune enhancing gamma globulins. Eating hemp seeds could aid,
if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This
conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed was used to treat
nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition
blocking disease that causes the body to waste away. [Czechoslovakia
Tubercular Nutritional Study, 1955]
Antibodies are globulin proteins programmed to
destroy antigens (any substance eliciting a response from lymphocytes:
bacteria, viruses, toxins, living and dead tissue, internal debris,
etc.). Circulating in blood plasma like mines floating in a harbor
antibodies await contact with the enemy, then initiate a cascade
of corrosive enzymes that bore holes in the antigen surface causing
it to break apart.
Antibodies are custom designed
to neutralize or disintegrate one specific type of antigen. White
blood cells called B cell lymphocytes seek out and lock-on to antigenic
proteins or sugars on the invader's surface. The B cell then uses
that lock and key pattern to make antibodies tailored to that antigen
only. It also will make clones of itself called plasma cells. Most
of the clones begin producing antibodies for that antigen. Others
become memory cells which may spend years wandering through the
blood stream looking for that specific antigen. If the body is exposed
to it again the memory cells lock-on to one and begin producing
plasma cell clones and a flood of antibodies that wipe out the invader.
One lymphocyte can divide into hundreds of plasma cells in a few
days. A mature plasma cell can make about 2000 antibodies every
second for the few days it lives. This is how a body acquires immunity.
The body's ability to resist
and recover from illness depends upon how rapidly it can produce
massive amounts of antibodies to fend off the initial attack. If
the globulin protein starting material is in short supply the army
of antibodies may be too small to prevent the symptoms of sickness
from setting in.
Hemp seed is the premier
plant-seed provider of globulin starting material -- the highest
in the plant kingdom. Eating hemp seeds will insure the immune system
has the reservoir of immunoglobulin resources needed to make disease
Blood: The River of Life, Jake Page; Dr. Robert A. Good, Dr. Lawrence
S. Lessin, Dr. Kenneth C. Robbins, consultants. U.S. News Books
Fats and Oils: The Complete Guide to Fats and Oils in Health and
Nutrition, Udo Erasmus. Alive Books 1986.
Life and Energy: An Exploration of the Physical and Chemical Basis
of Modern Biology, Isaac Asimov. Avon Books 1962. Organic Chemistry,
R. T. Morrison. 1960 Textbook of Anatomy and Physiology, Kimber,
Gray, Stackpole. 1943 Textbook of Medical Physiology, Arthur C.
Guyton, MD. W. B. Sunders Company 1971. Textbook of Organic Chemistry,
E. Wertheim. The Blakiston Company 1945.