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Unlocking Potential: Hemp Protein's Promising Role Managing ADHD & Autism

Omega-3 fatty acids, concentrated in hemp protein seeds and powder, are gaining scientific recognition for their potential in managing ADHD and autism, showing promise in providing beneficial effects for individuals.

Editors note: 'Studies should not be confused with those involving Cannabis and cannabinoids. This article expressly refers to the role Omega-3 fatty acids play in helping to produce dopamine in the brain as a direct result of integrating hemp hearts, powder and oil derived from the sativa version of the cannabis plant'.

'Long standing ignorance often has Sativa hemp being confused with Marijuana, and although both come from the same cannabis species, hemp contains negligible amounts of psychoactive properties (THC) and WILL NOT get you high'.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients which play an important role in brain development and function and are often referred to along with the consumption of fish with high fatty oil content, such as salmon.

With many adopting to eat only plant-based foods, is the hemp seed oil a valuable option?

Some studies have found children and adults with ADHD and autism may have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood than their peers without these conditions. The results of a raft of medical studies are shown below.

So what is hemps role in managing ADHD & autism when it comes to oil?

Hemp seed oil has been dubbed, “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”, since it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of both the required essential fatty acids (EFAs) for long term human consumption.

Hemp oil:

  • Is considered one of the world’s healthiest oils.

  • Is naturally rich in omega-3 (including omega-3 SDA, which is a more potent form of the fatty acid).

  • Has one of the lowest amounts of saturated fat and the highest contents of polyunsaturated fat amongst all the culinary oils.

  • Contains omega-6 GLA which my help to reduce inflammation and nerve pain, balance hormones, and improve rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Contains an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (a balance of omegas is important to maintain optimum health)

  • Has a low-medium smoke point, which means you can use it for low-heat baking, sautéing and for sauces.

Could a teaspoon a day naturally supplement the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids?

So what of the benefits of hemp powder and seeds including hulled hearts? While possessing many of the same nutritional elements as oil they do have some stand-out virtues.

  • They are literally 'nutritional bombs' Both are rich in essential nutrients containing a variety of vitamins (such as vitamin E), minerals (including magnesium, potassium, and iron), and healthy fats (the Omega-3's and 6 fatty acids). These nutrients contribute to overall health and well-being.

  • Both are an excellent plant-based protein source containing all nine essential amino acids required by the body, making them a complete protein source.

  • Both rich in fibre, which promotes healthy digestion and aids in regular bowel movements. The fibre content in both forms contributes to maintaining optimal gut health and may support overall digestive well-being.

  • Hemp seeds and hemp powder contain beneficial compounds such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with potential anti-inflammatory effects. These properties may provide benefits for individuals dealing with inflammation-related conditions.

  • Both offer a combination of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates, making them an energy-dense food source. They can provide sustained energy and contribute to improved endurance during physical activities or workouts.

This being said, hemp seeds are without doubt a nutritious food source that can comfortably be part of a healthy diet for individuals with ADHD and autism, and their high protein and omega-3 content can provide numerous health benefits per se.

Check out hemp recipes by CLICKING HERE.

Perhaps experiment and gauge responses and make a valued personal assessment of its effectiveness in concert with a mental health professional.

Its is hoped more data will present itself in time enabling hemp seeds and oil to be fully recognised as a highly valuable protein and Omega-3 source supporting the management of mental health conditions. In the meantime please feel free to peruse the references shown below.

For more information:

By Scott Mathias Certified Holistic Health Professional, Member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioner. Editor

Editors Note: It's important to note research on the complete effectiveness of omega-3 supplements for ADHD and autism is still in its early stages. Additionally, hemp seeds are not a cure for ADHD or autism, and any treatment or dietary changes should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional.


  • Bloch MH, Qawasmi A. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptomatology: systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2011;50(10):991-1000. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.06.008.

  • Amminger GP, Berger GE, Schäfer MR, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in children with autism: a double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study. Biological psychiatry. 2007;61(4):551-553. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.05.007.

  • Hallahan B, Ryan T, Hibbeln JR, et al. Efficacy of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of depression. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2016;209(3):192-201. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.160242.

  • Callaway J, Schwab U, Harvima I, et al. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. 2005;16(2):87-94. doi: 10.1080/09546630510035832.

  • Jeong JH, Choi MJ, Choi EM. Beneficial effects of hempseed oil on hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2014;25(2): 201-209. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.003.

Additional studies that you may find helpful:

  • Colter AL, Cutler C, Meckling KA. Fatty acid status and behavioural symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents: a case-control study. Nutrition Journal. 2008;7(1):8. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-7-8.

  • Hirayama S, Hamazaki T, Terasawa K. Effect of docosahexaenoic acid-containing food administration on symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder – a placebo-controlled double-blind study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004;58(3):467-473. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601800.

  • Mazahery H, Stonehouse W, Delshad M, Kruger MC, Conlon CA, Beck KL, von Hurst PR. Relationship between long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and autism spectrum disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis of case-control and randomised controlled trials. Nutrients. 2017;9(2):155. doi: 10.3390/nu9020155.

  • Yurko-Mauro K, McCarthy D, Rom D, et al. Beneficial effects of docosahexaenoic acid on cognition in age-related cognitive decline. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2010;6(6):456-464. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2010.01.013.

References particularly related to the benefits of hemp seeds and powder:

  • Callaway, J. C. (2004). Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica, 140(1-2), 65-72. DOI: 10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6

  • Rodríguez-Landa, J. F., Cueto-Escobedo, J., Hernández-Martínez, A., Fernández-Guasti, A., & Estrada-Reyes, R. (2019). Anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like effects of virgin coconut oil in mice. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 17(1), 960-970. DOI: 10.3892/etm.2018.7035

  • Schwab, U., Callaway, J., Erkkilä, A., Gynther, J., Uusitupa, M., & Järvinen, T. (2006). Effects of hempseed and flaxseed oils on the profile of serum lipids, serum total and lipoprotein lipid concentrations and haemostatic factors. European Journal of Nutrition, 45(8), 470-477. DOI: 10.1007/s00394-006-0621-z

  • House, J. D., Neufeld, J., & Leson, G. (2010). Evaluating the quality of protein from hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) products through the use of the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score method. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(22), 11801-11807. DOI: 10.1021/jf102636b

  • Callaway, J. C. (2004). Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica, 140(1-2), 65-72. DOI: 10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6



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