Guide to Hemp Protein Powder – Is it Really Worth It?

If you’ve been searching for a natural supplement to help get the most out of each workout, you’ve probably come across hemp protein powder.

This protein powder made from hemp seeds is gaining popularity among bodybuilders, athletes, and even those just looking to stay healthy – for good reasons.

Hemp packs a powerhouse punch of essential fatty acids, amino acids, and more – making it exceptionally beneficial for anyone living an active lifestyle.

This guide will take an in-depth look at how hemp protein powder can help fuel muscle growth for maximum results!

What is Hemp-Based Protein Powder?

Hemp protein powder is a supplement made from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seeds are not only rich in essential fatty acids, amino acids, and dietary fiber, but they’re also an excellent source of plant-based protein.

Despite what you might read elsewhere, hemp-based protein powder is a complete protein, as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Now, the reason why many mistakenly claim hemp-based protein isn’t a complete protein is because of the lack of research. While some compare hemp protein’s amino acid profile to one of an egg white, others claim they are incomparable.

The fact is, hemp protein does contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth, so it is complete; but because there is a lack of research, it is difficult to make an accurate claim about how this protein powder compares to other plant-based proteins.

Benefits of Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein is incredibly beneficial for those looking to get into shape or stay active.

Firstly, it’s high in healthy fats that keep cholesterol levels balanced and help prevent cardiovascular diseases. As you know, cardiovascular fitness and health are vital parts of the bodybuilding experience.

Additionally, hemp-based protein has more dietary fiber than most plant-based proteins, helping keep your digestion regular. For comparison, 30 grams of hemp protein contains about 6-10 grams of fiber, compared to 1.5 grams of fiber in pea protein.

Finally, because hemp is high in essential fatty acids and amino acids, hemp protein can be very beneficial in preventing inflammation after strenuous physical activity. [1]

Is Hemp Protein Good for You?

Yes, hemp protein is good for you.

It is loaded with beneficial nutrients that can support an active lifestyle. It’s filled to the brim with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and dietary fiber, which help reduce inflammation, regulate cholesterol levels, promote heart health, regulate digestive health, and could even improve brain function. [2]

Is Hemp Protein Vegan?

Yes, hemp protein is vegan. It’s made entirely from plant-based ingredients and contains no animal products or byproducts.

As such, it is a solid vegan alternative to whey or casein protein powders which are animal-derived.

Does Hemp Protein Have THC?

No, hemp protein powder does not contain any psychoactive components like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Hemp seeds are harvested from the same plant species as those containing THC, but they lack the active compounds that give said plant its effects.

So you can rest assured that your hemp protein powder won’t get you high or have you fail a drug test.

How Does Hemp Protein Compare to Whey Protein?

Hemp protein is not as effective as whey protein for building muscle. This might seem harsh to say, but there’s science behind that statement.

Whey isolate has a higher amount of essential amino acids (EAAs), which are the building blocks of proteins. Therefore, it is better suited for building muscle.

Also, if we look at protein content per scoop, it is very obvious that you’re getting a lot more protein from whey, making it a much more cost-effective option for muscle growth.

And that’s just part of it.

Is Hemp Protein a Good Alternative to Whey Protein?

Unless you’re vegan or severely lactose-intolerant, there is little to no reason to switch from whey protein to hemp-based.

While hemp offers some health benefits, it doesn’t even come close to the muscle-building potential of whey.

Considering the current lack of research, amino-acid profile, and even a macronutrient profile of a hemp-based protein, whey still remains the dominant choice.

What are the Side Effects of Hemp Protein?

There are little to no known serious side effects of hemp protein powder.

It is a natural, plant-based supplement, and its ingredients are not linked to any serious issues.

The most common side effects are digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation, caused by the high amounts of dietary fiber in hemp protein powder.

However, as long as you hydrate properly and you don’t take too much too quickly, these side effects should be minimal or non-existing.

Should You Use Hemp Protein Powder?

No. You should probably skip hemp protein powder.

Sure, hemp protein is great for general health and wellness, and it will help you hit your daily macro and micronutrient goals, build muscle and accelerate recovery, but at this point – it’s just not worth it.

Here’s why:

  • Is whey a better option if you don’t mind animal-derived proteins? Without a doubt.
  • Are there better plant-based alternatives? Yes.
  • Are there better, more cost-effective options? Definitely.

So, yes, you probably shouldn’t use hemp protein powder.

Best Hemp Protein Powder

With all that said, if you still wish to give it a try, here’s our recommendation for the best hemp-based protein on the market right now:

Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder
Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder

With 15 grams of protein per 30-gram scoop, Nutiva’s protein powder is one of the most protein-dense, pure hemp protein powders, making it our favorite. On top of protein, you can expect high levels of iron (6 mg) and zinc (4 mg) and a pretty decent amount of dietary fiber (6g).

Honestly, Nutiva is the only hemp-based protein powder that is even marginally worth it on the market right now. Everything else is less protein dense, nutritionally dense, and harder on your wallet. 

That said, we still don’t recommend hemp protein, but there are other great protein options on the market that are a better bet, as you’ll see in the next section. 

What You Should Take Instead

While hemp isn’t our favorite option, there are still many excellent protein powders available. We’ll list our best whey protein and vegan/plant-based alternatives here to give you a couple of excellent options to choose from. 

Our Recommended Whey Protein Powder

Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate
Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

If you’re looking for a great all-natural whey protein, Transparent Labs is our top choice from the whey protein options on the market. 

Transparent Labs aims to make whey protein a healthier solution to meet your dietary needs for bodybuilding with a high-quality product that contains very minimal added ingredients. All while giving you 28 grams of pure whey protein isolate per serving

Our Recommended Vegan/Plant-Based Protein Powder

Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate
Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Powder

Want the purest plant-based protein powder on the market? Look no further than Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate. This protein powder gives you pure soy protein isolate with no added ingredients

You also get 27 grams of protein and only 117 calories per serving. This isn’t just a nutritionally-packed supplement; it’s also value packed at a great cost per serving, especially if you buy it in bulk, which is what the Bulk Supplements brand is all about. 


Despite being a natural plant-based supplement, hemp protein powder is simply not worth it for bodybuilding purposes.

It’s less effective, more expensive, and doesn’t provide the same results whey protein does.

If anything changes in the future (which is highly unlikely), we’ll be sure to revisit this topic, but until then, just make sure to stick with proven protein powders.

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