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Substitute for Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are seeds of Cannabis Sativa, the hemp plant. Their origin can be traced to Central Asia. They come in a variety of colors. These range from cream and brown to grey and green. The seeds have a soft silky feel. They have a mild nutty flavor as well. Hemp extracted from hemp seeds. They are both important in giving one a health boost.


Hemp seeds are very nutritious. They are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. They are also a very good source of protein amongst other nutrients. The seeds however do not cause hallucinations from consumption. They are used to help reduce the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, and blood clotting. They are also sprinkled in smoothies, sauces, gravies, and even salads.

Hemp seeds can be eaten raw or made into a meal. They have antioxidant properties that prove good for health. It positively impacts joints, heart, and skin health. Due to certain reasons, however, we may need to substitute hemp seeds for another. Such reasons could be preference, unavailability, or health-related. After putting the necessary factors into consideration, this article will be highlighting five excellent substitutes for hemp seeds below.

Uses of hemp seeds in recipes

As earlier stated, hemp seeds can be eaten raw or prepared into a meal. Some recipes that call for the use of hemp seeds include;

  1. Hemp and lemon hummus
  2. Hemp seeds cookies
  3. Banana sushi with hemp seeds
  4. Raw choc hemp seeds brownies
  5. Baked hemp parmesan.

Substitute for Hemp Seeds

As earlier stated, there are a number of reasons why one may need an alternative to hemp seeds. Here are five suitable substitutes for hemp seeds to suit your needs

Chia seeds

Chia seeds


A very good substitute for hemp seeds is Chia seeds. Chia seeds are a very good source of protein. They are also high in fiber, calcium, iron, and fat.  These seeds are small grey-colored oval seeds with white spots. They have a mild nutty flavor similar to hemp seeds. They have a 2mm Diameter similar to hemp seeds. Chia seeds are used to complement both sweet and savory dishes. It has a crunchy, dense texture. It has a taste similar to an alfalfa sprout too. When substituting hemp seeds for chia seeds, use them in equal amounts as required in the recipe.

Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)



Another great substitute for hemp seeds is pepitas. Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds are dietary fiber. They contain a good amount of protein. They are high in calories. The seeds are flat and have an asymmetrical outline. In order to achieve a similar texture to hemp seeds, finely chop the pumpkin seeds. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to smoothen its texture.

Pepitas have a strong nutty flavor that makes them a suitable substitute for hemp seeds. They are high in magnesium, protein, and other important nutrients. To substitute, use about ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds in the recipe.

Flax seeds



These are also known as Linseeds. They have been credited for being the best substitute for hemp seeds. Flax seeds are larger in size than hemp seeds. They are high in fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrient-rich seeds come in two main colors: golden or yellow and brown. Studies show that they may help fight heart diseases, diabetes, and breast cancer.

To substitute, use in the same ratio as hemp seeds are called for in a recipe.

Sesame seeds



Sesame seeds have a similar look to hemp seeds. They are mostly grown in tropical regions. They have a nice nutty flavor and texture. This makes it a good substitute for hemp seeds. They can be found inside the fruit of the sesame plant.

Sesame seeds have a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. They also have a crunchy feel too. When baked, they produce a strong almond-like flavor and aroma. When substituting, use in equal amounts as hemp seeds are called for in a recipe.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds


Sunflower seeds have a nutty flavor. They also have a firm but tender texture. They are rich in Vitamin B, E  folate, and a plethora of vitamins. They can be added to Salads, spread over chicken or fish, etc.

Sunflower seeds are usually roasted. You can however obtain them raw or roasted. They come in three varieties; linoleic, high oleic, and sunflower oil seeds. However, the best variety seems to be the linoleic variety. In fact, they are the most common ones you could easily obtain. substitute, use it the same way you would use hemp seeds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are hemp seeds and flax seeds the same thing?

No, they are not. However, they have similar nutritional contents. They both contain all 9 essential amino acids that the body can make on its own. But hemp seeds have about double the amount of protein as flax seeds.

Why are hemp seeds so expensive?

Some states do issue exclusive certification programs for hemp seeds distributors and producers. In addition to this, there are land, farming, and cultivation costs. These are what make hemp seeds an expensive commodity.

Can I substitute flaxseeds for hemp seeds?

Yes. Flaxseeds have similar nutritional contents to hemp seeds. In fact, they have been credited for being the best substitute for hemp seeds. You can simply substitute hemp seeds for flax seed in a recipe in the same ratio.


Hemp seeds are quite nutritious and a lot of recipes call for them. There have a variety of uses. They can be used in sauces, over dishes, or even made into a meal. However, there are times where a person may need a substitute for hemp seeds for a number of reasons. These reasons could be preference or even health-related. These factors were put into consideration when putting together these five substitutes for hemp seeds. I hope you found this helpful.