What Is Hemp Bread?

Dan Harkins

Hemp is utilized across the globe in a range of useful products, from fabric, paper and rope to cosmetics, fuels and even food. The seeds of hemp are protein-rich — soybeans are the only plant that provides more amino acids — and often are counted on to supplement a diet lacking in animal proteins. Hemp bread, made from crushed-seed flour, boasts all eight amino acids that the body needs to thrive.

Hemp plants.
Hemp plants.

Many who are living vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free lifestyles hail the use of hemp seeds in recipes like hemp bread for the protein punch they deliver. Finely crushed into a flour, removing all oils, hemp seeds often are used in concert with other binding proteins like teff, potato starch, arrowroot powder and rice flour to provide a well-rounded nutritional package for sandwiches and spreads. Most of the other ingredients in hemp bread are similar to that of other breads: salt, sugar, yeast, oil and baking soda.

Hemp bread is high in protein and fiber due to the nutritious hemp seed.
Hemp bread is high in protein and fiber due to the nutritious hemp seed.

The recipes for hemp bread vary from the savory to the hyper-sweet. Sandwich varieties include ingredients like garlic, onion powder, more salt and less sugar. When sweet bread is being made, less salt and more sugar is included, along with natural sweeteners like honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, jellies or whole pieces of fruit. The opportunities for experimentation are many.

A sweet version of hemp bread typically features maple syrup.
A sweet version of hemp bread typically features maple syrup.

One recipe for hemp bread, a gluten-free loaf, contains a diverse combination of nutrients. Formed in a standard-size bread pan, it contains hemp, brown rice, teff and tapioca flours as well as salt, xanthan gum, water, yeast, cane sugar, olive oil, honey, cider vinegar and arrowroot powder. It takes 60 minutes baking at 350°F (about 182.2°C) to complete.

Hemp bread is packed with the eight essential amino acids that the body requires in order to thrive.
Hemp bread is packed with the eight essential amino acids that the body requires in order to thrive.

The end result is a nutritious bread with marketing potential, despite occasional worries about legality. Hemp seeds and their products are legal, as long as the seeds were produced by a strain of hemp that does not produce marijuana buds, the THC-laden pot plant known as Cannabis sativa. According to an interview with Lynn Gordon of California's French Meadow Bakery, hemp bread has been an on again/off again possibility at her bakery since 2000, depending on the legalities associated with marijuana and its seeds. The state loosened its grip on marijuana production in 1996 when it approved the drug for medicinal use, but possession and cultivation is still illegal to the population without a prescription. To be safe, it is best to make hemp bread with hemp seeds, not Cannabis sativa seeds.

Hemp bread may feature teff flour.
Hemp bread may feature teff flour.

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Discussion Comments


Using hemp seeds to make bread sounds like it would be healthy and delicious, depending on what other ingredients are added to it. I have never tasted hemp seeds.

Just like the article stated, owners of bakeries have to be careful about what type of hemp they use, considering the illegal marijuana issue. How difficult is it to tell the difference between the cannabis marijuana plant and the legal one?

My brother is gluten sensitive and he has been collecting recipes for his gluten-free diet. The recipe in the article sounds like a tasty one.


In the fall I find myself in the kitchen more often and love to make banana bread and pumpkin bread. I will often make small loaves of these and give to neighbors for Christmas.

I also love to find new recipes for bread and came across a banana bread recipe that used whole wheat flour and hemp flour. I found some hemp flour at the health food store and was curious to see what this would taste like.

I like banana bread with chocolate chips in it, but wanted this to be a healthier bread, so added hemp seeds and carob chips. I bought these at the health food store when I bought the hemp flour.

Even my husband who doesn't like very many health foods thought this bread was good. It didn't last very long around our house, and I am looking forward to making it again.


I like healthy bread with nuts and seeds in it. I also like my bread to have a nutty flavor to it, and hemp bread is perfect for this.

My favorite hemp bread recipe uses a rye flour, and includes hemp seeds and sunflower seeds. A slice of this bread fresh from the oven with a little honey on top of it tastes even better than dessert to me.


I love homemade bread and trying different kinds of grains. When I first tasted a slice of hemp bread, I liked it so much that I decided to make some myself.

I used some hemp flour combined with some white flour to give it an even texture. The rest of the ingredients are similar to what I would put in any bread recipe and include yeast, salt, honey and olive oil.

Once I have the batter mixed up I then add some hemp seeds and caraway seeds. These last two ingredients help make it extra delicious.

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