Unlike many of the ingredients I feature, hemp lacks a long aphrodisiac history. Yet there are references in works such as Wedeck’s Dictionary of Aphrodisiacs and Davenport’s Aphrodisiacs and Love Stimulants to the aphrodisiac effects of cannabis and hash. Timothy Leary’s Search for the True Aphrodisiac makes the claim that hashish and marijuana will initially increase libido and chronic use will cause “sexual inversion.” As far as I can tell, Leary’s assertion is not backed by science. But I’m guessing that it’s likely very accurate and based on his own extensive field research.
And so, even though there’s little to go on from a historical standpoint, all of this evidence inspired me to explore hemp’s aphrodisiac potential. (Unfortunately, unlike Leary, my research was not fieldwork… Mostly.) And what I first discovered was a vast quantity of research on hemp’s nutritional value. So, it’s pretty clear to me why this ingredient is suddenly being promoted as aphrodisiac.
Rich in protein yet easy to digest, hemp is also lower in saturated fat than most of the world’s quality protein sources. Hemp’s amino acids can help promote immunity. It is rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids so useful in improving mood and, in seed or hemp meal form, rich in fiber. Most importantly, it is a good source of vitamin E, aka the sex vitamin.
Hemp seeds do contain a trace amount of THC, which is part of the reason its growth in the culinary market has been slow. (However it has been deemed safe for consumers of all ages.) The amount is, in fact, so low, that a Canadian study shows that even with daily consumption of hemp, no THC would show up on a standard drug test.