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Chapter 7 – Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L.) Proteins : Composition, Structure, Enzymatic Modification, and Functional or Bioactive Properties

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Abstract

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a source of nutritious seeds that have been used as human food for thousands of years. The seeds contain nonmedicinal levels ( 70% solubility at pH 4.0–6.0, whereas most plant proteins are typically insoluble. Addition of hemp seed protein to polycystic kidney disease rat diet led to reduced pathological intensity of renal disease and amelioration of associated cardiovascular impairment. Moreover, hemp seed enzymatic hydrolysates have proven effective during in vitro and in vivo tests as antioxidant and antihypertensive agents. Therefore, hemp seed proteins and hydrolysates have the potential to be used as ingredients to formulate functional foods.

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Chapter 7 – Hemp Seed ( Cannabis sativa L.) Proteins : Composition, Structure, Enzymatic Modification, and Functional or Bioactive Properties Add to Mendeley Abstract Hemp ( Cannabis

Cannabis sativa L. seeds: properties, uses and health benefits

The rediscovery of Cannabis is opening up its seeds potential to new fields of application.

The classification of its cultivated varieties is much debated. To this day, it is still difficult to understand, whether or not all Cannabis types belong to the Cannabis Sativa variety, or if Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis, for example, should be considered distinct species.

Today, Cannabis sativa is cultivated throughout the world. Its introduction in Europe probably goes back to the second millennium BC and in Italy, traces of its presence from the 1st century BC have been found. Century after century, cannabis cultivation spread throughout the world up until the 1930’s. And it has only been a few years since the plant was rediscovered, thanks to scientific publications attesting to its excellent and useful properties.

What’s inside a cannabis seed?

Proteins compose 24% of Hemp seeds (mainly edestin and albumin). Adding to these are eight essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. This composition makes cannabis seeds a healthy food, used as a complement in many diets. Hemp seeds are, in fact, rich in vegetable fats (about 35%) among which the essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, naturally contained in linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid.

These are true active nutrients, present in high quantities in vegetable oils and in some animal fats. Moreover, hemp seeds contain a significant amount of vitamins and mineral salts.

The rediscovery of Cannabis is opening up its seeds potential to new fields of application. The classification of its cultivated varieties is much debated. To this day, it is still difficult to understand, whether or not all Cannabis types belong to the Cannabis Sativa variety, or if Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Rudera