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Difference Between Hemp and Whey Protein

Protein is the most important nutrients alongside fat and carbohydrate. While proteins are naturally found in food, it can be difficult to fulfil the body’s protein needs especially with certain diets, hence the need for supplementation. There are a variety of protein powders, mostly categorized into plant and animal-based. Some of the most popular animal proteins include casein and whey protein pounders while the most popular plant-based proteins include pea, soy and hemp powders. Even with the popularity of whey protein, more people are looking for plant-based proteins. As such, hemp protein has become very popular in the recent past. In this article, we will look at the differences between hemp and whey protein. 

What is Hemp Protein?

This is a protein powder made from hemp seeds. Being a plant-based protein, it is high in nutrients not forgetting its natural flavour and ease of digestion. Hemp protein has become very popular with individuals who follow a plant-based diet or are lactose intolerant

Since hemp is a complete protein, it has all 9 essential amino acids. It also has high contents of fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are considered beneficial for heart health. 

Many people may be concerned about the presence of THC in hemp powder. However, although it’s derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, hemp protein does not contain THC psychoactive compounds. 

Hemp protein is beneficial for people trying out an animal-based keto diet since it also provides the body with essential nutrients such as vitamin E, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc. 

What is Whey Protein?

This is a protein derived from animal milk. Since whey has all the 9 essential amino acids, it is a complete protein. It is also high in BCAAs. These aids the body in growth and the maintenance of muscle not forgetting boosting immunity. 

While the nutritional content of whey proteins may vary with different brands, research claims that the protein can promote the growth of muscle, suppress appetite, improve glycaemic control and protect the human body from oxidative stress. 

Other benefits of whey powders that are not available in other proteins include the high concentration of immunoglobins, more protein content, fewer carbohydrates not forgetting that it’s a natural detoxifier. As such, it is the best protein supplement for people who have active lifestyles and athletes. 

Similarities between Hemp and Whey protein

  • Both are protein supplements

Differences between Hemp and Whey protein


Hemp protein is derived from the hemp plant while whey protein is derived from animal milk. 


While hemp protein is a plant-based protein, whey protein is an animal-based protein. 


The process of deriving hemp protein does not involve any additives. On the other hand, the process used to derive whey protein is not 100% natural as hexane is used in the separation of the powder from lactose. 

Health benefits

Although hemp protein is easily digestible, it only has a 50% protein content. On the other hand, whey protein has a high protein content of even up to 99%. 


Hemp protein is derived from plants hence it’s more sustainable and environmentally friendly. On the other hand, whey protein is derived from animal products, making it less sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

Hemp vs. Whey protein: Comparison Table

Summary of Hemp and Whey Protein

Hemp protein is a plant-based protein. It is easily digestible and only has a 50% protein content whey protein is an animal-based protein. Since it’s derived from plants, it’s more sustainable and environmentally friendly. On the other hand, Whey protein is derived from animal milk. It has high protein content and is ideal for people who have active lifestyles and athletes. However, it is less sustainable and environmentally friendly since it’s derived from animal products. While the choice to use hemp or whey protein is personal, vegan individuals or dairy sensitive should opt for animal-based proteins such as hemp protein. 

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References :

[0]Lichtfouse E. & Crini G. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 42: Hemp Production and Applications. Springer Nature, 2020.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=J9TkDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA252&dq=Difference+between+Hemp+and+Whey+protein&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi76YDim8bvAhWRunEKHbWgA6EQ6AEwA3oECAQQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Hemp%20and%20Whey%20protein&f=false

[1]Huth P & Onwulata C. Whey Processing, Functionality and Health Benefits. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=wlhk_CmdZMAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Hemp+and+Whey+protein&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi76YDim8bvAhWRunEKHbWgA6EQ6AEwB3oECAkQAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

[2]Louisa Graves. Age-Proof: Beauty Alternatives You Need to Know. eBookIt.com, 2016.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=9Xuvdpjh_mgC&pg=PT127&dq=Difference+between+Hemp+and+Whey+protein&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi76YDim8bvAhWRunEKHbWgA6EQ6AEwCHoECAgQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Hemp%20and%20Whey%20protein&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://static.openfoodfacts.org/images/products/360/841/915/0704/front_fr.53.full.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://static.openfoodfacts.org/images/products/506/042/757/0338/front_en.3.full.jpg

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