Kidney Diet Tips

Food Facts Friday: Hemp Milk

Plant-based milk alternatives are growing in popularity.  Hemp milk is one of the lesser known of these.  Consumers can find hemp milk in most grocery stores and online. Hemp milk is made by blending water and seeds of the Cannabis plant. Hemp is made from the same plant that produces the psychoactive compound THC. However, hemp milk does not cause any body- or mind-altering effects.


People with kidney disease may follow a mineral-restricted diet, limiting sodium, potassium and phosphorus.  With some careful planning, hemp milk can fit into a kidney diet. Work with a renal dietitian to incorporate hemp milk into meal plans.

Here is a comparison between 8 ounces hemp milk and 8 ounces cow’s milk

  Nutrients Hemp milk Cow’s milk, 2%
Calories 60 122
Protein 3 gm 8 gm
Calcium 283 mg 293 mg
Phosphorus 317 mg 224 mg
Potassium 101 mg 342 mg
Sodium 134 mg 115 mg

As a general rule, dialysis patients are recommended to limit to 1/2 cup milk and milk alternatives with similar mineral content. If blood tests show high levels of potassium or phosphorus your dietitian may recommend almond milk or rice milk instead of hemp milk.

Hemp milk is a good source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, zinc and magnesium.

How to Make Hemp Milk

You can make your own kidney-friendly hemp milk with a handful of ingredients. Find hemp seeds on the baking isle at your local grocery store or order online. Hemp products are legal in the United States.


  • 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 whole date, pitted or 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (optional) 2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder for chocolate flavor
  • (optional) 1/4 cup fresh berries for berry flavor

Preparation steps

  1. Add hemp seeds, water and any optional ingredients to a high speed blender. Top with lid.  Blend for 1 minute.
  2. Scoop out a small sample and taste test for sweetness. Add more dates or vanilla as needed.
  3. Pour mixture directly into a serving container or if straining, pour over a large mixing bowl or pitcher with cheesecloth, a wire strainer or a nut milk bag.
  4. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate.  It keeps in refrigerator up to 5 days. 

How to Use Hemp Milk

Here are some suggestions for consuming homemade hemp milk:

  • Drink it straight
  • Add it to smoothies
  • Serve it over granola or your favorite cereal
  • Add it to baked goods to replace milk


  3. accessed June 2, 2020

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Dawn Johnson, MS, RDN, LD

Dawn Johnson, MS, RDN, LD

Dawn Johnson MS, RDN, LD knew she wanted to be a dietitian when she was 18 years old. Now practicing over 20 years, Dawn has worked in various settings with a focus in renal nutrition over 12 years. She is passionate about addressing, examining and resolving people’s ambivalence for change. Dawn resides in Highland, Indiana with her husband and 2 young children. During her personal time, she likes to run, visit her local library and volunteer at church.