What is hemp?
What are hemp foods? When we think of hemp, it is more than likely that our thoughts wonder towards it’s much more controversial brother marijuana. There are a couple of major differences between the two which I can explain as simple as possible.
Industrial hemp seeds are cultivated for food, and holds a proud reputation of being one the most sustainable and environmentally friendly crops known to man. Hemp absorbs high amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and in return replaces it with clean fresh air. It uses far less water than cotton, maintains higher yields per acre, and has a shorter cultivation cycle then other seed or grains. Hemp is also grown for plastic, paper, fibre and bio-fuel.
The cultivation of hemp alone can replenish the soil it grows in, to re-invigorate the earth for other agricultural uses.
Unlike marijuana, hemp contains less than 1% THC, which is the psychoactive compound that gets you high when consuming marijuana. Although these plants come from the same genus (Cannabis) the strains are different. “Hemp” being the industrial Cannabis sativa plant! “Marijuana” being the non-industrial cannabis plant that flowers, commonly sort after for medicinal and recreational uses.
What are hemp foods?
All hemp foods are made from the seeds that come from the industrial cannabis sativa plant, here are some examples of raw hemp foods.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is created by cold pressing the hemp seeds, hemp seed oil is high in essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It is highly regarded at the ‘perfect oil’ when referring to the perfect balance of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids that it boasts. Hemp seed oil benefits a wide range of health issues including heart and brain health, inflammation reduction, and the successful treatment of atopic eczema and psoriasis. Read more about the benefits of hemp seed oil.
Hulled hemp seeds or hemp hearts as we like to call them, are low allergy seed option when thinking of quick easy superfood to add to snacks or meals. The heart of the hemp seed is extracted from the outer seed in a process called de-hulling. The soft nutty flavoured centre is free of phytates (an anti-nutrient commonly found in other seed and grains), which means these little nutrient packed super seeds are 100% bio-available for the body, and do not need to be activated to reap the full the benefits of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are high in chlorophyll, naturally occurring vitamin D, and one serving can provide the recommended daily intake of fibre. The benefits of hemp seeds can range anywhere from digestive aid, weight loss, hormonal balance, as well as muscle and joint soreness. Read more about the benefits of hemp seeds.
Hemp Protein is a raw vegan protein powder that is milled from a ‘seed cake’ that remains after an oil extraction process takes place with hemp seeds. This is an all-natural process and nasty chemicals like hexane are not used in this process. Once the cake is dried and the oil has been removed, it is milled into a fine powder that we call hemp protein. Hemp protein is a great natural vegan alternative to whey and soy based proteins. It contains all 20 amino acids, is high in antioxidants, highly digestible, and contains no additives or preservatives. Read more about the benefits of hemp protein.
Don’t fear hemp, embrace it!
Prohibition has had a stronghold on the hemp industry for decades, the stigma hemp carries because of its close relative marijuana has left this magnificent superfood in limbo, and deprived many of us from one of the most beneficial plant based nutrients to ever grow on this planet. With your support and acceptance, this great wonder of the world will have its place once again, and hopefully we have a population of much healthier humans.