Since travelling around Canada and the US, I have noticed a wide range of healthy food stores, restaurants and cafe’s, using or promoting hemp products (whether it be hemp seeds, protein or oil). Hold your giggles people, no I haven’t been getting high! There is so much more to this herb than it’s naughty reputation promotes!
UPDATE: Hemp is now available in Australia for purchase. Check out the changes to regulations here.
HEMP VS MARIJUANA
The most important thing to note here is that the plants referred to as hemp and marijuana are not the same. Both are members of the Cannabis sativa plant species, but they are two distinct varieties.
Marijuana typically is high in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) — the compound responsible for the plant’s notorious psychoactive effect — and low in CBD (cannabidiol) content.
Hemp, on the other hand, is typically high in CBD and contains microscopic amounts of THC, as it is bred to maximise its fibre, seeds and oil, the items for which it is most commonly used. As a result, hemp unlike marijuana, isn’t going to offer you any drug-like effect.
- PROTEIN: Two tablespoons of shelled hemp seeds contain about 11 grams of protein. This is more than any other plant protein available on the market. Hemp also is the only plant known to produce Edestin C – believed to be the most digestible form of hemp protein that doesn’t cause any gas or bloating. Edestin protein has also been known to help maintain a healthy immune system. Hemp is considered a complete protein containing 10 essential amino acids.
- ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: Hemp seed oil has been dubbed “nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”, due to the fact that it contains a balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 essential fatty acids. This can help reduce inflammation and improve mental functioning, promote a healthy immune system, healthy skin and nails, balance blood sugars as well as make up for potentially impaired fatty acid metabolism. Hemp also contains 12 other EFA’s including Omega 9, CLA, GLA and SDA.
- FIBRE: The high amount of fiber that is contained in hemp seeds can help to keep your digestive tract clean and healthy.
- MINERALS: Hemp is NATURALLY high in magnesium, iron, potassium, fiber and phytonutrients, plus natural antioxidants like vitamin E. These all help to protect Hemp seed’s healthy omega oils from oxidation.
- HEALTHY SKIN: Hemp oil is often used for cosmetic purposes in products such as soaps, skin lotions and lip balms. This is because the oil helps to penetrate into the layers of the skin to promote new cell growth for a softer and smoother skin.
Hemp comes in the form of hemp seeds, hemp oil, milk, protein and more.
WHERE TO BUY HEMP
As mentioned previously (at the top of this article), hemp is now available in Australia for food consumption. Very soon you should be able to collect this at your local health food store and reap the benefits. Check out the changes to regulations here.
If you are looking to try some hemp products (the hemp oil is delicious – a really nice nutty flavour that goes really well in smoothies), you can check out http://www.hempfoods.com.au.