Hemp seeds are from low-THC varieties of Cannabis sativa.
The modern usage of the word ‘hemp’ is reserved for plants that meet the legal requirement of containing 0.3% THC or less, also referred to as industrial hemp. Hemp seeds are prohibited as a food in Australia (2016).
Subjective concerns over THC in hemp foods are not supported by scientific evidence.
Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, sprouted, ground into a meal, made into hemp milk, prepared as tea, and used in baking. Hemp seeds are high in Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s).
Consuming sufficient omega-3 in the right EFA ratio has impressive benefits, including: reducing cholesterol, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and sudden cardiac death, reducing the need for insulin among diabetics, decreasing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, promoting mood improvement in bipolar disorders, and optimizing development in infants.
Hemp seed’s amino acid profile is close to “complete” when compared to more common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. The surface of the seed prevents oxygen penetrating and making contact with any sensitive nutrients. As long as the seeds are not crushed or exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius, the light, air and heat sensitive components inside (namely– the oils) remain protected.
Hemp seed oil is produced from cold pressing the whole hemp seed.
Hemp seed oil is dark to clear light green in colour, with a pleasant nutty flavour. The oil is of high nutritional value because of its 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 EFA’s. Hemp seed oil has been attributed to helping: increase energy, soften skin, relieve arthritis and normalize blood cholesterol. Hemp seed oil should always be stored in a cool-room or refrigerator.
Hemp seed meal or flour is a by product from oil pressing.
The meal is processed into hemp protein powder. Hemp seed meal offers more protein than meat, is high in dietary fibre and contains all Essential Amino Acids, minerals, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Copper, Boron, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Sulphur and Chlorophyll. Hemp seed hulled (without the mineral rich outer shell) is soft and creamy similar to peanut butter in texture. The hull is removed without heat to preserve the nutritional value of the hemp seed heart.