The hemp plant is derived from the same Cannabis genus family. Unlike its cousin, hemp contains virtually no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance that is found in Cannabis. The main product in Cannabis is the flowers. Industrial hemp, on the other hand, refers to the use of stalks and seeds which are refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, fiber, paper, pulp, resin, wax and bio-fuel.
Industrial hemp has a history that goes back thousands of years. The Chinese grew and cultivate hemp for textile fiber and food over 4,500 years ago. The plant uses were later introduced to the Middle East, Mediterranean and eventually Europe. In America, hemp was once used to produce rope, textiles, clothing and paper. Today the use of hemp can be found in numerous applications ranging from foods, materials and fuel.
Food and Nutritional Values
Hemp seeds or achene can be consumed raw, made into milk, grounded into powder or made into oils for various uses. Hemp seeds are considered a high-protein food source. Its amino acid profile is comparable to other protein sources such as meat, eggs, soy and milk. Hemp seeds are also rich in magnesium, iron, zinc and fiber.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp oil can be produced from the seeds or pressed from the plants. There are many uses for hemp oil ranging from soap, lubricants, body care to dietary supplement.
Hemp seed oil is found to be the most unsaturated oil derived from plants. Our diet requires the essential fatty acids (EFAs) contained in hemp seed oil more than any other vitamins. Because our bodies don’t naturally produce these EFAs, we must obtain them from external food sources. These fatty acids are critical in producing life’s energy throughout our bodies and life is not possible without them.
Hemp seed oil is also considered “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil” because it contains the perfect balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 EFAs which is the optimum requirement for long-term healthy nutrition. A diet containing a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids can result in healthy skin and strong immune system as well as prevent many common illnesses.
Hemp seed oil also provides an adequate amount of antioxidants, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and iron. In general, hemp seed oil is a very useful source of nutrients in our diet and a key contributor to a healthy lifestyle.