When most people hear the word “hemp”, they immediately think of cannabis, but the hemp that is found in health shops and superfood stores has no psychoactive effect. What this ancient seed does contain – and plenty of it too – is a complete protein, as well as a wide range of other nutritional elements. But the biggest bonus of hemp is perhaps that it is really tasty and has many uses, making for yummy additions in various recipes. If you have not done so yet – now is definitely the time to introduce hemp to your kitchen!
What is hemp?
Hemp belongs to the mulberry family and is one of the oldest and best-known medicinal plants in the world. As far as we know, this powerful medicinal plant originally comes from Central Asia and it was used for centuries, even as far back as the Stone Age. Hemp contains many healing properties and over the centuries, it has been used by many different cultures; ranging from those in India, the Mesopotamians, the Sumerians, Persians, Egyptians and indigenous people of Central America. The hemp in hemp seed and hemp oil is also called industrial hemp and unlike cannabis, does not have any psychoactive effect. Industrial hemp is not only very healthy nutritionally but can also be used to make many products, including clothing, curtains, packaging, rope, paper, fuel (biodiesel), parts for cars and even houses!
Why is hemp so healthy?
Hemp seed contains complete proteins that help build muscle and promote endurance as well as keeping blood sugar levels even, speeding up healing and naturally detoxifying the body. It also helps build strong bones and teeth and contains omega-3 fatty acids, and more than 20 kinds of minerals (including magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, platinum, phosphorus, sulphur, boron, nickel, germanium, tin iodine, chromium, silver and lithium), as well as spore elements that are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. In addition, hemp seed also has a large number of enzymes and antioxidants as well as vitamin E and lecithin, both of which are important for good brain functioning. Lecithin supports the liver, promoting the natural detoxification of the body. Hemp seed is also rich in alpha, beta and gamma globulin, which strengthen the immune system and aid in repairing damaged and aging tissue as well as build new tissue. Hemp seed also contains chlorophyll and the anti-inflammatory fatty acid GLA, which can also be found in spirulina, and is known for its hormone regulatory function and anti-inflammatory functioning and has the highest quality of essential fatty acids of all seeds on the planet (especially polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid, oleic acid and alpha linoleic acid).
What makes hemp seed so unique is that it has a very small amount of THC (less than 1%), the psychoactive component that is also found in cannabis, but in a much higher dose (cannabis contains 15-20%). THC is used to treat various illnesses, from cancer and the side effects of prednisone and chemotherapy, to various eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma, ADHD/ADD, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, borderline personality disorder, sleeping disorders, headache, migraine, fibromyalgia and tremors. Then, it also contains CBDa (Cannabidiolic acid), which is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. A hemp product rich in CBDa is CDB Oil. This oil is carefully processed, to keep as much of the healing CBDa.
How can you use hemp products?
Hemp seed has a creamy and nutty taste, excellent for smoothies, nut mixes, salads, raw snacks and soups. You can buy them shelled or whole. Grind the whole hemp seeds finely into a flour and use this to make a glutenfree cake or bread or to make hemp milk. Hemp oil is ideal for replacing olive oil in various cold dishes like salads, sauces and treats. Hemp protein tastes great in shakes and smoothies.