Hemp Rules Over Marijuana


California may voted Cannabis out in one form while Wisconsin elected to allow it for medical use but no matter how well it survives the electorate on any given year, its here to stay.

Cannabis is both marijuana and hemp. They made a huge headway onto our grocery shelves. Hemp is becoming more popular than ever in grocery, health food and natural food stores across the nation. These foods contain by definition, whole hemp seeds, nut hulled seeds, sometimes flour derived from hemp seeds. Hemp food products include breads, granolas, cookies, salad dressings, nut butters, chips and even frozen deserts.

Hemp Bread
Hemp Bread

New Hemp Is Very Old

Growing hemp for food and fiber is a 12,000 year old endeavor. Later George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. A little known fact is that Jefferson drafted our Declaration of Independence on Hemp paper.

All hemp is not Marijuana. Both are classified as Cannabis Saliva. However, industrial hemp and marijuana are different. There are hundreds of varieties of Cannabis, a member of the mulberry family. Down thru history industrial hemp has been refined to produce the maximum amount of fiber, seeds and oil. Marijuana has instead been grown to increase THC. The THC is referred delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

Only varieties of Cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC in their flower portions are permitted as commercial Canada and European Union crops. In America hemp growing became illegal in the early 1950s, but the importing of foods made from hemp seeds and oils is not.

Hemp seeds used for food ingredient have hulls removed. This effectively eleminates all but the most microscopic amounts of THC. Shelled hemp seeds in food products typically contain less than 3 parts-per million (ppm) of THC. This means that when 20 percent of a food’s ingredients are shelled hemp seeds with only 2 ppm THC level, a person must eat 50 pounds of the food stuff to get high or marijuana-like intoxicated.

Why Hemp Foods At All?

Hemp seeds are actually nuts. Thirty-one percent of the nut is fat containing a delicious nutty flavor similar to pine nuts. Anyone who has purchased unsalted pine nuts in a local health food store is aware pine nuts often sell for $28 a pound. Their cousin hemp nuts are also very small and nutty as well as big on nutrition.

Thirty-five percent of the hemp nut is protein. Most of this protein is edestin, highly digestible storage protein. This is uncommonly high for plant protein. Plus hemp seed protein contains all the essential amino acids in a favorable ratio. Amino acid profile is close to “complete” compared to everyday protein sources like milk, meat, soy and eggs.

Hemp seeds are one of the richest, most balanced sources of essential fatty acids (EFA), omega-3 and omega-6. Studies link numerous everyday ailments to imbalance and deficiency of EFAs in our typical Western diets. Commonly we get too much omega-6 and too little omega-3. To be most effective, omegas need to be consumed in a balanced ratio, World Health Organization recommended humans get a ratio of 4:1.

Hemp seeds also offer additional phytonutrients, including phytosterols and carotenes, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and plus potassium. All in all, hemp’s main strength lies in hemp’s composition of oil.

So when opportunity to bring hemp home from your grocery store, it is foolish to hesitate. Shelled Hemp seeds sprinkled on baked potatoes, steamed veggies, crisp salads, or blended into a fruit smoothie are a healthy treat. Usable with just about any ordinary food hemp is here to stay.

Claudia Strasbaugh was a freelance writer who founded Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Writer’s Guild, was head writer for the weekly TV show “Kill ‘EM With Comedy”, plus California Bureau Chief for National Lotto World Magazine. Claudia also ran a non profit called Dinner On A Dollar. Sadly, Claudia passed away in 2015, but we are pleased to display her writing works.