But before you get the wrong idea – Hemp is NOT the same thing as Marijuana (they’re more like close relatives). If we were to take all the beneficial parts out of the Marijuana, minus the THC (the compound that makes you “high”) – we’d be left with our nutrient-dense friend, Hemp.
The History Of Hemp
Despite how it may seem, Hemp isn’t a new craze. The plant has been used for thousands of years. In fact, the first traces of hemp date back to as early as 8000 BCE in Ancient China. Here, it’s pronounced dàmá, and it’s widely believed it was used to make food, rope, pottery, paper, clothing and textiles.
Hemp eventually found it’s way to Europe, North America and the rest of the world - and it was widely celebrated for it’s enormous social and economic value.
But in 1937, the plant’s rise to fame came to a grinding halt. Propaganda in the US tarred hemp with the same brush as Marijuana, leading to its prohibition. Australia and the rest of the world soon followed suit.
Until finally, Australia saw the light – Hemp was legalised again in 2017.
The Many Uses Of Hemp
And by many, we mean up to 25,000 different products! In fact, every single part of the plant is useful (including the seeds, the stalk fibre and the hurd). Hemp is used for medicine, skincare, carpet, bioplastics, paper, soap, biofuel, insulation… the list goes on. And now that it’s legal to consume in Australia, you’ll find a range of Hemp food on the market…
- Hemp Seeds – The tiny, nutrient-dense heart of the hemp seed. They’re perfect for sprinkling on salads and soups.
- Hemp Seed Oil – Made from raw, cold-pressed hemp seeds – you can drizzle it on, well, anything!
- Hemp Protein – Made from raw, cold-pressed hemp seeds. Hemp protein is milled down to give you a whopping boost of protein.
- Hemp Milk – A nutritious blend of hemp seeds and water, which has an earthy, nutty flavour.
- Hemp Flour – Made similarly to Hemp Protein expect the fibre is retained in the milling process. Hemp flour is perfect to use in baking alongside your flour of choice.
Benefits Of Hemp
In terms of sustainability and human health – hemp ticks all of the boxes.
Those tiny seeds pack a mighty punch. They’re loaded with essential fatty acids, protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamin E and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. What’s more, Hemp contains the optimum ratio of Omega 6 and 3 (which is 3:1). And the benefit of this combination is extraordinary - from reducing inflammation to boosting immunity, digestion and heart health.
But one of the standout features of the plant is that it’s sustainable and eco-friendly. It adapts to various climates, recycles nutrients back into the soil and requires very few pesticides and chemicals to grow. What’s more, it’s fast growing and captures four times more CO2 than trees!
So there you have it. There are few materials on our planet that are so versatile, nourishing and useful. A mediator between consumption and climate change, Hemp can help us grow our way to a greener future.