Food & Nutrition
On the 28th of April 2017 the Council of Australian Governments approved hemp as a food product!
Food Standard Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has given its approval of hemp products to be sold as food.
The bi-national government agency which administers the Food Standards Code has approved the sale of foods derived from low (and no)-THC hemp — the psychoactive component of cannabis.
With the exception of hemp seed oil the sale of hemp-based foods is currently illegal in Australia, but the legislation is being ignored or side-stepped extensively.
Hemp or industrial hemp is a cannabis plant species (Cannabis sativa). Historically, hemp has been used as a source of fibre and oil. Hemp seeds and oil are used in other countries, including in Europe, Canada and the United States of America, in a range of foods. Hemp seeds contain protein, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.
Cannabis extracts have also been used in medicine for a variety of ailments. However hemp does not have therapeutic effects because it has low levels of cannabidiol, the active component of cannabis extracts used for medicinal purposes.
Hemp is different to other varieties of C. sativa which are commonly referred to as marijuana as it contains no, or very low levels of THC (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the cannabinoid associated with the psychoactive properties of marijuana.
Hemp is cultivated worldwide, including in Australia and New Zealand (under strict licensing arrangements) and is currently used in Australia and New Zealand as a source of fibre for clothing and building products.
Hemp Food Key Points
To be clear, hemp foods sold in Australia are low enough in THC (the hallucinogenic substance found in cannabis) that you can’t get high from eating them.
- Until recently, hemp fell under a classification that prohibits all species of cannabis from being added to food, or sold as a food.
- Previous attempts to allow hemp as a food source were rejected after concerns that people who consumed hemp could then deliver a positive roadside drug test. This is no longer the case In Australia.
- But David Gillespie, Australia’s Assistant Minister for Rural Health, said the likelihood of low-THC hemp seeds delivering a positive drug test would be “virtually impossible”. “As such, our other ministers in the space, including police, security, agriculture and all the other bodies involved in this space, feel that it is a reasonable thing to include in the food profile of Australia,” Dr Gillespie said. “So that will be going through to each state’s legislative processes and gazetting.”
- Hemp has omega-3 and omega-6 in perfectly balance for the human body.
- Hemp also has something like approximately 20 amino acids in it, including the nine essential ones for human development as well as being really high in protein.
- Hemp is one of the world’s super foods.
- Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, or made into dried sprout powder. The leaves of the hemp plant can be consumed raw in salads. Hemp can also be made into a liquid and used for baking or for beverages such as hemp milk, hemp juice and tea. Hempseed oil is cold-pressed from the seed and is high in unsaturated fatty acids. In 2011, the U.S. imported $11.5 million worth of hemp products, mostly driven by growth in demand for hemp seed and hemp oil for use as ingredients in foods such as granola. Australia is now entering this market.
- In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) treats hemp as a purely non-food crop, but with proper licensing and proof of less than 0.2% THC concentration, hemp seeds can be imported for sowing or for sale as a food or food ingredient in the UK. In the U.S., imported hemp can be used legally in food products and as of 2000, was typically sold in health food stores or through mail order. Australia has now caught up.
- Among the numerous uses of hemp, one of its most popular applications is as a food source. In grocery stores, you can now find hemp food products such as hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, hemp milk, hemp tea, and even hemp infusion drinks. These hemp (or cannabis) products bring together the nutritional and medical benefits, along with hemp’s unique nutty taste to a variety of different consumer products.
- 100 grams of hulled hemp seeds supply 586 calories. They are 5% water, 5% carbohydrates, 49% total fat and 31% protein. Hemp seeds are notable in providing 64% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Hemp seed amino acid profile is comparable to other sources of protein such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score values (PDCAAS), which measure the degree to which a food for humans is a “complete protein”, were 0.49-0.53 for whole hemp seed, 0.46-0.51 for hemp seed meal, and 0.63-0.66 for dehulled hemp seed.
- Hemp seeds are a rich source of B vitamins, the dietary minerals, manganese (362% DV), phosphorus (236% DV), magnesium (197% DV), zinc (104% DV), iron (61% DV) and dietary fiber (20% DV) (table).
- Approximately 73% of the energy in hemp seeds is in the form of fats and essential fatty acids, mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic, oleic and alpha-linolenic acids.
Hemp Seed Oil – is made by cold pressing of hemp seeds and is not suitable for frying because of its low smoke point (160 C/320 F). One of the main health benefits of hemp seed oil is that it offers a very balanced EFA (essential fatty acids) distributions in the body, unlike flaxseed oil. Hemp seed oil consists of:
- 55% linoleic acid (LA/omega-6)
- 22% alpha-linoleic acid (ALA/omega-3)
- 1%-4% gamma-linoleic acid (GLA)
- 1%-2% stearidonic acid (SDA/omega-3)
Hemp Seed Oil – Often confused with cannabis oil, another beneficial variation of hemp oil is hemp extract oils with phytocannabinoids. One of the most clinically studied cannabinoids is CBD (cannabidiol), which is known to have numerous benefits. Among many other things, it’s known to have the potential to treat neuroinflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), HIV/AIDS and even cancer. The higher CBD content, the more potent medicinal effect can be observed.
Therefore, some experts recommend not only to take hemp oil as a supplement, but also apply it directly to the skin. There are plenty of skin care products, such as balms and shampoos, infused with hemp oil that are used by knowledgeable consumers for its properties. They not only are excellent moisturizers, but they also help reduce dandruff, seborrhea, and itchy scalps.
Hemp Seed – A delicious and nutritional product that is derived from cannabis is hemp heart seeds. Hemp hearts are rich in fibre, full of complete proteins, and contain well-balanced fats. Among the health benefits of the hemp hearts, many studies support the ideas that it could promote digestion, reduce irritable bowel syndrome, and normalize gastrointestinal tracts. It’s also shown to reduce PMS and menopause symptoms. More critically, hemp seeds have shown to be beneficial to cardiovascular health, as it may reduce blood pressure and decrease risks of a heart attack.
Hemp Milk – is another popular product made from hemp seeds, often additionally flavored with vanilla or chocolates. Overall, it is a great alternative to soy, nuts milk or traditional milk as it contains no dairy. Hemp seeds are also known to not cause any allergic reactions. Majority of hemp milk’s benefits come from the hemp seeds, which provides rich omega fatty acids, calcium, iron, niacin, and zinc.
Hemp Tea – Hemp tea, which consists of dry hemp leaves or toasted hemp seeds, contains trace amount of many useful cannabinoids (like CBD) that may substantially vary depending on the plant species. However, majority of cannabinoids are not water soluble. Therefore, in order to maximize the health benefits of hemp tea, dry hemp with oil, butter, or some alcohol. This will help cannabinoids to dissolve faster and more effectively. Hemp tea consumers claim multiple health benefits of hemp tea, such as:
- Helps with insomnia, reduce anxiety, stress and depressions
- Illuminates nausea and irritable bowel syndrome that are frequently happening to chemotherapy patients
- Reduces chronic pain, sometimes reduce allergy, reduce inflammations. This makes it popular among rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
We already make Healthy Food – Our Murrumbooee Brand
By having access to our own high quality food manufacturing factory within our Group, the Trust will be able to supply commercial hemp seed, fibre, hemp protein powder and other hemp products. These products will be infused into the 33 quality Murrumbooee condiments.
Through our experience in the hemp and medical cannabis industries in the US, we understand what is required to prepare and process hemp plants into infusion capable additives for the range of Murrumbooee products and for other food companies’ use.
By us importing, growing and processing Hemp Seeds and other parts of the plant, we can provide products that can be added to everyday foods that can make a real difference to our customer’s lives if taken as a part of a regular diet.
Hemp food products are not in any way medical products. We make no claims that Hemp will cure human disease, but like any health food, Hemp has its own unique properties that assist with the prevention of disease.