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As a little intro to Hemp 101 – it is important that everyone know that HEMP IS NOT MARIJUANA! Due to that lack of factual education surrounding the subject of cannabis it is understandable how this mistake can easy be made.
What we refer to as “Hemp” and “Marijuana” are different strains of Cannabis Sativa. The major difference between Hemp and Marijuana plants is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is secreted by the plants (other differences include physical appearance and genetic makeup.) Strains of Cannabis that are approved for industrial hemp production and as a food source produce less than 0.3% THC which is not enough to have any psychoactive properties or effects on the human body. The term “Hemp” is also often used to refer to the soft, durable fiber that is cultivated for industrial and commercial non-drug use. Strains of Cannabis grown for psychoactive and medicinal purposes are usually referred to as “Marijuana” and can contain anywhere from 6 or 7 % or higher THC.
Major producers of Hemp are: Canada, France, and China. While more hemp is exported to the United States then to any other country, the United States Government does not consistently distinguish between marijuana and the non-psychoactive Cannabis strains called Hemp that are used for industrial and commercial purposes.
Hemp is one of the earliest cultivated plants known to man – with a history dating back thousands of years. Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. A hemp seed can be raw, toasted (and salted), and hulled. The greatest value in hemp being a food source lies within its perfect balanced ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFA). Protein from the hemp seed contains all the essential amino acids making it a complete protein, and one of the highest from a plant source. Essential to tissue growth and metabolism in humans, these critical EFA’s cannot be produced by the human body and must instead be present in your diet. Having the proper balance of EFA’s is essential in preventing and treating of a wide range of conditions, including: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, eczema, psoriasis and acne. With an essential fatty acid content of about 75%, the oil from hemp hemp seeds contains one of the highest amounts of EFA’s of all plan oils. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc and a good source of potassium.
Currently, hemp seeds are utilized in various food products ranging from granolas, breads and oatmeal, to Hemp Protein Powder produced by companies such as Navitas Naturals that can be easly incorporated into a variety of foods such as smoothies!
Hemp seed supplements are also available at many health food stores, including Lull Farm. Hemp supplements are often times near the popular flax seed supplements. Flax Oil, with its very high content of the Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), is usually taken short term to correct Omega-3 deficiencies. However, Hemp Oil is the better choice for long-term consumption because it contains a more desirable balance of the two EFA’s. This is true especially in its presence of a rare fatty acid, “gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)”, and is the primary reason people buy borage and evening primrose oil, which help to treat such ailments as neurodermatitis, arthritis, and PMS.
Hemp is one of the fastest growing biomasses known to man, producing up to 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare per year. This is an amazing amount of production! As a crop, hemp is environmentally friendly - as it requires few pesticides and no herbicides.
A few interesting facts…
- Until 1883, more than 75% of the paper worldwide was made out of hemp fiber. Even banknotes and bibles and the first constitution of the United States were printed on it!
- Hemp can produce four times (per acre) more paper than trees.
- More tan 25 000 products can be made out of hemp such as paper, textiles, food and drinks, body care, paints, fuels, building materials, plastics, oils etc.
- Hemp absorbs more than cotton and retains three times more its shape. It's also stronger and more durable.
- Hemp absorbs up to 95% of the harmful UV rays, therefore it's a superb protection against the sun.
- Until the 1920's, hemp was used in 80% of clothing- and textile production.
- Hemp can grow almost anywhere on earth!
Since the introduction of The Body Shop’s line of hemp based products into the global marketplace, demand for hemp oil has grown rapidly. When Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soups changed its formula to use hemp oil instead of jojoba oil and they saw sales increase dramatically as a result. Hemp oil is so often used in body care products because of its incredible success as a natural moisturizing agent. The oil’s makeup is so ideal that it has been known to reverse some very serious skin diseases.
Lull Farm's Hemp Products:
More Information & Sources
A big thanks to our friends at 420 Hemp, HEMPMADE, Navitas Naturals for providing such useful information to share with our customers. We also recommend that our readers check out Wikipedia's Hemp page for more information. Lull Farm provides a fantastic selection of hemp food and skin care products, so check us out!
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