Agriculture has had to change to keep pace with the ever changing needs of the world’s peoples. Some crops, for a variety of reasons, became less favorable to farmers and were not produced in many places; one such victim of reduced demand was the Hemp plant, where governmental policy affected the market. For many hundreds of years, maybe thousands, hemp was grown in many countries as a major agricultural product. Production of hemp was illegal in many major producing countries which left a resulting big gap in the availability of fiber in world trade, so other crops had to be found and cotton seemed to fit the bill.
One of the reasons is that hemp was once viewed as a dangerous psychoactive drug and its other uses were ignored. Bad press about the psychoactive versions and poor education did nothing to help which led some governments in large producing nations to abandon the hemp plant completely.
Not the Evil Plant They All Said It Was!
Hemp with a high psychoactive content turned out to be a good treatment for a number of the symptoms of some common disorders; and the predictions of its destructive and addictive potential were far over exaggerated. What has transpired is that alcohol, heroin, cocaine and tobacco are all far more insidious and damaging to society. Producing cannabis was banned in the 20th century while at the same time opium could be bought openly.
There is a totally different scientific view these days.
With government attitudes being changed by better education and research, hemp production is now actively encouraged again. Farmers are realizing the potential of hemp crops so production of non-THC hemp is on the rise. The industry has been positively affected by this changing attitude and as a result this versatile crop can be used in many industrial applications including plastics and building composites. It also provides fiber for clothing and fabrics, plus an important part of the cropped plant – hempseed.
What is So Important about Hempseed?
There is good reason for hempseed to be seen as preferable to similar crops such as flaxseed; Seed is required to propagate the following years crop, but hempseed is uniquely special in several ways; from EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) to important proteins that the body needs, to the large amount of oil produced.
Let’s investigate this a little deeper:
To get a better understanding of the importance of hempseed, we can examine its constituent parts to see why it is held in high regard.
Hempseed is comprised partly of a rich oil that can easily be extracted. The ratio of oil to overall seed mass is very impressive – commonly, about thirty per cent of the seed is hempseed oil.
The components of the oil itself turn out to be very important nutritionally:
Hempseed oil comprises almost 25% protein – and a really good protein too!
The total protein content of hempseed oil is edestin, a useful globular protein. The blood plasma protein found in large amounts in the body globulin is very similar to edestin. This makes this particular protein very easy for the human body to assimilate. Our bodies use edestin to produce toxic agents that reduce toxins in the body – for anyone with kidney issues, this can be a great boost.
Albumin is another protein found in hempseed oil. Easy to digest and absorb, this protein is a valuable controller of potentially damaging free radicals. These are reasons why hemp protein has proved popular among athletes.
The ratio of omega6 to omega 3 is 3:1 which is the exact ratio that the human body needs for a natural balance. Unique to hempseed this property is not found in any other natural products – there are no known alternatives in the natural world that have this “golden” ratio and of all the fatty acids that the human body needs, these are the most essential.
Disproportionate EFA’s in flaxseed oil make it a poor choice as a supplement for EFAs because repeated dosage will cause the human body to have an imbalance in its EFAs. Hempseed oil has the right makeup to be the perfect supplement to take daily or as an olive oil replacement, it can be used in food preparation.
A healthy diet will contain all the EFA’s that you need to keep your nervous system in good shape and your mind sharp. Hempseed oil is made up of a whopping 80% of these EFA’s.
The human body cannot metabolize EFA’s so they must come from diet alone; A common diet in the Western world comprises a lot of processed and junk foods – these have no EFA’s at all as they only occur in plants and not in animal foodstuffs.
So hempseed oil is more than just a sensible addition to your diet, but it also provides a healthier body and can increase longevity as a result.
Produce Tasty Food with Hempseed Oil
Fish oils are odorous and not pleasant to eat; hempseed oil tastes good and improves food flavors. Hempseed oil adds a nice flavor to cooked foods (it is not possible to use it to fry though), or in a salad as part of the dressing. Alternatively it can just be ingested as a supplement. The small amount of hempseed oil required is a simple addition to any diet. In addition to the dietary benefits of hempseed oil, it can be used to treat eczema and other skin complaints.
Instead of a supplemental dose of hempseed oil, a number of different foods can be pre[pared from hempseed including: Hemp Chocolates, Hemp Pasta, Hemp Salad Dressings, Spiced Hemp Seeds, Hemp Snacks,, Hemp Bread, Toasted Hemp Seeds, Hemp Ice Cream, Hemp Milk, Hemp Snack Bars, Hemp Pesto and other dressings and more!
Flour can be made from hempseed and used to bake delicious pastries and breads; with the oil being used to make a tasty butter. If you eat a vegetarian diet, not only does hempseed provide valuable protein, it can be used to make tofu and other vegetarian products.