What Are Hemp Seeds and What Are They Good For
Hemp seeds are the seed of the Cannabis Sativa plant which, when grown for seed or fibre and with low THC, is know as hemp. Hemp seed has been called the first cultivated crop by humans as it appears in texts from the beginning of recorded history. Hemp seed has no drug content and is purely a health food item. People eat hemp seed for it's protein, essential fatty acid and fibre content.
What is THC
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, the one that produces psychoactive results. Hemp is grown in Canada in such a way that it produces little or no THC in the plant. Hemp seeds themselves do not contain THC, only the leaves of the plant hold this chemical. Typically the seed gets contaminated by THC when it is being harvested as the leaves of the plant, and the protective sheath that surrounds the seed, contain levels of THC which can transfer to the seed during processing. In order to counteract this problem, we clean the hemp seeds to 99.99% clean, which removes all of the plant matter from the seed resulting in a product that can actually be 0.00% THC. Our rigorous testing actually finds that the seed, after cleaning, has no detectible levels of THC down to 4 parts per million.
What is hemp seed good for
Protein - hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids you require. This means that you no longer need to eat any meat as part of your diet to ensure you get enough proteins. The protein in hemp is also very easily digestible as it closely resembles the proteins in your blood. Check out the amino acid profile of hemp seed on our site.
Fibre - hemp seed contains both soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibre can be dissolved in water and while they are still an important part of your diet, they get assimilated by the body before being passed. Insoluble fibre cannot be dissolved and pass through the body intact. This kind of fibre is typically lacking in our diets as we do not eat many food items that do not break down. Insoluble fibre is a very important part of any diet as it aids in gently cleaning out the digestive tract.
What is made from hemp seed
There are four main commodities that are produced from the seed: whole seed, shelled seed (also known as hulled seed or hemp hearts), oil and products produced from the pressing of the seed for oil.
- Whole Seed - you would consume whole hemp seed for the proteins and fibre and to a lesser degree the oils. Due to international laws we are required to reduce the viability of the seed by using heat to sterilize it. This does do some damage to the oils, but the protein and fibre are left intact. While the shell is quite crunchy, it is not difficult to eat.
- Shelled Seed - this is the whole seed without the shell. We do not have to heat this product since by removing the shell, you would not be able to sprout it. This product would be consumed for the proteins and the oils and it really tastes great. The inner part of the hemp seed is soft and has a wonderful nutty flavour.
- Hemp Seed Oil - you would consume the oil as an excellent source of essential fatty acids (EFAs). These long chain poly-unsaturated fats are considered "the good fats" as they are the building blocks of our immune systems. They are called essential because you have to get them from your diet. A diet lacking in EFAs can contribute to simple items like dry skin but can also become more severe like allergic reactions and compromised immune response.
- Hemp Protein Powder/Hemp Flour - this is a product that is made from the left overs of pressing for oil. It is a great way to get your proteins and some fibre as well. Not all protein powders are the same so make sure you check what percentage proteins are in the powder you are looking at. Protein percentages of less than 35% should be considered hemp flour as there is then more fibre than protein.