On November 12th 2017, hemp seed food and beverage products were approved for legal sale and consumption in Australia and New Zealand.
Up until recently it wasn’t legal sell or market hemp as a food in Australia. But after acceptance of much scientific research, the Australian Government and food regulators have given it the green light so we can all enjoy the health benefits, as is done in most other countries around the world.
Firstly, let's clear up a misconception about hemp seeds. The seeds used as food products do not contain the psychoactive compound THC. I.e., you won't get "stoned" consuming products that contain hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are obtained from a botanically different plant to those that are used for their psychoactive compounds (i.e., marijuana). While there are currently trials underway for medicinal cannibis and the benefits it offers, it is a schedule 4 controlled substance only obtainable through an approved prescription.
Hemp’s emergence in the 20th century was plagued by a comprehensive propaganda campaign resulting in its ban. Posing a threat to Dupont’s new synthetic fabric nylon, hemp was bundled together in post-prohibition enforcement riddled with racial misnomers and bureaucratic misunderstandings to its relation to the cannabis plant. Hemp shares only the botanical name Cannabis sativa and looks similar but differs in chemical structure and preparation. Again, consumption of the seeds, oil or protein from hemp will not produce psychoactive effects, even in large amounts.
Hemp is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids with the perfect omega ratio and contains less common stearidonic (SDA) and gamma linolenic acids (GLAs), which fight inflammation and provide cardiovascular benefits. Hemp is also easily digested, is a complete source of protein with all nine essential amino acids, and contains cholesterol-fighting phytosterols, B vitamins (including folate) and minerals.
Hemp protein is superior to other plant-based protein sources including soy, rice and pea as it is a highly digestible, complete wholefood with a bioavailability rating of 98 percent.
Hemp protein powder works well in smoothies, juice and yoghurt. It’s non-GMO, non-allergen, gluten free, dairy, soy and lactose free. It’s claimed a human could survive indefinitely on hemp protein and water alone as it contains everything the body needs to function.