Hemp, which is the other name of low-tetrahydrocannabinol cannabis plants, has a wide range of uses. The hemp seeds and the oil that comes from these seeds are known for their nutritional value.
Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground as a meal, prepared as tea, or made into milk. Compared with common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs, and soy, hemp seeds form a completed amino acid profile—they contain all 21 known amino acids, including the 9 that the human body is unable to produce.
Almost half of the weight of the hemp seed is edible oil, which possesses 80% of essential fatty acids, the highest of any plant. The oil that hempseed produces has the lowest volume of saturated fats. One tablespoon of hempseed oil contains enough linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid that the body needs in one day.
Aside from the oil that comes from the seed, the fresh leaves that come from the hemp plant are also edible and can be used in salads.
There is a variety of byproducts that can be made from hemp seeds. These include cereals, frozen waffles, tofu, and butter. The hemp butter, according to nutritionist Udo Erasmus, “puts our peanut butter to shame for nutritional value.” The seeds when ground can be used to bake bread, cake, and casserole. In its raw form, these seeds can be used as an additive to granola bars.
According to medical researcher and biochemist R. Hamilton of the UCLA, in the old country, peasants ate hemp butter, which made them more resistant to diseases, because of the hemp’s essential fatty acids which strengthened their immunity system.
There are many other nutritional benefits that hemp seeds have to offer; unfortunately, people readily overlook this because they would rather focus on marijuana’s hallucinogenic effects. Hemp seed is a cheap source of nutrition. Isn’t it time that we put away our biases and make the most out of it?