In this video I talk about hemp as a health food and how it became legal as a food in Australia in 2017.
Hey, guys. Jono here coming to you from a wet, wintry, cold old day in the Adelaide Hills.
Just want to quickly let you know that we've got some new products in store. We're now selling some hemp food products certified organic Australian producers. We've got our hemp seeds here from Hempfood.com.au. We're selling hemp seeds in a 250 gram and also a one kilo pack, and then from the same producer we have hemp seed oil in a 250ml and a 500ml bottle, and then we've also got a hemp seed protein from EM Wholefoods.
Hemp, obviously there's a little bit of controversy, or not so much controversy but people are confused about the ability to sell and consume hemp in Australia. There's been some changes since 2017. Hemp foods were or hemp sold as a consumer product before 2017, it was illegal, but now as long as the THC content is below a certain threshold, we're now allowed to sell and you're allowed to consume hemp products as food in Australia.
So what I'm going to do, we've had a few questions. I'm going to head on over to good old Google and we're going to talk about the history of hemp in Australia, where it's at now and obviously some of the health benefits as well and give you a bit of a better idea of hemp as a healthy food source in Australia.
Alrighty. So here are a couple of sites that may help with the confusion around hemp and answer some of the questions.
This first one is Farmers.org.au: Five questions you may have about the hemp industry. So I'm just going to read this and then we'll talk about it as we go through. This was on the 30th of November 2018, so still relevant, but it's a reasonably recent one in terms of the hemp industry in Australia.
"The Australian hemp industry is on the rise. From food and fiber to oils and building materials, you'll soon see hemp in more aspects of your life than ever before."
And then they go on to talk about, there may be questions you have and then what is hemp used for? So obviously if we open these tabs up, we can see hemp seeds, hemp oil, or hemp seed oil is probably more accurate.
The problem with defining hemp oil as simply hemp oil, it can get confused with CBD oil, which is now legal to be sold in the United States and I believe also in Australia, but only by prescription, which we'll go and have a look at in a second.
Fiber and hurd. Is hemp a narcotic? So the short answer is no it's not. The hemp plant does contain THC, which is a psychoactive mind altering ingredient, as most of you know, but the hemp plant itself, or hemp crop, contains little to no active compounds of THC.
But it's interesting to note that on a state by state basis, the amounts of THC, the threshold levels are different based on state to state. So in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, you're allowed up until 0.35% THC, and in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland, no greater than 1%. Then the article goes on to talk about the gross value of Australian hemp. So in 2011 and '12 it was only around 300,000, and the forecast in 2023 is to be around three million.
Now, I would argue that's going to be a lot higher than that. The uptake of hemp products, and especially hemp food products, that was legalized in 2017, that has certainly created an explosion of hemp food products on the Australian market, so that's hemp seed, hemp protein and hemp seed oil.
Here you can see that the cultivation of hemp was banned in 1937 and in April 2017 it was overturned and low THC hemp is now legally allowed to be grown in Australia for consumers. And they're saying here in 2018 the hemp industry in the US was with 150 million. I think it's now closer to ... it's over a billion dollars now, so it's growing rapidly. Then the article goes on to talk about how hemp is grown. We don't need to get into that in this video. And some of the regulations about growing hemp.
No we'll just go to another article. This one is on a site called The conversation.com, and the title is Hemp Can Now Be Sold as a Food in Australia (and it's super good for you). So they talk about some of the health benefits. We'll read this first paragraph.
"Most of you know hemp or marijuana as a drug to be smoked. Law restricts its use and sale in Australia and other countries. From November 12 2017 changes to the Food Standards Code to permit the sale of low psychoactive hemp seeds as a food are effective in Australia. Jurisdictions will now need to amend respective legislation to support the legal sale of low THC, hemp and seed foods."
So same as the other article, just explaining when and how the laws have changed for hemp food products to be sold in Australia. Also talks about some of the other uses for low levels of THC hemp can be used in sunscreen. It talks about hemp seeds and the hemp seed [inaudible 00:06:30] and whereabouts they're sold, so normally in health food shops, and walking into any health food shop now in Australia you'll more than likely see hemp seeds being sold anywhere around Australia.
If you didn't know yet, hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and hemp protein is known to be very good for us as humans, so rich in oils, and the ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 polyunsaturated fats is about three to one, which studies have suggested that that's optimum when consuming hemp as a human.
"Hemp oil can be cold-pressed out of the seeds. It is likely that the oil itself will become more readily available as a product in Australia now that the law has changed. However, this oil often contains chlorophyll, the group of pigments in plants that gives them their green color."
That means it's reasonably unstable and oxidizes quite quickly and can become rancid. So just like a wine, if you open a bottle of wine and you leave ... especially white wine, if you leave the top off or the cork out overnight and then you pour a glass of wine the next day, you'll notice that the white wine is a little bit browner. That's the oxidative process that happens as oxygen enters the wine. Oil is very similar, so it oxidates quite quickly.
Also it's recommended that hemp seed oil is not used in cooking as an oil, like you would with olive oil, because it breaks down quite quickly. So generally it's recommended that hemp seed oil is added to salads. You can add it in other food dishes even with your cereal, and then obviously add it to things like smoothies and drinks, et cetera.
If we move on through the article, so this is an interesting little infographic we've got here about the way hemp can help the dietary fiber needs within your body. So we'll just read this.
"It is less clear what types of polysaccharides or dietary fiber hemp seeds contain and what our microbiome will make of hemp seeds when they get to the lower reaches of our digestive system. Will our microbes be able to ferment the seed material?"
And it just goes on to say that, "Fermentation of foods in low intestine can produce protective anti-inflammatory byproducts. Hemp may be able to contribute to this."
And then we've got this interesting chart of stool types. So type one: separated hard lumps, very constipated, all the way down to type seven: liquid consistency with no solid pieces, and they appropriate that with inflammation in the body. There you go.
So that's going through some of the uses or hemp as a food source, but you've probably heard how versatile hemp is, and here it talks about how it can be used as organic animal feed. The fiber can be used in paper manufacturing and in fabric, things like soundproofing for cars, and the residue can also be used as biofuel feedstock to power vehicles.
So it's got many, many different uses, but it's just important to know that it's legal now to be sold and consumed in Australia as a food source, as long as the THC levels are below the thresholds that we discussed earlier in this video.
So there you go. Hope that gave you a bit of an insight as to hemp as a healthy food source in Australia and whether you can actually purchase it and consume it legally.
Don't forget, we've got our new hemp products in store at Curavita.com.au, so head on over to the store, see what products we've got and have a browse around.
If you've got any questions, certainly send us an email. But yeah, hemp, we're really excited about hemp as a healthy product in our store for our customers and we're going to be bringing more hemp products in in the future as well. Australian grown, Australian made, certified organic, and go and have a look. Thanks.
In the video we answer some of the following questions:
Yes it is in Australia.
Yes it is if prepared correctly
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