Hemp is the common term for a variety of plants in the Cannabis family. This beneficial and versatile plant can be turned into fibers, oil, wax, resin, cloth, fuel, and a wide range of other useful products. Hemp grows all over the world, as it is a very resilient plant which can grow in a variety of environmental conditions. The main concern that people have with edible hemp products, is that it comes from a cannabis plant. However, hemp seeds that are sold for consumption have less than 0.5% THC and are safe to eat.
Hemp fiber has been used extensively throughout history, with production climaxing soon after being introduced to the New World. For centuries, items ranging from rope, to fabrics, to industrial materials were made from hemp fiber. Hemp was also commonly used to make sail canvas. The word "canvas" is derived from the word cannabis.[24][25] Pure hemp has a texture similar to linen.[26] Because of its versatility for use in a variety of products, today hemp is used in a number of consumer goods, including clothing, shoes, accessories, dog collars, and home wares. For clothing, in some instances, hemp is mixed with lyocell.[27]
Hemp is rich in omega fatty acids, which are prone to breaking down and spoiling. The one thing you want to look for when buying a bag of hemp seeds is a totally opaque package that doesn't have a window for you to look at the actual seeds. A window means the contents of the bag are being exposed to light, which means it's likelier those omegas will spoil quicker and go rancid. Also look for a "packaged on" or "best before" date on the bag and buy the newest product you can find. This will help prolong your hemp seeds' freshness.
As of December 2018, Hemp is federally legal to grow again in the United States. The government passed the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, part of the 2018 Farm Bill[95] signed by President Donald Trump on 20 December 2018.[95] This bill changed hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity, legalizing hemp federally, which made it easier for farmers to get production licenses, get loans to grow hemp, and allowed them to get federal crop insurance.[95] Some states still consider it illegal to grow hemp, but 41 states have begun the process to make hemp legal to grow at the state level, as of 2019.[96]
Hemp seeds have long been prized as a high-quality source of plant-based protein and omega fatty acids. A single serving of hemp seeds, about two heaping tablespoons, provides 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of omegas. Hemp also packs in all nine essential amino acids, which we need to get through diet since our bodies don't produce them naturally. Hemp seed oil, which is the oil derived from pressed hemp seeds, contains the most essential fatty acids of any nut or seed oil. Of the three main hemp products on the market—seeds, oil, and protein powder—hemp seeds will provide the broadest spectrum of nutritional benefits per serving.
Reality: Hemp oil is an increasingly popular product, used for an expanding variety of purposes. The washed hemp seed contains no THC at all. The tiny amounts of THC contained in industrial hemp are in the glands of the plant itself. Sometimes, in the manufacturing process, some THC- and CBD-containing resin sticks to the seed, resulting in traces of THC in the oil that is produced. The concentration of these cannabinoids in the oil is infinitesimal. No one can get high from using hemp oil.

The seeds are sown with grain drills or other conventional seeding equipment to a depth of 1.27 to 2.54 cm. Greater seeding depths result in increased weed competition. Nitrogen should not be placed with the seed, but phosphate may be tolerated. The soil should have available 89 to 135 kg/ha of nitrogen, 46 kg/ha phosphorus, 67 kg/ha potassium, and 17 kg/ha sulfur. Organic fertilizers such as manure are one of the best methods of weed control.[60]


John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.
Millennia of selective breeding have resulted in varieties that display a wide range of traits; e.g. suited for a particular environments/latitudes, producing different ratios and compositions of terpenoids and cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBG, CBC, CBN...etc.), fibre quality, oil/seed yield, etc. Hemp grown for fiber is planted closely, resulting in tall, slender plants with long fibers.[citation needed]
The etymology is uncertain but there appears to be no common Proto-Indo-European source for the various forms of the word; the Greek term kánnabis is the oldest attested form, which may have been borrowed from an earlier Scythian or Thracian word.[9][10] Then it appears to have been borrowed into Latin, and separately into Slavic and from there into Baltic, Finnish, and Germanic languages.[11] Following Grimm's law, the "k" would have changed to "h" with the first Germanic sound shift,[9][12] after which it may have been adapted into the Old English form, hænep.[9] Barber (1991) however, argued that the spread of the name "kannabis" was due to its historically more recent plant use, starting from the south, around Iran, whereas non-THC varieties of hemp are older and prehistoric.[11] Another possible source of origin is Assyrian qunnabu, which was the name for a source of oil, fiber, and medicine in the 1st millennium BC.[11]

France is Europe's biggest producer (and the world's second largest producer) with 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) cultivated.[88] 70–80% of the hemp fibre produced in 2003 was used for specialty pulp for cigarette papers and technical applications. About 15% was used in the automotive sector, and 5-6% was used for insulation mats. About 95% of hurds were used as animal bedding, while almost 5% was used in the building sector.[14] In 2010/2011, a total of 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) was cultivated with hemp in the EU, a decline compared with previous year.[74][89]


In the United States, the public's perception of hemp as marijuana has blocked hemp from becoming a useful crop and product,"[57] in spite of its vital importance prior to World War II.[58] Ideally, according to Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the herb should be desiccated and harvested towards the end of flowering. This early cropping reduces the seed yield but improves the fiber yield and quality.[59] In these strains of industrial hemp* the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content would have been very low.[57]
With 78% essential fats hemp oil greatly exceeds soy oil at 40%, canola oil at 30%, olive oil at 10% and other oils. Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fats may reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke. The 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 EFA's in hemp oil is thought to be the best in nature for promoting cellular health. Hemp oil contains more "Omega 3" EFA components (19%) than are found in any fish and in most fish-oil supplements.
Eating shelled hemp seeds will not produce the same effects as smoking marijuana. According to David P. West Ph.D., a plant researcher who has studied hemp extensively, the compound in marijuana that produces its psychotropic effect, THC, is only produced in the flowers, buds and leaves of the cannabis plants, not the seeds. However, since the seeds come into contact with the rest of the plant, some residue may remain on the seeds after processing and shelled hemp seeds may contain extremely low levels of THC. The exact levels vary by brand, so if you are very sensitive to THC and happen to buy a brand with higher-than-average levels, you may experience euphoria or hallucination. It is also highly unlikely --- although not impossible --- to get a positive drug test result after consuming large amounts of shelled hemp seeds.
A 100-gram portion of hulled hemp seeds supplies 586 calories. They contain 5% water, 5% carbohydrates, 49% total fat, and 31% protein. Hemp seeds are notable in providing 64% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein per 100-gram serving.[20] Hemp seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber (20% DV), B vitamins, and the dietary minerals manganese (362% DV), phosphorus (236% DV), magnesium (197% DV), zinc (104% DV), and iron (61% DV). About 73% of the energy in hempseed is in the form of fats and essential fatty acids,[20] mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic, oleic, and alpha-linolenic acids.[21]
In Western Europe, the cultivation of hemp was not legally banned by the 1930s, but the commercial cultivation stopped by then, due to decreased demand compared to increasingly popular artificial fibers.[149] Speculation about the potential for commercial cultivation of hemp in large quantities has been criticized due to successful competition from other fibers for many products. The world production of hemp fiber fell from over 300,000 metric tons 1961 to about 75,000 metric tons in the early 1990s and has after that been stable at that level.[150]
A panellized system of hemp-lime panels for use in building construction is currently under test in a European Union-funded research collaboration led by the University of Bath. The panels are being designed to assure high-quality construction, rapid on-site erection, optimal hygrothermal performance from day one, and energy- and resource-efficient buildings. The 36-month work program aims to refine product and manufacturing protocols and produce data for certification and marketing, warranty, insurance cover, and availability of finance. It also includes the development of markets in Britain, France, and Spain.[35]
Hemp seeds are high in nutritional value and contain 20 different varieties of amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). Some essential amino acids can't be naturally produced by the body and these seeds have the capacity to supplement them in the body. They contain high amounts of protein, which helps in strengthening the immune system, thereby, reducing the instances of diseases, besides helping in excreting toxins from the body. Studies in the recent past have shown that consuming hemp seeds whether raw or in oil form, has the capacity to aid in the healing process of diseases related to immune deficiency. There is no other food substance which contains such high quantities of essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds, higher than even flaxseed and other nut or seed oil as well as containing high amounts of vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. This won't help correct your omega balance if it's off, but it gives you the right balance to start with.
George Washington also imported the Indian Hemp plant from Asia, which was used for fiber and, by some growers, for intoxicating resin production. In a letter to William Pearce who managed the plants for him Washington says, "What was done with the Indian Hemp plant from last summer? It ought, all of it, to be sown again; that not only a stock of seed sufficient for my own purposes might have been raised, but to have disseminated seed to others; as it is more valuable than common hemp."[citation needed]
As of December 2018, Hemp is federally legal to grow again in the United States. The government passed the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, part of the 2018 Farm Bill[95] signed by President Donald Trump on 20 December 2018.[95] This bill changed hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity, legalizing hemp federally, which made it easier for farmers to get production licenses, get loans to grow hemp, and allowed them to get federal crop insurance.[95] Some states still consider it illegal to grow hemp, but 41 states have begun the process to make hemp legal to grow at the state level, as of 2019.[96]
Hemp is possibly one of the earliest plants to be cultivated.[107][108] An archeological site in the Oki Islands near Japan contained cannabis achenes from about 8000 BC, probably signifying use of the plant.[109] Hemp use archaeologically dates back to the Neolithic Age in China, with hemp fiber imprints found on Yangshao culture pottery dating from the 5th millennium BC.[106][110] The Chinese later used hemp to make clothes, shoes, ropes, and an early form of paper.[106] The classical Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia would often inhale the vapors of hemp-seed smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation.[111]
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Hemp plants are cultivated for industrial use and harvested for their fibers, seeds, oils, and meal. Industrial hemp seeds are available in different forms. They can be sterilized, toasted, roasted, or cracked. Hemp can be pressed into oil or hulled into meal. Hemp thrives nearly anywhere, tolerating a variety of growing conditions. It's rarely affected by pests or disease, making hemp quite hardy. In fact, the plant provides numerous benefits.
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