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Can you really get high with hemp seeds?

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There is a mistaken belief that you can get high by eating hemp seeds. Indeed, hemp and marijuana belong to the same plant species (Cannabis Sativa L), but they are different strains. Hemp produces not only nutty, fatty, buttery tasting seeds, but also can it be refined into paper, textiles and clothing, biodegradable plastic (cutlery, cups, tableware), biofuel, and even construction material (hempcrete). Yes, you can build a house with it!

Still afraid?

The hemp plant is taller and thinner than the stalky marijuana plant. The main difference between the two is the production of the psychoactive compound – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while the marijuana can be anywhere from 5% to 30% THC. Therefore, it is safe to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet. It has been a staple for many years but recently began gaining global popularity. Additionally, it is regarded as a superfood, thanks to a large number of benefits for your health.

Inconspicuously small but fully packed with essential good fatty acids (Ω-3 and Ω-6) and protein, hemp seeds can replace soybeans, thanks to nearly identical levels of protein. Hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids that you can only get from food. An extra benefit is the presence of fibre, especially if you consume seeds with the intact outer hulls, which subdues your appetite and helps you control your weight. The seeds are a treasure trove of vitamins (B and E) and minerals as magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.

Hemp’s pleasureful taste

Tempting nutty notes with palpable pine nut nuance.

Hemp seeds are pure delight for nut aficionados. Nutty pyrazines and pyrroline, also found in coffee, dark chocolate, nut pralines, nuts, sprouted chickpea, and Parmigiano Reggiano, are responsible for the seed’s nutty flavor. Hemp seed is therefore a perfect ingredient for a fluffy mousse or a heavy brownie. You can even smell a resinous pine nut-like undertone. It is the effect of combination of the nutty molecules with woody, spicy / camphoreous, and green notes.

Comforting fatty aftertaste

Hemp seeds feature a well-rounded fatty mouthfeel. It is the favour of different acids and aldehydes, especially (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, that give extra citrusy undertones like what can be found in lime peel, lemon and kaffir lime leaves. It is present in popcorn, pumpkin seeds, and peanut oil, green olive, cooked bulgur, and stewed beef gravy as well.

Pleasant bean-like aroma

You can detect a beany flavor resulting from a combination of bell pepper-like, green, and woody molecules. You can pair it confidently with kaki, plantain, jasmine flower, tucupi, adzuki bean, pandan leaf, cucumbers, green peas, carrots or Indian Pale Ale.

There’s also a subtle hint of maple and caramel aromas, which can be linked to the semi-sweet taste of the hemp seeds

How do you eat them?

The simplest way to eat hemp seeds is to enjoy them raw in smoothies, granola, porridge, yoghurt or sauces for some added crunchiness. You can also enrich your baked goods with hemp seeds. Hemp ‘milk’ is another way to easily incorporate the nutritious seeds into your diet, and the same goes for hemp flour. As the seeds are rich in fatty acids, cold pressed hemp seeds oil is an up-and-coming product.

Although hemp leaves are less nutrient-dense than the seeds, you can eat them raw as a leafy vegetable in salads. The seeds are also suitable for sprouting.

Can you really get high with hemp seeds? share Facebook Twitter Pinterest There is a mistaken belief that you can get high by eating hemp seeds. Indeed, hemp and marijuana

Good Food

Can hemp seeds get you high?

Elissa McCallum
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Hemp seed sales are on the rise. The seeds taste delicious, are highly nutritious yet come with a whiff of illegality.

Two stockists contacted by Fairfax Media were too nervous to be named in this article.

”I’ve heard of recent crackdowns on retailers,” said one.

Hemp seeds are readily available in shops, but trade occurs on a ”don’t ask, don’t tell” basis. It is illegal to sell them for human consumption. They can be sold as ingredients for a facial scrub, for example, but a shopkeeper can’t sell them to a customer who divulges an intention to sprinkle them on cornflakes. This is despite no evidence that you can get high on hemp seeds or hemp-seed oil.

”Drink as much hemp-seed oil as you like. It’s not going to happen,” says one retailer who is often asked about its powers.

”Hemp contains no or very low levels of THC, the chemical associated with the psychoactive properties of marijuana,” according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand. The authority says hemp seeds do, however, contain protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. FSANZ considers hemp to have THC levels sufficiently low to make it safe for consumption.

A ministerial review about the legality of hemp seed, taking into account the FSANZ position, was due to conclude last week, but is now expected to go on until later this year. The last review was in 2002, when health ministers rejected a bid to legalise food derived from hemp, saying it could send a confused message to consumers and could affect drug-testing results.

”We have to position them at a certain place in the store,” explains one retailer. ”That’s why they’re with the cleaning products, rather than with the rest of our superfoods.”

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Hemp seed stockist Francesca Boch urges change. ”If there’s a debate, there will be a bombardment. People want to make up their own minds. Eighteen months ago, I sold one packet every three to four weeks. Now I’m selling 10 packets a week.

”We could get into trouble if we sell it as food, so we are very diplomatic about how we term it.”

Out of earshot of customers, a staff member launches into an enthusiastic description of her hemp-seed protein balls. The nutty-flavoured seeds can be sprinkled on salads, and hemp-seed milk (a blend of seeds and water) can be added to smoothies.

Recipe: Raw hemp-seed chocolate fudge balls

1 cup hulled hemp seeds

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

dash of vanilla extract (organic and cold extracted, if possible)

1/4 cup extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil, melted

6 medjool dates, pitted

1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and whiz until smooth.

2. Roll the mix into balls.

3. Roll them in your choice of coating, such as cocoa powder or desiccated coconut, and set them in the fridge until firm.

Hemp seed tastes delicious and are highly nutritious. Here’s a recipe for raw hemp-seed chocolate fudge protein balls. But beware, they come with a whiff of …