Cannabis sativa, or as we affectionately know it as hemp, is a versatile plant with a rich history dating back to 2800 BCE China. Initially prized for its resilient fibers, hemp has transformed into a plant of endless possibilities. From foods, herbal products, and skincare to textiles and the highly sought-after CBD, hemp is a botanical powerhouse.
Distinguishing hemp from marijuana
While hemp and marijuana plants belong to the same species of plant, the legal distinction lies in the THC content, with hemp containing minimal levels. In the United States, hemp is legally classified as varieties of cannabis sativa containing 0.3% or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana refers to the varieties that contain higher amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive drug that gets people ‘high’. So while they originate from the same genus of plant and share the ability to produce CBD, these plants are undeniably separate and unique.
Hemp in our Food
Now, let’s talk about the delicious side of hemp. Hemp seeds might be small in size but mighty in impact, and are often considered a superfood. They are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and healthy fatty acids, you’ll often see them added on top of salads or in health recipes because of their nutty flavor and rich nutritional profile.
Hemp is not just found in the kitchen, from ropes to biodegradable shoes, hemp is at the forefront of sustainable material innovation. The power of hemp is being harnessed in personal care products and nutritional supplements, due to the potential health benefits I’ll get into next.
Hemp uses extend beyond its material applications and has real health benefits to offer as well.
Credible research has shown the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in hemp, and as more studies come out, it is becoming evident that hemp leaves may be valuable sources of functional ingredients for inflammatory-related disorders. And those wholesome hemp seeds? They are celebrated for contributing to heart health because of their high concentration of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.