The HempNut; Health and Cookbook, Ancient Food for a New millennium: Richard Rose and Brigitte Mars.
Many people in Western cultures relate Cannabis with its recreational potential while some may know that it produces an important natural fiber. Fewer still have accepted it as a safe and efficacious medicine. More recently, the phenomenal food potential of its seed has received some attention particularly as "hemp" the non-drug varieties of Cannabis.
Similar to soyfoods, the advent of hempseed as food derives from pragmatic Eastern cultures that have used it for thousands of years. While poor people worldwide are malnourished through deficiencies, North Americans paradoxically suffer from a malnutrition of excesses. We are literally feeding ourselves to death in a futile attempt to absorb nutrients from the empty foods that permeate our diet.
From a biochemical perspective, there is not another industrial crop that can provide as much easily digestible protein as hempseed(up to 25 percent in whole seed and more than 30 percent in shelled seed). Hempseed protein is also complete in that all of the essential amino acids are present in nutritionally significant amounts.
Hempseed oil contains very high amounts of the two essential fatty acids (linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid), which occur in a biologically optimal ratio in this oil. Respectable amounts of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid) and stearidonic acid (SDA, an omega-3 fatty acid) are also present in hempseed oil.
All this in a single seed, in addition to some important vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber!
Although it is not a complete food by itself, one could go a very long way on just hempseed, clean water, and air. It is not by chance that successful human cultures have developed an intimate relationship with this plant over the millennia, as no other plant has had so much to offer in the development of our species.
"Over 25,000 products can be manufactured from hemp, from cellophane to dynamite." Popular Mechanics, 1938.
"Hemp is of first necessity to commerce and marine, in other words, to the wealth and protection of the country." - Thomas Jefferson 1791
Hemp is native to China, where it has been cultivated for at least 5,000 , possibly even 12,000 years.
In the early days of our country, farmers could be fined if they did not cultivate hemp for sails, rope, paper, and clothes. They paid their taxes in hemp. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were among the biggest proponents of hemp. The U.S. government required farmers to grow hemp during World War II to supply the military. Hemp is legal under U.S. federal law, according to the controlled Substances Act. A "Producer of Marihuana" permit is required, then from the USDA, now from the DEA. However, the last hemp company to get a permit was in Wisconsin in 1957. The fiber is made into paper for Crane and Co., animal bedding, particle board, linoleum, plastic for BMW and Mercedes-Benz, fuel, and building materials. More than 1,0000 houses have been built in Europe using mineralized hemp stalk and water. Hempseed might be even more valuable for human and industrial uses than hemp fiber. It is certainly one of the most nutritious foods on earth, containing all the essential fatty acids and essential amino acids needed to maintain good health.
Hempseed oil may be considered a "diet oil" contributing fewer calories than other oils or fats because it is so rich in EFAs (80%), which support the metabolism instead of being used for energy or stored as fat. Vegetarians and those who do not eat fish can obtain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids through hempseed oil.
Hardly any other food source provides such a significant range of health-promoting nutrients. .
Cannabinoids are found in mother's milk, therefore, the last time we benefited from cannabinoids in our diets, we were infants.
Hemp contains the 9 essential amino acids that our system does not produce on its own.
Hemp protein is the most easily digestible form of protein available and is the favorite of most athletes.
Immunogloublins found in hemp seeds support the immune system.