Get ready to see a lot more hemp on offer. Hemp, as an ingredient, has only recently been legalised by the Australian Government, and the local food industry is ready to pounce. A number of brands and products have been waiting in the wings for the ban to lift, and all were ready for launch once the announcement was made.
The move could mean big business for the food industry here in Australia, with the North American hemp industry valued at an estimated US$570 million. Outside of food, the plant has been used widely for some time in fabrics, building materials, paper, plastics, and by stoners across the globe.
Much of the hesitation and hold up in the legalisation of hemp as an ingredient in Australia has come from source. Hemp seeds come from the same plant as cannabis, however the seeds contain next none of the THC needed to impair human functioning or test positive on a drug test.
The independent research into the product concludes that you will not get high, and there will be no negative effect on your mental or physical functioning. According to Hemp Foods Australia, and confirmed by Oxford Journal studies, hemp as a food source contains such minute concentrations of THC (the chemical that gets you high) that even prolonged digestion would have no psychotic effect. After all, how often do you smoke your food anyway?
Being a plant product, there are actually many positive health benefits to the seed, being high in health fats (think avocados), protein and various minerals. In fact, keep an eye out for hemp protein powder to take after your next workout, as it is the second highest source of vegetable protein.
Given that hemp is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, paleo, gluten free and anyone with allergies to soy and dairy, expect to see hemp appear in health food shops, online, and featured on menus.