Hemp Plant



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about hemp

It’s one of the oldest and most sustainable crops in the world. Hemp, Cannabis Sativa, is a single stem plant, growing to a height of 2.5 metres. It contains no THC – the psychoactive element found in Cannabis Indica. It does not need pesticides and returns a lot of soil nutrients to the ground as the plant senesces. Planted in Spring and harvested in the autumn, during which time it captures four times more CO2 than the same area of trees, it produces natural fibre, a woody core used for eco efficient building materials and most significantly - seeds rich in Omega 3, GLA, high quality Proteins and Dietary Fibre.

Hemp was essential to the UK economy until the introduction of cotton during the Industrial Revolution. It returned to UK farms during the two world wars then fell out of fashion with the introduction of synthetic fibres and demand for basic food staples.

It is grown in temperate climates and doesn’t need irrigation. The plant is deep rooting and requires 14 times less water than cotton and 30% less water than Soya. About 20,000 ha of hemp is currently grown in northern Europe. The largest producers and exporters are China and Canada. It is now highly relevant to consumer demand for sustainable materials and healthy foods.


Hemp for Food

Hemp Seed has a light nutty flavour. Whole Hemp Seed contains approximately 25% Protein, 35% Oil, 29% Dietary Fibre and a mix of minerals, iron and zinc. It can be used whole, de hulled or fractioned into it’s core components of Fat, Protein and Dietary Fibre. It has been used as a food ingredient since ancient Egyptian times. But is highly relevant now as consumers seek healthy fats, clean label, allergen free products and effective forms of plant based proteins.

FAT

The fat in hemp is naturally rich in the long chain fatty acids Omega 3, Omega 6 and GLA (the active ingredient in Evening Primrose Oil). These are the essential fats that support healthy brain function, skin health, the immune system and normal growth and function. In fact, hemp contains the most effective type of Omega 3 of any plant, easily absorbed by our bodies and is the closest plant source of Omega 3 to fish oil. From it’s historical reputation as a ‘nutraceutical’ oil, Braham & Murray developed the first shelf stable, high quality culinary oil in 2005 which is now a staple of the cooking oil category in every supermarket. Hemp Seed oil has the highest amount of polyunsaturated fat amongst all culinary oils. It contains 25 times more Omega 3 than Olive Oil. Just 10ml of Hemp Seed oil provides our entire Recommended Daily Allowance of Omega 3 as well as the same amount of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) typically found in 6 Evening Primrose Oil capsules.

PROTEIN

Hemp protein is a source of complete protein and has a structure of 65% edestin, a high quality, easily digestible form of globulin protein and 35% albumin, the high quality globulin protein found in egg whites. It also is free from trypsin inhibitors. In vitro studies show that hemp protein is more easily digested than protein from soy. In particular it is more easily digested by the digestive enzyme trypsin. Hemp naturally contains all 20 amino acids – including all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce themselves and must be derived from food. Hemp protein is not unique among plant proteins in having all the essential amino acids. However, it is unique in that it has them in the correct ratio and easily digestible form. And it does not cause bloating or hormonal imbalance. With the significantly greater consumer understanding of the performance and efficacy of ingredients, hemp protein is fast becoming the gold standard for clean label, allergen free natural nutrition.

DIETARY FIBRE

Milled hemp fibre contains 68% dietary fibre. This compared to 36% fibre delivered by Wheat Bran and 18% delivered by Oat Bran. It is Gluten Free and free from allergens and contains much less sugar than Wheat and Oat Bran.