January 27, 2018

It’s All About Hemp Nutrition

As a follow-up from “What Hempsters Eat on the Go”, this week on Ask a Hempster, Carell had the opportunity to speak with Nutrition Expert and Product Formulator for Pure Kind Botanicals, Mary Matarazzo about all the amazing ways hemp can enhance your current health and nutrition regimen.

Breaking it Down

With a plethora of hemp-based food products on the market today, adding hemp protein and high doses omegas to your diet has never been easier. The hemp seed is a commodity, where most of the nutrition of the plant is found. The seed is incredibly versatile, as there are multiple components of the seed which can be used to make different types of food products. 


Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is produced by pressing the heart of the seed. The extracted oils are very high in nutritional value, very high in omegas and provide a rich flavor which can be used in baking or low-temperature cooking like salad dressings. Matarazzo suggests using hemp seed oil in smoothies or with a blend of turmeric and lemon for a delightful dressing.

Even the little bit of material which is left over after pressing the seeds can be dried and added back into protein powders! 


Hemp Heart

Commonly found in many health food stores, this is the soft, inner part of the seed under the protective hull which has a wide variety of uses. These can be added to foods while cooking, toasted for a crunchy snack on the go, or added into nearly anything for texture and a rich, delicious nutty flavor. Matarazzo reminds this is a healthy alternative to grabbing a bag of chips from the vending machine.


Hemp Hull

Hemp hulls are the hard, outer shell of the hemp seed. Even this part of the seed is utilized for nutritional benefit. Ground into a flour, the seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Matarazzo says she believes hemp-based protein is the best plant-based protein on the market today. 


The Incredible, Edible Hemp Seed

Carell pointed out, with such a diverse product scope coming from one, tiny little seed, hemp seed becomes a complete food source. Alone, the seeds can produce hemp heart, hemp oil, and hemp flour. Recombined into baking recipes, used with granola, raisins, or other dried fruits, manufacturers and consumers are making hemp bars and high-energy snacks which provide a wealth of nutrition.

In addition, Mary reminded the audience, buying local hemp-based products supports the local farmers and the economy. While many hemp products are sourced from Canada and other foreign countries, Matarazzo and Lehrburger both stress the importance of looking for products made in the United States. The standards imposed for organic farmers in the United States can help ensure the consumers are getting the highest quality hemp available. 


Audience Q & A

At the end of the webcast, Carell opened the conversation up to questions from the audience:

Could you share the recipes for hemp smoothies? Carell shared his “Green Bomb Smoothie,” and Mary shared the ingredients of her favorite red smoothie. While both start with hemp powder, Carell blends blue-green algae in with his, and Mary uses Matcha green tea, red beet powder, moringa powder, and turmeric in hers for nutrition and health, as well as vibrant color.

Is there a difference in hemp seed sourced in the US versus other countries? Yes! Buying hemp products made in the USA supports local farmers and the local economy. We can also control the supply by knowing who is producing organically and passes the strict criteria required.

Is there THC or other cannabinoids found in the seed? Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are found in hemp and cannabis plants. While the hemp flower is rich in cannabinoids, the seeds themselves, are not. There are no cannabinoids found in the seeds or in the products produced with them.

What are the challenges in growing hemp to produce seeds? Carell stated the biggest challenge in agricultural hemp is deciding what to grow. Much of the industrial hemp being produced in the US today is for cannabidiol or CBD. However, this is a different variety of hemp. In order to produce an abundance of seeds, growers must pick the right variety of plant. Certain varieties can produce as much 30% of their body weight in seeds. Growers must select the right seed variety best suited for their climate to produce the best food-grade hemp oils possible.

Today, Carell stated, American growers are playing catchup to a mature Canadian market for hemp oil. Manufacturers need a comparable product and a stable supply chain from US-based farmers. A two-step process is needed to help ensure market growth in the hemp industry in the US. First, hemp processing facilities need to be established domestically, and secondly, American consumers need to be aware of the availability of hemp-based products produced in the United States – it all begins with awareness.