Hemp … from Fabrics to Seeds

benefits of hemp seedsIt all started with a trip down to our local health store here in San Carlos known as Soya de Guaymas. I love to look at what Matt and Mayra have added to their store because there are always new goodies that I haven’tseen before. This time it was a package of raw hemp seeds. Matt had been talking about Hemp and I had asked if he had any. He did and I purchased my first bag of Organic Hemp Seeds. On the front of the package it states that the Hemp is raw shelled and that it has 10grams of protein and 3 grams of Omega 3′s per serving. Hemp has zero cholesterol and zero sodium. The taste is delicious (I now use it all the time on salads or in smoothies or on vegetables) with a lovely nutty flavor.

It is unfortunate that many farmers do not grow hemp in the U.S. because it has been likened to marijuana which it isn’t. It was grown in the U.S. until the 1950′s. At this point the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that prohibits growing industrial hemp. This seems to be changing. We’ll see.

Hemp is another one of those wonder foods that is so good for you. Not only is it a wonder food but many things come from Hemp including some 25,000 products including paper, fiber, plastics, textiles, rope, oil, household cleaners and a myriad of other products.

hemp yarnSo why do you suppose there are laws against growing Hemp in the U.S.? First of all it is said that Hemp is the earth’s most beneficial agricultural crop. Hemp can provide food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Hemp has been around for some 6,000 years and has enormous potential as a useful plant. The U.S. was the first country to introduce laws to destroy the hemp plants. And, guess what…once again, it was all about politics and money.
For thousands of years hemp has been used as a food, to make clothing and as a medicine. It can be turned into plastics and made into petroleum without producing sulphur, thus reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. Around 80% of all the paper in the world was made from Hemp up until 1883. In the late 1800′s growing hemp fell out of favor as it was difficult to grow large quantities. An automated harvester was developed in the 1930′s.

During the time that it was difficult to harvest hemp commercially other industries took over the production of oil, paper and cloth. These same companies were all too happy to make harvesting hemp illegal. The Dupont Corporation had patented oil and coal for plastics production and certainly wasn’t interested in any competition. This should sound familiar with what’s happening today…J. Herbert Hoover was president of the United States at that time and the Secretary of the Treasury was a man by the name of Andrew Mellon. Mellon appointed his nephew, Harry Anslinger to a position in the FBND (Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.)
Hemp was referred to as marijuana and a campaign was introduced to scare everyone half to death about the dangers of Hemp. All this led to banning the industrial production of Hemp. The marijuana scare campaign was internationalized and the first hysterical articles appeared in Australia in 1938. At the end of 1938, hemp was listed in Australia as a “noxious weed” which had to be destroyed on sight. It was already illegal to smoke marijuana, but it was the hysteria whipped up about the “evils” of this drug that laid the basis in public opinion for the total banning of one of theworld’s most useful plants.

There are apparently no actual laws in the U.S. that make possession of hemp illegal. I don’t know what is happening here. In one instance it is illegal and in another it isn’t. The scientific name for hemp is Cannabis Sative. Some strains produce little or no THC while there are strains that produce high levels of THC. Those are the Marijuana strains. There is a huge difference between marijuana and hemp. The plants are grown differently, processed differently, made from different parts of the plant and differ genetically. It would seem that the U.S. best get very busy in the industrial growing of Hemp.

Enough about the politics…let’s take a look at all the benefits of Hemp or at least the nutritional benefits. Like chia and flax seeds Hemp seed is one of nature’s most perfect foods. These benefits include weight loss, extra energy, rapid recovery from disease or injury, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, better circulation, reduction of inflammation and natural blood sugar control.

hemp plantWe’ve talked a lot about fiber. Here is another wonderful way to get more fiber. There is a high amount in hemp seeds that can help to keep your digestive tract clean and healthy. Hemp is full of antioxidants and plant sterols which can help reduce the possibility of cancer. If you are a diabetic or might be, Hemp seeds help to control your blood sugar levels. This is because of the healthy fats which help the body absorb the glucose from the bloodstream and turn it into energy.

If you are here in San Carlos, Mexico, hurry on down to Soya de Guaymas and pick up a package of these delicious little raw seeds. I just had a wonderful mixed salad for lunch and sprinkled the Hemp seeds all over it. Yum!

by Jacqui Percious at

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