The hemp plant is one of the most environmentally friendly.
It also offers a lot of other benefits, but because of the myths associated with its use, it is unnecessarily cursed.
But do you know that you can consume medical cannabis completely legally and safely?
Find out how and why to include it in your diet.
What is made from hemp?
Hemp ( Cannabis Sativa L.) is a universal and versatile natural resource. This plant has been widely used for millennia across all civilizations, from ancient to modern. So it’s no surprise that the oldest paper (discovered by archaeologists) was made from hemp fibers.
At present, the plant is used in several branches of industry. Commonly, hemp is grown for its seed oil, similar to sunflower and flax. Hemp oil is not only used in the food industry, it is also part of, for example, biodiesel or animal feed.
| Hemp seeds|
100 g 1
| Flax seeds|
100 g 2
| Sunflower seeds|
100 g 3
|oil content||48.8 g||42.2 g||49.8 g|
The hemp stem is processed into fibers that are used to make textiles, paper or building materials. It has been popular in recent years to use it in biocomposites, which are substitutes for glass fibers or plastics.
Types of cannabis – what is marijuana and what is medical cannabis?
Two different versions of one and the same plant – hemp, called industrial hemp, and hemp, called marijuana. The main difference is the THC content.
What is THC? Tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive substance found mainly in cannabis leaves. It has psychoactive effects on the human brain, causing euphoria. This substance is closely related to the production of the drug called hashish. Because of the high potential for abuse, cannabis with a higher THC content is therefore classified as a drug.
Industrial or medicinal hemp
Industrial hemp (still referred to as Cannabis Sativa ) produces less THC, up to 0.3% at most. It is used as a medicinal herb. Currently, it is a basic component of several approved medicines. They are used to treat seizures in neurological syndromes, such as a severe form of epilepsy. They are also used to treat weight loss, depression and anxiety in patients with anorexia or AIDS.
Marijuana is defined as any cannabis that exceeds the level of 0.3% THC. It is a subspecies ( Cannabis Indica ) and its other, population-bred varieties. All of these plants are considered cannabis drugs, meaning their cultivation, possession or use is illegal.
Hemp products and food
Hemp seeds are clearly the most important part of the industrial hemp plant, especially for the food industry. They produce not only oil, but also hemp milk and protein. The stem, inflorescence and leaves are then processed mainly into cosmetic products.
They are a source of high-quality natural proteins, which make up 30% of the total weight of the seeds. In this sense, they become much more nutritious than, for example, chia seeds. At the same time, they contain almost the same amount of protein as soybeans.
| Hemp seeds|
100 g 1
100 g 4
| Chia seeds|
100 g 5
|Energy value||553 calories||446 kcal||486 calories|
|Proteins||31.6 g||36.5 g||16.5 g|
|Fats||48.8 g||19.9 g||30.7 g|
|Fiber||4 g||9.3 g||34.4 g|
|Calcium||70 mg||277 mg||631 mg|
|Iron||7.95 mg||15.7 mg||7.72 mg|
|Zinc||9.9 mg||4.89 mg||4.58 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.5 mg||6 mg||1.6 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.8 mg||0.85 mg||0.5 mg|
|Arginine||4.55 g||3.15 g||2.14 mg|
Hemp seeds are also exceptionally rich in the amino acid arginine. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure 6 , at the same time it has anti-inflammatory effects and helps reduce inflammation in the body.
How to use hemp seeds
They are mostly sold in health food stores. You can buy them whole, halved or peeled. They can be eaten with or without the skin, raw, boiled or roasted or baked – there are no limits to imagination and taste. Use a mortar and pestle if you want to remove the harder skins from the seeds.
- Due to their mild nutty taste, hemp seeds are great in yogurts and cereals.
- Similar to chia seeds, you can also add hemp seeds to mixed drinks. For example, try the extremely healthy nettle smoothie .
- Use them in place of nuts – sprinkle them on salads, canapés or sweet desserts.
In recent years, the popularity of this variant of plant-based milk has grown considerably. Not only is it lactose-free and can thus replace cow’s milk, it is also an ideal choice for individuals allergic to soy (soy milk) and nuts (almond and coconut milk).
How to prepare homemade hemp milk?
You only need two basic ingredients for production: shelled hemp seeds and water.
- Soak the seeds in water for at least 12 hours (1 cup of seeds to 6 cups of water).
- Then drain the water using a colander and rinse the seeds with cold water.
- Pour into a blender, add 6 cups of water, close the lid and blend slowly.
- You can still strain the milk through cheesecloth, but it is not necessary.
Season the finished hemp milk to your liking – with sugar, honey, vanilla flavoring, or mixed fruit.
Hemp leaves, stems and inflorescences
From the industrial hemp plant, you can process not only seeds, but also leaves, or stems and inflorescences.
Hemp leaf pesto
Make pesto from hemp leaves at home, which goes great with fresh bread or as a dip for steaks.
For this recipe you will need:
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 60 g of walnuts
- 40 g of fresh hemp leaves
- 20 g of fresh basil
- 10 g of fresh Libečka
- 80 g of fresh baby spinach leaves
- juice of one lime
- 100 ml hemp oil
- Prepare a blender with a large enough container.
- First, finely mix the walnuts in it.
- Then add garlic, basil, lovage, spinach, hemp and half of the lime juice to them. Blend.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and start mixing lightly again.
- While mixing constantly, slowly pour in the hemp oil. Leave the blender on until all the oil has been sufficiently incorporated into the pesto.
- Taste the finished pesto and, if necessary, season with the rest of the lime juice, salt and pepper.
Homemade hemp juice has versatile uses. It is suitable for alcoholic drinks, especially rum cocktails . You can also use it in non-alcoholic lemonades or as an ingredient in fruit and vegetable smoothies. It can also be used as a base for soups (mainly sweeter ones, such as pumpkin or beet) instead of broth.
To make hemp juice you will need:
- 0.5 kg of cannabis flowers
- 1.5 kg of sugar
- citric acid
- 2 lemons cut into slices
- 1.5 liters of spring water (soda)
- a large pot
- sterilized containers with lids (large mason jars)
- Prepare a large pot.
- Pour water into a saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
- Then sprinkle the flowers into the pot and let it cook for 5 minutes, covered with a lid.
- Remove from the hot plate.
- Add one teaspoon of citric acid and mix well.
- First put the lemon slices in the glasses and then pour the juice from the pot.
- Cover and leave to infuse in a cool, dark place for at least two days.
- Strain the infused hemp juice through a strainer and pour into new sterilized containers with lids.
- You do not need to store the juice in the refrigerator, but direct sunlight is not good for it. Ideally, store it in a cellar, for example.
Homemade hemp ointment can greatly relieve sore joints and muscles, it is also suitable for treating sunburns.
Raw materials needed for the production of hemp ointment:
- 1 kg medical petroleum jelly (or coconut or shea butter)
- 150 g of fresh cannabis leaves and flowers
- 50 ml hemp or CBD oil
- Preheat the oven to 120°C.
- Spread the leaves and inflorescences on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven.
- Dry in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Then, finely blend these dried hemp parts in a blender.
- Heat the petroleum jelly in a saucepan. Cook on a low heat, the petroleum jelly should not be boiled, only slightly warmed.
- When the petroleum jelly is liquid, mix in the cannabis.
- Heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Let this ointment base sit in a pot (covered with a lid). Best for a week, in a cool, dark place.
- Reheat the laid base.
- Heat slowly, again for at least 2 hours. Don’t forget to stir.
- Add the hemp oil, remove from the hot plate and mix well.
- Fill clean, preferably sterilized, glasses, cups or bowls with warm ointment.
- Close tightly after cooling.
For centuries, hemp root has been used to treat fevers, pain, but also to stop birth bleeding. However, modern society has forgotten the effects of fresh juice and root decoction.
Hemp root tea
Make a healing tea from the roots, which mainly relieves headaches and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Preparation of roots:
- Collect the roots from wet soil so that they are not torn unnecessarily.
- Wash them thoroughly with lukewarm water, at least several times, so that you get rid of all the dirt even in the folds.
- Dry the roots completely, preferably with paper towels.
- Leave them to dry for at least a week in a dark and especially dry place.
- Grind the dry roots into a powder in a blender, store it in resealable containers.
How to make tea:
- In a pot, bring 500 ml of water to the boil.
- Add two teaspoons of dried ground root and cook for 15 minutes.
- Drain and drink at least 2 cups a day in case of acute pain.
It is among the highest quality plant proteins because it contains all the amino acids that the human body needs to receive from the diet. Compared to other proteins, it also contains a large amount of fiber and proteins, which are up to 98% fully digestible. It is an effective support agent for the regeneration of muscles and bones, not only after injuries. It is suitable for athletes, seniors and children.
It is obtained from the seeds of medical cannabis through a cold pressing process. It contains a large amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B, D and bioactive compounds.
It has a low smoke point, so it is not suitable for heat treatment. It is mainly used for cold toppings, dressings or as a healthy food supplement (usually 1 tablespoon of hemp oil per day). Due to its healing effects, hemp oil also has cosmetic uses.
Hemp oil has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. Recent studies have shown that it can kill even such a dangerous bacterium as Staphylococcus aureus 7 . Due to these properties, it is also used as a skin oil, which treats even severe forms of acne 8 and alleviates the symptoms of eczema 9 .
While hemp oil is pressed from the seeds, CBD oil is extracted from the stem, leaves and flowers. The result is an extract that has a high concentration of CBD – a compound with potential health benefits and medicinal effects.
There are generally three different types of oils on the market:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil that contains all hemp compounds, including THC (but no more than 0.3%).
- CBD broad-spectrum oil, it contains the majority of hemp substances, but not THC.
- CBD oil made from only one substance, CBD isolate.
Medical cannabis – effects on human health
Cannabis contains over 80 different chemical compounds. The most well-known and most discussed is the already mentioned cannabidiol CBD. It is scientifically proven that while the THC compound disrupts cannabinoids in the human body (mainly those in the brain), CBD stimulates them and thus supports their spontaneous production. Cannabinoids are extremely important for the body. They occur in the nervous system, digestive system and cardiovascular system. They affect limb movement, pain, appetite, memory and emotions.
During a recent study, smokers who regularly inhaled CBD extract smoked an average of 40% fewer cigarettes per day than usual 10 . At the same time, this extract helped to stabilize appetite and thus prevent overeating during the process of quitting smoking 11 .
In the future, CBD compounds could also serve as a prevention of Alzheimer’s disease . Preliminary results, performed on both animals and humans, are very promising. Further research continues in combination with the THC compound, because this combination seems to be more effective, not only for the prevention, but also for the treatment of the disease that has already broken out 12 .
CBD oil has been successfully used to treat insomnia in PTSD patients, both in adults and children 13 . It thus becomes a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, without the risk of side effects.
In general, the compound CBD is attributed with antipsychotic effects. It appears to be a suitable and effective treatment for mental disorders such as anxiety. It also has promising results in alleviating the symptoms of schizophrenia and other serious psychoses 14 .
Cultivation of medical cannabis
It is common knowledge that hemp is an undemanding plant that grows like a weed. One single male flower produces around 350,000 pollen grains, which are spread by the wind to distances of up to 300 km. For example, cross-pollination of plants between Europe and Africa is not an exception. An increasingly common problem is spontaneous crossing between medical cannabis and marijuana plants.