Despite stringent measures put in place to obtain viable hemp seed for cultivation, there has been exponential growth in the industry by a large number of Canadian farmers, especially in the central and western provinces such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The hemp industry is growing rapidly and is expanding as the market demand for health food products is continually increasing. Together with continued funding for the health food industry, the future of hemp is promising and lucrative.
Industrial Hemp is a plant classified under the species name Cannabis Sativa L. Due to stigma of the drug delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) associated with Cannabis plant; a ban was placed on its cultivation in Canada in 1938. However, due to the research efforts of a few Canadian universities and companies on its cultivation and processing, the ban was lifted on March 12, 1998 by proving the less than 10 parts per million THC content contained in industrial hemp seed. This superfood was finally able to be cultivated, with its multifaceted nutritional goodness available for all.
Despite stringent measures put in place to obtain viable hemp seed for cultivation, there has been exponential growth in the industry by a large number of Canadian farmers, especially in the central and western provinces such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
This new superfood hemp seeds boasts an incredibly sustainable crop. Hemp seed constitutes of three essential ingredients: 10% fibre and carbohydrates, 35% protein and roughly 45% polyunsaturated oil. These facilities for its diversity and richness, therefore, uses of hemp are dual mainly food and non-food purposes.
Years ago, the hemp industry was limited to fundamental and more industrial needs such as lamp oil, varnish and paint. However, hemp is now a leading component used in:
- Cosmetics & Body Care Products
- Food & Nutritional Supplements
- Industrial Materials (i.e. construction board, fibres & textiles etc.)
Hemp & Cosmetics
Modern scientific research reflects that hemp seed oil contains potent amounts of essential fatty acids (EFAs) which are a key component of health moisturize hair, skin and nails. For this reason, the skin care sector demand for hemp seed body care products is growing at a tremendous rate. With this information about the benefits of hemp seed, the body care industry is a forerunner in efforts to create customer awareness about hemp. The body care products, enhanced with hemp oil, include:
- Leave-on/rinse out conditioners and shampoos: hemp oil helps retain moisture and hydrate the hair.
- Body lotions with hemp oil to restore, repair and soothe the skin.
- Lip balms, soaps and shaving essentials: the hemp is gentle on the skin leaving a supple feel after effect.
Hemp for Health
Hemp has astronomical health benefits due to its high EFAs, complete protein content and rich mineral and fibre structure. The human body is incapable of producing essential fatty acids, which hemp seed is packed with, that are necessary for proper brain and bodily function. Hemp seed and its oil provide important nutritional components to control or cure certain chronic conditions, for instance:
- Hemp seed oil with its combination of Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 can help in patients with:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hemp is unique in that it has a rare combination of all essential fatty acids together with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA offers valuable properties against depression and also inflammatory conditions. Studies have shown that this combination:
- Combats and lowers high cholesterol levels
- Works well for patients with dyslexia and hyperactivity (ADHD)
- Helps when there is a deficiency of enzyme essential for metabolizing GLA
Hemp has astronomical nutritional benefits and is supercharged with key nutrients such as complete protein (contains all essential amino acids), high Omega fats, insoluble fibre and minerals. With growing awareness of these nutritional facts, hemp is used in numerous categories of health food products manufactured today. The use of hemp as a superfood ingredient is predicted to rise; hemp seed oil and hemp seeds are now being used in various food products. For example:
- Tortilla Chips
- Frozen Desserts
- Salad dressings
Hemp for Industry
Hemp has two important fibres known for durability and resilience:
- Bast fibres: these are commonly used for car panels. These hemp fibres are resistant to mild dew, cheap and have a high absorbency level.
- Core fibre: also known as hurds. The stalk’s nature is like that of wood. It is resistant and resilient to mildew and microbes and highly absorbent. Animal breeders find great benefit in the use of hurds.
Although extensive research and modern studies have revealed that the traces of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in hemp are nearly undetectable, the Canadian Authorities continue to place regulation and licensing on the growth and processing of industrial hemp in order to reassure the public that hemp food is guaranteed of food safety and that health measures are put in place for its cultivation. This measure is mainly attributed to relieve the stigma from the decades of wrongful association with the hemp plant being used as a drug, rather than its cousin species Cannabis Sativa L. industrial hemp produced for food and commercial use. Nonetheless, the hemp industry is growing rapidly and is expanding as the market demand for health food products is continually increasing. Together with continued funding for the health food industry, the future of hemp is promising and lucrative.
Here are some important resources and statistics on the growth of the Hemp Industry in Canadian Agriculture:
Currently in the news about Hemp Cultivation: